Oregon Klamath River Dam Removal Project is Facing Legal Action
Klamath River Dam Removal Project: Last month, tribal, state, and federal officials celebrated the demolition of four dams along the Klamath River near the Oregon-California state line. The project is being sued again this month.
Legal Action Is Being Taken Against The Oregon Klamath River Dam Removal Project
According to KDRV-TV in Medford, Anthony Intiso, a member of the Siskiyou County Water Users Association’s board of directors, has filed a lawsuit against Wade Crowfoot, secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, alleging that Crowfoot is illegally using taxpayer funds to fund the historic project.
The Secretary of Natural Resources must approve all decisions concerning the management of wild and scenic rivers. Furthermore, “he’s also… in command of the bond money,” Intiso told the radio station. According to Intiso’s lawsuit, by allocating funds to the project in question, the state of California violated the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.
He explained that the state administration had decided to demolish four hydroelectric plants that generate green energy with bond act funds. “The bond act makes no mention of tearing down facilities; rather, the emphasis is on purported upgrades.”
The California Department of Conservation, does not provide information on pending lawsuits. In November, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the $500 million removal of the JC Boyle, Copco 1, Copco 2, and Iron Gate dams.
Tribal leaders from the Karuk and Yurok communities, as well as U.S. Representative Jared Huffman, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Oregon Governor Kate Brown, gathered last month beside the river to commemorate the decision’s significance. Haaland also announced $5.8 million in federal grants to help with the restoration of aquatic ecosystems and habitats in the West, which has been severely impacted by the ongoing drought.
“The Klamath River Basin and its surrounding watershed were home to tribal settlements, good agriculture, and vast populations of migratory birds, suckers, salmon, and other fish,” Haaland explained. “Immediate and necessary action is required to protect this one-of-a-kind location.”
According to the president of the Siskiyou County Water Users Association, improving the river’s quality should take precedence over removing the dams.
— Dam News (@damnews_en) January 6, 2023
According to Richard Marshall, his organisation “represents a very broad group of individuals,” and they “have been battling this issue of dam removal” because they “don’t believe it will address the main issue that is being highlighted,” which is fish production. Instead of focusing on the dams, I believe it would be better for everyone involved to work on improving salmon spawning areas from the ocean to the dams. Fish use cold water tributaries for spawning. That, I believe, has not been thoroughly investigated.
Intiso will urge a judge to interpret the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act and rule on whether or not the dam removal project can be funded.
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