Opinion: Breaching the Klamath Basin dams
"In the largest dam removal project in history, the federal government, three Indian Tribes and 25 other parties released a tentative agreement on September 30 providing for the removal of four Klamath River dams owned by billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Company.

The agreement would remove Iron Gate, Copco 1, Copco 2 and J.C. Boyle dams, opening up historic habitat above Iron Gate Dam to the migration of coho salmon, chinook salmon and steelhead for the first time in nearly a century. The Klamath Hydroelectric Relicensing Agreement (KHRA) would provide a pathway that would lead to dam removal in 2020, following an analysis by the Interior Secretary to determine whether dam removal is indeed to the benefit of fisheries and "in the public interest."

“This agreement marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Klamath River and for the communities whose health and way of life depend on it,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. “Hats off to all the stakeholders who have worked so hard to find common ground on one of the most challenging water issues of our time. This agreement would establish an open, scientifically grounded process that will help me make a fully informed decision about whether dam removal is in the public interest.”

The Yurok, Karuk and Klamath Tribes have supported the process, touting it as an unprecedented opportunity to restore the Klamath, historically one of the West's great salmon and steelhead rivers. The Hoopa Valley Tribe has opposed the pact, calling it an "Old West water deal." Most fishing groups have backed the process, while environmental groups and farming organizations are split over the agreement, with many supporting it and others criticizing it. "

Get the Story:
Dan Balcher: Undamming the Klamath (Counterpunch 10/1)

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Utility agrees to remove Klamath Basin dams (9/30)