Dam removal leaves need for
new recreation sites
The Klamath River Renewal
Corp., the nonprofit charged with coordinating the removal
for four hydro-electric dams on the Klamath River, is
seeking public comment on new recreation sites along the
river — after the dams are out.
KRRC notes that reservoirs such as Topsy, behind the J.C.
Boyle dam, will become a river, as will the Copco Reservoir,
once water levels are lowered.
will leave current recreation sites high and dry, but create
more opportunity for riverside sites. The KRRC is seeking
comments by Wednesday, May 30, on site proposals, but more
comments will likely be taken after a draft plan is written.
The comments will be rolled into a larger document to be
present to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission later
of the land that is now under reservoir water owned by
PacifiCorp — the utility that owns the dams — will be turned
over to the states and may, in turn, be handed over to the
counties for development of recreation sites and boat
Murveit, KRRC outreach and communication official, and
others are having Skype calls with tourism officials, tribal
members and recreational outfitters who use the river,
soliciting comments on what to do with the land that will be
left after the reservoirs are drained.
want to hear their ideas on what would be the best locations
for boat launches, take out spots and campgrounds among
other things,” Murveit said. “We want to prioritize those
sites and draw up selection criteria.”
KRRC recreation group is to submit its draft plan by July 1.
this is dependent on FERC approving the license transfer of
the four dams from PacifiCorp to the renewal corporation and
then the decommissioning of the dams for removal. It’s part
of the 2016 Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement.
Funding for the project comes from PacifiCorp customer
surcharge which totals $200 million, plus California
Proposition 1 which has set aside $250 million. The timeline
calls for decommissioning to start in 2020 at the earliest.
news of the day is that KRRC hopes to contract with local
firms to do: Native seed collection; invasive exotic
vegetation eradication; development of vegetation test
plots; nursery plant propagation and groundwater
monitoring,” Murveit said.
opportunities are for firms to contract with KRRC, not
direct hires through the KRRC. We are working on information
to share on these RFPs (requests for proposals) and may have
it in the next couple of weeks.”
estimates are being developed and will be part of the July 1
trying to ensure as many local jobs go to the local
communities,” she said.
last week, KRRC held a Skype call with Discover Klamath,
Klamath County Chamber of Commerce and Siskiyou County
economic development leaders on recreational site
locations. (A list of
current and proposed sites and amenities is posted in PDF
format on the Herald and News website alongside this story).
Officials noted that while the counties have a master plan
for tourism, it is too early speculate what recreational
sites might prove best once the water is drawn down.
Questions on the drawdown
1. How much funding will KRRC
have to remove, improve, and add recreation?
Planning estimates are being developed and will become public in
July 2018 through our Definite Plan submittal.
2. Will white water rafting
be a thing of the past? With J.C. Boyle removal, will there be
no more whitewater on the Klamath and how are outfitters
No, we expect that whitewater rafting will continue. KRRC's
recreation plan will consider both additional access to new
areas that are currently slack water in the hydroelectric reach
and/or enhanced existing sites areas that are currently utilized
by whitewater outfitters.
The main change is that J.C. Boyle hydroelectric pulse flows
currently provide year-round flows suitable for white water in
the Hells Corner reach, the most popular run in the area for
outfitters and their clients.
When J.C. Boyle is removed, flows will be controlled upstream by
Link River Dam and there will no longer be daily hydroelectric
pulse flows. Rafting outfitters have emphasized that they are in
full support of a healthier Klamath River system, but are
concerned about impacts to their business during construction
and after removal of J.C. Boyle Dam.
3. Can you further explain
the A and B land designations, i.e. what will become private or
remain so, what will PacifiCorp give up for public access. Is
there a number of acres we're looking at?
Parcel A lands will remain with PacifiCorp because these parcels
are not directly related to the hydroelectric facilities to be
transferred to KRRC (J.C. Boyle, Copco 1&2, and Iron Gate).
Parcel B lands are directly related to these four hydroelectric
facilities. According to the 2016 Amended Klamath Hydroelectric
Settlement Agreement, Parcel B lands are to be transferred
through KRRC to the states or other entities they designate and
are intended for the public interest. There are over 8,000 acres
of Parcel B land.
Comment period extended for recreation
The comment period to the KRRC on newly created recreation sites
once the Klamath River dams are out and the reservoirs lowered
has been extended to June 15.
The deadline was initially Wednesday. Anna Murveit, spokesperson
for the KRRC, said that stakeholders requested more time to
suggest new recreation sites once the dams are removed and the
reservoirs are no more.
“We want to hear their ideas on what would be the best locations
for boat launches, take out spots and campgrounds among other
things,” Murveit said. “We want to prioritize those sites and
draw up selection criteria.”
The KRRC recreation group is to submit its
draft plan by July 1. For more details, see the story in
Tuesday's H&N or online at : https://bit.ly/2xoELBQ
To comment, send remarks to: Chris Park,
KRRC Technical Representative Team at
or download the feedback form here: https://bit.ly/2shHIiG
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