Klamath Negotiators Announce Proposed Agreement
Big step forward toward solutions for basin's salmon and communitiesJanuary 15th, 2008
Steve Rothert, American Rivers, 530-277-0448 (cell) or 530-478-5672
Amy Kober, American Rivers, 206-898-3864 (cell)
For additional information, visit www.AmericanRivers.org/Klamath
Nevada City, CA – A sustainable future for the Klamath Basin became a lot closer today, as American Rivers and 25 other parties finalized a proposed Klamath River Basin Restoration Agreement to restore salmon runs, revitalize tribal and commercial fishing and provide security to the basin’s farmers.
Participants in the negotiations will now seek support for the Basin Agreement within their own organizations. American Rivers and other parties to the Basin Agreement are also negotiating a separate agreement with PacifiCorp to remove four hydropower dams.
Steve Rothert, director of the California office of American Rivers, made the following statement:
“With this proposed agreement we are on the cusp of ending decades-long disputes and charting a better future for farmers, tribes, fishermen and all the communities that depend on a healthy Klamath River.”
“We applaud the hard work and commitment of all the partners in hammering out this agreement. It proves that when people with very different interests work together in good faith, real solutions are possible.”
“I am hopeful that these sustainable solutions in the Klamath Basin will become a model for other rivers and communities around the country.
Key components of the Basin Agreement include:
- A program to rebuild fish populations sufficient for sustainable tribal, recreational, and commercial fisheries
- Reduced but more predictable irrigation water allocations
- Reliable supplies of water for national wildlife refuges
- Assistance for counties that may be impacted by the removal of the hydroelectric facilities
- Programs to promote the economic health of tribal communities.
Parties to the Basin Agreement include American Rivers and 10 other conservation organizations; four tribes (Karuk, Yurok, Klamath and Hoopa); Klamath County (OR), Siskiyou and Humboldt Counties (CA), the Klamath Water Users Association, farmers outside of the federal irrigation project, the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Associations, the states of Oregon and California, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce.
A separate, forthcoming agreement with dam owner PacifiCorp will lay the path for removing four hydropower dams [JC Boyle, Copco 2, Copco 1 and Iron Gate] to open over 350 miles of habitat for salmon and steelhead.
The four dams produce a nominal amount of power, which can be replaced using renewables and efficiency measures, without contributing to global warming. A study by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and the Department of the Interior found that removing the dams and replacing their power would save PacifiCorp customers up to $285 million over 30 years.