From Native Fish Society
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 will go down in the wild fish history books. A historic Memorandum of Agreement between the states of Oregon and California, Pacific Corps, Yurok and Karuk tribes and Klamath River Renewal Corporation will enable the removal of four dams on the Klamath River to revive abundant wild fish, restore water quality, and meet the cultural and subsistence needs of tribal nations. The process to remove the dams hit a major roadblock last summer when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission added unforseen stipulations to the agreement that threatened to sink the whole endeavor. Thanks to the efforts of tribal nations, neighboring governors, congressional leaders, and conservation partners, the agreement ensures that the largest river restoration project in history will continue to move forward.
Native Fish Society would like to express sincere gratitude to the Yurok and Karuk tribes for their energy and perseverance over the past four decades in advocating for a free-flowing Klamath River. Their dedication to their land, the ecosystem, and people is inspiring for all. We thank the Oregon and California congressional delegations for their commitment to finding a solution that will benefit the fish, river, and people of the Klamath Basin. To all the conservation partners who have been engaged with removing these dams,we are forever grateful for your willingness to bring public support and expertise to the table.
An enormous amount of thanks goes to our state leaders, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and California Governor Gavin Newsom. Despite these challenging and unprecedented times during COVID-19, both leaders were able to come together to find a solution and help support this monumental river restoration. Without their leadership and guidance, this project would not be possible.
Native fish Society has been advocating for Klamath dam removal for years. The organization has focused on public engagement and supporting partnering organizations and tribal nations wherever possible. “The science on dam removal is rock solid – it’s one of the most effective ways to improve the health and resilience of wild fish and rivers,” said NFS Executive Director Mark Sherwood. “This latest agreement puts this proven solution into action on an unprecedented scale.”
Native Fish Society will continue to advocate and support the efforts of all organizations involved. We see a bright future full of opportunity for the Klamath River with abundant wild fish and increased water quality for all. We are excited to see this next chapter begin for the river, for wild fish, and for the communities of the Klamath Basin.
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