News Clips

National Geographic: Huge dam demolition could save salmon on the edge of extinction

November 18, 2020 – When Karuk Tribal member and cultural biologist Ron Reed was just a toddler in the early 1960s, he liked to crouch on a rounded rock poking out of the rushing water of California’s Klamath River, watching his family fish for the Chinook salmon that arrived in late spring. The fish crowded so thickly in the water that they looked nearly solid enough to walk across.

His family had waited through the long winter for these fish. They would fill sacks full of salmon, enough to feed them several times a day for months.

Those days of extreme abundance are decades gone. For the past few years Reed, fishing now with his own children, has taken only a few spring-run fish from the river. Dams, climate change, and other issues have wreaked havoc on salmon along the U.S. West Coast, and the declines have been particularly acute for the spring-run fish, which migrate farther upstream and so are more likely to have been cut off from their habitat by the dams.

Associated Press: Historic deal revives plan for largest US dam demolition

November 17, 2020 – An agreement announced Tuesday paves the way for the largest dam demolition in U.S. history, a project that promises to reopen hundreds of miles of waterway along the Oregon-California border to salmon that are critical to tribes but have dwindled to almost nothing in recent years.

Los Angeles Times: Op-Ed: A victory for salmon, two tribes and the Klamath River

November 17, 2020 – After an uphill two-decade-long struggle in one of the nation’s most contentious watersheds, campaigners in the Klamath River Basin moved to the brink of a momentous, well-deserved victory Tuesday.

Herald and News: Klamath dam removal back on track

November 17, 2020 – After four months of negotiations and uncertainty, the largest dam removal effort in U.S. history is again moving forward.

Signatories to the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement announced Tuesday that they have devised a way forward following a regulatory curveball thrown at the project this summer. The virtual gathering was an affirmation of all parties’ commitments to see the agreement through.

BBC: The rebirth of a historic river

November 10, 2020 – For over a century, one of the most important salmon runs in the United States has had to contend with historic dams – and now four of them are set to be taken down.

“My great uncle and my grandma and my great grandparents and, I’m sure, their great grandparents: they were all fishermen. That’s just what they did – they fished and it was out of necessity to support their families. And it’s because that’s what we’ve always done and we’ve never known another life,” says Amy Cordalis, the general counsel of the Yurok, and a member of California’s largest indigenous tribe.

It’s hard to overstate how important this livelihood has been to the Yurok people who have lived for millennia in rural Northern California. And yet this livelihood has been diminishing for decades after the Klamath River – which flows through the tribe’s territory – was dammed for hydroelectricity. But now, after years of painstaking negotiations, the fortunes of the Yurok could be set to change, with the largest dam removal project in US history given the green light.

PPIC: Making End-of-Life Decisions on Aging Dams

November 9, 2020 – “California’s nearly 1,500 large dams are aging, and many pose hazards to communities downstream. We talked to Andrew Rypel—co-director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, and one of the authors of an article on “deadbeat dams” in California and the nation—about what we should do about  this aging dam population.”

NOAA Fisheries: Building a Network of Restored Habitat in the Klamath River Watershed

October 23, 2020 – Strategic habitat restoration projects across the Klamath River watershed are laying the groundwork for future dam removals.

Active NorCal: What Would the Removal of the Klamath Dams Look Like? Here’s a Lesson from the Largest Dam Removal in U.S. History

October 22, 2020 – While the proposal to remove four hydroelectric dams along the Klamath River continues to move forward, the actual implementation of the program has come into question. How will we remove the dams? How long will it take to restore the ecosystem? Will spawning fish return immediately?

Eureka Times-Standard: Warren Buffett can undam the Klamath

October 6, 2020 – It’s a rare situation indeed where one man can make a single decision to reverse years of injustice. But in northwest California, the Klamath dam removal project is that situation, and Warren Buffett is that man.

California Trout: Partner Spotlight: An Unprecedented Dam Removal Project

The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) is a private, independent nonprofit organization tasked with implementing the largest dam removal and river restoration effort ever performed in the United States – and possibly the world. KRRC is part of a cooperative effort to re-establish the natural vitality of the Klamath River, primarily by removing four hydroelectric dams and restoring the footprint of the reservoirs.

Indian Country Today: ‘Warren Buffett, bring the Klamath River back to life’

September 24, 2020 – Raul Grijalva and Rep. Jared Huffman write: “Warren Buffett’s PacifiCorp owns four disastrous dams on the Klamath River in California that are killing the river and choking out the tribes that depend on its waters and fish.”

North Coast Journal: House Passes Huffman Amendment on Klamath Dams

September 24, 2020 – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, which included the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement Tribal Fairness amendment, led by North Coast Congressmember Jared Huffman.

The Mendocino Voice: Yurok & Karuk tribes, Rep. Huffman, Sen. McGuire call for PacifiCorp to remove Klamath dams

September 24, 2020 – At a public forum held in late August and organized by Rep. Jared Huffman, California state government officials, Indigenous leaders, and scientists called for the energy company PacifiCorp to immediately decommission and remove four of its Klamath River dams, claiming that the dams have decimated Northern California and Southern Oregon’s salmon fisheries, hurt local tribal communities, and poisoned the Klamath.

Herald and News: House passes bill aiming to expedite Klamath dam removal

September 24, 2020 – The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, on Thursday.

North Coast Journal: Huffman to Warren Buffett: ‘Do the Right Thing’ on Klamath Dams

September 11, 2020 – North Coast Congressmember Jared Huffman jointed two of his colleagues today in sending a letter to one of the world’s richest people urging him to move forward an agreement to remove four hydroelectric dams from the ailing Klamath River.

Siskiyou Daily News: Photos: Algal blooms in late summer at Siskiyou County’s Iron Gate Reservoir

September 4, 2020 – Photos of algal blooms in late summer at Siskiyou County’s Iron Gate Reservoir

Siskiyou Daily News: Potentially dangerous algae blooming at Iron Gate, Copco reservoirs

September 4, 2020 – As Labor Day weekend gets underway, the California State Water Resources Control Board issued a danger advisory that warns people to avoid contact with water in the Copco and Iron Gate reservoirs due to potentially dangerous levels of toxic algae in certain coves.

Los Angeles Times: Warren Buffet can save the Klamath River Basin. Will he?

August 19, 2020 – It should not take pleas to Warren Buffett, the billionaire leader of the Berkshire Hathaway holding company, to save the wobbling deal to take down four obsolete dams on the Klamath River. But that is what the state of California and the Klamath’s Yurok and Karuk tribes are left with after a two-decade-long campaign to restore the ecosystem – and especially the salmon runs – of the Klamath River Basin.

Del Norte Triplicate: Governor appeals to Warren Buffett for help in dam removal

August 3, 2020 – The Klamath Dam Removal Project has hit a snag that has California’s governor appealing to one of the world’s richest men to help remedy.

The Oregonian: Opinion: PacifiCorp should move forward with historic Klamath dams agreement (by Russell ‘Buster’ Attebery and Joseph L. James)

August 2, 2020 – Russell ‘Buster’ Attebery and Joseph L. James write: “For nearly 20 years, Klamath River tribes and our allies have fought tirelessly to see the removal of four aging Klamath River dams. For us, dam removal is absolutely necessary to restore our struggling fisheries, maintain cultural practices, and provide tribal members who struggle to make ends meet access to traditional subsistence foods.”

Sacramento Bee: Warren Buffett controls dams in Northern California. Why Gov. Newsom wants them torn down

July 30, 2020 – Desperate to complete a historic but complicated dam removal on the California-Oregon border, Gov. Gavin Newsom has appealed to one of the world’s wealthiest men to keep the project on track: financier Warren Buffett.

Eureka Times-Standard: Gavin Newsom asks Warren Buffett to expedite Klamath River dam removal

July 30, 2020 – Gov. Gavin Newsom weighed in on the Klamath River project in a letter Wednesday to Warren Buffett, in which the governor asked Buffett’s multinational corporation to expedite the removal of dams in the river.

AP: Largest US dam removal stirs debate over coveted West water

March 29, 2020 – The second-largest river in California has sustained Native American tribes with plentiful salmon for millennia, provided upstream farmers with irrigation water for generations and served as a haven for retirees who built dream homes along its banks.

Herald and News: Dam removal draws closer

January 28, 2020 – Meurer spoke with Herald and News recently about the dam removal process and the “prep work” behind it, as well as how close KRRC is to obtaining the license from FERC, which is set to make a decision this spring.

Siskiyou Daily News: KRRC to foot bill for new Yreka city water line

January 16, 2020 – To ensure a steady water supply if and when the Klamath Dams are removed, Klamath River Renewal Corporation is paying to replace a $4 million water line for the City of Yreka.

Times-Standard: Eureka’s Natalie Arroyo to serve on Klamath River restoration nonprofit

November 22, 2019 – Eureka City Councilmember Natalie Arroyo will serve as a board member for the organization heading the Klamath River’s restoration, the governor’s office announced Friday.

American Rivers: [VIDEO] Lessons from the Klamath River

November 13, 2019 – For nearly 100 years, dams on the Klamath have blocked salmon and steelhead from reaching hundreds of miles of habitat, and have harmed water quality for people and wildlife.

The Revelator: Drones, Algae and Fish Ears: What We’re Learning Before the World’s Largest Dam-Removal Project – and What We Could Miss

October 28, 2019 – Scientists studying conditions on the Klamath River hope to help recovery efforts here and around the world, but they still lack dedicated funding.

PPIC: Groundbreaking Dam Removal Moves Forward on the Klamath

June 11, 2019 – The Klamath River has seen its native fish populations plunge and its water quality decline, in part because of four hydropower dams built in its middle reach a century ago.

Engineering News-Record: Record Dam Removals, Long Delayed, Are Awarded to Kiewit

May 7, 2019 – What is touted as a record-size U.S. dam removal, held up by 15 years of stakeholder and government legal disputes, now is moving forward, with an April 24 design-build contract to Kiewit Infrastructure West.

Hydro World: Kiewit Infrastructure wins contract for Klamath River dam removal in U.S.

April 26, 2019 – The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) has entered into a dam removal design-build contract with Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. The initial award authorizes $18.1 million in preliminary services, with a further award for project implementation work to follow once design is finalized.

KDRV-TV (ABC/Medford): Contractor Chosen for Removal of Klamath River Dams

April 25, 2019 – The project to see four dams removed from along the Klamath River just entered a new phase, with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) choosing a contractor to accomplish the task.

Siskiyou Daily News: [Letter to the Editor] Dam removal regulatory processes

April 4, 2019 – We consulted with the AECOM technical experts working on the dam removal project (including experts on the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process) in order to clarify for everyone the regulatory processes and how they all fit together.

Taft Midway Driller: Dam removal: what’s the cost to taxpayers?

March 30, 2019 – There are many questions surrounding the potential removal of four dams along the Klamath River. One commonly asked question is whether dam removal would be in the best interest of Pacific Power ratepayers.

Siskiyou Daily News: Local Opinion: Not just another dam story

March 23, 2019 – Jack Trout writes, “I have been a proud Siskiyou County resident and business owner for more than 25 years.”

Del Norte Triplicate: Tribe, KRRC clarifies supervisor statements on dam removal

March 20, 2019 – The Yurok Tribe and the nonprofit organization spearheading a project to remove dams on the Klamath River are seeking to clarify statements made by Del Norte County supervisors regarding mitigation dollars.

Intermountain Farm and Ranch: Dam removal report sparks hope for Klamath Basin Ag

March 13, 2019 – It may be a unique situation when a dam removal might mean more water for farmers instead of less, but the Klamath Basin is a unique place.

Del Norte Triplicate: Klamath Dam removal facts should inspire support

March 2, 2019 – Matt Cox writes, “I was glad to see Samuel Strait weighing in on Klamath Dam removal […] as the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) has actively engaged the public on the project for more than a year and welcomes public input.”

Siskiyou Daily News: [Letters to the Editor] Opportunity on the Klamath

February 26, 2019 – In recent letters and public comments, several dam removal opponents argued that the Klamath River was never “pristine” – as though this is somehow a good reason to keep the fish-killing, water-quality ruining dams blocking the river.

Siskiyou Daily News: [Letters to the Editor] Voices on dam removal welcomed

February 25, 2019 – A recent letter by Chrissie Reynolds (2/21/2019) made a strong plea to the community to engage in the Klamath dam removal process and to voice their opinions to the appropriate state and federal agencies.

Del Norte Triplicate: Costal Voices: Dam removal will have positive impact on all of Del Norte

February 21, 2019 – Even though the State Water Resource Board’s draft EIR addresses the concerns board members raise about sediment deposit on the coast and harbor, Chris Howard, Bob Berkowitz, and Gery Hemmingsen still need more information.

International Water Power & Dam Construction Magazine

October 2018 – A new chapter is beginning in the complex history of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River at the California and Oregon border in the US.

Herald and News: Aerial tour of Klamath River dams adds environmental perspective

September 30, 2018 – A flight over the Klamath River hydroelectric dams on Thursday morning served up spectacular views of the expansive landscape, as well as sparking commentary about the pending removal of the dams, and discussion of the broader landscape that connects them.

Herald and News: Bids for dam removal out to contractors

September 26, 2018 – The Klamath River Renewal Corp. last week put out its request for proposals for removal of the four hydro-electric dams on the Klamath River: Iron Gate, Copco No. 1 and 2 in California; and J.C. Boyle in Oregon.

Siskiyou Daily News: [Guest opinion] Supports Dam removal

September 26, 2018 – Chrysten Lambert and Brian Johnson of Trout Unlimited write: “Recently the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued its final Section 401 Water Quality Certification that removing JC Boyle Dam on the Klamath River will comply with Oregon’s state water quality requirements.”

KPIC: Klamath Dam removal brings more local business

September 19, 2018 – The Klamath River Dam removal will bring many benefits to the local region, including more local jobs, improved water quality, and a healthier fish population.

Herald and News: Oregon dam removal complies with water quality

September 16, 2018 – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has determined that removal of John C. Boyle Dam along the Klamath River in Oregon will comply with all water quality standards, limitations and restrictions set by Oregon water law and the federal Clean Water Act.

Siskiyou Daily News: [Letter to the Editor] Dam myths

September 7, 2018 – John Jaques, a property owner in Hornbroo, CA writes: “Several recent Letters to the Editor written by anti dam removal proponents have again raised several myths associated with dam removal…”

Dave Meurer’s interview on KOBI-TV NBC5

August 17, 2018 – Dave Meurer, KRRC’s Community Liaison, responds to questions about the project.

Siskiyou Daily News: [Letter to the Editor] KRRC is pro-fish and pro-ag

August 17, 2018 – Nadine Bailey, former Senior Field Staff for Senator Sam Aanestad and District Director for Assemblyman Brian Dahle / Anderson, California, writes a letter to the editor in support of the project, highlighting the benefits of the project on both fisheries and agriculture.

Herald and News: Basin Views podcast: Mark Bransom of KRRC

July 18, 2018 – Basin Views is a podcast by Herald & News featuring interviews with experts in local topics important to the Klamath Basin.

Herald and News: [Guest Commentary] Why I stand in support of Klamath River renewal

July 13, 2018 – Former Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski writes: “I have been involved in Klamath River issues… so I have a long history with, and a good understanding of, this river and its water allocation issues.”

KRCR TV: Humboldt County unveils plan to remove the dam from the Klamath River

June 29, 2018 – The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) announced today it has filed its “Definite Plan for the Lower Klamath Project” with the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC) for the proposed removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River.

Siskiyou Daily News: [Guest opinion] Definite Plan explains details of dam removal

June 29, 2018 – For more than a century, the Klamath River dams have been intrinsically linked to the Klamath Basin’s identity and development.