Four dams to come down by 2020
Breaking News 4-6-16
On April 6th, representatives from the States of California and Oregon, the federal government and dam owner PacifiCorp signed an amendment to the historic Klamath Basin Hydroelectric Agreement. The amended KHSA provides a path forward for the removal of four hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River. At the same time, conservation and fishing groups and agricultural leaders also recommitted to a basin-wide solution for water sharing, water supply infrastructure, and habitat restoration with a new Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement.
Salmon and steelhead will finally have the chance to go home after decades of blocked passage caused by these aging dams. But what’s still unclear is what they will find when they get there. California Trout remains committed to working with all of the settlement parties to support both local economic activity and essential habitat restoration along streams and creeks throughout the Klamath Basin.”
Curtis Knight, Executive Director
At the end of 2015, the Klamath Agreements were not approved by Congress before the end of the legislation session, effectively killing the broadly supported and locally developed package of three separate but coordinated settlement agreements.
The Agreements, hammered out by Indian tribes, ranchers, government agencies, the owner of the dams (PacifiCorp) and environmental groups had been waiting for Congress to act since 2010. What was at stake was the largest river restoration project in our nation’s history, an unprecedented removal of four hydroelectric dams, and a blueprint for how opponents in a major western water dispute can overcome their differences and find common ground.
In our Winter 2015 issue of the Current, guest writer Frank Eldredge looked back on how the Klamath Agreements were developed and how a broad diversity of stakeholders came together to ease tensions and solve problems around one of the West’s most contentious water issues.
Recover Klamath River salmonid populations by removing 4 dams on the Klamath River (Iron Gate, Copco 1, Copco 2, and JC Boyle) and opening up fish passage to over 250 miles of potential spawning and rearing habitat.
- Coordinated multi-state advocacy strategy with dozens of Klamath Settlement partners and legislators to promote the Klamath Basin Water Recovery and Economic Restoration Act.
- Engaged Shasta and Scott Valley landowners and stakeholders to represent interests in negotiations and secure support of Klamath Settlement Agreements.
What We Will Achieve in 2015-16
- Pass federal legislation through Congress in 2015 to authorize and carry out Settlement Agreements.
- Engage Siskiyou County farmers and landowners to gain support and ensure they benefit from legislation and Agreements.
- Coordinate partners to design, fund, and carry out state and federal priority Coho Recovery Plan Recommendations and Tasks including scientific monitoring systems for measuring salmonid recovery progress.