...we know the worth of water." - Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
Thankfully, some wells will not go dry because you've helped do something great: In February, Oregon and California's elected leaders, along with the Obama Administration, prioritized an agreement to remove the four lower Klamath River dams!
Removal of these four obsolete hydro dams will be a major step forward for the health of the Klamath River and the communities of the Klamath Basin.
“These dams cause profound damage to salmon populations and water quality in the Klamath River,” said Jim McCarthy, WaterWatch’s Communications Director and Southern Oregon Program Manager. “Their removal will be a boon for the many communities which depend upon the Klamath River’s invaluable resources, help fulfill Native American fishing rights throughout the basin, and protect thousands of commercial and recreational salmon fishing jobs.”
Klamath dam removal had remained stalled for years by unnecessary linkage to federal legislation to implement the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, a wildly expensive and controversial water deal that had divided the basin’s Native American tribes, conservationists, and agricultural community. Congress then held dam removal hostage by failing to act on the agreement, which expired in 2015.
While this is a step in the right direction, WaterWatch continues to have serious concerns over water supply for Lower Klamath and Tule Lake national wildlife refuges. And several items remain on the to-do list -- advancing a stand-alone dam removal deal separate from any water agreement or other federal legislation; urging legislators to not propose any new electrical power subsidies for upper Klamath Basin irrigators; stopping repeated Klamath waterfowl die-offs due to water scarcity; and implementing basin-wide, comprehensive, and voluntary water use reduction in the region.
But for now, your generous support has helped set the stage to remove four more dams -- and that is a big deal! Thank you.
Stay tuned for more updates!
[Photos courtesy of Jim McCarthy.]
Thanks to your support, WaterWatch and project partners successfully completed demolition in summer 2015 and removed Fielder and Wimer dams from Evans Creek in the Rogue Basin.
These two obsolete dams ranked fourth and eighth on the state of Oregon's top fish passage barrier priorities list. Their removal reconnects up to 70 miles of high-quality habitat in Evans Creek and continues to build on our highly successful "Free the Rogue" campaign, which has now helped achieve the removal or notching of Savage Rapids, Gold Hill, Gold Ray, and Elk Creek dams to benefit Rogue Basin salmon and steelhead.
All funds generated in this campaign helped our work in bringing down the dams, and this campaign is now complete. Thank you!
Keep an eye out for upcoming projects to continue our mission to protect and restore streamflows in Oregon's rivers. We couldn't do this necessary work without such dedicated supporters.
You did it! Thanks to your support, we removed two dams!
In summer 2015, WaterWatch removed Fielder and Wimer Dams from Evans Creek in the Rogue Basin. Our Free the Rogue campaign is now funded!
These two obsolete dams were ranked as the fourth and eighth worst fish passage barriers in Oregon. Removal will reconnect up to 70 miles of high-quality habitat in Evans Creek for Rogue Basin salmon and steelhead. Access is now reopened for native fish on a key spawning tributary of the Rogue River. Evans Creek is now entirely free-flowing at both sites and Rogue salmon and steelhead will regain improved access to some 70 miles of quality habitat in the upper reaches of the creek.
We couldn’t have done it without you! To give you an idea of what the dam removal looked like, peruse some of the photo clips below.
This is a huge victory for Oregon's rivers, but our work statewide is far from over. Contribute to our campaign to support Oregon's rivers, streams, and lakes for the fish, wildlife, and people that depend on them!