Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Cost estimate to remove dams looks way too low

March 29, 2009 Herald and News letter by Tony Halda, Klamath Falls
My wife and I have raised three children in Klamath Falls. We’ve spent a lot of time boating, water-skiing and fishing on Klamath Lake and Klamath River. I’m concerned about the proposed dam removals.

The feds (you and I) just spent $13 million to remove Chiloquin Dam. Using this as a yardstick, the PacifiCorp estimate of $245 million to remove the Klamath River dams is obscenely low. Is PacifiCorp low-balling the estimate to suck us into accepting liability for payment?

What about flood control? Snow storms in November and December, 1889, left 6 feet of snow in the Klamath River Canyon. Chinook winds and a rain storm in February, 1890, melted the snow. The flood crested 90 feet above the water line north of Happy Camp (“Looking Back,” Alice Hessig, Klamath Co. Library). There were no dams then. What would happen to I-5?

American Rivers is a non-profit organization that has negotiated with PacifiCorp regarding the Klamath River dams. This group took in and spent $8 million–plus in 2008. A third of the 28 board members live in or within a 200-mile radius of Washington, D.C. What’s their real agenda?

The salmon die-offs have never been correlated to low-water years in the Klamath Basin. Last year the Central California irrigators were restricted in the water volume that they were taking out of the Trinity River. Shouldn’t this change be given more than a one-year trial?

Dropping $1 billion into dam removal, loss of clean energy and higher rates don’t make sense. Do PacifiCorp, American Rivers and the Klamath Tribes actually have the authority to guarantee all the Basin irrigators first shot at water? Or is this a smoke screen to gain water-users’ support?

Home Contact


              Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2009, All Rights Reserved