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Compelling Facts Condemn KRRC’s Proposed Klamath River Dam Removal Plan

"Economics Not Salmon Is the Reason PacifiCorp is Removing the Dams”  Glen Spain - Eugene attorney, PCFFA Regional Director

NEWS PROVIDED BY Wild Horse Ranch Productions July 19, 2021

Recent shocking disclosures made by lawyer and KRRC Board Member Glen Spain; including: “Economics Not Salmon Is the Reason PacifiCorp is Removing the Dams”.YREKA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, July 19, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- "PROBLEM: You seem to be under the mistaken belief (widely held, but nevertheless completely false) that it is salmon restoration considerations that is empowering the now inevitable removal of the four Klamath mainstem dams. THIS IS NOT THE REASON THE DAMS WILL COME DOWN. The real reason is pure economics." ~ Mr. Glen Spain.

The above quote was in fact made by lawyer and Klamath River Renewal Corporation board member, Mr. Glen Spain, in a public email from Spain dated July 24, 2018 to naturalist William E. Simpson II and a myriad of other public officials and recipients.

This is not the only time that Glen Spain has tossed the Salmon argument aside as he has in his diatribe of July 8, 2021 to Mr. Simpson.

In that same email Spain said; “Ultimately however whether Salmon did or did not exist above the dams is irrelevant to PacifiCorp’s decision to remove the dams today.” And near the end of the same email, Mr. Spain reiterates that; “Economics Not Salmon Is the Reason PacifiCorp is Removing the Dams”.

A recent series of investigative reports has revealed important new information that poses compelling and indisputable arguments against any removal of the Klamath River dams. And it seems the unveiling of the hard facts is causing Mr. Spain to walk-back a lot of what he has previously said publicly.


This new information has been arguably kept under wraps by people who are incentivized in favor of dam removal. And that’s because this new information conflicts with information provided to the Federal Energy Commission (‘FERC’), legislators and the public by KRRC, Mr. Glen Spain and some fishing groups. Importantly, Mr. Spain was one of the earliest members of KRRC’s board of directors.

In the eleven-miles that encompass the area surrounding Copco and Iron Gate Lakes on the Klamath River, the unique habitat there supports numerous rare, threatened and endangered species of birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, along with rare flora.

A published 2006 Department of Interior (‘DOI’) document (SEE IMAGES) cites just a fraction of the amazing biodiversity that would be lost if the lakes are drained via dam-removal:

“The Upper Klamath River Canyon is a setting with a wide diversity of plant species. The area's transition between Coast and Basin and the river corridor have contributed to the unique setting holding the variety of flora. Trees include willows, pines, ash, oak, cedar, juniper, alder and birch. Shrubs range from poison oak and sumac to dogwood, manzanita, honeysuckle, currant, mock orange, ninebark, plum, chokecherry, crabapple, snowberry, sagebrush (several varieties), and Oregon grape. Dozens of herbaceous plants grow in this region; they include seven species of orchids, more than twenty lilies, and several varieties of paintbrushes. Grasses, ferns, horsetails, and lichens are also indigenous to the region (Bureau of Land Management 2003 [2]: 127-140).”

According to a 2006 study, there are at least seventy-one (71) species of plants including trees, grasses and forbs.

Co-evolved fauna cataloged by DOI includes at least 89 species:

“Wildlife includes several mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Although grizzly bears and wolves are now extinct, large game includes black bear, wild boar, black-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and mountain lion. Smaller mammals range from beaver, ermine, and fisher to bats, river otter, foxes, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, shrews, woodrats, and voles. Twenty-three reptiles live in the area and include the western rattlesnake, garter snake, and pond turtle. Nineteen raptors, five game birds, eleven woodpeckers, more than two dozen water-associated birds, and several dozen land birds are at home in this setting. Fish resources include red band [salmon] trout and rainbow trout.”

This acknowledged amazing biodiversity would be virtually wiped-out if the lakes behind the dams are drained.

What has been kept out of the public purview and the media by pro-dam removal zealots is the fact that a natural lake had existed behind a series of volcanically-formed lava dams for millions of years!

This lake, called ‘Clammittee Lake’ provided fresh water and shoreline ecosystems for a myriad of species of aquatic life forms, including the Redband Trout, a non-anadromous salmonoid, which is a land-locked salmonoid.

The Redband trout-salmon grows to be a large carnivorous predator of smaller fishes.

This land-locked salmonoid’s habitat in the Klamath River has for millennia been limited to the area in the Klamath River basin above Ward Canyon (site of the volcanic-formed lava dams, and present day Copco 1 dam).

These facts support the argument that ‘allopatric speciation’ of salmonoids had occurred over the past millennia, giving-rise to the evolution of the unique Redband salmonoid (Redband Trout).

The past and present range and distribution of non-anadromous Redband trout-salmonoids is up-river (Klamath River) from the ‘physical barrier’ created by nature at Ward Canyon (site of present-day Copco 1 dam); which was a series of volcanic-formed high-dams that have for millions of years and up until modern times (1911), blocked migratory (anadromous) salmonoids.

This brings us to the series of naturally formed volcanic dams on the Klamath River at Ward Canyon. One of the series of five lava flow dams, was 130-feet-tall, and formed a very large lake, five (5) miles long and one-mile wide (larger in size to the current Copco Lake). That volcanic dam eroded after millions of years, allowing the water level to fall-back to a smaller 31-foot-tall lave dam, which continued to provide a large lake. The water in lake Clammittee was subsequently held-back by a smaller naturally-formed 31-foot-tall lava dam, that continued to deny up-river access to migratory salmon right up until 1911, when the Copco 1 dam was constructed.

These natural dams on the Klamath River, maintained water in Clammittee Lake that support the diverse wildlife habitats present today, and for millennia in the past, and right up until 1911, when construction began on Copco 1 dam at that site.

There is no doubt that these natural dams had been blocking fish migration for millennia, leading to the allopatric speciation of salmonoids (Redband trout) in the Klamath River basin.

More about sympatric and allopatric speciation of Redband trout here: https://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/ja/ja_thurow001.pdf

In 1911, famous engineer and dam builder J.C. Boyle arrived on-scene at Ward Canyon to begin construction on COPCO 1 dam. In 1911, J.C. Boyle made detailed drawings of the 31-foot-tall natural dam and lake, which was one of the several natural dams that have blocked any possible fish migration for millions of years. (SEE IMAGE with J.C. Boyle's drawing)

This fact alone, dispels prior misinformation and myths about a 'salmon migration' past Ward Canyon, and thwarts any further statements about such a mythical fish migration.

Of course, this compelling evidence, along with Mr. Spain's statement above, completely dismantles the core reason (fish migration) being promoted by pro-dam removal zealots for removing the dams in the first place. It's really just about money.

This is just one example of indisputable facts that seriously conflict with the propaganda that has been propagated by KRRC and Mr. Glen Spain.

Maybe going forward, Mr. Spain should start opinion articles with ‘Once upon a time’ ?

It’s important to note that, Mr. Glen Spain, currently sits on KRRC’s board of directors, and has been documented in failing to disclose that he is lawyer and sits on the Board of Directors for KRRC! This lack of transparency permeates the culture around the pro-dam removal cult.

The reality is; Mr. Spain’s posits are no more than conjectures and ‘hear-say’, since he’s not trained in science or engineering.

Case in point: In the Klamath Falls ‘Herald and News’, Mr. Glen Spain provides a myth as to ‘How Klamath dam removal benefits the region’, but fails to mention his serious conflict of interest as a lawyer and board member of KRRC! Instead Mr. Spain uses his alias title as the 'northwest regional director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations'.

Mr. Glen Spain also has a documented history of talking out of both sides of his face when needed.

In 2018, as a part of the effort by The Center for Biodiversity, Mr. Spain was involved in litigation against the Oregon Department of Forestry (‘ODF’) in regard to a relatively minuscule amount of sediment that would be created via a needed ODF project.

The following quote is extracted from a The Center for Biological Diversity press release dated June 13, 2018:

"SALEM, Ore.— Five fishing and conservation groups sued the Oregon Department of Forestry today for poor logging and road-use practices in the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests that harm threatened coho salmon through landslides and erosion into streams that violates the Endangered Species Act."

Per the full press release, the people listed in the press release *contacts just below seem to be supporters of the science that 'erosion' (arguably even small quantities) dumped into streams and rivers presents a serious risk to the fishery (at the least) and violates the ESA. I have to agree with this position since it is logical and consistent with the best science.

*Contacts: Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, Glen Spain, PCFFA and IFR, Mark Sherwood, Native Fish Society, Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands.

However, in a July 2018 email, Glen Spain made a shocking 180-degree reversal of position on sediment dumping. This was during the same time period that Spain and his colleagues were suing the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) for potentially putting a relatively tiny amount of sediment into a stream.

In July of 2018, William E. Simpson II, et. al. received an email on the Klamath Dam removal issue from Mr. Glen Spain who proffered that dumping 10 million+ tons of anthropogenically polluted fine-particulate clay sediments into the Klamath River (a Wild and Scenic Waterway) via a highly risky Klamath River Dam Removal project is somehow acceptable. Glen Spain even went so far as to unreasonably assert that such a monumental and unprecedented quantity of fine contaminated sediment can be dumped into the Klamath River and mitigated.

This, in my own estimation, is just more nonsense from a man who values migratory salmon delusions over the damage to habitat of rare, threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna, should the dams be removed. And more importantly, the very lives, health, safety and welfare of Americans (retired elderly people) in a disadvantaged community (Copco Community) during a time of ‘water crises’, drought and evolving catastrophic wildfire.

And it seems that KRRC’s list of priorities doesn't include the well being of retired people. whose domestic wells will go dry if the lakes are drained. KRRC's priorities don't seem to consider the habitat and wildlife that need protection and are protected under law, including the rare, endangered and threatened species of flora and fauna, (birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, etc.) that cannot survive without the critical habitats that are uniquely provided by Copco and Iron Gate Lakes and their shoreline ecosystems, which are formed by the dams of the same names. (SEE Images).

From: Glen Spain
To: William E. Simpson II
Sent: Tue, Jul 31, 2018 6:58 am
Subject: Re: Glen Spain response to Bill Simpson
Dear Bill....

“Sediment Myths: Restoring salmon to the Klamath will require dam removal, and there is no way these dams can be removed without increasing sediment impacts on fish that happen to be resident in the mainstem at the time, at least temporarily… “20-30 million cubic yards of sediment behind the dams would wash out and devastate the lower river.” – These numbers and their impacts are both greatly exaggerated. Only about 13.1 million cubic yards of sediments in total were actually trapped behind the dams by 2012, an amount that is expected to rise to about 15 million cubic yards by 2020. But of these sediments, only about one-third to two-thirds of the total volume (5 to 10 million cubic yards in 2020) would be expected to wash out to sea over 1 to 2 years, as the river becomes re-channelized, with the rest of these sediments to be aggressively replanted and stabilized as new river bank. The majority of those sediments that would naturally erode and are likely to wash out, however, are fine-grained and so would be easily mobilized by normal river flows and thus are not likely to be deposited in the river channel nor estuary for very long, if at all. In short, most of the mobilized sediment, as noted in the prior NEPA/CEQA (2013) analysis, would naturally wash out to sea within a couple of rainy seasons.” ~ Glen Spain.

In the excerpt from Glen Spain's email to me above (copied to over 100 people), he takes a position that is totally contradictory and 180-degrees opposite to the key allegation made against the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) in a lawsuit filed and made known via a press release by Center for Biological Diversity. That lawsuit alleges a claim in regard to a relatively trivial amount of erosion of soils via logging and road use in that case, as compared to the unprecedented monumental amount of sediment (est. at 20-million yards) that would be dumped into the Klamath River via any undertaking of dam removal on the Klamath River by KRRC.

That 2018 litigation against ODF seems ill conceived given the amount of erosion from such forest management activities pales in comparison to the massive post-fire erosion we observe when fall and winter rains erode soils laid bare by unnatural catastrophic wildfire that occurs in forests that are not properly managed.

Clearly, Mr. Spain hasn’t gotten the MEMO about Climate Change and the projected period of extended catastrophic drought, ‘water crises’ and ensuing catastrophic wildfires. And the fact that the Klamath River is projected to be running at record low-levels for the foreseeable future, which will allow any contaminated clay sediments to remain in the Klamath River basin, possibly for a decades, seriously degrading (collapsing) the trophic cascades that currently exist in the priceless wild and scenic Klamath River.

Richard Marshall
Siskiyou County Water Users Association
+1 530-468-4204

email us here

J.C. Boyle's drawing of the natural 31-foot-tall dam on the Klamath River

J.C. Boyle's drawing of the natural volcanic 31-foot-tall dam on the Klamath River and 'Clammitee Lake' that existed for millennia, right up till 1911 when J.C. Boyle arrived to build Copco 1 dam at Ward Canyon. This and other natural dams blocked any migratiory fish

Some of the important points on the natural history of the area around the Klamath dams is cited in this DOI document; 'Historic Landscape Overview of the Upper Klamath River Canyon of Oregon and California

Western Pond Turtles: a species

Copco Lake, a large fresh water lake, and its shoreline ecosystems provide critical habitats for numerous threatened and endangered species of flora and fauna, like this pair of pond turtles: https://www.regulations.gov/document/FWS-R8-ES-2015-0024-0001





Arctic Terns & American While Pelicans at Copco Lake

Arctic Terns & American White Pelicans on Copco Lake: California law AB-454, protects non-game migratory & resident birds from 'incidental taking' that would result from dam removal on the Klamath River at Copco and Iron Gate Lakes. Audubon Society sponsored this law





A Golden Eagle is seen fishing on Copco Lake. Both Bald and Golden Eagles, being large raptors require areas of open-water to catch the fish they eat. Photo: M. Gough

A Golden Eagle is seen fishing on Copco Lake. Both Bald and Golden Eagles, being large raptors require areas of open-water to catch the fish they eat. Photo: M. Gough





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