Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
October 1, 2009
First, members at the Klamath settlement table pledged to support the agreement. However Craig Tucker, Karuk spokesman at Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement negotiation table and vice president of Klamath Riverkeeper, and Leaf Hillman, Riverkeeper board of directors and also Karuk tribal member on the KBRA table, are saying in this press release that if changes aren't made to their demands, they will sue. #1.
These are the same men who said that if the farmers sign the agreement they will avoid costly litigation. Many of their partners are on the KBRA board. How is it that Tucker and Hillman, in the KBRA, verbally vow to not sue to shut down ag, yet in their press release as board members of Riverkeeper, they promise to sue if the regulations which could shut down ag are not fully enforced? The president of Klamath Riverkeeper is Daniel Cooper of Lawyers for Clean Water. Petey Brucker is on the board; he and Felice Pace came from back east, and they formed Klamath Forest Alliance, the group who has shut down most of the Siskiyou timber industry. Klamath Wildlands is also on the board.
Go to Riverkeeper Page to see their partners; many who are on the KBRA negotiation table and are claiming to be 'friends' of ag.
We the public who have not been allowed to see this dam removal agreement before yesterday have been told that the KBRA will not only avoid costly litigation, but we will have some protection from the Endangered Species Act/ESA, and we need to agree to the KBRA to avoid another ESA-driven 2001 water shutoff.
The KBRA includes introducing salmon, lamprey, and other endangered species into the Klamath Basin.
#2 says changes have been made to fully enforce the ESA and Clean Water Act. These groups, in 2009, sued to have CWA demands made on the Klamath Basin to purify and cool our naturally mineral-laden warm shallow water.
Where are the protections for farmers?
#3 Two groups at the Klamath settlement table, North Coast Environmental Center and Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen, support taking out the Keno Dam as well. People at the Yreka meeting presented testimony objecting to dam removal. Most of those objecting are not allowed at the KBRA table or PacifiCorp dam-removal negotiation table. Eureka. These same two groups are partners with Klamath Riverkeeper, (and remember KBRA friends Tucker and Hillman are on their board.) Keno Dam provides irrigation water for the Klamath Project.
Read this again from the Klamath Riverkeeper Press Release: #4. "Klamath Riverkeeper has not been a party to the dam removal settlement agreement, electing instead to work towards dam removal by aiming strategic lawsuits and direct action against PacifiCorp and regulatory agencies."
Tucker and Hilman and Brucker on KBRA Board = Klamath Riverkeeper. Tucker, initially under the umbrella of Klamath Forest Alliance, assembled the Riverkeeper group after the dam removal "agreement" was in motion.
See Tucker Page on Learning from the Pros, how he pulled off the Klamath Dam removal scheme, in International River, a group he's affiliated with in removing the American infrastructure.
Riverkeeper Press Release
Contact: Erica Terence, Klamath Riverkeeper, office: (530) 627-3311, cell: (530)340-5415, erica at klamathriver.org
September 30, 2009
FINAL DAM REMOVAL AGREEMENT MAY BE OUT
BUT DAMS ARE STILL IN
Orleans, CA--After years of working toward Klamath dam removal, Klamath Riverkeeper and other grassroots river advocates are reacting to the final dam removal agreement package released today with mixed emotions and a strategy to match.
“We support local stakeholders’ efforts to craft an agreement that works for everyone but it remains to be seen whether this agreement will hold water,” added Terence. She noted that while many of Klamath Riverkeeper’s concerns about the viability and environmental impacts of the draft dam removal agreement have been largely addressed in the final version, some have not.
In August, Klamath Riverkeeper released a 9-point list of concerns about the 2008 draft deal the Klamath-based non-profit wanted to see addressed before lending its support to the final dam removal agreement.
"Language in the final Hydropower Agreement has improved on many points of concern to us, but we're also analyzing some new language in the agreement,” said Terence. Klamath Riverkeeper is particularly concerned about a new clause that would give California, Oregon, the federal government and PacifiCorp the power to amend the agreement without the consent of other parties under some circumstances.
Terence emphasized that “it's crucial that tribes and commercial fishermen are included in decision-making related to this settlement."
Klamath Riverkeeper also remains concerned with the dam agreement’s compliance with the Clean Water Act and is scrutinizing the agreement to ensure that it upholds water quality requirements laid out in the Klamath TMDL, a Clean Water Act pollution clean-up plan currently being finalized on the mainstem Klamath. Another question left by the agreement is who will pay to clean up poor water quality around Keno Dam, Terence said.
"If our concerns are answered, the Klamath settlement could give us a better shot at getting four dams out by 2020 than any other venue. #1. However, there are other ways to get the dams out including legal and legislative tools, and Klamath Riverkeeper will pursue them aggressively if parties to this settlement don't follow through with their commitments or the process becomes bogged down dealing with loopholes and delays,” said Terence.
She noted that Klamath Riverkeeper will also be working to ensure those measures are implemented and to improve water quality conditions below the dams during the interim period before dam removal is to occur in 2020.
Klamath Riverkeeper has not been a party to the dam removal settlement agreement, electing instead to work towards dam removal by aiming strategic lawsuits and direct action against PacifiCorp and regulatory agencies. Klamath Riverkeeper’s legal work has resulted in the US EPA listing the Klamath River and PacifiCorp’s reservoirs for toxic algae, a listing which made PacifiCorp’s bid for the 401 clean water permit necessary to relicense the dams less realistic and steered the corporation toward a negotiated settlement.
The long-awaited set of final agreements combines
a previously negotiated Klamath Basin Restoration
Agreement with a finalized Hydropower Agreement
between PacifiCorp, California, Oregon, Klamath
Basin tribes, and the federal government.
More information on the Klamath dams can be found on Klamath Riverkeeper's website, including a timeline of Klamath dam removal-related events and Klamath dam removal factsheetst .
Positive changes in the latest Hydro Agreement:
Questions remaining about the final dam removal agreement package:
Page Updated: Thursday October 15, 2009 01:20 AM Pacific
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