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Klamath dam decision team hears concerns in Yreka
Yreka, Calif. — Continuing the study updates on the Klamath dam processes, representatives of the Department of the Interior met in Yreka Thursday to listen to public comments and respond regarding the studies underway for the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA).
According to Dennis Lynch of the United States Geological Survey, program manager for the team working to inform the decision of whether or not to remove four Klamath River dams, many of the studies are still underway and reports are not expected until early next year.
The public comments and questions focused on a wide range of issues, including the sources of purchased water in the KBRA, potential effects on mining, the ability of salmon to reach areas above the dams, and the quality of science used.
Multiple commenters asked how the team can continue to be involved in the process, given the large opposition to dam removal in Siskiyou County.
“We are tasked with collecting technical information – that’s our job,” Lynch said. “The determination will take place by political people.”
With the public continuing, concerns over the loss of bass fishing tournaments, claims of media manipulation and potential effects of large-scale sediment release were discussed.
California Department of Fish and Game representative Mark Stopher stated that he is concerned with the sediment release because of California Environmental Quality Act guidelines, which require that effects be acknowledged and mitigations be put in place when negative impacts are possible.
Further comments heard at the meeting focused on Shasta tribal rights, the erosion of the embankment if Iron Gate Dam is removed and what alternatives to dam removal will be explored, among numerous others.
According to klamathrestoration.gov, the next informational meeting on the dam removal determination process will be held on March 16, 2011 in Klamath Falls, Ore.
– David Smith can be reached at email@example.com
Page Updated: Friday December 17, 2010 03:03 AM Pacific
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