KFA In The News
Klamath Basin News
Klamath River News
Un-Dam the Klamath and Save the
By Regina Chichizola
December 7, 2005
The Klamath River is unique; it
starts in the desert wetlands of Eastern Oregon, flows through the rugged Klamath-Siskiyous, then ends
in California’s redwoods. Historically, it was the third largest salmon river in the West, and salmon
could travel over 400 miles to the headwaters to spawn. Lamprey, sturgeon, suckerfish, Chinook and Coho
salmon still spawn here, however they are blocked at the Iron Gate dam, near Ashland. Here the water is not the cool water
of the mid-Klamath tributaries, but stagnant algae-infested water created by dams. These dams block 350
miles of habitat.
The Edge of Extinction
The Yurok, Karuk, Hoopa, and Klamath
tribes all depend on salmon for subsistence, as do many other communities. However due to the 2002 fish
kill of 68,000 salmon and yearly kills since, only 250 spring Chinook were in the Klamath this year down
from 100,000, and the Fall Chinook are close to 400. Compared to the 3000-4000 tribal members of the Karuk
alone it is obvious low runs are devastating tribal and commercial fishing catches.
Bring the Salmon Home
Nothing has impacted the Klamath more then Pacific Power’s
(a subsidiary of Scottish Power) dams. These dams create toxic algae 100 times what the World Heath
Organization calls safe. However most mid and lower-Klamath residents and tribes have no electricity.
These dams are going through the FERC’s (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) 50-year re-licensing
process. This is a rare opportunity to bring the Salmon home and Klamath supporters have held protests
in Scotland, Sacramento, and Portland, created movies, print media and radio shows to accomplish this.
The dams’ power is miniscule (150 megawatts, the same as Powers’ current wind power generation,
which comes from two wind projects) and the Klamath’s water limited, however both come the Ashland area,
and most of Oregon’s western cities are on Pacific Power. Klamath water feeds the lawns at SOU, Talent,
Phoenix, and parts of Medford. Furthermore, the Klamath decides the Salmon catch for much of Oregon and
California. Therefore your water, power and some of your food may come from the Klamath.
What can I do?
*Host a movie showing, or distribute “The Black Oak” and other outreach materials,
to newspapers, magazines or radio stations and ask them to report on the Klamath dams,
Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070 or
firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for dam removal,
*Call Governor Kulongoski and tell him
to support dam removal, as California did: (503) 378-3111 or email at email@example.com
*Get on the
Klamath dams list at 541 -951-0126 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*Give a tax-deductible donation to the Klamath dam removal campaign
energy bills that sacrifice the environment for corporations, and reduce you consumption of power and
water at home and work, and switch to green energy, (wind or solor). Feel free to call for
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