On Thursday, November 17th, 2022, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously voted to remove four dams on California’s Klamath River. In what will be the largest dam removal project in United States’ history, this decision has been a long time in the making. Klamath dam removal will open up hundreds of miles of habitat for the imperiled California salmon and other native species.
“Today is a massive day for rivers and fish in the Pacific Northwest,” said Native Fish Society’s Executive Director, Mark Sherwood. “For many, today and the days to come have been a dream on the horizon for 20+ years. Their tenacity, and that of tribal nations, NGOs, and anglers have kept this effort from falling time and time again. This is a huge step forward for the Klamath, and it is also prime fuel to keep our own fires burning for a future with wild abundance.”
View this post on Instagram
“Today’s ruling is a major achievement for everyone who developed and helped advance this historic agreement over many years,” said PacificCorp President and CEO Stefan Bird. “I want to wholeheartedly thank the leadership of Yurok and Karuk tribes, Governors Newsom and Brown and their predecessors, and all of our partners who remained committed to resolving this complex and difficult issue through settlement.”
The dams that will be removed are the Iron Gate, Copco 1, Copco 2 and J.C. Boyle, which is in Oregon. These dams have lived past their useful lives, and the resources and work needed to bring them into compliance with fish mitigation measures would have bee greater than their worth. The plan is now to begin removal next summer and continue into 2024.
This is a breaking story and we will continue updating it. But rest assured, a free-flowing Klamath River is on the horizon.