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Klamath Tribes to vote Aug. 29 (on Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement)
Tribal leaders meeting with members now
Klamath Tribes leaders are meeting with tribal members in preparation for a tribal vote Aug. 29 on whether to support the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River.
Those working on an agreement to remove supposed to finish by Sept. 1. Jeff Mitchell, Klamath Tribes council member, said the upcoming deadline for a final document coincided well with a general tribal meeting usually held in late August.
“It’s always part of our internal process to inform membership,” he said.
Sept. 1 deadline
Participants in the dam removal discussions said it’s possible they will miss the Sept. 1 deadline. They say they are at a crossroads and will either release a final agreement or halt negotiations.
Dam owner PacifiCorp, the governments of Oregon and California and federal representatives and others have met since November 2008 to finalize the agreement, which proponents say would improve water quality, habitat and strengthen salmon run in the Klamath River.
T h e T r i b e s h av e already had meetings in Portland, Eugene, Beatty and Klamath Falls for its members on the issue. A final informational meeting will be at the Klamath Tribes’ auditorium in Chiloquin today.
Greg Addington, executive director of Klamath Water Users Association, said his organization would hold similar meetings for its membership, but is waiting until a final document is ready. Discussions about dam removal are in their final stages but, he added, “final stages could mean a lot of things.”
S i s k i y o u C o u n t y Supervisor Jim Cook said he understands the Tribes’ actions, noting that discussions can’t continue forever.
Though he and the rest of the Sisk iyou supervisors still don’t want dam removal, he said he is heartened from recent assurances that the proper studies would be conducted to evaluate removal, and that there’ll be appropriate mitigation and responsibility for it.
“They certainly seem to be trying to satisfy our concerns,” he said.
Page Updated: Friday August 21, 2009 03:03 PM Pacific
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