Is California’s Klamath River Dam Removal a Ghoulish Experiment?

by Katy Grimes at

In 2018, plans were released to destroy the Klamath River dam system by American Rivers, an environmental non-profit which claims “up to 85% of the dams in this country are unnecessary, harmful and even dangerous.” The removal of dams along the Klamath River in Siskiyou County, Northern California was sold as necessary to save salmon – specifically, “to restore habitat for endangered fish.”

The dams are part of the Klamath project, a series of seven dams built 1910 to 1920 in the Klamath Basin to bring electricity and agricultural water mitigation for Southern Oregon and Northern California, the Globe reported in 2020.

Emotions run high on both sides of the dam destruction issue. The Globe wants to know why the Klamath Dams are being removed, and who is behind it?

As Fox reported, “Newsom supports a 2016 agreement under which PacifiCorp would transfer its federal hydroelectric licenses for the dams to a nonprofit coalition, the Klamath River Renewal Corp., that was formed to oversee the demolition.

“PacifiCorp ratepayers in Oregon and California are contributing $200 million for the project but the plan allows the utility to avoid liability for additional costs. Another $250 million would come from a 2014 voter-approved California water bond.”

However, the 2014 voter-approved water bond was passed by voters to build more water storage in the state. The initiative was aimed at increasing the supply of clean, safe, and reliable water and “restoring habitat” – not the destruction of it.