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From FERC, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to Mr Bodnar, followed by letter from Mr. Bodnar to FERC regarding Klamath Dam relicensing.

Dear Mr. Bodnar:

Thank you for your e-mail comments regarding the Klamath Project.  As you may know, we are currently in the process of preparing a Final Environmental Impact Statement.  Your comments will be made a part of the Commission's official record for the project and will be considered in our preparation of the environmental document.

Please note that all future correspondence pertaining to the Klamath Project should be filed with:  The Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C.  20426.  Please be sure to put the Klamath docket number (P-2042-027) on the first page of your filing.  Alternatively, comments may be filed electronically via the internet in lieu of paper.  Please see the instructions on the Commission’s web site (http://www.ferc.gov) under the “e-filing” link.

If I can be of further assistance please let me know. 

Tim Welch, Chief
Hydro West Branch 2


-----Original Message-----

From: Rich Bodnar 
May 19, 2007 
To: Oversight
Subject: Copco Lake and Klamath River Dam
Dear FERC:

I am an avid outdoorsman. I live in the San Diego, CA area. After visiting the Upper Klamath River area in California, I fell in love with the area. I routinely fish on the river and hunt for ducks and geese in the Klamath NWR. I enjoyed this area so much that I bought land on Copco Lake in California. I am amazed by all the false claims about bringing down the dams. The groups asking for the dams to be torn down have no idea what that could do the local environment. There are so many unknowns about the sediment, change in water flow, effects on local lakes, the effects on the Trinity River, and the impact these changes could have on local wildlife. The Klamath River’s banks and flow will be altered. How much and exactly where is up for debate. Local property owners on Copco Lake and Iron Gate Reservoir will face huge financial losses and see their local environment forever changed for the worse. I have not seen any credible explanations from groups wanting to tear down the dam as to what will happen to other properties on the Klamath River just below the dam. Again, I fear dramatic change to the ecology and environment.

The fishing is great on Copco Lake and Iron Gate. The fishing is also excellent on the Klamath River. I am sure this is a sign of a healthy river. Why alter it? The Indian tribes complain that the dam is causing a loss of salmon. I have not seen any proof of this. Again, I am an avid fisherman in this area. Have the tribes considered that they overfish their area? It is well known that they use illegal nets to harvest excessive amounts of fish. I learned this from the locals who told me about the need to drop bales of hay into the river so that they would become so heavy enough with water to take out the illegal Indian nets. I do not believe the Indians are telling truth nor do they understand what may happen to the river and the environment if the dams are removed.

My concern is that we know there are periods of heavy rains that cause flooding all along the river. My concern is that if the dams are removed, we will lose the ability to control excessive water flows. Also, what will happen during the drought years? How will the water flows be managed without a dam? This could have a huge impact on the fish, the farmers, the local environment, and property owners who are on the Klamath River.

This dilemma is something that has been on my mind a lot recently. Obviously my property on Copco Lake would be worth virtually nothing with the dams gone. However, I came to this area because of the lakes, the river, the wildlife, and the people. My concern is that removing the dams will permanently destroy an incredibly beautiful area that I fell in love before I ever made a financial commitment in terms of buying land here. The environmental, economic, and financial losses could be devastating. There is too much at risk to remove the dams. Doing so would also mean that we lose a source of clean energy (hydroelectric power). This means we would have to buy energy from a polluting source and the cost would go up. This seems to be a point the Indians and many other pseudo-environmentalist miss.

Please renew the license for the dams. The energy is cheap and non-polluting. The rationale for removing the dams is weak. It is based on flimsy, pseudo-scientific evidence by those who have an interest in removing the dam. These folks do not care about the environmental and economic damage they will cause to everyone and everything on the Upper Klamath and other portions of the Klamath River. What would we do if we tore down the dam and the salmon did not come back? What would we do if we found that the sediment released from Copco Lake and the areas above the dam caused permanent damage to the water quality and the flow of the Klamath River? The environmental damage this could do would never be corrected in my lifetime or the lifetime of my children. Keep the dams!

Rich Bodnar

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