Liz, column writer
for Siskiyou Daily News, addresses
State Water Resources Control
Board regarding corrections and and draft
Environmental Impact Report concerning
potential Klamath Dam destruction
by Liz Bowen, Published in Siskiyou Daily
News, Yreka, CA 1/29/19
Ok, I will get right to it.
Tim Moran, the public information officer
for the State Water Resources Control Board,
sent a letter to Siskiyou Daily News Editor,
Skye Kincade, asking for corrections
regarding my “Liz Writes Life” column
published in the Jan. 22, 2019 edition of
the SDN. Skye sent the letter to me and I
agree that I got a few things wrong.
Here are my corrections.
I did indeed claim that the
recently released draft Environmental Impact
Report regarding the potential removal of
the four Klamath hydro-electric dams was
written by the North Coast Regional Water
Quality Control Board. That is wrong. It is
that regional board’s umbrella agency, who
wrote the draft EIR. That agency’s name is
State Water Resources Control Board.
There are nine regional water
quality control boards (with staff), in
California, which according to the State
Water Resources Control Board’s website
brochure says -- are “working together to
protect California’s water resources.” So,
in simple terms, these are different size
apples in the same bin. But, I did give
credit to the wrong agency. I apologize. I
usually do question the differences in the
water agencies and try to get it right.
When reading the next long
paragraph in Tim Moran’s letter, it seems he
disagreed with several words that I used.
Those are “announced” and “support.” I agree
that I did not wordsmith well. The draft EIR
was not announced – it was released. Also
the SWRCB is supposed to show the benefits
and adverse effects of a project through an
EIR and should not be biased. He does not
believe his agency shows “continued support”
for dam removal.
Here is where I stop with my
corrections. In reading much of the 68-page
Executive Summary of the Lower Klamath
Project – draft Environmental Impact Report,
I claim most of the “Effects Found to be
Beneficial” on page ES-9 to be incorrect –
to the point of being biased.
These are the issues that
have been argued for more than two decades.
These are the issues that I feel are
perpetually incorrect and create a
fraudulent examination, when writing an
environmental impact document.
These issues are regarding
“Water Quality” and “Aquatic Resources.” I
believe science shows the water temperatures
will not be improved if the dams are
removed; nor will the oxygen concentrations
or the pH fluctuations; nor will there be a
reduction of chlorophyll-a and algai toxins
in the Hydroelectric Reach as stated in the
Executive Summary of the draft EIR. And, the
result will not be an increase in salmon
This is my opinion from two
decades of attending meetings, speaking and
listening to experts, including Siskiyou
County natural resource specialists, the
grassroots group Siskiyou Co. Water Users
Assoc., agricultural groups, and Dr. Paul
Houser, who blew the whistle on the U.S.
Dept. of Interior for using contaminated and
manipulated stats regarding potential
Klamath dams removal back in 2012. Dr.
Houser was working for the DOI, when he
noticed incorrect data was being used to
make important decisions. Dr. Houser spoke
in Yreka, at the fairgrounds, exposing the
bias and bad science at the highest levels
of government agencies. For once, those who
work to save the dams and defend local water
issues felt absolved from bureaucratic
ridicule – if only for a little while.
I also disagree with Tim
Moran on the issue of water quality
certification. Yes, it is a required step in
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
process, but FERC has not yet released its
decision, which according to my knowledge,
is when the water quality certification
aspect kicks-in – not before the decision.
To me, it looks like SWRCB
was helping the process along by preparing a
draft environmental review document “and
issue appropriate conditions to address
water quality issues that may result from
the proposed project.” That was Mr. Moran’s
Yes, Klamath River Renewal
Corp. has released its “definite” plan for
Klamath dams removal. But, FERC has not made
a final decision on the Lower Klamath
Project and FERC is the agency with
authority -- not the non-profit KRRC.
I could go on with specific
reasons -- like the amount of and
destruction by the huge amounts of sediment
behind the dams will create – but I have
written about that many times.
I will admit when I am wrong
Yet, I do have the right to
an opinion; and it is full of 25 years of
watching Siskiyou County and its people
being belittled by government agencies that
have been caught not following their own
regulations or using incorrect data or are
not willing to accept reality. Many
computerized models that have been utilized
regarding a variety of water issues, here in
Siskiyou County, are simply not correct. And
this goes back to the meetings for the TMDLs
(Total Maximum Daily Loads of sediment the
state will allow in our local water ways) in
the late 1990s. The agency that held the
TMDL meetings is the North Coast Regional
Water Quality Control Board. I do remember
that agency’s name correctly.
Readers: My opinion may not
be your opinion. Please, I beg you to at
least read the 68-page Executive Summary of
the SWRCB’s draft Lower Klamath Project –
Environmental Impact Report. Evaluate it
yourself. Just Google “Lower Klamath Project
– Environmental Impact Report” and make sure
the website that comes up shows the
“California Water Board” logo in the top
left corner. The entire 1,800-page report
will be brought up. Look on the index for
Executive Summary and click on it.
This is a good time to be
discussing this issue, as the SWRCB is
holding a public comment meeting next
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 from 5 to 8 p.m. at
the Miner’s Inn Convention Center in Yreka
regarding its draft Environmental Impact
Report. The comment period runs until Feb.
26, 2019, according to Tim Moran’s letter.
Read the Executive Summary of the draft EIR
first. Make your comments specific, even if
you are not a scientist. Many people who are
in favor of removing the dams are not
scientists -- either. We have a right to our
voice – to voice opinions, and to cite
specific facts and tout reality.
Those that will have to deal
with the loss of the reservoirs behind the
three dams in Siskiyou County have a right
to relate facts from other dams, where homes
and property have lost value or been damaged
when dams have been removed. This is not
antidotal information or supposition or
hypothesis. The (new) information from
Oregon and Washington states’ destruction of
dams is now factual and has not created the
benefits that were once touted. Yes, the
reality is an after-the-fact big
To read my Jan. 22, 2019 “Liz
Writes Life”, Tim Moran’s letter and other
information regarding the draft EIR, go to
my blog at:
Oh, I did get the steer
manure on the rhubarb. Yay!
Liz Bowen began writing ranch
and farm news, published in newspapers, in
1976. She is a native of Siskiyou County and
lives near Callahan. Call her at