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Officials seek to extend KBRA

Stakeholders debate historic water agreement

by DEVAN SCHWARTZ, Herald and News 11/15/12.
Stakes couldn’t be higher for the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, as representatives of the signatories met Wednesday at the Aquatics Center in Eureka, Calif.

The original agreement contained a termination stipulation if not passed legislatively by Dec. 31, 2012, and this meeting seeks to extend that deadline to Dec. 31, 2014.

Ahead of this KBRA meeting, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing about the amendments and extension to the agreement.
The Times-Standard newspaper reported the majority of the public who testified at the meeting supported allowing the KBRA to expire, although the supervisors voted unanimously to sign on again.
Inside the KBRA meeting
Humboldt County’s Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg said of Wednesday’s meeting, “Status reports were provided by PacifiCorp on progress in implementing interim measures and other actions related to the Klamath agreements.
“The KBCC (Klamath Basin Coordinating Committee) also took public comments on the amendments to the KBRA,” Sundberg added. “A number of very passionate individuals provided comments. All of the comments were in favor of dam removal.”
Thus far, only five of the more than 40 parties have attached their signatures to the extension and amendments, according to meeting facilitator Ed Sheets. Sheets said that was a main reason to hold this meeting.
Vice-chairman of the Klamath Tribes Don Gentry said the amended KBRA will be put to a second referendum vote for all tribal members.
In order to pass, the vote needs to be a simple majority of 50 percent plus one. Gentry plans to have the ballot mailed by late November or early December.
The KBRA and the related Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement aim to remove four dams on the Klamath River, establish reliable water supplies and affordable power rates for irrigators, restore fish habitat and help the Klamath Tribes acquire a 92,000-acre parcel called the Mazama Tree Farm.
In addition to the deadline extension, the new version of the KBRA includes amendments regarding the release of Clear Lake, Gerber Reservoir and the Lost River from providing water to wildlife refuges; requiring the co-support of the Department of Interior and specifically affected tribes for changes to budgets or claims against the government; and the inclusion of a new party called the Klamath Basin Power Alliance (KBPA).


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