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Klamath Tribes ask to intervene late in dam removal

The Klamath Tribes Monday filed to intervene in the Klamath River dam removal process, four days after the deadline set in place by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

If the filing is approved post-deadline, intervenor status gives the Tribes the opportunity to speak up during the proceedings related to the FERC Commission's joint application for license transfer from Pacificorp (which owns the dams) to the Klamath River Renewal Corp. (KRRC).

The application surrounds the removal of four dams on the Klamath River: J.C. Boyle in Oregon and Copco 1 & 2 and Iron Gate dams in Northern California.

“We thought we actually had more time based on when the notice was filed,” Tribal Chairman Don Gentry told the Herald and News. “We felt it was totally appropriate to ask to be allowed to be intervenors.”

Gentry elaborated on the late filing in the paperwork submitted to FERC, which is available to view at www.heraldandnews.com.

“The Klamath Tribes regret that we did not file our motion for intervention within the 30 days after Kimberly D. Bose signed the notice,” Gentry wrote in the filing motion. “However, we respectfully move for leave to file the intervention late.”

Gentry referenced “confusion” about the deadline as well as incorrect contact information for a FERC spokesperson in attempting to meet the deadline.

He said the Klamath Tribes has always supported dam removal, as the Tribes believe it will open up hundreds of miles of habitat in the future to salmon and steelhead.

“Removal of the dams is the subject of the applications and the Tribes interests in removing the dams and restoring the fisheries will be directly affected by the proceedings,” Gentry wrote in the filing motion.

“The Tribes recognizes dam removal as the most effective and the single most important element of a large-scale restoration effort for the fish resources of the Klamath River.”


Although the act of seeking intervenor status does not mean an entity or individual is in favor of or against the dam removal process, the Klamath Tribes plan to intervene so it's possible to speak in favor of dam removal.

“Beyond advocating the interests of the Tribe and its members, the Klamath Tribes desires to bring back the salmon and other blocked aquatic species also represents a more general, public interest concerning the Klamath River,” Gentry said.

“Many parties and entities are dependent on the health of the Klamath River and its fishery resources. The Klamath Tribes has always supported removal of the dams. The Tribes recognizes dam removal as the most effective and the single most important element of a large-scale restoration effort for the fish resources of the Klamath River.”

FERC could not be reached as of presstime as to whether the filing will be accepted after the deadline.

"I really don't know what to expect," Gentry said. “We're a key stakeholder. I would expect that they would honor the filing.”




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