Former commissioner Mallams urges board to
fight dam removal
County commissioner Tom Mallams urged current commissioners
to take a strong, public stance against the Klamath River
Renewal Corporation’s dam removal project at a Wednesday
accompanied by Siskiyou County Water Users Association
president Rich Marshall, asked commissioners to sign a
letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
condemning removal of the J.C. Boyle dam in Klamath and
three others in Jackson and Siskiyou counties.
governments’ stance on the project has proved touchy as
KRRC’s plan only needs FERC’s approval to proceed. City,
county and state politicians have no sway over FERC’s final
decision, which has no timeline for release.
have not taken a public stance on removal of the
PacifiCorp-owned dams, a project championed by KRRC to
restore environmental health to the area.
commissioners entered into a Memorandum of Understanding
with KRRC to address specific local road and cleanup
concerns regarding the project. Commissioners have
repeatedly said the MOU does not indicate their support for
dam removal, but is a way to infuse local perspective into
Mallams, who fought dam removal as a commissioner, accused
the current board of being too hands-off and quiet on the
“Silence is a
form of acceptance,” Mallams said
commissioners disagreed with Mallams’ interpretation of
their stance. Commissioner Donnie Boyd said, for him, KRRC
being an independent, private company is an important factor
in how local government handles the issue.
“I am 100% for
private property rights; those dams do not belong to
citizens of Klamath County,” he said. “It’s actually up to
PacifiCorp, it’s their property.”
Morris told Mallams the county had hired an attorney
specifically dedicated to Klamath dam removal issues.
suggestion that we haven’t been engaged is not accurate,”
commissioners said they’d review Mallams’ letter and get
back to him with their decision.
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