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Cook: No ‘blanket’ opposition to dam agreements
Yreka, Calif. — The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors discussed and voted Tuesday on a letter of opposition to the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, with a different vote count for two distinct governing bodies.
The agreements allow for the potential removal of four dams along the Klamath River and a restoration plan for the entire basin, respectively.
The letter was drafted to be approved and sent by the Siskiyou County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, which is composed of the board of supervisors members, to the water resources departments of California and Oregon, as well as the Klamath River Compact Committee.
The letter was also on the agenda for the board of supervisors’ approval, prompting District 1 Supervisor Jim Cook to note that he understood why the district would send a letter of opposition, but not the board.
Cook explained that while he continues to oppose dam removal, there were certain aspects of each agreement with which he does not find fault, explaining that he believes the restoration agreement has actions that can help the basin immediately.
Cook said he would support sending the letter as a director for the district, but did not want to support complete opposition as a member of the board.
The other supervisors retained their opposition to the agreements, excluding District 2 Supervisor Ed Valenzuela, who had not supported the board’s decision in April to reject the agreements.
Taken to a vote as the district, there was unanimous approval for sending the letter. As the board of supervisors, however, Cook and Valenzuela voted no, with Cook reiterating his opposition to dam removal.
The letter itself contains a number of the reasons the board has raised in the past for opposing the agreements, alleging that sediments behind the dams will pose a large health risk if released, and the removal would cause county residents to suffer economically, along with a number of other concerns.
Page Updated: Wednesday October 06, 2010 02:39 AM Pacific
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