Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, today released the following statement after the announcement that the governors of Oregon and California, along with the Department of the Interior, will begin a process to remove the Klamath River Basin dams in a step forward to address water issues affecting the region.
“These agreements are a major step forward toward implementing the Klamath Basin water agreements. One agreement lays out a path toward a history-making project to remove dams and restore a river that is an Oregon icon, and a second agreement helps protect the water supply for farmers and ranchers and makes sure they won’t bear new costs because of dam removal,” the senators said.
“There is certainly more work to be done – to provide long-term certainty over water supply for agriculture, to maintain healthy flows in the river, and to restore land taken from the Klamath Tribes – and Congress will still need to help bring all of these issues to resolution. In the meantime, the tribal officials, irrigators, community leaders, the governors’ offices in Oregon and California, and the Department of Interior – who have worked so hard on these difficult issues – deserve our congratulations and support.”
In a signing ceremony that included Oregon Governor Kate Brown, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, along with tribal leaders, farmers and other stakeholders, the state and federal agency leaders announced they have also agreed to take steps to protect the needs of irrigators in the Keno Dam and Link River Dam, which are not among the four on the list of dams that will be removed.
Read more about the announcement here.