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Movement starts to halt Klamath study funding
By David Smith, Siskiyou Daily News February 17, 2011
Yreka, Calif. — The subject of a letter to Wally Herger approved by the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors Tuesday saw action Wednesday at the House level as Congressman Tom McClintock introduced a measure to reduce funding for studies on the Klamath River.
The board’s letter, brought forth by County Counsel Thomas Guarino, begins, “It has recently come to our understanding that you have requested our opinion with respect to an amendment that may be offered in Congress to eliminate any funding for the study of dam removal on the Klamath River” under the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA).
The KHSA calls for the study of various environmental impacts and potential outcomes to determine whether or not to remove four dams along the Klamath, with many of the studies currently underway.
Along with support for constraints on funding for dam removal studies, the letter states that the board would support any constraints on funding for other KHSA activities and the companion Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.
Board Chair Jim Cook stated that he believes there is a likelihood that if the studies are postponed, more studies could be introduced, something the board has requested in the past. Natural Resources Policy Specialist Ric Costales added that upon talking to McClintock’s staff, he was led to believe that the congressman feels that the KBRA, which calls for approximately $1 billion in expenditures, is “outpacing” the activities under the KHSA.
When taken to a vote, the letter was approved 4-1, with District 2 Supervisor Ed Valenzuela voting no. Earlier in the meeting, he had expressed concern about stopping the studies, citing the need for information.
McClintock has already taken action, however, introducing an amendment just after midnight Tuesday to House Resolution 1, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
McClintock’s amendment, which was agreed to by a voice vote, would reduce funds for a sedimentation study being conducted by the United States Bureau of Reclamation and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service by $1.897 million, applying that amount instead to a deficit reduction account.
HR 1 was introduced on Feb. 11 and has not yet reached the House.
– David Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Page Updated: Friday February 18, 2011 01:12 AM Pacific
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