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Updates on threats to the Klamath-Siskyou region, and what you can do to help.

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The JC Boyle dam is one of four on the Klamath River that should be removed to provide much-needed salmon habitat.

Pacificorp, a subsidiary of Bershire Hathaway’s Mid American Energy Holdings, is in the process of relicensing its Klamath River dams. Since hydropower dams are relicensed only once every 30-50 years, relicensing represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to change flow regimes or decommission dams.

Native American Tribes, scientists, fisherpeople, conservationists and citizens believe that the removal of the four lower dams on the Klamath River is a necessary step in restoring Klamath fisheries and local rural economies. This position is supported by sound science and policy research and is echoed by many other stakeholders.

Please take a minute and use our sample letter and/or talking points below to write a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) supporting the removal of the lower four dams on the Klamath River so-as to provide much needed salmon habitat.

We have a once in a lifetime chance to remove dams and restore salmon to the Oregon portion of its range in the Klamath River!


Tens of thousands of salmon died
in 2002 in the Klamath River.


Please send in a hard copy letter today. The commenting deadline closes on December 1st.

Margalie Roman Salas, Secretary                                                                   
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First Street, N.E.
Washington, DC  20246

Click here for a sample letter

Click here to download a PDF action alert to share

Also, please consider attending an upcoming public hearing in North Bend or Newport to testify on the Federal Energy Regulatory Comnmission’s (FERC) Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 at 7pm
North Bend Community Center
2222 Broadway Street, North Bend, Oregon

Thursday, November 30, 2006 at 7pm
Newport’s Shilo Inn
536 SW Elizabeth, Newport, Oregon

TALKING POINTS:

Why We Want The Dams Out


1. Fish need cold, clean water with lots of oxygen in it, but Iron Gate dam, Copco I dam, Copco II dam and J.C. Boyle dam heat up water in the Klamath river to lethal temperatures at the wrong times of year and deplete oxygen supplies.   

  2.Overheated and oxygen deficient waters provide prime conditions for a toxic algae to bloom in the reservoirs behind the dams at levels thousands of times higher than what the World Health Organization says is safe to ingest. The algae, called microcystis aeruginosa, can cause liver damage and other serious health problems.

3. Hundreds of miles of historic spawning gravels would be re-opened to Klamath River salmon whose numbers run dangerously close to extinction—this year salmon returning to the river were below minimum sustainable levels by at least six thousand.


The 2002 Klamath fish kill was one of the worst in history, and was attributed to a disease caused by
high water temperatures.

4. To survive, tribes and other fishermen need fish that need cold clean water, healthy habitat and fewer turbines to worry about. Fish feeds culture and fills bellies. Salmon runs were so small this year that regulators closed fishing almost completely along 700 miles of coast, starving commercial fishing communities of an estimated $50 million and shorting tribes of a resource traditionally used for both subsistence and ceremonies.  

5. The turbines on the dams in question operate at less than half of their capacity, generating only 2 % of PacifiCorp’s overall power. In fact, the company recently admitted that it operates the hydroelectric projects on the dams for compliance, rather than for maximum profit or energy output. The power ratepayers get from those turbines could be replaced using alternative energy sources such as wind and solar equipment.

6. If the dams are left in for fifty more years, forcing fish to the brink of extinction, farmers are likely to see many more water shut-offs. However, if the dams come down, farmers will still get the water they need from behind Keno and Link dams, which are small enough barriers for fish to pass by using ladders.

7. Once the dams are out of the way, we can really throw all our energy into restoring the Klamath River.