Sunday, April 7, 2013

Interior Department EIS Calls for Removal of Four Klamath River Dams

Last week the United States Department of Interior released a long awaited final draft of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the removal of the four Klamath River dams. After evaluating the costs and benefits of alternatives ranging from leaving the four dams in place to full removal and restoration they concluded that removal of all four dams on the Klamath is the best choice for the future of the Klamath. Support from the Department of Interior for dam removal is a major step forward for restoration of the Klamath and marks the latest chapter in a saga that stretches back more than a decade. In 2010 a coalition of Native American tribes, fishing and agricultural interests and governments signed off on the Klamath accords, agreeing to a framework for the removal of the four dams. Removal of the dams now awaits approval from Congress, which is unfortunately unlikely to be forthcoming in the near term given the current politics in Washington DC.

The four dams are privately owned by PacifiCorp energy and currently block Chinook, coho and steelhead from 420 miles of habitat in the Upper Klamath.

More information in the Columbia Basin Bulletin:

and from the Klamath Restoration Agreement website:

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