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Letter from 3rd generation rancher Rex Cozzalio from Hornbrook, on the Klamath River, to Channel 12 KDRV regarding Klamath Hydroelectric Dam destruction bias in the media


Cozzalio reached out to media who grudgingly offer him a small fraction of, if any, time to present the devastation to humans, fish, wildlife, communities if the Klamath Dams are destroyed, the largest known dam destruction in the world. Cozzalio details the lies and facts: “…well over 600 largely ‘peer reviewed’ references, area specific multigenerational experience, historical documentation, and a decade of EMPIRICAL studies REFUTE Special Interest claimed destruction ‘benefits’ and instead predicts the single premise FAILURE and damages from the biggest most factually unsupported ‘experiment’ of all time.”

To: Channel 12 KDRV

Bias on Klamath destruction

Whether through corporate policy-directed Special Interest Agenda bias, lack of comprehensive subject matter knowledge, or both, the supposedly regionally representative KDRV ‘coverage’ of Klamath destruction appears far more a promotional advertisement selling an agenda than it does to any semblance of unbiased investigative reporting.  That is particularly apparent when numerous biased statements are carefully constructed to mislead or are blatantly false and easily checked in seconds on public records, such as the ‘opposition’ being trivialized both in numbers and knowledge; destruction being a matter of ‘social justice’;

* PacifiCorp ‘paying’ for destruction when the funds were confiscated from unwilling RATEPAYERS/TAXPAYERS who suffer the entire burden of cost and impacts;

* that those confiscated funds are ‘capped’ or adequate in the face of CPUC PacifiCorp filings and unaddressed massive inflation;
that there are ‘mitigations’ when in fact virtually NONE exist;

* the presented implication that Glen Spain is a technical expert when as a profiting activist ‘signatory’ attorney personally sacrificing NOTHING he in fact has NO site specific resident knowledge;

* ‘forgetting’ to mention that those ‘Signatories’, under their non-representative secret self-created ‘Agreement’, are held HARMLESS from ANY damages they bring about;

* failure to ‘report’ that under their ‘agreement’ terms, those ‘signatories’ will continue to profit REGARDLESS of consequential damages;

* refusing to ‘publicly recognize’ the FERC acknowledged FACTS that Project destruction will knowingly devastate the regional communities, environment, and likely extirpate species at far HIGHER cost than the non-destructive alternatives;

* or that the SOLE FERC ‘conclusion’ of POSSIBLE eventual ‘benefit’ is based upon future anticipated exponentially INCREASED regional regulatory oppression. 

Statements cited as facts to manipulate public opinion, such as the dams being built without extensive investigation both by government Agencies and fishing groups; that the Klamath’s deep water lakes targeted for destruction are ‘detrimental’ to downstream Klamath conditions; that prior exponentially smaller destructions devastating the Elwha and White Salmon have been ‘beneficial’; and that Klamath dams have ‘negatively impacted’ salmon populations, have now been empirically PROVEN to be outright lies.  That known but ignored evidence VALIDATES the consistently stated EXPERIENCE of the area’s most knowledgeable and affected residents who have nonetheless been specifically EXCLUDED from both the entire ‘process’ and agenda blinded ‘public’ media.  Ironically, the profiting proponents continuing to voice those 'opinions' as facts have been AWARE of that evidence for some time, specifically and pointedly ‘agreeing’ to EXCLUDE the last DECADE of empirical science from ANY environmental ‘agreement process’ inclusion.  Even more disheartening to those area resident multigenerationals with lifetimes sacrificing to enhance and preserve the Klamath River and her environment and communities they love, is the realization that based upon the unaccountable orchestrated agenda and exclusionary narrative to date, the general public will never see the inescapable and inequitable massive damages, loss, and suffering that WILL occur to the regions’ residents, communities, and environment, INCLUDING fisheries.

Indicting of KDRV non-representative media bias is in the very statistics of your 4 most recent segments, each the longest typically seen, INCLUDING the one supposedly ‘dedicated’ to ‘political opposition’ and EXCLUDING the upcoming one advertised as in ‘support’ of regional destruction. 

Here is the breakdown of ‘unbiased’ reporting: 

‘Tribes meaning Klamath River dam removal’ Dec 21, 2022 https://www.kdrv.com/tribes-meaning-klamath-river-dam-removal/video_75e545d0-8164-11ed-b23f-b7ef25f20d3a.html  3:56 minutes ZERO to opposition or negatives.

 ‘KLAMATH RIVER DAMS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS Dec 21, 2022’ https://www.kdrv.com/klamath-river-dams-environmental-impacts-mp4/video_2f403968-818d-11ed-a7b9-db8be008957a.html 4:17 minutes 0:04 or .015% refer to opposition, includes multiple knowing lies by the profiting proponents as to the history of the Project and the environmental impacts.

‘Klamath River dams removal timeline: fall decision brings removals in next two years’ By: Makenna Marks, Ben Olds Dec 26, 2022 https://www.kdrv.com/news/waterwatch/klamath-river-dams-removal-timeline-fall-decision-brings-removals-in-next-two-years/article_ba7b0c06-8156-11ed-945d-73001b357783.html  3:00 minutes ZERO mention of damages, alternatives, or opposition


‘Klamath River dam removal project has political concerns’ – 12/27/22  https://www.kdrv.com/news/waterwatch/klamath-river-dam-removal-project-has-political-concerns/article_ce99bf78-8158-11ed-bbad-77c8d47358df.html By: Makenna Marks, Ben Olds Dec 27, 2022  4:07 minutes – For the ONLY piece ‘acknowledging’ concerns, only 1 minute 36 seconds was even REMOTELY associated to extremely LIMITED allowed concerns presented as though largely ‘political’ from ONLY TWO representatives and minimal public, which biased presentation artfully obviously edited with non-debatable ‘conclusion assurance’ one sided informed prompted response rebuttals from an unqualified activist.  That is a 39% ‘allowance’ of ‘opposition’ to a 61% intentionally biased presentation.

Out of those 4 segments alone totaling 15:20 minutes, even WITHOUT the upcoming segment unequivocally 100% agenda supportive, 1:40 minutes, or 10% at a stretch even remotely alluding to opposition or detriments… or a 9 to 1 bias even WITHOUT considering the directorially edited preferentially positioned manipulation, or the constructed preponderance of the 3 person single sided personally benefiting Special Interest opinion.  At what point does one determine their subjective superiority to unilaterally eliminate a responsibility for providing unedited and unbiased equal presentation of both sides allowing the affected public to reach its own conclusions, in favor of facilitating ‘socially engineered’ biased manipulation?

WHERE is the daily barrage of segment constructs equally ‘empathetic’ to the most directly impacted unpaid supermajorities suffering virtually all losses from the imposed destruction of a quasi-public now evidenced environmentally enhancing resource?   

WHERE are the interviews with the Siskiyou Supervisors; the most knowledgeable and affected supermajorities INCLUDING many aboriginal territory Native Americans voting in opposition to Project destruction; the lake and river resident most area knowledgeable and impacted multigenerational residents LIVING at the so called ‘focal point’ of ‘dams impacts’; or even your OWN Jackson County Commissioners in opposition? 

The bias prevalent throughout the entire exclusionary ‘process’ is the reason we are at the point of regional devastation in the first place, and continuing bias merely creates a fictional ‘history’ of events concealing the inequitable damages and unaccountable INJUSTICE imposed upon the environment and people suffering as a consequence of a scientifically and historically refuted special interest agenda.

Another local station reporter with the same apparent policy directives previously indignantly stated their possible ‘willingness’ to present the ‘other side’ in 90 seconds, suggesting they either knew NOTHING about the ‘other side’, or arrogantly believed the ‘other side’ had no valid argument requiring more than 90 seconds to describe and evidence.  This was my response, to which I have yet to hear a reply:

The question: How does the removal of the dams affect our residents?

The response:  Insanity is 90 seconds allowed to describe the regional and environmental harm resulting from the largest hydro-Project destruction in the known world, and its impacts upon the completely ignored most area knowledgeable and affected supermajorities of the two counties encompassing ¾’s of the Klamath region voting in opposition. 

As one of 4 generations living at the same location on the Klamath at the so called ‘focal point’ of dams impacts, unlike ANY ‘Agreement signatories’ pushing destruction.  I have been ‘in the water’ over 50 times a year for well over 60 years, before and after Iron Gate, and like so many other multigenerationals in our region, both emigrant and indigenous, as my grandfather before me, sacrificed to bring about and WITNESSED the profound environmental improvements the Project provided, PARTICULARLY for the fisheries.

Well over 600 largely ‘peer reviewed’ references, area specific multigenerational experience, historical documentation, and a decade of EMPIRICAL studies REFUTE Special Interest claimed destruction ‘benefits’ and instead predicts the single premise FAILURE and damages from the biggest most factually unsupported ‘experiment’ of all time. 

Just a FEW of those referenced facts include:

 * Anadromous salmon were NEVER known existing in identifiable numbers in the Upper Basin for AT LEAST 8,000 YEARS.

* Failed experiments and pre-Iron Gate experience PROVE Klamath’s targeted deep water lakes provide the ONLY significant IMPROVEMENT of Academy of Sciences stated un-ameliorable natural Upper Klamath Basin endemic conditions.  Studies prove the deep water lakes reduce and delay upstream nutrients delivered downstream in the ONLY known environment that can cost effectively minimize and break down Upper Basin delivered historically consistent biomass and microcystin toxins ‘naturally’ annually generated for AT LEAST hundreds of years, BEFORE Project development and Dams.

* Studies PROVE that salmon ‘unnaturally’ forced to the Upper Basin at any cost, WILL encounter currently known far WORSE disease conditions upstream currently resulting in up to 100% mortality of experimentally exposed fish, even WITHOUT one of the most lethal downstream salmon disease vectors not yet existing there.

* ONE salmon carried to the Upper Basin can release over 2 BILLION myxospores to upstream polychaete populations infecting the entire region and resident basin protected species with ALL disease genotypes.  The ‘anadromous plan’ currently planting salmon in the upper basin ALREADY anticipates potential FAILED salmon ‘volitional travel’ REQUIRING PERMANENT ‘truck and haul’ transport AROUND Keno and Upper Klamath Lake, placing those and ALL then Regulatory MANDATED burdens of historically unnatural ‘success’ upon regional residents.

* Statistical studies by Mantua, Kintama, and others relative to the North Pacific fisheries PROVE the Klamath Dams have NOT had anything other than a POSITIVE impact respective to salmon returns over the past 100 years and that salmon populations are virtually ENTIRELY determined by prevailing cyclic ocean conditions.

* ALREADY PAID FOR renewable, low cost, on-demand power centrally designed to provide regional grid reliability and security will be LOST to 70,000 homes, which ratepayers will then have to AGAIN pay to build and REPLACE with LESS reliable or secure non-centralized generation at FAR HIGHER construction and production costs.

* Agencies, including FERC, admit to massive ‘significant and unmitigated’ Project destruction damages including 20 million yards of sediment, potentially extirpating multiple species, with ‘mitigations’ for ONLY TWO species being laughably statistically USELESS EXCEPT for signatory payoffs and public media purpose.   Countless other species, INCLUDING MAN, will suffer with the loss of the lakes and increased downstream nutrients and higher toxicity direct food chain ingested instream algae.  Increased un-attenuated winter flood events will return annual riparian Project area avulsion, erosion of unstable clay riverbanks and vegetation, filled and cemented cold water refugias, and increased downstream macrophyte disease-conducive substrates.  The Lakes’ extensive area wildlife and upstream threatened fisheries will suffer acknowledged permanent harm and likely extirpations from the destruction of the Project provided ‘unnaturally consistent’ resources and habitat.  Lake and river residents lose uncompensated life vested property values, use, irreplaceable resources, and suffer dramatically increased risks to health and safety.

Lawsuits still continue over damages to health and homes caused from the destruction of PacifiCorp’s relatively miniscule Condit Dam to NO identifiable environmental benefit a DECADE LATER.

Results on the ‘previously largest’ and more recovery-conducive Elwha River dams destruction describe multiple species wiped out, massively underestimated ‘modeled’ damages, destroyed critical kelp forests, miserably failed salmon predictions,  recognized PERMANENT degradation, and the stated DIRECT APPLICABILITY of those ‘reduced expectations’ to the Klamath, albeit on a MUCH greater scale. 

The Agency picked to circumvent Congress purposely ignored a DECADE of empirical facts in favor of the Special Interest prior created ‘modeled benefits’ and the ‘Environmental Statements’ based upon them, just as the Special Interests asked them to do, but not until AFTER FERC made sure the Special Interests have NO personal liability for damages caused and will provide NO funding beyond what they confiscated from unwilling ratepayers/taxpayers.   To protect Warren Buffet from liability, the Oregon and California Governors stepped in as Co-Licensee’s, with California’s ‘Agreement’ that they will defend Special Interests and PacifiCorp in court using taxpayer funds AGAINST the same harmed resident taxpayers the Governor is supposedly obligated to protect.  Under ‘Agreement’ terms, the Signatories are the ONLY ones who benefit REGARDLESS of environmental or regional consequence.

Fully aware of the devastation it is ‘approving’, FERC is basing its ‘determination’ of future ‘anticipated benefits’ NOT on Project unaccountable destruction, but upon their EXPECTATION of increasing regulatory oppression against the lives and livelihoods of regional residents.  If agenda ‘rewilding’ Project destruction benefits and lack of damages were truly believed, WHY have the Special Interests and FERC gone to such great lengths to orchestrate the ONLY Agreement ‘nonnegotiable’ REQUIREMENT for Signatories’ to have a complete LACK of personal accountability or liability?

The question is not how residents are affected, the question is how are residents NOT affected?

Rex Cozzalio



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