Merkley, Wyden Applaud Critical Approval to Begin Klamath Dams Removal

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden issued the following statement today after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the surrender and decommissioning of four dams along the Klamath River, marking a major milestone in the ongoing efforts to restore the health of the Klamath River:

“We view the vote by FERC to greenlight the largest dam removal project in American history as a historic milestone in a decades long effort led by the Klamath community to strengthen this iconic river’s vital habitat and bring salmon back to the Upper Klamath Basin. Clearing this key procedural hurdle was critical to support the ongoing efforts by Klamath stakeholders to restore vibrant salmon runs that sustain commercial and recreational fisheries and have been the core of the cultural, spiritual, and economic well-being of the Klamath Basin tribes.

“As dam removal proceeds, we will continue to push to ensure that that every piece of the landmark agreements that paved the way for today are fully implemented.”

The process to remove the Klamath River dams will begin in 2023.

Senators Wyden and Merkley introduced the Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement Support Act earlier this year, which would implement provisions that fulfil commitments made to the farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Project as part of the historic Klamath Basin agreements. This week, the Senators called for a hearing on this important piece of legislation. The text of the letter can be found HERE.