“The next steps are working with people who are
committed to resolving Basin
issues,” Fletcher said. “We need to work to make the
Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement a reality — the two
Glenn Spain, Pacific Coast
Federation of Fishermen’s Association
Spain hailed the agreement as a framework for
removing the dams, but said considerable hurdles remain.
“There is, for the first time, a clear
presumptive path to make it happen,” he said of removing
the dams. “There are a lot of financial details that need
to be pored over.”
Among those details, he said, is getting
Congressional approval, passage of a $250-million bond in
California, legislation in Oregon to create a dam
decommissioning fund and providing compensation for land
owners and lost tax revenues in Siskiyou County, where
three of the four dams are located.
“There’s going to be some hard slogging, but we
have a framework,” Spain said. “That’s the hardest part of
any journey, knowing where you’re going to go.”
Klamath County Commissioner Bill
Brown said he heard about the nonbinding dam
removal agreement during a trip to Washington, D.C.,
weeks ago. He is glad the agreement calls for studies
determining the feasibility of dam
removal and said those studies could provide important
Nevertheless, the commissioner said he is still
philosophically opposed to dam removal.
Jeff Mitchell, Klamath Tribes council member
Mitchell said the biggest
question is how the dam removal agreement would be blended
with the broader Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.
The final arrangement needs to be seamless, and
there’s the potential for problems regarding the required
studies and the need for state and federal legislation.
But Mitchell said he is optimistic about the
“This agreement has really what we’ve been
looking for 90 years,” he said.