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Owens Valley coming to Klamath River Basin

Letter to KBC by Tom Mallams, Sprague River 3/28/11

KBC Photo March 2004

We keep hearing that the sediment behind the Klamath dams is not going to harm humans.  I have yet to hear how the dioxin levels, etc, will affect fish, and all the other critters down stream.
A larger problem may be evidenced in the history of Owens Lake, California. This was a 200 square mile lake between Death Valley and the small town of Lone Pine. This lake was completely dewatered in the 1920's by LosAngles Water and Power.  The ranchers around the lake were either bought out or FORCED out my literal "thugs" hired by the power company. This lake was fed by snow melt out of the high mountain ranges in the area.

There have been problems ever since the lake was dried up, but not until recently have any studies been done on the exposed dry lake bed. The prevailing winds spread dust straight towards the town of Lone Pine. They now are coming up with evidence that the actual dust is toxic. So now they are in a rotational cycle of re-flooding parts of the lake bed to reduce the dust. What about all the possible damage done to all the individuals that have lived in this area for years. I can see the lawyers lining up already to go after someone for damages.

It seems like there could be comparison here with leaving much of the sediment in place if they take out the Klamath Dams. That would put dust laced with dioxin and whatever else is in the sediment, blowing across the local area. I do not know what kind of wind patterns exist around each of the reservoirs, and whether it would change , if the dams are destroyed.

This is just another thought that I haven't heard brought up before.

Google Owens Lake California. You will see what can happen, and how the citizens well being was ignored there just like what is happening here. You would think what happened in the 1920' certainly would not be repeated here.



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