Legislation introduced to authorize Klamath River Restoration AgreementsMay 21st, 2014
(Washington) — One of the nation’s biggest river restoration efforts will get a major boost today thanks to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introducing legislation to authorize the Klamath River Restoration Agreements.
The legislation authorizes agreements that resolve long-standing water rights disputes, increase water supply reliability for upper basin agricultural communities, improve river flows and water quality, restore wetlands, and restore struggling Klamath River salmon runs.
“Today marks a major step forward for one of our nation’s biggest river restoration projects. We applaud Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley, Senator Feinstein, and Senator Boxer for championing this legislation that will heal the Klamath River and revitalize its communities,” said Bob Irvin, President of American Rivers. “The Klamath story shows that by working together, we can overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and find solutions that work for fish, farms, and families.”
The agreements, the first of which was finalized in 2010, are the product of years of negotiations among more than 40 stakeholder groups including American Rivers, with the goal of restoring the river, reviving ailing salmon and steelhead runs, and revitalizing fishing, tribal, and farming communities. If enacted, the legislation will open access to more than 300 miles of habitat for salmon and steelhead.