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Agreement on the Klamath River

OPB | Nov. 14, 2008 midnight | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 8:46 p.m.

What could this mean for Klamath County and rivers across the country?

LISTEN TO “Agreement on the Klamath River” (24MB MP3)

Tomorrow’s show was supposed to be about change. Appropriate since, well, we changed it. It will now air next Tuesday instead.

Meanwhile, news broke today that big change may come to the Klamath River — change that could set a national precedent about how power companies and environmentalists work together, change that could turn back time in Southern Oregon.

The Bush Administration announced a non-binding agreement between the U.S. Department of the Interior, PacifiCorp and the governors of Oregon and California to remove four dams along the Klamath River. This could be the biggest dam removal project in history.

We originally talked about this issue last February. At that time one of the big questions was: what would it take to get PacifiCorp on board with this agreement? Now that PacifiCorp has agreed, in principle, what impact might this dam removal have on the community? How will the farmers on the Upper Basin manage with less water? How will Klamath change if this farming and power river reverts to its free-flowing past? What example does this set for other dams on other rivers in the Pacific Northwest and across the United States?

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