A group of environmental groups dissatisfied with a pair of agreements to remove four Klamath River dams and restore its fisheries are pitching legislation they claim will get results faster.
The Klamath Conservation Partners -- which includes the Northcoast Environmental Center, the Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild, among others -- has drafted legislation that splits the agreement to remove the dams from another that includes provisions to improve flows for fish, but also secures water for farms in the Upper Klamath basin.
The legislation also looks to find California's share of the dam removal costs, $250 million, through a different avenue than a controversial $11.1 billion bond measure. If that money can't be found, the legislation would require the federal government to provide it.
The two settlements among 28 tribes, state and federal agencies, fishing, farming and environmental groups are being supported by most of those involved in those negotiations. The NEC announced Monday it was officially opposing the deals. The Hoopa Valley Tribe, while it has expressed concerns about the agreements, has yet to reject the pacts.
The Klamath Conservation Partners say their proposal speeds up the dam removal process, and would impose stricter management of dam operations for fish in the meantime. They also claim their proposal would better protect wildlife refuges in the Upper Klamath Basin.
”By setting aside some of the more
controversial issues in the Basin, we can
finally let dam removal sink or swim on its
own,” said Oregon Wild Conservation Director
Steve Pedery. “We are confident an improved
hydro deal can swim -- and so will the