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Klamath Basin, Calif. and Ore.  – California Governor Gavin Newsom, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, and representatives of dam owner PacifiCorp, the Karuk and Yurok Tribes, and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation announced a Memorandum of Agreement that clears the way for the final steps of Klamath dam removal.

Today’s announcement comes at the heels of a July order from federal regulators that threw the dam removal plan into question. For additional background information on the issue, go to  www.klamathrenewal.org/memorandum-of-agreement.

In response to today’s news, conservation and commercial fishing organizations that have long advocated for dam removal released the following statements:

“We’re closer than ever to achieving a healthy, free-flowing Klamath River. We applaud Governor Gavin Newsom and Governor Kate Brown for their commitment to river restoration and we are grateful for the leadership of the Karuk, Yurok and Klamath tribes in getting us to today’s milestone. We are thankful to PacifiCorp and Berkshire Hathaway for working out a solution that benefits all parties. Restoring the Klamath River is vital to addressing decades of injustice to the river’s Indigenous Peoples and is essential to the region’s economy and way of life.”
– Bob Irvin, President, American Rivers

“It’s great to see the project continuing to move forward. Big dam removals take time. It’s been 20 years since this process of assessing the dams started. It’s been 100 plus years since Klamath salmon, which tribal communities depend upon, had access to the upper basin. This latest agreement all but paves the way for the largest river restoration project in US history to finally be completed.”
– Curtis Knight, Executive Director, California Trout

“The historic agreement to remove these dams is truly a victory for not only the grassroots movements and Indigenous communities behind the Klamath dams removal, but a precedent and beacon of hope to grassroots struggles the world over to remove destructive large dams on vital rivers.”
–  Darryl Knudsen, Executive Director, International Rivers

“Salmon and steelhead once provided sustenance for our people and were an integral part of our culture and lifeways which helped us survive through the ages, but for over a century the dams have prevented them from reaching our homelands. Many have prayed for the day when we can once again see these fish home here again swimming in the rivers and creeks and are rightfully restored back to us. We are grateful to Governor Brown, Governor Newsom, the leaders of the Karuk and Yurok Tribes, and PacifiCorp and Berkshire Hathaway for finding a way forward to make dam removal and return of our fish a reality.”
– Don Gentry, Chairman, Klamath Tribes

“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. This latest agreement puts this proven solution into action on an unprecedented scale.”
– Mark Sherwood, Executive Director, Native Fish Society

“The four Klamath dams have been a disaster for west coast salmon fisheries,” said, which represents commercial fishing families coastwide.  “Moving forward again toward Klamath dam removals will help restore the third largest salmon runs in the continental US, bringing salmon-dependent jobs and businesses back to the whole region.”
–  Glen Spain, Northwest Regional Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA)

“This decision comes after almost twenty years of organizing, testifying, actions and planning from the native peoples of the Klamath basin, coastal fishermen and their allies. Several generations of Klamath River peoples have used science, economics, story-telling, and non-stop advocacy to prove to the most powerful people in the world that dam removal is the best option for not only restoring the Klamath River and west coast salmon industry, but also for protecting PacifiCorp’s shareholders and ratepayers. This is a victory for everyone but more importantly, it is a victory for the native families that have always cared for, and protected, the Klamath River. We hope anyone that would like an update on Klamath dam removal can join us for a webinar at 6pm on Friday.”
–  Regina Chichizola, Save California Salmon

“Sustainable Northwest is grateful for the support and leadership of Governors’ Governor Kate Brown and  Gavin Newsom, the Karuk, Klamath and Yurok Tribes and our partners in the conservation and fishing community who have worked tirelessly to keep dam removal on track to ensure future ecological health and economic prosperity in the Klamath Basin.”
– Greg Block, President, Sustainable Northwest

“Today’s agreement solves the remaining issues associated with the project and clears the way for dam removal. This is not a back-up plan. This is a better version of the plan.”
–  Brian J. Johnson, California Director, Trout Unlimited


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