‘Momentous:’ US advances largest dam demolition in history

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Native tribes that rely on the Klamath River and its salmon for their way of life have been a driving force behind bringing the dams down in a wild and remote area that spans the California and Oregon border.

and open up hundreds of miles of salmon habitat that would be the largest dam removal and river restoration project in the world when it goes forward.

The dams produce less than 2% of PacifiCorp’s power generation — enough to power about 70,000 homes — when they are running at full capacity, said Bob Gravely, spokesperson for the utility. But they often run at a far lower capacity because of low water in the river and other issues, and the agreement that paved the way for Thursday’s vote was ultimately a business decision, he said.

More than 300 miles of salmon habitat in the Klamath River and its tributaries would benefit, she said. across the U.S. as they come up for license renewal and confront the same government-mandated upgrade costs as the Klamath River dams would have had. Glick added that, in the past, the commission did not consider the effect of energy projects on tribes but said that was a “very important element” of Thursday’s decision.

 

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