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Siskiyou letter requests McClintock’s help on Klamath issues
Yreka, Calif. — Congressman Tom McClintock’s recent appointment to chair of the House Subcommittee on Water and Power has been hailed by opponents of Klamath River dam removal, and Tuesday Siskiyou County Counsel Thomas Guarino sent McClintock a letter urging his assistance on the Klamath issue.
“At the direction of the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, this letter is being sent to you to both request your assistance and offer the assistance of the County should Congress be interested in exploring why the current administration is interested in removing perfectly sound operating hydroelectric facilities on the Klamath River to restore salmon to an area where current science is unable to predict with certainty that restoration will ever be successful (or in some cases salmon were ever there) at a cost of over One Billion Dollars,” the letter reads.
The letter lists a number of the concerns the county has expressed since the potential dam removal was announced under the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, including the potential costs to the county, concerns about sediment trapped behind the dams and the proposed costs of funding dam removal and restoration efforts.
Beyond the science, the letter also raises social concerns, stating, “While much is made of the social justice issues to the Tribes and environmental issues with respect to salmon restoration, little effort is being given to understand the impacts to the social fabric of this County.”
Stating that the county can assist McClintock with investigations of Klamath activity, the letter suggests that he review a report on the economic impacts of the Northwest Forest Plan, as well as a United States Department of the Interior-funded report from Camp, Dresser and McKee that details the potential liabilities associated with dam removal.
The letter concludes, “It is our understanding that there will soon be an effort to place proposed legislation before Congress for funding we have mentioned, as well as an effort to utilize this legislation to usurp local land use authority, preempt local rules and regulations, and infringe on the authority of [the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] in an unprecedented manner.”
– David Smith can be reached at email@example.com
Page Updated: Thursday January 27, 2011 04:22 AM Pacific
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