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Monday, November 17, 2008

Klamath “Agreement In Principle” Does Not A Dam Removal Deal Make

November 13, 2008 - Federal and state agencies have negotiated an agreement in principle with PacifiCorp that could eventually lead to the removal of four hydroelectric dams and the restoration of the Klamath River’s once bountiful runs of salmon and steelhead. The actual agreement did not become available to all Klamath settlement stakeholders until the afternoon of November 12 when members of the Klamath Settlement Group received a briefing from state and federal officials and PacifiCorp. The agreement has not been approved by numerous other stakeholders, including Friends of the River, who have been involved in the federal relicensing of the Klamath River hydro dams for several years. It remains purely a product produced and endorsed by a sub-set of parties. In summary, the “non-binding” agreement in principle could lead to the removal of the dams sometime after 2020 if a number of conditions are met.

Although Friends of the River believes that a concession in writing from PacifiCorp to remove the dams is a step in the right direction, we have significant concerns about the workability of the agreement in principle. Foremost, the agreement in principle has so many prerequisites that MUST occur before dam removal can happen that it would likely never result in the removal of any dams.

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