The Legal Planet blog published a short article about the Klamath Dam Removal legislation focusing on the economic benefits to Siskiyou County:
The Department of Interior, along with other state and local agencies, have released a variety of studies, including a draft EIS on the proposed dam removal. PacifiCorp would pay for the removal. The federal government would contribute an estimated $536 million for environmental restoration. According to studies to date, dam removal would increase median adult Chinook production in the Klamath basin by 81%. Removal would improve water quality, reduce fish disease and create thousands of jobs (see L.A. Times summary), including fishing and agricultural jobs.
The reaction of media sites to the Draft EIS/EIR studies has been overwhelmingly positive, though each acknowledges the difficult balancing act whenever disparate groups come together and attempt to forge an agreement.
The four lower Klamath Dams will come out because the health of the river demands it — and because it’s far cheaper to remove them than retrofit them to modern standards, after which they’d operate at a $20 million annual loss.
It is too bad that Cal Trout has signed on to these bad deals in which politics has trumped science.
The bottom line for trout and salmon lovers is that the Deals limit Klamath River flows for salmon to what is needed to prevent jeopardy; what we need is flows that will advance recovery.
The dams will come down because if they were relicensed under current law they would lose $20 million a year. With Warren Buffett behind it, PacifiCorp has negotiated a sweetheart deal to offload the non-performing assets. Clever feds and their “diverse” allies want to hitch a bad water deal to that train.
A deal that puts privileged federal irrigators ahead of fish, that ignores the best science, and that favors some tribal, irrigation and environmental interests over other tribal, irrigation and environmental interests will not restore the Klamath River or recover Klamath Salmon.