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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Karuk and Yurok P R E S S R E L E A S E

For Immediate Release: March 29, 2006

Craig Tucker, Spokesman, Karuk Tribe

Jeff Riggs, Public Relations Manager, Yurok Tribe



Finally, Salmonís Return to Upper Klamath Basin a Possibility

Orleans, CA - The Karuk and Yurok Tribes of California join the Klamath Tribes of Oregon

in supporting recent efforts of the Department of Commerce and Department of the Interior

towards restoring the Klamath River. Today, the two federal agencies released mandatory

terms and conditions for the issuance of a new license for Klamath Dams operated by

PacifiCorp. The action was taken as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissionís

[FERC] re-licensing process.

The antiquated complex of dams currently denies salmon access to over 350 miles of historic

habitat. It no longer makes any economic sense to keep the dams, says Leaf Hillman of the

Karuk Tribe. "The Klamath dams are poor producers of electricity, they do not provide flood

control, they do not provide irrigation or drinking wateróall they do is kill fish. This is

destroying Tribal cultures as well the California/Oregon fishing economies. Itís time to hold

PacifiCorp accountable."

"Given that the Department of Interior has a legal responsibility to protect Tribal Trust

resources, they have little choice but to do everything in their power to bring our salmon

home," says Alan Foreman, chairmen of the Klamath Tribes of Oregon. The Klamath Tribes

of Oregon have not fished for salmon since 1917, when the first dam was built. "The

agencies do not have the authority to mandate dam removal, but FERC does," adds Foreman.

Agencies such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries do have the

authority to demand ladders and increased stream flows in order to protect and restore

salmon. But according to many tribal members and experts, the installation of fish ladders

does not go far enough. As Yurok Tribal consultant Troy Fletcher notes, "the construction of

ladders on these relics will cost hundreds of millions of dollars. That money would be better

spent to remove the lower four dams in order to protect our salmon and our local economies."

Susan Corum, a Karuk water quality expert, adds that "ladders would do nothing to address

the toxic algae blooms that threaten those of us who live downstream." In the summer of

2005, Microcystis aeruginosa blooms in the reservoirs exceeded the World Health

Organization standard for moderate risk by over 100 fold.

With recurring large scale fish kills, toxic algal blooms, and fishing closures resulting from

weak Klamath runs, many river advocates see dam removal as critical to solving the riverís

problems. "We cannot restore salmon without improving water quality and providing access

to spawning habitat. The only way to do that is by removing those dams," according to Glen

Spain of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermenís Associations.

Last year and again this year, commercial salmon fishing restrictions cost the region an

estimated $200 million in lost revenue. The restrictions were instituted due to low returns of

Klamath Salmon despite strong returns on the Sacramento and Columbia Rivers.

"To obtain resolution in this matter, we will need the political support of our state and federal

representatives," says Hillman. "Our aim is to keep the farmers farming and the fishermen


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