KRRC Bright Spot
Siskiyou County Water Users Association 4/1/2020
KRRC calls dam removal a ‘bright
spot’ by KRRC Matt Cox
KBC NOTE FYI: KRRC =
Klamath River Renewal Corporation (Klamath Dam Destruction
by SCWUA -
Recently SDN (Siskiyou Daily News) ran an opinion piece penned
by Matt Cox on behalf of KRRC extolling the virtues of removing
the Klamath Dams as a solution to the (COVID-19)
pandemic economic damages being suffered by Siskiyou County.
Mr. Cox asserts that Dam Removal would constitute an economic
“Bright Spot” by creating a few temporary jobs and providing
substantial funds to the benefit of a few large companies such
as Kiewit, RES, and of course KRRC salaries and benefits. KRRC
which had no money or experience in Dam Removal is awash in
public funds from Oregon and California. Yes, that’s right
their pockets are bulging with funding from your ratepayer and
argues that somehow Dam Removal is “a fully funded pre-existing
stimulus plan”. He again neglects to mention that this money is
money from the pockets of the taxpayers and ratepayers to fund
KRRC’s project, orchestrated through a complex conspiratorial
plan developed through the Amended KHSA documents which were
developed by the States of Oregon and California as well as
PacifiCorp and various NGO’S to carry out a massive effort to
remove currently clean energy producing hydro- electric
facilities and sidestep the issue of liability for damages which
may occur as a result.
is paid to the fact that the project as conceived is faulty from
its very foundation. It has nothing to do with improving Salmon
habitat as clearly the Salmon are not warm water fish and they
could never have jumped a 33 foot high basaltic dyke which
naturally existed above Iron Gate at approximately the location
of Copco Dam. The science doesn’t support the project as a
process to improve the production of Salmon.
In any case
we take issue with the assertion that somehow removing the dams
should be considered as a “stimulus” package to benefit Siskiyou
County and its citizens and deplore the poorly drafted PR
Release by KRRC that the public should welcome KRRC spending
taxpayers/ratepayers money to remove the Klamath hydroelectric
facilities and subject the downstream River to a potential
superfund site of biological damages.
Water Users Association
OPINON: KRRC calls dam removal a ‘bright spot’
by Matt Cox, Director of Communications, Klamath River Renewal
The COVID-19 virus outbreak is affecting us all, whether we live
in a big city or rural Siskiyou County. The economy is grinding
to a halt and governments are planning a massive response to
keep money flowing to small businesses and employees – the
lifeblood of the entire economy.
It is through this lens that I encourage Klamath Basin residents
to view KRRC’s dam removal and river restoration project – as an
economic bright spot. Dam removal will bring local investments
and opportunities, including an estimated 400 jobs through
contracts and direct hiring and an estimated 1,400 additional
jobs in support industries like hospitality and restaurants, all
at a time when we will need it the most.
The dam removal and river restoration project is a fully-funded,
pre-existing stimulus plan for the county. Our project will play
a role in strengthening the basin’s economic health, both during
and after this severe economic disruption, and the faster we can
get started, the better.
I also want to address some common myths and false claims
surrounding this job-creating project.
The four Klamath dams produce less than 2% of PacifiCorp’s power
and PacifiCorp has announced that it is planning to retire about
two-thirds of its coal units by 2030 and will replace the vast
majority of that power with clean, renewable energy.
The dams provide extremely minor flood control benefits. After
dam removal, state-of-the-art modeling indicates that flood
elevations may be subject to an increase of six to 18 inches in
a 100-year flood event, and only in the first 18 miles below the
site of Iron Gate Dam. This nominal change will affect a few
dozen homes below Iron Gate and KRRC is working with homeowners
to mitigate these impacts.
Removal of the dams will not dry up the river. The Bureau of
Reclamation controls water flows from Upper Klamath Lake and
that, along with tributary flows, determines how much water is
in the river, not the lower Klamath Dams. Klamath River flows
can vary in the future based on Bureau of Reclamation operations
and with weather and climate. But there is no reason to believe
that the Bureau of Reclamation will suddenly decide to dewater
or flood the river.
The water in the lower Klamath reservoirs is not diverted for
irrigation. Water used for irrigated agriculture in the Klamath
Basin comes from Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon, which is above
our project site. No farmer or rancher draws a drop of water
from the reservoirs we will be removing.
Water quality feeding into the Klamath River from Upper Klamath
Lake is indeed poor during the late summer and fall, but the
hydroelectric project reservoirs make water quality worse. The
warm, slow-moving water conditions created by the reservoirs is
fertile ground for toxic blue-green algae blooms that degrade
river water quality through production of toxic microcystin and
reduced dissolved oxygen. The Draft Environmental Impact Report
(DEIR) released by the California Water Board acknowledges
existing water quality problems stemming from the Upper Klamath
Lake but concludes that this underlying problem does not
diminish the water quality and fish population benefits from dam
removal. Dam removal, along with ongoing watershed restoration
projects to improve water quality in the Upper Klamath Lake and
river basin, will improve water quality downstream.
Dam removal is in the best interest of the salmon. The DEIR
finds that removal of the lower Klamath dams would increase
habitat availability, restore a more natural flow regime,
restore more natural seasonal water temperature variation,
protect water quality, and reduce the likelihood of fish
disease, all of which would have significant long term benefits
for fall-run Chinook, spring-run Chinook, Coho, and steelhead.
KRRC is poised to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a
project in your back yard. We are a win-win for the local
economy and the environment. It is for these reasons, and many
more, that this dam removal project is in the best interest of
the entire Klamath Basin community.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
section 107, any copyrighted material
herein is distributed without profit or
payment to those who have expressed a
prior interest in receiving this
information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only. For more
information go to: