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Dam removal agreement almost finished
Authors working out details, say major issues resolved
By Ty Beaver, Herald and News Sept 3, 2009
Submitted photo - The J.C. Boyle Dam is one of four Klamath
River dams that would be removed.
Those involved in discussions about removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River say they are very close to finishing an agreement and making it public.
Mike Carrier, Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s natural resources adviser, said the document is near completion and there are no issues holding it up. They are only working out how to properly express details, he said.
Dam removal is a key aspect of the broader Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which is intended to resolve water disputes between farmers, tribes, fishermen and environmentalists in the Klamath River watershed.
Finishing dam removal discussions will allow the stakeholders to focus on broader issues.
Stakeholders, government officials and Portland-based PacifiCorp, owner of the dams, continue to discuss and finalize language in the documents.
Those involved said they are optimistic about having something finished by the end of the month.
“We’re actually making progress, things are coming together,” said Belinda Stewart, outreach and program coordinator with Klamath Water Users Association.
Glen Spain, northwest regional director with the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, said the stakeholders are aiming to have the document available to the public by the end of this month.
“The parties are all working very hard in what they think is the final round of discussions,” he said.
A deadline for a final dam removal document already was pushed back once this year. While stakeholders had said a final document was hoped for by Sept. 1, a PacifiCorp spokesman said no specific date was ever set except for the month of September.
PacifiCorp spokesman Art Sasse said in an e-mail that the due process of the government agencies and other groups involved made it necessary not to set a specific date.
“Once we have a yeah or nay on all potential signatures — we have a final hydro agreement, assuming the main principles have all signed on,” Sasse wrote.
Craig Tucker, Klamath Campaign coordinator for the Karuk Tribe in California, also said that the needs of government agencies to review any final document and its language were slowing the dam removal agreement process.
“From my perspective, the substantive issues have been addressed,” he said.
Page Updated: Sunday September 06, 2009 03:01 AM Pacific
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