"PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — U.S. regulators approved a plan Thursday to demolish
four dams on a California river and open up hundreds of miles of salmon habitat
that would be the largest dam removal and river restoration project in the
world when it goes forward.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s unanimous vote on the lower Klamath
River dams is the last major regulatory hurdle and the biggest milestone for a
$500 million demolition proposal championed by Native American tribes and
environmentalists for years. The project would return the lower half of
California’s second-largest river to a free-flowing state for the first time in
more than a century.
Native tribes that rely on the Klamath River and its salmon for their way of
life have been a driving force behind bringing the dams down in a wild and
remote area that spans the California and Oregon border. Barring any unforeseen
complications, Oregon, California and the entity formed to oversee the project
will accept the license transfer and could begin dam removal as early as this
summer, proponents said.
“The Klamath salmon are coming home,” Yurok Chairman Joseph James said after
the vote. “The people have earned this victory and with it, we carry on our
sacred duty to the fish that have sustained our people since the beginning of
Via John Wehrle, who wrote "Ecology shows repeatedly that systems cannot be
altered one element at a time without system-wide effects. It also shows us
that we are elements of the environment - not outside of it, or above it - we
are natural. Any definition of nature that denies this is profoundly wrong. As
parts of the environment we can be forces of enrichment or degradation. What we
cannot do is avoid having any impact whatsoever. Dams, especially older dams,
degrade environments. We need to use other low-zero emission energy production
methods. Even pumped hydro would be a better alternative. These dam demolitions
are a very good thing."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics