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A big step toward peace

Klamath Falls Herald and News http://www.heraldandnews.com February 22, 2008

   Phil Detrick, lead negotiator in the Klamath settlement talks for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said approving the settlement would be big step toward peace on the river during a Tuesday public hearing in Yreka. 

   Detrick said the proposed settlement does not determine if four Klamath River will be removed and does not determine conditions of dam removal, but instead provides alternative outcomes for the ongoing relicensing process for the dams. 

   He said removal could end crisis management that resulted in federal allocations of $50 million during the 2001 water crisis, when water was cut off to Klamath Project irrigators, and $60 million in 2006 to Pacific Coast fisherman when commercial fishing was prohibited. 

"The status quo cannot be continued", Detrick said. 

   We never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, said Ron Cole, Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges manager, of the historic lack of progress in resolving Klamath Basin water issues. We're caught in a rut.
We have no brakes. We have no steering wheel.

   Toby Freeman, regional communications manager for Pacific Power, spoke briefly but said he would only repeat comments made at a previous supervisors meeting, when he said the power company does not favor dam removal and is concerned about passing on removal costs to company customers. 

   Klamath commissioner 

   Klamath County Commissioner Bill Brown attended the Siskiyou County Supervisors meeting Tuesday, saying he basically came here to listen. 

   He told supervisors that 70 percent of those speaking at settlement hearings in Klamath Falls opposed the agreement. He noted most of the strong opposition was from off-Project water users. 

   He also told the Siskiyou supervisors that he and fellow commissioner Al Switzer do not support dam removal, although he cautioned that if PacifiCorp agrees to remove the dams, we need to have some settlement on the table.
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