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Dam removal could hurt resort expansion plans
by ELON GLUCKLICH, Herald and News 2/17/12

HORNBROOK, CALIF.: Jim Burney wants the Klamath Ranch Resort to be a one-stop retreat for fishermen, campers, businessmen and families.

But as water users and lawmakers work to implement the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement — a water settlement between irrigators, conservationists, tribes and fisheries — and a related dam removal proposal, Burney is wondering if he picked the wrong place to build an RV park.

Located in Hornbrook, north of Yreka and just below the Copco 2 dam, Burney’s resort sits on 580 acres. He’s getting ready for a large expansion that will see more than a dozen cottages built on the property, as well as a welcome center for guests.

But if four dams on the Klamath River are removed — one of them is Copco 2 — his property will be in a flood zone. And there won’t be a nearby lake.

“Economically, (dam removal) will kill this project,” Burney said. “We’ve already been hammered awful hard (by the recession). This will just kill us.”

Proponents of dam removal say it’s the best way to resolve decades-old conflicts over water rights on the Klamath River, while providing resources to sustain fish and wildlife.

But for Burney, dam removal amounts to a lost opportunity. Burney has taken to running TV commercials on local stations advocating against dam removal.

“It’s been my hope and dream to build these lodge facilities,” he said. “It would be heartbreaking to see all of this hard work be for nothing.”

• •

Hornbrook is an incorporated town in Siskiyou County with a population of about 250. It is north of Yreka near the Oregon-California border.




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