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Do I Have This Right?
12-11-2006 Hamburg California, by Jim Foley, property rights advocate
On their website, the KLAMATH FOREST ALLIANCE has published a story that originated in the Eureka Times-Standard that makes some patently absurd and contradictory statements. I assume since it is on their website, they approve of it. State says Klamath Smothered in Sediment

On the one hand they and others are clamoring for dam removal and billing it as the way to "restore" the Klamath River and its salmon. On the other hand they are all for and even support the designation of the State Water Resources Control Board that claims the Klamath is impaired for sediment.
Now that the State Water Resources Control Board has put the Klamath River on a list of troubled waters, this time for having too much sediment for its own good, they say they support "the science" behind the determination. Kevin McKernan, environmental program director for the Yurok Tribe, said “We support the science and the science says it's impaired.”
The irony behind all of this is that they don't even see that they are supporting two conflicting issues. I for one, would like to see any "science" that resulted in this determination. To the best of my knowledge this designation of "impaired" is simply a number arrived at by the water quality board. The number is not something that is derived from a scientific study on Klamath River conditions, it is a number that is taken right out of the EPA Clean Water Act, this is what TMDL's are all about.
Now for irony number two. If the river is impaired for sediment and they support the boards findings, how in the world can they possibly support dam removal and the resulting release of 20 million cubic yards of sediment that the dams presently hold back? This is sediment that will be washed down the river if the dams are breached. There is NO science that will show us the results of this dam breaching. No dam of this size has ever been breached and there is no study available to draw from for guidance.
The resulting sedimentation from breaching the dams will clog the entire river with sediment. All efforts to restore salmon will be wiped out with this one singular action. The sediment will smother any and all areas that salmon could spawn in, and they could remain smothered for an unknown number of years.
This dam removal hysteria on the part of SOME groups is socially irresponsible simply because of what is not known about the results of such drastic measures. I liken it to shooting an arrow up in the air and then running back and forth in panic, hoping that its return does not result in it becoming embedded in the top of your head.
There are many other inconsistencies in this whole Klamath Basin water issue, but I just wanted to speak about dam removal in regard to assertions by environmental groups whose support and solutions change with each and every tidbit that seems to support their position, even if it is wrong, or contradicts what sound science, logic, and common sense dictates.

James Foley
Property Rights Advocate


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