Klamath River Restoration


Water Serves Many Masters in the Klamath Basin

BalancingWater An excellent book about water issues in the Klamath River watershed - Balancing Water: Restoring the Klamath Basin describes the challenges facing an complex ecosystem in Southern Oregon with beautiful imagery and writing. Read the review in Ecology


Klamath River - Dam Removal Option Gaining Strength

Four dams on the Klamath river (not including Iron Gate Dam) have expired operating licenses. The licensing agency, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the dams' owner, PacifiCorp, began negotiating a new license since the beginning of 2000. The formal licensing process has entered the final stage amid a backdrop of a battered commercial fishing industry, and declining fish populations.

A large number of citizens, several conservation groups, and federal fish agencies continue to argue for removal of these four dams. In general, the best option for healing the river and returning salmon, has gained widespread support with the public throughout Oregon and California. In 2006, advocacy groups and PacificCorp have entered closed-door negotiations to find a comprehensive solution.

Iron Gate Dam Klamath River

Klamath Settlement Group Releases Restoration Agreement

On January 15, 2008, Klamath Basin stakeholders working with state, federal, and country governments collectively developed a restoration plan for the Klamath River and surrounding basin. This stage of the process is to involve the public and reach agreement with PacificCrop on the removal of the utility's four lower dams.

The major provisions of the restoration agreement are:

  • Restore and grow healthy fish populations on the Klamath River including tributaries to Upper Klamath Lake.
  • Sufficient allocations of water for both farming and the National Wildlife Refuges.
  • Stabilize power costs to the major consumers in the upper Klamath Basin.
  • Mitigate job and economic impacts of removing the hydroelectric facilities.

Read a Summary of the Proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (PDF)