Monthly Archives: March 2012

A hard sell: Dam removal and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement

By Samantha Tipler
Herald and News

Uncertainty is the only certainty for Klamath River Basin irrigators and fishermen if Klamath River dams remain and a related water agreement is not implemented.

“Status quo is death by a thousand cuts for us,” said Greg Addington, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association. “We have no choice but to keep plugging along. There is no choice.”

Legislation to fund the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and authorize the Interior Secretary to make a decision on dam removal has stalled in Congress.

No action on the agreements for irrigators means continuous uncertainty about water and power rates Read more

Posted in Environment, Northwest Hydropower News, Relicensing | Comments Off on A hard sell: Dam removal and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement

Elwha River back in its natural channel; first time in a century

By Linda V. Mapes
Seattle Times

At 7:30 Friday morning, contractors started shifting the Elwha River back into its natural channel. Within four to five days, the river will be fully back in its native channel — for the first time in a century.

Within four to five weeks, the final draw down of Lake Aldwell, the reservoir behind Elwha Dam, will also be complete — and the dam, and its reservoir, will be history.

Contractors began taking down two dams on the Elwha River last September to restore the river and watershed.The restoration project is way ahead of schedule.

The two dams generated hydropower for the industrialization of the Olympic Peninsula, particularly the development of lumber, pulp, and paper mills. But the dams were built without fish passage. Read more

Posted in Dam Removal, Northwest Hydropower News | Comments Off on Elwha River back in its natural channel; first time in a century

Following the money: The Klamath dams are a massive investment

By Joel Aschbrenner
Herald & News

There’s bound to be plenty of politics involved with management of the Klamath River, because there are hundreds of millions of dollars involved.

There are millions involved in infrastructure, millions involved in resources, millions in jobs, millions in property taxes.

As reporters traveled down the river and back late last year for this series, the money and the politics were ever present. Read more

Posted in Dam Removal, Environment, Hydropower, Northwest Hydropower News | Tagged | Comments Off on Following the money: The Klamath dams are a massive investment

PPL, DNRC officials differ over dam rent before legislative council

By Mike Dennison
Missoulian

HELENA – A spokesman for power-generator PPL Montana said Thursday it’s time for the state to admit defeat in its lengthy effort to collect rent from PPL for its hydropower dams and put an end to the eight-year-old legal case.

“It is inconceivable to me that anyone could declare a victory for the state,” David Hoffman said of the Feb. 22 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case. “I submit that it’s time to stop throwing good money after bad, and it’s time to put a stop to this nonsense.”

Yet a top state official told the Environmental Quality Council that the case is not over, and the state will be back to court to determine whether PPL owes rent on sections of riverbeds that are deemed navigable, and therefore owned by the state.

“The issue of paying rent or not paying rent is still alive and well,” said Mary Sexton, director of the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. “The question is how much of the river … will PPL be paying rent for.” Read more

Posted in Hydropower, Northwest Hydropower News | Tagged | Comments Off on PPL, DNRC officials differ over dam rent before legislative council