This letter is to dear friends and voters of Siskiyou County:
I come to you with a clear conscience in asking you to vote YES on measure G in the Nov. 2, 2010 Siskiyou County elections. I have been very closely involved in the negotiations related to dam removal agreements (KBRA and KHSA) since they began in 2005 with PacifiCorp requesting us to meet with them in confidentiality. I was proud to sign these agreements in February 2010 in Salem, as they articulate the best available solution from local, state, federal and tribal parties of the upper and lower river communities who have historically been steeped in conflict and litigation, fighting over Klamath River water.
I must clarify a couple of glaring bits of mis-information being spread around our county by those who do not promote your Yes vote on Measure G. It’s important for you to cast your vote based on the facts rather than be led by those who would rather you vote out of fear based on fictitious information. These clarifications include:
1) According to the owner, PacifiCorp, in the official relicensing record with FERC, these reservoirs do not provide for flood control. The reservoirs behind the dams are much too small to serve us in this way. Flash floods did in the Klamath River daily before Iron Gate Dam was completed in 1963, as daily pulses of water were released by the power company to produce power for peak demand periods each day. PacifiCorp can sell this “peaked” power for much more money.
2) Spring Chinook salmon, once thought to be the largest run of salmon in the Klamath River Basin, with much of the run historically spawning above Iron Gate Dam and into the Upper Basin, will greatly benefit from the removal of these dams. Access to these historical spawning and rearing habitats has been blocked for 50 to 100 years.
3) Dam removal will cost PacifiCorp’s ratepayers less than installing the more costly fish passage measures. This is supported by the recent determination by the Oregon Public Utility Commission. FERC asserts that relicensing the dams with mandated mitigation measures for fish passage would result in a $20-million-a-year deficit for PacifiCorp, which would likely be passed on to their ratepayers to pay for.
4) These privately owned facilities cause severe problems for fish by impeding fish migration; altering flow regimes in ways that damage habitat and alter run timing; contribute to disease problems; and degrade water quality.
5) These dams produce a relatively small amount of energy and will be replaced with clean energy production sources, according to PacifiCorp.
6) They provide no irrigation or drinking water diversions.
In conclusion, I
encourage you to vote Yes on Measure G to support the
removal of the Klamath Hydroelectric Project, as this is
the most sensible and available choice for the future of