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Orcasphere » Klamath follows Elwha and leads Columbia on dam removal?
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Klamath follows Elwha and leads Columbia on dam removal?

Interesting news of an agreement about dam removal by ~2019 on the Klamath River. The cooperation exhibited by disparate stake-holders mimics what happened with the Elwha, but might inspire hope for more complex basins like the Columbia because the cooperation occurred across a interstate border (OR/CA).  Let’s hope CA manages to come up with the public funding that was anticipated, or that they are lucky enough to encounter Federal funds like the stimulus money that became available for shovel-ready Elwha projects.

EDITORIAL: A Klamath deal — maybe | Questions remain on plan to restore river and its fish

Appeared in print: Tuesday, Oct 6, 2009

Last week’s tentative agreement to remove four Klamath River dams was a welcome breakthrough on an issue that in recent years has divided local, state and federal officials, farmers, fishermen, Native Americans, environmentalists — and a disputatious host of others.

But much work remains if the fish-killing dams are ever to be removed from the ailing river. Critical questions also remain about who will pay for the dams’ removal and whether the breachings, if the deal is finalized and they occur as scheduled a decade from now, can save the Klamath’s imperiled salmon runs.

If the dams come down, more than 300 miles of the Klamath in Southern Oregon and northwestern California would be open to fish for the first time in more than 90 years.

> Read more

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From [http://www.nrcm.org/news_detail.asp?news=3146 article on 10-year anniversary of Edwards Dam removal]:

”In Oregon, Gov. Ted Kulongoski was expected to sign a bill to raise $180 million for removing four hydroelectric dams rising from 60 to 162 feet on the Klamath River, freeing up long-blocked salmon runs. Work could begin around 2020 if it can be done safely.

“That is going to be an internationally significant river restoration project,” said Lindloff. “It will be the largest dam removal project in the history of the world as far was we know.””