WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the U.S. Department of the Interior, PacifiCorp and the states of Oregon and California announced an agreement to remove four Klamath River dams, a key component of the Klamath Basin water sharing agreements:
“After years of conflict and division, the Klamath community came together to forge a landmark set of agreements in which everyone gave up a little for the entire region to gain a lot. The vision and plan represented by these agreements is more important than ever to the future of the region, and it’s critical that it keeps moving forward despite gridlock in Washington, D.C. Today’s news is a very positive step in that direction. A path to dam removal is imperative to holding together these historic agreements and delivering their full benefits to the region.
“As the dam removal component moves forward through this new process, I stand committed to provide whatever support I can to ensure its success. And I remain just as committed to seeing through every other part of this comprehensive agreement, including providing economic development opportunities for the Klamath Tribes and locking in the water certainty that is so essential to the future of farming and ranching families in the Klamath community. We must keep working together to make sure that the hard work of local farmers and ranchers, conservationists, Tribes, and irrigators does not go to waste and that their vision of a stronger Klamath Basin becomes a reality.”