Why should people pay for dam removal?
February 26, 2009,
Herald and News letter to editor by Rick Sonerholm, Klamath Falls,
“Dam removal would be paid in part by PacifiCorp Customers.”
Let me get this straight. All the “principals” in this matter have
been at the table working out a deal, and we who weren’t in on it
get to pay for it, either in higher rates, or taxes?
And what do we get in return? Salmon. OK. Salmon would be nice if
they could survive the Klamath Basin. But in a time when one of
the top three items on the national agenda is alternative energy
sources, water power that can serve 75,000 homes with the
infrastructure already in place sounds like a pretty good deal —
$450 million (or $837 million) to get rid of that just sounds
If this does all go through and salmon “return to the Basin” guess
what comes next. Someone will “discover” that the habitat isn’t
healthy, and guess who will get to pay for that? I don’t want to.
A 1896 study of Klamath Basin aquaculture by Barton Warren
Evermann, S.E. Meek and A.B. Alexander, described Upper Klamath
Lake this way: “Very shallow, vast amounts of decaying vegetation
carried into it and the ever-increasing area of tule lands render
it more shallow year by year. Water quality degradation in the
Upper Klamath Lake watershed has led to large-scale fish kills
related to algal bloom cycles in the lake. This has probably
always been a problem, even prior to farming and ranching in the
area. The source of the lake’s nutrients was volcanic soils.”
So we aren’t going to quickly undo what nature has taken thousands
of years to do, nice as that would be.
In the meantime, if this goes through, I want something for my
money. How about starting with not making me pay to fish for