Editorial: Peace treaty for Klamath River basin
"Up in the Klamath River basin, a mix of farmers, Indian tribes, conservationists and government agencies have a rare chance to quell decades of bitter dispute.

They are close to a deal to remove four dams, restore salmon runs on one of the West's largest rivers and protect farmers against endangered species lawsuits. This deal would restore wetlands, ensure more water for wildlife refuges and protect various interests in times of drought.

But for this pact to work, everyone must be willing to give, including groups on the fringes – hard-line farm activists and wildlife advocates. It also includes PacifiCorp, which operates the Klamath dams and is part of Warren Buffett's empire.

This treaty would depend on a $950 million public investment – to retire water rights, restore wetlands and improve habitat for salmon.

Some groups, unfortunately, are demanding more. The Hoopa tribe wants guaranteed flows in the Klamath, discounting the benefits to salmon by removing dams. Two Oregon environmental groups want an end to farming in wildlife refuges, even if it scuttles a deal to bring more water to those refuges.

A better course, for all interests involved, would be to recognize the fragility of the current deal, and then band together and put real pressure on PacifiCorp."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Seal Klamath deal (The Sacramento Bee 1/27)
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Another Story:
Supervisors hear first public comments about proposed Klamath Basin settlement agreement (The Siskiyou Daily 1/27)

Relevant Links:
Hoopa Valley Tribe - http://www.hoopa-nsn.gov
Karuk Tribe - http://karuk.us
Klamath Tribes - http://www.klamathtribes.org
PacifiCorp - http://www.pacificorp.com

Related Stories:
Editorial: Deal brings hope to Klamath basin (1/21)
Deal calls for removal of Klamath Basin dams (1/16)
Karuk Tribe: Remove dams on Klamath River (7/10)
Cheney intervened in Klamath water dispute (06/27)
Column: White House politicking at DOI (6/21)
PacifiCorp cites new reason to keep Klamath dams (4/23)
Klamath dam operator told to add fish ladders (01/31)
Klamath River dam operator challenges fish ladders (08/22)
DOI to probe White House interference on Klamath (9/8)
McCaleb: White House had 'chilling effect' on BIA (07/30)
Tribal bias charged in Klamath dispute (3/14)