YREKA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, August 8, 2021
California, Oregon and other western states are now enduring one of the most intense droughts in recent history.
And coupled with the mega-drought are catastrophic wildfires, which are further damaging riparian areas and decimating the alpine forests that are needed to hold precipitation in the form of snow pack.
Without the shade provided by alpine forests, winter snow-pack is subjected to direct sunlight and rapid warming, which causes premature runoff into the sea, resulting in much lower stream and river flows in spring and summer months.
And Climate Change experts are saying that we are likely entering a period of worsening drought and with that, increasing catastrophic wildfire and toxic smoke.
Western states are now in what is being called a ‘water crisis’ by AP News. And the water that people desperately need just to survive in domestic settings, and for fighting the growing wildfire crisis, is quickly becoming a rare commodity due to mismanagement of forests and water storage and conservation.
Clearly, the intelligent path to surviving this growing water and wildfire crisis is to start by preserving existing dams and resulting lakes that store excess water during winter months. Western states need more water storage dams; so destroying any water storage dams during a water crisis is just crazy.
The Klamath River Dams that form Copco and Iron Gates and provide 45-Billion gallons of reserve water stores are of paramount importance for human survival.
Anyone promoting the removal of structurally-sound water storage dams during the growing water-crisis and drought in California, Oregon and other the western states is totally disconnected from the reality that is being faced by American taxpayers in western states.
By retaining existing dams, and building more dams, we save excess winter precipitation that did not make it into aquifers. Without the dams to catch and hold excess water, that water would simply run-off into the sea.
It’s important to note that during winter rains, there is more than enough water for all wildlife and fishes in large rivers and streams, like the Klamath River.
Allowing excess winter precipitation to run into the sea during a growing water crises will guarantee that Americans will have less available water as the mega-drought deepens over the summers of each successive year.
Based upon his actions, California Governor Gavin Newsom seems to be talking out both sides of his face, as outlined below.
Gavin Newsom also shows a serious deficit in ‘vision’, and his memory seems lacking, as we read in an article titled; ‘California’s Wasted Winter Rains‘, by the Wall Street Journal in 2017: https://www.wsj.com/articles/californias-wasted-winter-rains-1491434129
The WALL STREET JOURNAL article states:
“Reservoirs and rivers are overflowing as storms have pounded California this winter, and after years of drought that should be good news. The problem is that misguided environmentalism is wasting the water windfall and failing to store it for a non-rainy day.
Hydrologic records indicate that this year could be the wettest on record in California. Statewide snowpack measures 160% of average. Precipitation in Palm Springs exceeds the historic norm by more than 50%. Lo, the desert is actually blooming. Most of the major reservoirs in the north are full, and some are releasing hundreds of billions of gallons of water to prevent flooding and make room for the melting snowpack this spring.
While farmers and communities downstream can capture some of the discharges, millions of acre-feet will invariably flow into the ocean due to lack of storage capacity and rules to protect endangered fish species. One problem is that while the state population has increased 70% since 1979, storage hasn’t expanded. Water districts in southern California have developed small local reservoirs and groundwater basins, but what’s most needed is storage in the north where most of the rain and snow falls.”
In what many people and organizations are calling the most obtuse move ever, California Governor Gavin Newsom has joined with a non-profit shell corporation called the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (‘KRRC’), with plans on spending up to $1-Billion tax dollars to destroy perfectly-sound water storage dams on the Upper Klamath River, and in that process, draining 45-Billion gallons of fresh water reserves from Copco and Iron Gate lakes on the Upper Klamath River!
In addition this $-Billion dollar debacle, losing Copco and Iron Gate lakes means losing critical habitat for over 150-species of flora and fauna, some of which are endangered, threatened, or of special interest.
And in what seems to be even more insanity, CA Governor Gavin Newsom is wanting to tax Californians $-Billions more to allegedly, get this, build and raise dams!
In addition to lost value of 45-Billion gallons of stored water in Copco and Iron Gate Lakes, the replacement costs for the two perfectly-sound dams (Copco and Iron Gate dams) that Newsom wants to charge taxpayers to destroy, is about $843 million dollars! Talk about runaway waste!
It seems that Californians have a Governor in Gavin Newsom, who is disconnected from reality. So it’s no wonder that half of all Californians are calling for him to be recalled and removed from office, and it seems in this case, with very good reason.
How can anyone who is thinking straight and seeing the extreme drought, water-crisis and growing catastrophic wildfire in the west even begin to consider destroying structurally-sound dams and draining 45-Billion gallons of water reserves into the sea?
Every year, including years of extreme drought, Iron Gate and Copco Lakes are full of water, stored behind their respective dams… FULL of water.
Is it just unvarnished insanity or is it the lust for money?
Recently presented science and engineering documents prove that the key premise that has been vigorously, almost militantly, promoted through propaganda distributed by the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (‘KRRC’) and their support-base of fishing-zealots is FAKE and has been soundly debunked by common sense, indisputable geologic records and engineering documents.
Any unbiased and fully-informed review of KRRC’s proposed dam removal project renders their dam-removal proposal a complete ‘non-starter’.
Lets examine why that is the case.
First of all:
Profiting the wealthy, privately-owned PacificCorp via their relationship through KRRC by way of getting California and Oregon taxpayers to pay the lion’s share for KRRC’s dam removal proposal, and at the same time, depriving Americans of their water, property rights, wildlife, tax-dollars, and devastating nature in the process, is not acceptable under any circumstances!
PacifCorp financials can be found at Yahoo Finance: https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/PPWLM/financials/
As the mega-drought and wildfires intensify in western states, these elitists and their fishing-zealot surrogates seem to prefer that average tax-paying Americans go without water, so they can benefit.
These people are also willing to destroy an amazing natural wonder for the sake of more profits and their personal hobby interests!
This video shows NATURE’S WONDERS that will be destroyed if these people aren’t stopped now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrickRh_WF4
NATURE, Not Man, Barred Salmon Migration On The Upper Klamath River Past Ward Canyon, site of present-day Copco 1 dam and Copco Lake.
Indisputable geologic and engineering records prove that nature had blocked fish migration via a series of several natural lava dams over the course of millions of years!
And one of these lava dams, which was 31-feet-tall, continued to restrict Salmon migration past Ward Canyon on the Upper Klamath River right-up until Copco 1 dam was completed. (SEE IMAGE – Drawing by J.C. Boyle)
Another of the several volcanic lava dams that blocked fish migration the Upper Klamath River for thousands of years, barring fish migration past Ward Canyon was 130-feet-tall, which held back Clammittee Lake, which at one time was 5-miles long and 1-mile wide!
That ancient dam and lake were virtually the same size as the present-day Copco Lake. The uneroded sides of that natural 130-foot high dam, which stood for thousands of years, can still be seen today at the site of Copco 1 dam, and was thoroughly detailed in the records related to the engineering plans for Copco 1 dam by J.C. Boyle. (SEE IMAGE ‘130-foot lava dam).
In 1911, Mr. Boyle detailed what he witnessed when he arrived at Ward Canyon to build Copco 1 dam.
Boyle made a drawing of the natural 31-foot-tall lava dam and described that natural dam and the natural lake behind that lava dam called ‘Clammittee Lake’.
The Clammittee Lake that Boyle saw was smaller in size than the lake formed by the older 130-foot-tall lava dam that held back the larger version of the same lake.
Today, Clammittee Lake is within the footprint of the present-day Copco Lake.
Over millennia, a myriad of lifeforms evolved in and around this natural lake and the unique critical habitat that it provided. (SEE IMAGES and VIDEO)
So, it’s an indisputable geologic fact that these high lava dams, which stood for tens of thousands of years, made it impossible for any known fish, let alone Salmon that can only jump a maximum distance of 12-feet high under ideal conditions, to migrate past the area of Ward Canyon and the present-day Copco 1 dam.
This recently presented evidence dismisses the false premise related to a mythical Salmon migration, that was the excuse for destroying the priceless wildlife and their habitat, and for draining 45-Billion gallons of fresh water stored in the lakes behind the dams of Ward Canyon on the Klamath River.
The Klamath River Basin Compact Act (the ‘Act’) is controlling federal law with regard to the 45-Billion gallons of reserve water impounded by the Upper Klamath River dams and Copco and Iron Gate Lakes.
Legislators and other elected officials who have now been informed of these facts, as well as those herein below, must immediately act to halt the reckless rush to remove these vitally important dams based on a false premise and at great cost to the public and nature, as well as other very concerning issues related to orderly NEPA compliance, and other equally serious issues:
1. Failing to obtain Congressional approval for draining the 45-Billion gallons of reserve fresh water contained in the Klamath River Lakes behind the dams, that is provided by the Klamath River Basin Compact Act (federal law) for the beneficial uses of the public; and,
2. KRRC’s proposed dam removal budget of $450-M is grossly inadequate given that is was calculated half a decade ago and not been properly adjusted for inflation over that period. Nor has it been adjusted for Covid Economic impacts that have been experienced by the construction industry over the past year, where said costs related to this unsound dam removal project have doubled in many areas related to labor, fuel, equipment, insurance and materials that are used during any dam removal project; and,
3. The project places the health, safety and welfare of millions of Americans at risk via the potential illegal taking of the 45-Billion gallons of reserve fresh water that is impounded behind the Upper Klamath River Dams. Aside from generating clean, non-polluting hydroelectric energy for about 80,000 homes and businesses in Jackson County Oregon and Siskiyou County, California, these dams also provide unrestricted amounts of easily -accessed water from fire suppression for scoop-aircraft and helicopters, as well as for fire-engines and tankers.
More about the importance of lakes for firefighting and ‘Scoop-Aircraft’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuLk5hXMRZY
The upper Klamath dams also provide some important flood control features that help protect the bridges homes and towns down-river from catastrophic flooding as is experienced on the Klamath River every 50 years or so.
4. In the process of this ill-conceived and reckless dam removal enterprise, willfully ignorant people propose to burden California and Oregon taxpayers to the tune of $1-Billion dollars in up-front costs to remove the dams!
Added to the initial bill for project costs, will be the untold costs for liability that KRRC is trying to shoulder-upon taxpayers! This cost is related to liabilities stemming from KRRC’s proposal could easily mount into the $-billions of dollars.
Such liabilities would include, but not be limited to:
a) Damage to local economies, property values, reduced or lost water-well production; and,
b) Individual and/or class action litigation for air and noise pollution resulting from extreme construction and trucking activities related to dam removal over years; and,
c) Litigation by environmental groups for the devastation of the local flora and fauna in the area around Ward Canyon and the lakes. As well as for the collapse of the Klamath River ecosystem that will result form 20-million cubic yards of polluted sediments being intentionally sent down the Klamath River by KRRC’s project, which will result in the silting-in the spawning grounds for existing salmon and trout down the length of the Klamath River.
5. The destruction of the Klamath River dams and the lakes behind them will also destroy the critical habitat for the myriad of life-forms that have evolved around Clammittee Lake over the millennia.
Today, the eleven-miles of the Klamath River Canyon around Copco and Iron Gate lakes contain an amazing diversity of wildlife, including 89 species of birds, dozens of reptiles and amphibians, several species of fish and 71 species of plants including trees, grasses and forbs. Some species of this localized flora and fauna are threatened or endangered.
There are also numerous species of resident and migratory birds that are strictly protected by California law (AB-454) against any incidental taking!
More about that law here: https://ca.audubon.org/news/victory-audubon-sponsored-bill-protecting-californias-migratory-birds-signed-law
6. The improper transfer of the operating license for the Klamath River dams that is in conflict with settled NEPA law.
7. KRRC’s Klamath dams removal proposal was originally being funded with private-money that was collected from PacificCorp’s electric consumers in Oregon and California. However, very recently, it has morphed into what is now a ‘public project’ due to the use of hundreds of $-millions of tax-dollars from California and Oregon, which now arguably requires legislative oversight by both California and Oregon legislatures.
Siskiyou County, California, through its legal advocates have filed a legal brief and request for a ‘REHEARING’ with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).