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Siskiyou County Water Users oppose dam removal

SCWUA guest opinion, Siskiyou Daily News 10/5/18

Siskiyou County Water Users Assoc. is compelled to respond to the recent opinion co- written by Chrysten Lambert and Brian J. Johnson. These two individuals cannot provide an impartial report on the issue of Dam Removal of the Klamath Dams, as they are long time proponents. Lambert is a former Obama appointee to the Klamath Compact. Her father is James Root, a Board Member of the KRRC. He is also a former board member of Trout Unlimited, so all groups benefiting from removal are intertwined. KRRC is the private entity charged with removal of the Klamath Dams in the Amended KHSA agreement (between Oregon and California and NGO’s) which provides $450 Million Dollars for Dam Removal from taxpayer and ratepayer funds. A few ‘Klamath Dam facts’: They referred to the Klamath Dams as being old and outdated, but in fact the State of California and the FERC are continuously monitoring these dams and find that they are in excellent condition. These hydro-facilities provided for in the Klamath Compact are doing their job providing a steady source of carbon free electricity 24/7. In addition they provide among other attributes, “in stream flow” to assist the Salmon in the late season to fight off disease, a valuable asset which will be lost if the dams are removed. Salmon returns to the region indicate NO related decline after the 1st dam over a hundred years ago (Copco), and a 20% increase after the construction of the last dam (Iron Gate) over a half century ago.

They neglected to mention that the ODEQ report indicates that the long nose and short nose sucker fish, who are considered endangered, will be impacted severely by Dam removal to the tune of population loss calculated at 94%. The State of California legislators, in an effort to facilitate the dam removal process, have agreed that potential extinction of these endangered fish is okay with them. Where are the environmentalists??

The Dams also provide significant capability to improving water quality by allowing contaminated sediment in the water coming from Oregon to settle out before going downriver which feature will be lost with the proposed removal of the dams. The dam removal process itself will violate all water quality standards sending millions of cubic yards of sediment down the Klamath to settle eventually into the Estuary at the mouth of the Klamath certainly damaging the shellfish population. This will serve to devastate the Coho Salmon with no definite return in population. Instead the plans are to import altered Salmon from other areas. In fact the original EIR prepared by the U.S. Dept. of Interior indicated that success of dam removal wouldn’t be known until 2060.

The KHSA Agreement providing for dam removal gives zero assurance of stability or water. Artificial court ‘flow’ and ‘flush’ mandates continuing after destruction with even less water storage available will demand even greater use of vested water resource confiscation without compensation.

Besides the above benefits, the dams currently provide, recreational opportunities, environmental habitat for threatened species, fire- fighting capability, lakeside value of properties, flood control and potential to provide water to the Shasta River.

Regarding the promised ‘economic boon’, every penny was confiscated from you by the benefiting groups. At least 95% goes towards temporary employment of multinational nonresident corporations and special interest groups. Far more local jobs could be created from that same money, by pursuing far less expensive, proven alternatives to destruction, enhancing massive benefits and returning unused funds to the people.

Ironically, their media campaign targets unrepresented people who have, are, and will continue suffering the ‘certainty’ of all their special interest imposed costs, property value losses, economic losses, and disastrous regional consequences. There are no provisions to ‘mitigate’ any damages which exceed your appropriated money and their own studies identify insufficient funds to cover destruction unleashed by Dam Removal.

The entire issue comes down to one word, accountability. Even ‘Agreement’ authors acknowledge that real and unmitigated damage will be done to the regional environment and its residents. According to FERC, the primary ‘Agreement’ requirement is to absolve ‘Agreement’ authors from any liability for incurred damages shielding themselves behind an ‘insured’ legal barrier (KRRC) paid for by the same affected residents suffering the consequences.

Those most affected who worked, sacrificed for, and are intertwined with the area’s lakes and rivers, clearly have a vested interest in the dams. The Klamath deep water lakes behind the dams provide more proven and experienced holistic environmental benefits protecting the area from prior repetitive flood damage. The fact is that those with local and compelling scientific knowledge of the facts surrounding potential dam removal should be listened to, not those from outside, who stand to benefit from the removal of the dams. Please oppose this disaster!

Siskiyou County Water Users






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