Clarifying questions regarding the Klamath
would like specific and comprehensive answers to the following
sent by Marcia Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor 2/25/08
response by Klamath Basin irrigator and Klamath Water Users
Association board member Steve Kandra to 62 questions by
Siskiyou County regarding Klamath Settlement Agreement that calls
for removal of 4 hydropower dams, 3 being in Siskiyou County,
- When did the new Settlement/Restoration
agreement group start meeting? When did Siskiyou County become a
part of that group? How did they become a part of it?
- Is the “Klamath Summit” the same thing as
the Settlement/Restoration Agreement? How do they fit together?
- Are there two agreements (a) the
“restoration” agreement and (b) the dam removal agreement with
- Are we actively participating in group
(b)? If not, why not? That seems to be where mitigation for the
impacts in Siskiyou County are to be located.
- Could the dams come out without an
agreement in place? Could we end up with no mitigations for
impacts if we do not have an agreement in place? Does that
include the physical impacts being discussed under group b?
- Will the Settlement Agreement negotiations
be reopened and an effort made to seat representatives of the
Copco lake area and downriver communities with the most at stake
of loss in this agreement? Will there be negotiation and
governance seats for the Shasta and Scott landowners affected by
the new Fish Council and Governance Structure? Will efforts be
made to create a fair paying field for these Mid-Klamath
- What permits and licenses are needed for
the dam to continue operation? Who has that authority? Are we
participating in these other permitting processes? What is their
timeline and how can we/the public participate? Are there any
requirements in the law for these permitting or relicensing
bodies to “coordinate” with the County?
- Can we consider an alternative to deepen
the dams – creating greater storage for flood protection, colder
water for management?
- Will the dam removal agreement have
mitigations for: (a) restoration of the lake bottoms and
securitized funding for those purposes; (b) assurances that some
entity will be liable for damages to considerable County
infrastructure downstream of the dams, private property,
business damages (including white water rafting) and the
securitization of funding for that liability; (c) repair and
maintenance of roads and other infrastructure used in the
decommissioning of dams; (d) mitigation for the clean energy
source lost – such as investment and location of alternative
energy generation facilities in Siskiyou County; and (e) any
potential damages to Yreka City water use rights, sources and
transportation infrastructure – with securitized funding? The
Settlement/Restoration Agreement has nothing addressing these
- On Page 135 item 31, it states that if the
CEQA/NEPA process fails to mitigate significant physical impacts
to Siskiyou County and to fishing opportunities, then the CDFG
will meet with County representatives to develop recommendations
to address the impacts. Does this mean that there is a
possibility that the serious and direct impacts identified under
question #3 have no certainty of being mitigated?
- If the sediment settles on the river
bottom and raises the level of the river, who will be liable for
flooding of private property and damage to businesses and
investment backed expectations? Seiad Valley is prone to having
its access roads flooded during 15-25 year events or greater.
These roads are in a canyon and cannot be moved. What guarantees
will there be that these roads will remain accessible?
- Under the Settlement/Restoration
Agreement, Siskiyou County is to get a promise from the CDFG to
ask the State Legislature for $20 million. Is this money to go
into the County’s General Fund to pay for County Services? If
not, then what is it to be used for and how and to whom is it
intended to be allocated? Is it true that any non-county
recipients of these funds will have to waive their right to sue
for any damages from dam removal? Page 136) Is this not an
- On page 135- 136 it appears that in
exchange for uncertain and unsecured benefits, by signing the
agreement, Siskiyou County waives its rights to file a claim for
damages against the United States, the States of Oregon and
California, or the agencies of these. Is this true?
- Appendix A Proposed California Legislation
– A.6, Section 6 states “The Department shall allocate the
interest earned from the funds allocated pursuant to Section 1
for restoration projects within the Klamath Basin.” It is
implied that the approximately $20 million will not be fully
allocated, but some part will remain with the state to garner
interest. Please explain. What form will this $20 million take?
In what increments will it be allocated and who will be in
control of its disbursement?
- It appears that if the promised CA
legislation to offset Siskiyou County for its tax loss of up to
$20 million does not materialize by the time the process has
completed, the license surrendered and the dams are ready to be
taken out, our remedy is to withdraw from the agreement or
request the parties reconvene. Is this correct - As this
appears to result in a completely empty benefit to Siskiyou
- What will happen if we don’t sign the
agreement? Will the $20 million remain? Could the agreement go
forward without us?
- The tribe and environmentalists claim that
decommissioning will bring jobs to Siskiyou County which will
offset impacts. Do we have a qualified contractor that exists in
Siskiyou County who could do the work? What kinds of jobs could
typically be done by local contractors or would they be
subcontracted to any lowest bidder? What is the real likelihood
that anyone from Siskiyou County would be employed? At other
than a menial skill level?
- Can the landowners around the lakes get
just compensation under the fifth Amendment for loss of property
- Who will own the property between the
current lake front houses and the new river channel? Will it be
available for adjacent landowner’s to purchase so that they have
riverfront property? Is it in the flood plain or will it be
available for development by PacifiCorp?
- Rumor is that a consortium has been formed
to purchase the land under the lakes to develop it as riverfront
properties. Do you know this to be true? Won’t the properties be
in a flood plain? What limitations will be placed on
development? Will adjacent property owners have right of first
- Under the Restoration Agreement, there is
nothing about disposition of historic Shasta tribal village and
burial sites. Will the land revert back to the Shasta Tribe?
This includes sites: # 62 Ko-soo'-rah located on the N. Side of
the Klamath close to Copco Dam; # 69 Choo-pah'ch-took, now under
Copco lake, located on the N. Side of the Klamath below "
Ik-kweek"; # 70 Ik-kweek, now under water, located on the N.
Side of the Klamath below Ho-a'-te-took. Each Village site also
had a burial ground located nearby, usually on a hill or slope.
- Many of the studies being used to assess
impacts were done or commissioned by environmental groups. It is
my personal experience that these studies are not impartial,
peer reviewed or public and have a track record of skewing
conclusions to support the environmental agenda. Will a
comprehensive, impartial, scientific public studies be funded
and performed on the impacts of dam removal?
- Will there be any fair and impartial
comparative analysis of the potential loss of other values to
Siskiyou County such as potential loss of a California
designated Wild Trout Area from Copco to the border, Wild and
Scenic Rivers, a Class IV-V summer whitewater rafting run, a
treasured competitive bass fishery, a valued perch fishery,
valued lake ecosystems and recreational opportunities?
- How will dam breaching and the delivery of
a source of a huge amount (in excess of 20 million cubic yards)
of sediment for the next several years comport with the Klamath
TMDL, Cologne Porter Water Quality Act and new Sediment rules
for the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board? How
can we justify actions to reduce sediment on Moffett Creek, etc.
because they deliver sediment to the Klamath and then turn
around and release a huge sediment source directly into the
- It appears the breaching of the dam is
planned for the precipitation season. This coincides with the
spawning season. Won’t the sediment cement in the fry that has
been deposited in the gravels? Won’t new sediment repeatedly be
deposited at each precipitation event through run-off over the
years killing subsequent yearly productions of salmon?
- I understand that PacifiCorp ran models of
the recovery response of the fisheries to dam breaching. Could
you go over the results of that? In addition to the loss of 25%
of the run from the closure of the hatcheries, how might the
fisheries be impacted in the first, second, third, fourth year,
etc. Will such impacts on threatened coho species with a 3 year
age class be acceptable under the ESA? Will this create
conditions where the Magnusson Stevens thresholds will not be
met and the coastal fisheries shut down again?
- If the release of sediment harms the
downstream fishery, will farmers in the Scott and Shasta be held
harmless for lower fish counts?
- The release of sediment will likely make
suction dredging very difficult and possibly release toxins into
the river. Will the miners be compensated for the loss of the
ability to work their gold claims? Who will be liable for any
health impacts to miners from working in the sediment? What is
the logic behind the Karuk tribe mounting an aggressive attempt
to halt mining because of sediment and then favoring the release
of huge amounts through dam removal?
- It is my understanding that the agreement
proposes to expand marshland for additional water supply by
90,000 acres. As this storage is extremely shallow, won’t this
accelerate evaporation and won’t the solar exposure heat the
water far above temperatures lethal to anadromous fish? Won’t
this create additional warming of the water coming from the
Upper Klamath River Basin? Is that in compliance with the intent
and spirit of the Clean Water Act?
- Will the hatchery still be operational if
the dams are removed or if fishways are installed? Who will pay
for operations? Where will the operational water come from if
the reservoirs and facilities are removed? (The groundwater has
arsenic.) How much of fish populations are due to the hatchery
production? Will farmers in the Scott and Shasta be held
harmless for decreases in population due to loss of the
- What are the estimates for what it will
cost to retrofit the dams with required fishways? What are the
estimates for what it will cost to decommission dams? Will that
include removal of sediment so that it doesn’t move downstream?
What is the cost for alternative energy sources? On behalf of
the ratepayers, will an impartial source (not Ecotrust) study
the relative costs and benefits of dam removal and the
legitimacy of the conditions of relicensing being imposed on
PacifiCorp? (When I attended preliminary settlement agreement
meetings with PacifiCorp, it was evident that attendees were
trying to pack the conditions with expensive and unnecessary
studies and conditions so that they would tip the cost/benefit
balance in favor of dam removal.)
- Will the costs of fishways and other
conditions or decommissioning and alternative source development
be passed on to the ratepayers? Which ratepayers? Will the
Klamath Project and Off Project users be exempt from additional
costs on their “sustainable” rates?
- Will the cost for reducing energy rates to
a lower “sustainable” level of approximately three cents per
kilowatt-hour, delivered, for the Klamath Project and perhaps
Off-Project Users (Oregon users under 1956 agreement,) be
passed on to other users? Which users? Will the rate breaks be
publicly funded and distributed as a credit to eligible
participant’s bills? Will non-Klamath Project Siskiyou County
receive sustainable rates as well? If not, why not ? What
parties to the Settlement Agreement would not bear these costs
as they are out of the service area or sheltered by the
- An insert in a June 2006 billing to
California rate payers indicated that a rate increase request
of $12.8 million was the equivalent of an overall rate increase
of 18.9%. This means roughly, that each $1 million is the
equivalent of a 1.48% increase in overall rates if laid entirely
on the California rate payers. Estimates for dam decommissioning
and the costs of alternative replacement power or retrofitting
with fishways is into the multiple hundred of $millions to well
over a billion. How might this effect residential, business and
agricultural rates in the mid-Klamath River? Shouldn’t the
impact of such rates be examined from the perspective of social
justice, given the high poverty level of the residents (rate
payers) of Siskiyou County? Shouldn’t all rate payers be given
equitable treatment? Shouldn’t it be required that the rate
payers be given a seat at the negotiation table?
- Will “net metering” arrangements for
Klamath Project users cost other rate payers? Will other rate
payers in Siskiyou County be allowed to net meter excess energy
produced by alternative sources?
- What elements of the agreement provide for
incentive to develop alternative energy sources in Siskiyou
County to replace the lost power source of the hydropower dam?
Given California’s requirements for utilities to have a certain
percentage of green energy, what efforts will be made to ensure
that California rate payers of Pacific Power receive mitigation
for the loss of this green hydropower source?
- It appears that the Restoration Agreement
alters the water use rights secured under the Klamath Compact.
Doesn’t such alteration require specific legislative agreement
by the two states and Congress?
- What, if anything, will we be giving up
concerning our groundwater jurisdiction in this agreement? It
appears that the agreement ( page 60) covers operations on the
Klamath Project that could have adverse impacts on groundwater
resources on the Klamath that are under the jurisdiction of
- It is my understanding that, because of
tribal sovereignty, the tribes cannot be sued. Are the
signatures of the tribe on this agreement enforceable in court?
Can the tribes be held to anything they agree to in this
- If the agreement is signed, the Tribes
agree to waive their right to litigate the US Government
(Klamath Project and above the Oregon-California border – pg.
70-72) for additional flows under tribal trust, fishing rights
or water rights “theories” It appears that this waiver from
suit is not also good against the Scott and the Shasta
Adjudications, including the Forest Service’s Rights on the
- It was stated by Troy Fletcher in a
Congressional briefing on this agreement, that this agreement
did not waive any right of the Yuroks to assert their Winter’s
Doctrine rights against the Scott and the Shasta. After agreeing
not to pursue additional flows from the Klamath Project, is it
the Yurok’s intention to pursue additional flows from the Scott
and the Shasta?
- On page 139, the Agreement would establish
an interim fishery for the Klamath tribe in the area between I-5
and Iron Gate on the Klamath to begin after quotas are met at
the hatchery. (If it still functions.) This is the aboriginal
territory of the Shasta tribe and would appear to be
inappropriate. Currently, this area provides a recreational
fishery for many Siskiyou river guides and residents, patrons of
the Blue Heron resort and the R Ranch. How would this Indian
fishery impact that? How would the new Klamath fishery affect
the in-river sports fishery? Why can’t the Klamath tribe just
fish like any other public? What special rights will they have?
- Are Scott and Shasta Valleys included in
the Drought Plan? If so, how? Are they bound to it without
direct representation? Can such a drought plan take precedence
over the Scott, Shasta, Seiad and other long-standing water use
right adjudications under the Superior Court of Siskiyou County?
(page 94 B iv. “Klamath Basin includes lands tributary to the
Klamath River in California and Oregon.)
- Are the Scott and Shasta Valleys to be
included in the Climate Change Plan (Pg. 97) If so, how? Are
they bound to it without direct representation? Can such a
drought plan take precedence over the Scott, Shasta, Seiad and
other long-standing water use right adjudications under the
Superior Court of Siskiyou County? (page 94 B iv. “Klamath
Basin includes lands tributary to the Klamath River in
California and Oregon.)
- Can we do a document search of every
mention of “Klamath Basin” and “Klamath River Basin” to see
where the Scott and Shasta and other areas of Siskiyou County
tributary to the Klamath have been either unintentionally or
inappropriately included in provisions of the agreement meant to
apply only to the Klamath Project or Upper Klamath Basin?
- What will happen to the water use rights
reserved to the Shasta Valley from the Klamath River? (Page 105)
Will these be dedicated to instream flows without any
compensation, reservation or mitigation?
- On page 138, item 34.3, of the Agreement,
it states: “the Tribes shall be priority recipients of federal
grants and funds for Fisheries Program described in Part III.”
Does this mean that areas like the Scott and Shasta Rivers will
have a subordinated position in their ability to receive
- Page 18 item 4.11 states that “Parties
shall support allocation and reprogramming of existing funds to
implement this Agreement prior to enactment of Authorizing
Legislation or Secretarial Funding.” Does this mean that
existing funding streams for the Scott and Shasta will be
redirected to allocation under the Restoration Agreement?
- The fisheries program fails to recognize
that the area from Copco to the border has already been
officially designated by the California Fish and Game Commission
as a Wild Trout Water to me managed exclusively for wild trout.
It is further categorized as a “fast Action water” for the
speed in which one can catch one’s quota.
- (page 32-33) The “Fish Managers” (Us Fish
and Wildlife Service, NOAA Fisheries and the Tribes) shall write
Phase I of the Klamath River Fisheries Restoration Plan. This
will establish restoration priorities and criteria for selection
of projects. If the tribes are a potential recipient of
restoration funding, doesn’t this pose a potential economic
conflict of interests? Will we see a repeat of criteria that
favors projects that employ unemployed fishermen? The Counties
have land – ergo habitat (and groundwater) use jurisdiction. Why
are they not included in planning efforts? What authority will
the Fish Managers have on private land management and planning?
- If the agreement is signed, can the Shasta
and Scott River Valleys (RCDs) continue to apply for and receive
grants for projects under government programs such as the “Klamath
River Restoration Program” (See current Neg Dec) or will all
future government funding be funneled through the new Settlement
- What will that new funding for projects
process entail? Who will have the authority to make decisions or
impose requirements on new restoration projects under the new
process? How much will the agencies be entitled to take as a cut
for administration etc?
- (Page 36-37) It appears that the
Reintroduction plans will include the entire Klamath River
system and will include management of Chinook, coho, steelhead,
Pacific lamprey where the species was historically present. Will
areas below the Oregon border in Siskiyou County such as above
Dwinnell dam be included? If reintroduction of coho causes new
exposures to ESA will there be a Safe Harbor or other such
- Under provisions in the Fisheries section
, it appears that Tribal Trust outcomes are being held paramount
to all other interests (page 40-41,) including private property
use, other economic uses, the economic stability of Siskiyou
County, and other important ecological values. Is this imbalance
in the public interest?
- Appendix C.2. If Siskiyou County does not
sign the Agreement, will the “Governance framework” develop and
implement long term solutions pertaining to private lands in
Siskiyou County? It appears that the framework would exclude
“other restoration entities and efforts existing within the
Klamath Basin that are outside the Agreement” from governance.
Can Siskiyou County be excluded from the “basinwide perspective”
if it chooses not to sign? C.4
- Under this Governance framework and all
monies being funneled through the structure, will the Scott and
Shasta Valley acquire a federal nexus making them subject to
biological opinions? Aren’t Recovery Plans currently voluntary?
Will the governance structure render them non-voluntary? Who
makes the decisions as to how money is allocated to various
- C.3 Is it true that the Chartered Klamath
Basin Coordinating Council (KBCC) is to act as a FACA committee
making recommendations to federal agencies? The make up of
this Federal Advisory Committee will include one representative
each from the federal agencies; each of the two states; each of
the three counties - Klamath, Siskiyou and Humboldt Counties;
each of the Klamath Yurok, Karuk and Hoopa tribal governments;
The On-Project water users; the Off-Project (Oregon) water
users; commercial fishing industry; and conservation/restoration
organization? Does this mean that the (County recognized) Upper
Mid-Klamath Watershed Council, Siskiyou RCD, Shasta RCD, Klamath
River landowners, business interests and others such will be
excluded? ? Is it appropriate to have NGOs and industry sitting
at the table at the same level and with the same standing as
County legislators, government agencies and tribal governments
who have jurisdiction and authorities?
- How will the governance structure ensure
a fair geographic balance in allocating grant and other monies –
particularly to the salmon spawning and rearing areas of the
Scott and Shasta? Will the Counties have any control or first
approval over what projects, policies (or whatever) affecting
lands, water and resources within their geographical
jurisdiction will come to the “governance body” for
consideration? Or will the Fish Managers decide which projects
are to be funded? Will County police powers and jurisdiction
over land and groundwater use be respected?
- C.4 “The KBCC will function to link and
coordinate…subbasin watershed organizations and resource
conservation districts.” Currently, Siskiyou County has a
process in place to recognize legitimate community watershed
groups. It has recognized planning efforts from the Shasta CRMP,
Scott Valley Watershed Group and the Upper Klamath River
Watershed Council. There are several groups in the county
currently operating without County recognition. These groups are
supposed to be community-based groups working on voluntary
efforts, including restoration or improvement of privately owned
habitat for anadromous fish. They act as advisory bodies to the
County. Because California Counties have land use planning
authority, it could undermine or circumvent the jurisdiction and
authority of the County to have these groups linked and
coordinated through KBCC, and ultimately under the federal
- Who will pay for trips to participate in
the governance body? Will these be open, noticed FACA meetings?
Where will the meetings be held
- C.6-7 The TAT (Technical Advisory Team)
will make recommendations to the KBCC and “Lead Parties” on
“management of resources” and “water operations that affect the
Upper Klamath Lake and the lower Klamath River mainstem
ecosystems in the period before, during and after dam removal.”
Will this include the Scott and the Shasta Rivers and Valleys?
- Who will manage releases in times of flood
"This is the full revised list of questions I have and that my
constituents have brought forward concerning the
Settlement/Restoration Agreement. My District includes approx 110
miles of the Klamath River, the Scott Valley and the Salmon River
Marcia Armstrong, Supervisor District 5, Siskiyou County