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(Siskiyou) Supervisors have 12 points they want addressed

by Lee Juillerat, Herald and News December 17, 2009

Siskiyou County supervisors have a list of 12 points that must be addressed before they will sign an agreement that would remove four Klamath River dams.

Supervisor Jim Cook, whose district includes Butte Valley and Tulelake, said supervisors on the board prepared the 12 points because stakeholders in Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement negotiations “frequently seem not to get it.”

A key concern, Cook said, is a requirement that Siskiyou County sign the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement as a prerequisite to participating in the hydro agreement discussions. Supervisors strongly object to a demand that the county sign the agreement by Jan. 14.

List sent out

The list, prepared by county counsel Thomas Guarino, was sent to government agencies, groups and individuals involved in the ongoing negotiations, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California Resources Agency Secretary Mike Chrisman.

Cook said a relatively new negotiating concern involves protecting the rights of the Shasta Nation, an Indian tribe not formally recognized by the federal government. Although the group is split into two factions, both have concerns about impacts on burial grounds if the dams are removed, and both want the agreement to guarantee other tribes do not infringe on traditional Shasta fishing areas.

The Siskiyou Board of Supervisors also wants a study to determine possible impacts to Yreka’s water supply system, and if needed, a guarantee the system would be replaced.

Among the negotiating points on the county’s list:

Identify and fund renewable energy sources equal to energy lost by removing the dams.

Provide the county $2.5 million so it can participate in and evaluate environmental, economic and social studies.

Guarantees that environmental studies will review all possible contaminants in released sediment.

Assurances the government will fulfill coordination obligations.

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