26 Feb 2010, 11:22am
Latest Wildlife News
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Historic Signing Fills Capitol Rotunda, Parches Klamath Farmers

BY SARAH ROSS, OregonPolitico.com, February 19, 2010 [here]

SALEM- In a signing ceremony at the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday morning, Gov. Ted Kulongoski, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, and other interested parties came together to sign a restoration agreement for the Klamath Basin region bordering Oregon and California.

The agreement will lead to the removal of four dams on the Klamath River and closes 30,000 acre-feet of agricultural water rights designated off the federal project lands. Additionally, it provides the funds to purchase about 90,000 acres of forest land for the Klamath Tribes.

Speakers at the ceremony included major players in the negotiations of the agreement including leaders of the National Marine Fishery Services, tribal leaders for the region, owner of the four PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath Rivers, as well as Gov. Schwarzenegger, Gov. Kulongoski, and Secretary Salazar.

Although this ceremony gave a glowing appearance of unity amongst its participants, the issues present in the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement are controversial at best. Many citizens in the area are upset with the agreement process and with its outcome.

The two biggest issues presented by those opposed to the agreement are the retirement of 30,000 acre-feet which will be losing their water rights, making the land no longer irrigable for large crops, and the closing of four dams in the region, which is predicted to raise the price of electricity for the area. … [more]



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