Our Klamath Basin
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Tribes to march in protest of
August 2, 2006
Klamath Tribes members will march through the
streets of Portland today to protest the absence of
salmon in upper Klamath River. They'll be joined by
the Karuk and Yurok tribes of California, commercial
fishermen and conservation groups for the rally at
the Portland Convention Center, where the
international hydropower industry is meeting. Tribe
members want Klamath River dams removed to allow
The primary targets are the Iron Gate, J.C. Boyle
and Copco 1 and 2 dams. PacifiCorp is seeking a new
license from the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission to operate the facilities. PacifiCorp has
proposed trapping returning salmon below dams and
trucking them upriver closer to spawning grounds.
Young fish headed downstream could be helped past
barriers in the same manner, according to the
Cost: $200 million
PacifiCorp spokesman Dave Kvamme said Tuesday the
method is being used successfully in other Pacific
Northwest areas. It would be cheaper and more
effective than the fish ladders and screens the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed on the
Klamath River, he said.
Kvamme estimated ladders and screens would cost $200
million, with the expense passed along to
“PacifiCorp won't enter into an agreement that
doesn't benefit our ratepayers,” said Toby Freeman,
hydro licensing manager for PacifiCorp.
But Karuk Tribe spokesman Craig Tucker said trucking
“Some of the reaches of the river where coho need to
go are hard to reach by truck,” he said. The method
doesn't address the bigger questions - Klamath
River's poor water quality and problems such as
toxic algae blooms.
“That's a cheap way out,” Tucker said of trucking
fish. “We want to fix the river and make it healthy.
Putting a Band-Aid on it isn't the answer. The way
to fix it is by removing the dams.”
He suggests that lost hydroelectric power be
replaced by wind or biomass power plants. Tucker
noted the low returns of Klamath salmon caused this
summer's commercial salmon fishing closures. That
creates economic hardship for fishermen and is “a
cultural disaster” for the Tribes, he said.
Tribal groups planned to march today with signs and
banners proclaiming dam-removal sentiment, fish
puppets, and an effigy of Iron Gate Dam to be
destroyed on the convention center steps.
By STEVE KADEL
H&N Staff Writer
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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