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 No’ on water deal likely

Siskiyou Board of Supervisors poised to vote against proposed water settlement
H&N Regional Editor

   YREKA — Siskiyou County supervisors appear poised to oppose the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.
   Supervisors will discuss the agreement today and are expected to vote against the 256-page document, which allocates water in the Klamath River Basin among fisheries, tribes, irrigators and conservationists. It also advocates the removal of four hydroelectric dams owned by Portland based power company PacifiCorp.
   A poll of board members Monday showed three of the five opposed the settlement, primarily because the agreement hinges on dam removal. Three of the four dams are in Siskiyou County.
   “I don’t care what they say, this agreement is about dam removal,” said board chairman Bill Overman, who said he planned to vote against the agreement.
   Opposition document
   Overman worked with county counsel Frank DeMarco Monday, fine-tuning a document of opposition he planned to present today for board approval. The document will list more than a dozen reasons why he and possibly other supervisors oppose the agreement.
   “We don’t think there’s sound, scientific evidence to show that dam removal is beneficial for the salmon population,” Overman said.
   He also believes Siskiyou County, which was among the parties involved in the settlement discussions, was not adequately represented.
   Dams a hot topic
   Jim Cook, supervisor for District 1, which includes the Tulelake Basin, also said he planned to oppose the water settlement.
   “ I don’t think dam removal is in the best interest of our county, state, country or anybody,” he said.
   Marcia Armstrong, who represents District 5, agreed.
   “I’m not in favor of dam removal,” she said. “The impacts are very severe in Siskiyou County.”
   But Supervisor LaVada Erickson would not comment on how she planned to vote, but she had concerns with the agreement.
   “I look at Siskiyou County and see what’s happening and what could happen and … I don’t think so,” she said.
   Erickson said her lack of support stems from the agreement’s ties to removing the dams and the unknowns of that action.
   “ Personally, I ’d like to see all the ducks in a row before we come to an agreement,” Erickson said. “Something like this cannot be confusing. It needs to be right up front. I don’t think there’s been enough on it. It’s not something that can’t be addressed in time, but it needs time.”
   Supervisor Michael Kobseff was not able to be contacted Monday for comment.
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