Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement: many
wolves and a sheep
Op-Ed by Marcia Armstrong,
Siskiyou County Supervisor District 5, 6/16/09
Let's call the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement what it is -
many wolves and a sheep sitting down to decide what's for dinner.
It's a trade where special interests bargained away the health,
safety and property of those not permitted to participate in the
back room secretive process. These interests cannot just
"celebrate consensus" in a vacuum - wishing away the large number
of people who are opposed to and potentially injured by this deal
with the devil.
True to historic form, the federal and State governments appear
intent upon abandoning the commitments they have made to Siskiyou
County to adequately address the human and environmental damage
caused by dam removal. Those at the table are apparently beating a
fast retreat from financial liability and accountability for their
dealings. This leaves the people of Siskiyou County holding the
bag for restoration of the raw open scars of drained reservoirs
and recovery from the impacts of sediment, which are likely toxic.
There is no funding set aside to adequately compensate property
owners around the reservoirs for the loss of their property values
or Siskiyou County for the loss of tax revenues and impacts to the
local economy. To add to the burden, there is no funding dedicated
to develop alternative sources of power to replace the loss of
The State of Oregon seeks to shield their ratepayers with a
legislated limit on their responsibility for the costs of dam
removal. Pacific Power wants to walk away from the dams without
further liability. The federal government wants to defer
responsibility to some "designated removal entity" with much
shallower pockets. All refuse to admit to the fact that dam
removal will cost significantly more than what proponents have
Although the Klamath Agreement gives lip service to a cost/benefit
analysis to inform a final decision, it's obvious that major
players consider dam removal to be a done deal. At this point,
definitive scientific studies supporting the proposal are absent.
What we have is an accumulated pile of biased reports commissioned
by dam removal advocates intent upon stacking the deck in favor of
removal. We also have a suppression of scientific analysis that
points toward some serious impacts to human health and the
environment - impacts that would add hundreds of millions of
dollars to the costs of dam removal. This is the questionable
foundation upon which the agreement has been forged.
Marcia H. Armstrong, Supervisor District 5 Siskiyou County
Saturday March 05, 2011 02:21 AM Pacific
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