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The wrong person is declared the 'expert'

by Rex Cozzalio, Herald and News letter to the editor 10/28/15

Response to Herald and News Oct. 7 “Dam removal expert:” (at bottom of page)

We are four generations living in, on, and with the Klamath directly below Iron Gate Dam, before and after.

We have lived the Klamath River improvement to water quality, ecosystem habitat, and riparian stability directly resulting from the dams. Now I read H&N’s deification of Dennis Lynch as “expert.”

Like most vested regional residents, we sacrificed over generations solely to maintain and improve the Klamath and environment we love.

Historic documentation, regionally specific generations of holistic ecosystem knowledge, prior implemented KBRA/KHSA (Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement/Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement) edict failed results, and current empirical science, all contradict his paid agenda-driven assertions, but he is the “expert.”

World renowned dam hydrologist Stephen Koshy stated even though the dams are excellent, Lynch’s removal plan will likely prove catastrophic, but without technological background H&N deems Mr. Lynch the “dam removal expert.”

Mr. Lynch receives no negative consequence for failure of any of his assurances, but tens of thousands of vested residents unrepresented in the KBRA/KHSA who know the unaccountable environmental promises are lies have been and will be those subject to the greatest confiscation and uncompensated loss of environment, lives, and futures.

Mr. Lynch has long since abdicated any public illusion of objectivity in facilitating imposed implementation of the KBRA/KHSA and its special interest profiting rewilding agenda. Under KBRA/KHSA/Klamath Basin Coordinating Council rewilding terms, there can be no “reduction of regional conflict” until the majority of vested and unrepresented residents are destroyed or driven out without compensation or concern.

Locally developed symbiotic options to accommodate all beneficial uses at far less cost have been available and ignored in favor of this special interest agenda, options which will never see the light of day if this travesty is legislated. That’s all right; Mr. Lynch apparently finds it easy altering history after the fact.

Rex Cozzalio

Hornbrook, Calif.


KBC Scientific Misconduct and False Science Page


Dam removal expert: Do it in one year

Sediment is best washed out in winter

By LACEY JARRELL H&N Staff Reporter Oct 6, 2015

Dennis Lynch, associate regional director of the U.S. Geological Survey, explains how the installation of four dams on the Klamath River changed the Klamath watershed's hydrology. Blasting four dams out of the Klamath River will improve water quality and better regulate stream temperatures, according to water experts.

At a three-day 2015 Oregon Lake Association Conference held last weekend, Dennis Lynch, associate regional director of the U.S. Geological Survey, said estimated costs for removing the four dams is just shy of $300 million in 2020 dollars.

Lynch, who has studied Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath watershed for more than 20 years, provided opening remarks and a primer on the Klamath water settlements Saturday morning. The conference was held at the Klamath Yacht Club.

“I probably have the rare distinction of being the person who has spent more time under Upper Klamath Lake than anybody else on the planet,” Lynch said.

He also oversaw preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement and dozens of Klamath River federal studies related to developing a plan for dam removal, according to conference documents. Lynch’s work included determining the potential effects dam removal could have on the environment and local communities.

Lynch said a cycle of Basin-wide water-related “rotating crises” are what triggered the creation of a suite of agreements cemented in the Klamath Water Recovery and Economic Restoration Act, Senate Bill 133.

The bill encompasses the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement. The comprehensive bill aims to create a host of benefits for Basin stakeholders, including reintroducing salmon to the Basin’s upper reaches and improving riparian habitat by removing four dams — the J.C. Boyle, Iron Gate, Copco 1 and Copco 2 — from the Klamath River.

The four dams are owned and operated by PacifiCorp, the parent company of Pacific Power.

He noted that two endangered sucker species — Lost River and shortnose — inhabit Upper Klamath Lake and endangered coho salmon inhabit the Klamath River. The dams do not provide fish passage and more than 300 miles of spawning habitat has been cut off from salmon species since the early 20th century.

Scientists concluded about 13 million cubic yards of material is lodged behind the four dams, almost all of it fine grain, according to Lynch.

Lynch said instead of dragging the demolition on for three or four years and having blasts of sediment flowing downstream each year, scientists want to take all four dams down in a single year, so the pulses of sediment behind the dams only affect one cohort of fish.

“About half of it would likely transport downstream during the drawdown process. Because it’s so fine grain, almost all of it would end up in the ocean in the first year,” he said.

Scientists designed the water drawdown and dam removal to occur in winter to protect coho, which peak in the river system in late-September and early October.

Lynch said short-term impacts to coho will be minimal. Less than 10 percent mortality is expected for coho and fall and spring chinook, according to Lynch.

“Steelhead, who make more use of the river in the wintertime, could see up to maybe 15 percent mortality in a single year,” Lynch said. “In a worst-case scenario, adults might see close to 30 percent mortality.”

After dam removal, new and better salmon habitat exposed above the existing dams is expected to significantly boost fish numbers.

“Our modeling showed that depending on the year, anywhere from 40 percent to about 80 percent increase in production of chinook,” Lynch said.

Of the 700 land parcels around Copco Lake and around Iron Gate Dam, only 127 have homes built on them.

Lynch said the agreements have provisions to mitigate property value losses and provide some landowner compensation.

“Frontage, view and amenity losses came to roughly 25 to 45 percent loss,” he said.

According to Lynch, at the peak of activity, when the dams were being removed, as many as 1,000 jobs could be created. About 400 permanent positions will have been created once the process is complete. He said the figures do not include the number of agricultural jobs that will be saved if the water settlements are signed into law.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of conflicts that happen if these agreements unravel. Of course, it comes with a whole bunch of negative impacts on the economy, on jobs, on the entire stakeholder community,” Lynch said. “The whole stakeholder community has really pulled together over the last 10 years and to see that unravel, to see a lot of people lose their jobs, would just be a tragedy.”


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