SALEM, Ore. - Oregon and California will sign a pact with two tribal nations and PacificCorp to remove 4 dams on the Klamath River.
Governor Kate Brown joined California Governor Gavin Newsom, leaders of the Yurok and Karuk Tribes and Berkshire Hathaway-owned PacifiCorp in announcing "an agreement to provide additional resources and support to advance the most ambitious salmon restoration effort in history. The project, when completed, will address declines in fish populations, improve river health and renew Tribal communities and cultures."
The Memorandum of Agreement signed by the states, tribes, PacifiCorp and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation describes how the parties will implement the amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement as negotiated and signed in 2016.
The KHSA sets the terms for the removal of four Klamath River dams.
"With the MOA now in place, it is likely that personnel and equipment will be deployed in 2022 and pre-removal construction activities will commence. We expect dam removal and the return of the river to a free-flowing condition in 2023. Restoration activities will immediately follow dam removal and continue for several years," according to the groups involved.
“The Klamath River is a centerpiece of tribal community, culture and sustenance and a national ecological treasure,” Governor Newsom said. “With this agreement, we are closer than ever to restoring access to 400 miles of salmon habitat which will be a boon to the local economy."
With the Memorandum of Agreement, the parties:
According to the parties, "these provisions are intended to resolve FERC’s concerns raised in a July 2020 order and ensure a successful dam removal project."
“This is an incredibly important step forward on the path towards restorative justice for the people of the Klamath Basin, and towards restoring health to the river as well as everyone and everything that depends on it,” Oregon Gov. Brown said.
The parties say "implementation of the amended KHSA requires two approvals by FERC. First, FERC must approve the transfer of the license for the dams from PacifiCorp to the KRRC and the states. Second, FERC must approve the dam removal plan."