Klamath River Dams

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Klamath River Dams

Date: 07/23/2019     State: CA     Issue: Watersheds     Partners: American Rivers, Karuk Tribe, Klamath River Renewal Corporation, Klamath Tribes, Trout Unlimited, Yurok Tribe


EcoFlight partnered with City of Klamath Falls, Klamath River Renewal Corporation, Klamath County, Klamath Falls Chamber of Commerce, Yurok Tribe, LA Times, Family Water Alliance, Klamath Water Users Association to conduct overflights of the Klamath River dams that are slated to be removed. Flights built relationships with stakeholder groups, tribes, press, conservation partners and obtained footage for an upcoming film to promote restoration of the Klamath River.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a proposal from the Klamath River Renewal Corporation to facilitate removal of the four hydroelectric dams clogging the Klamath River - JC Boyle, Copco No. 1 & 2, and Iron Gate. KRRC will then work with other signatories to restore formerly inundated lands, and implement required mitigation measures. In July 2019, KRRC made another important step in the process, submitting a filing, refining and strengthening the Definite Plan in response to input from an independent Board of Consultants.

The project will be the largest dam removal project in U.S. history and is expected to improve water quality, revive fisheries, create local jobs, and boost tourism and recreation. This move will pave the way for successful reintroduction of anadromous fish to the upper Klamath Basin - restoring the third most productive river for salmon and steelhead on the West Coast.

Removal of the four hydroelectric dams is the first crucial step to restore the health of the Klamath River and sustain healthy fish populations and improve water quality for the communities that depend upon it. KRRC's focus is to accomplish this first step, which will be an immense boon to the tribes along the Klamath whose cultural, spiritual and economic health is dependent on these waterways and fish populations being healthy. The Yurok and Karuk tribes, conservation and sportsmen groups are collaborating on this project to ensure successful restoration of the Klamath River.

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