Interior Secretary Deb Haaland released a letter today to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in support of Klamath dam removal.
“Dam removal will restore salmonid fisheries, reestablish fish passage, improve water quality and bring new recreation and economic opportunities to the Basin," Haaland, the nation's first Native Interior Secretary, wrote. "Moreover, removal will advance the Biden-Harris administrations’ commitments to combat the climate crisis, increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change; protect public health; conserve our lands, waters, and biodiversity; deliver environmental justice; and fulfill the Federal Government’s trust and treaty responsibilities.”
In response to Haaland’s letter, Karuk Chairman Russell ‘Buster’ Attebery issued the following statement:
“The Karuk Tribe deeply appreciates Secretary Haaland’s support for Klamath dam removal. With the restoration of the river comes the restoration of our health, our livelihood, our culture, and our systems of socio-ecological resilience. We are grateful have an Interior Secretary that understands how important these issues are for tribes in the Klamath Basin.”
The four hydroelectric dams clogging the Klamath River are slated to be removed in 2023 under an agreement forged between the states of California and Oregon, the dams' owner PacifiCorp and the Karuk and Yurok tribes. And Haaland's letter comes as conditions in the Klamath River Basin are the worst they've been in years due to drought conditions.
Read Haaland's full letter below.
See related PDF