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Siskiyou County

Speakers voice opposition to dam removal

Herald and News by Lee Juillerat 11/14/09    

One speaker suggested the head gates of four Klamath River dams be left wide open for three years to determine the impacts of a free-flowing river on fish and flooding.

   Another speaker insisted Siskiyou County supervisors initiate condemnation proceedings so the county can take ownership of the dams.

   Yet another person testifying at a Thursday afternoon public hearing on the proposed Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement said that if state and federal agencies   try to remove the dams, the county sheriff should be instructed to use force to prevent that action.

   A series of speakers berated state and government officials for proposing to remove four Klamath River dams owned by PacifiCorp as a way to improve water quality and fish habitat. Many chided PacifiCorp officials for proposing power rate increases.

   When supervisors asked for a show of hands of people opposed to dam removal, the only people who didn’t respond were   agency representatives.

   Roy Hall, chairman of the Shasta Indian Nation, a tribe not recognized by the federal government, declared the tribe a legal entity and demanded he and tribal members be included in discussions.

   Athena Bagwell, Shasta Indian Nation vice chair, called the river is “exclusive Shasta aboriginal territory” and expressed fears a free-flowing river would expose artifacts and burial sites.

   Others accused agencies and supporters of the   Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, a water settlement document linked to the hydroelectric agreement, of being willing to “lie, steal, cheat and even break the law.”

   — Lee Juillerat

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