Rebooting the Klamath

By Lisa Owens Viani

“There are bounds on this system and if you mismanage it, you can kill off what was once the third-largest salmon run on the entire West Coast,” says Amy Cordalis, general counsel for the Yurok Tribe. In 2002, more than 70,000 adult salmon died on the Klamath River when U.S. Bureau of Reclamation diversions caused water temperatures to spike, which led to the spread of diseases that wiped out the fish. In February, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC), a nonprofit group of river stakeholders including the Yurok and Karuk Tribes, filed supplemental information with the Federal Energy Commission to support their application to take over management of four hydroelectric dams in the upper watershed. “There’s never been a project that has considered removing four dams at the same time on the same river and restoring this much land,” says KRRC chief executive officer Mark Bransom.

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About the author

Lisa Owens Viani is a freelance writer and editor specializing in environmental, science, land use, and design topics. She writes for several national magazines including Landscape Architecture Magazine, ICON and Architecture, and has written for Estuary for many years. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit Raptors Are The Solution, www.raptorsarethesolution.org, which educates people about the role of birds of prey in the ecosystem and how rodenticides in the food web are affecting them.

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