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Excerpt from Siskiyou County Supervisors column this week
by Marcia Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor 11/25/08

HERE for more of Armstrongs' columns

 The Board of Supervisors issued a position statement on the Agreement in Principle between the Bush Administration, the California and Oregon Governors and PacifiCorp regarding dam removal on the Klamath River. The Board expressed concern that the AIP “leaves significant issues unaddressed, not the least of which is the fact that it does not clearly address the cost and impacts to the County of Siskiyou and its constituents, nor does it provide sufficient provisions for determining such impacts. Unanswered by the Agreement in Principle (AlP) are the specific studies that will be undertaken, the degree to which local entities such as Siskiyou County will be permitted to participate, and provisions which essentially allow PacifiCorp and other parties to avoid any liability arising from its ownership and operation of the facilities. Unexplained is the scope of liability for the Dam Removal Entity (ORE) envisioned by the Agreement. “
My own personal concerns expressed at the Board meeting regarding the AIP include: (1) Siskiyou County has long requested in vain that, should the dams be removed, provisions be made to restore the lands behind the dams, mitigations be guaranteed for damage to road and other infrastructure, and that the County receive financial offsets for its substantial loss in tax revenue, impacts to local landowners and economy; (2) The issue of blanket waivers of liability for dam removal leaves landowners and others without recourse for damage to health, property, business and fish and wildlife habitat; (3) There is no certainty in the AIP for protection of the City of Yreka’s water supply; (4) There is no guarantee of the necessary currently non-existent studies that need to be done to determine benefits to fish, probable sediment transport behavior and potential negative impacts on human health, property, business, the economy of Siskiyou County and fish and wildlife habitat; (5) There is no certainty that alternatives such as a fish bypass will be given consideration; (6) The AIP appears to embrace the Klamath Restoration  Agreement. There is no change in the unacceptable provisions concerning a fisheries restoration plan to be written by the tribes and agencies and the imposition of a river-wide “governance structure” that has inadequate and unequal representation of mid-Klamath stakeholders. These stakeholders, such as Copco landowners, and the Scott and Shasta Valley farmers/ ranchers, were not a part of negotiations under that Agreement but would be subject to it.   

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