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Dam removal just doesn’t make sense
Herald and News Letter to the Editor by Linden Hankins October 28, 2011
I have been watching the continuing debate about the removal of the dams on the Klamath River with a growing sense of stunned awe and disbelief. It’s rather like watching a train wreck in slow motion. One thinks: “This can’t be happening.”
I just read the latest issue of our dearly beloved Herald and News and there was a sentence that must be quoted: “Removal of the dams is necessary to implement the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, a water settlement that aims to provide sustainable water supplies and power rates to irrigators, improve habitat for fish, and help the Klamath Tribes acquire a parcel of private timberland, the Mazama tree farm.”
Now to enlightened people, perhaps there is some sense to be made of that statement. To scientists, politicians, and some self-interested individuals, that sentence might have some logic to it. But a class of third-graders would have some questions, such as: “Teacher, I thought that the farmers couldn’t afford to pay more for their irrigation. If they take out the dams, won’t there be less power for the pumps?” or “Teacher, I thought that they wanted to make the river better for the fish, but when they take the dams out, isn’t that going to mess up the water for a really long time?”
I don’t know what the teacher would tell those students; probably something like what we are getting from the people who are plotting the brilliantly constructed demolition plan for the Klamath dams.
If I have to pick between the geniuses and the kids, I’m going with the third-graders.
Linden Hankins


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