Leaf Hillman: Karuk Tribe supports Klamath restoration efforts

"Last week a long-awaited suite of federal studies describing the economic, environmental and cultural impacts of the Klamath Restoration Agreements was unveiled. For the diverse coalition of stakeholders who worked tirelessly for years to overcome a history of acrimony and develop detailed solutions to a 100-year-old water war on the Klamath River, it's a moment of vindication.

The key findings of the reports that inform the draft environmental impact statement were highlighted by U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in a speech in San Francisco on Monday. They include the generation of more than 4,600 jobs, an 80 percent increase in chinook salmon runs and a significant increase in water reliability for Klamath Reclamation Project farmers.

Also of note was the cost of removing four dams on the Klamath River, one feature of the restoration plan. The agreements capped dam removal costs at up to $450 million in non-federal funds. The estimate revealed last week is $290 million. Considering that $200 million is already accounted for by ratepayers, who would pay twice as much to keep the outdated facilities operating, this figure enhances the viability of the proposal."

Get the Story:
Leaf Hillman, Greg Addington and Steve Rothert: Klamath restoration plan deserves congressional support (The Sacramento Bee 9/25)

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