Tribes Host protest in Southern Oregon and Scotland for Klamath Salmon
This weekend the tribes of the Klamath River with environmentalist and fishermen are going to Scottish Power in Scotland, and to an anti-Endangered Species Act congressional meeting in Klamath Falls to try to save the Klamath Salmon. Protests are to occur in Scotland because decisions over the dams being made be Scottish Power and the FERC will decide the fate of the Klamath Salmon, yet the public has been ignored and fish passage and dam removal are not being addressed. In Klamath Falls on Saturday moring there is a republican congressional meeting to address why the Endangered Species Act is no good for the Klamath River. Tribes will be leading a morning protest, as both the tribes and the rest of the public are not invited to address the hearing, only farm intrests.
This Saturday the 17 there will be events in Scotland and Klamath Falls for the Klamath Salmon planned by the Klamath Tribes. This is a very important time for supporting the struggles of the Klamath Salmon and Endangered Species Act. The fate of one of the largest wild Salmon runs in the Western States, the laws that protect them,and the dams that block them hang in the balance. The Tribes are welcoming folks from the environmental community to come and join them Sunday morning in Southern Oregon.
The story on the Scotland trip are below
KLAMATH TRIBES TO DEMONSTRATE IN SUPPORT OF
>ENDANGERED WILDLIFE BEFORE CONGRESSIONAL HEARING
WHO: Members of the Klamath Tribes
>WHAT: Dancing, drumming and showing their support for important Klamath
fisheries at the brink of extinction
>WHERE: Klamath County Museum, 1451 Main Street to the Ross Ragland
Theatre, 218 N. 7th St., Klamath Falls
>WHEN: 7:30 a.m., Saturday, July 17
>WHY: The Rally and demonstration will be held immediately preceding a Congressional field hearing proposing to weaken the Endangered Species Act.
This is a hearing on the hardships caused by the Endangered Species Act. The House Resources Committee will vote on two bills that would
significantly weaken Endangered Species Act protections next Wednesday,
July 21, 2004. We need your help to stop these bills in Committee. The
two bills are Rep. Dennis Cardoza's (D-CA) "Critical Habitat Reform Act of
2003" (HR 2933) and Rep. Greg Walden's (R-OR) "Sound Science for
Endangered Species Act Planning Act" (HR 1662). These bills would create holes in the designation of critical habitat and place additional burdens on the scientific process of listing species under the Endangered Species Act. Committee members need to hear from you today!
****TRIBES GO TO SCOTLAND TO SAVE KLAMATH SALMON FROM DAMS.
Four Native Tribes Head to Scotland to Save Klamath River
Happy Camp, CA- On July 17, representatives from 4
California Tribal Nations will travel to Scotland
and demand the restoration of their home river- the Klamath.
In addition, representatives from the
conservation group Friends of the River (FOR) and the
commercial fishermen's group Pacific Coast
Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA) will join the
delegation in support of the Tribes'
At issue is a complex of dams on the Klamath River which
block over 350 miles of historic spawning
grounds, degrade water quality, and play a major part in the
steady decline of salmon in what was once
America's third greatest Salmon river.
The dams are owned and operated by PacifiCorp, a subsidiary
of the multinational energy giant,
Scottish Power (NYSE- SPI). The dams are currently
undergoing relicensing by the US Government, a
license that the Tribes and the salmon will have to live
with for the next 30 years.
PacifiCorp officials solicited input from the Tribes and
stakeholders over the past four years as their
license application was drafted. However, the final 80 lb.
document did not include salmon restoration
strategies or an evaluation of dam removal - the fundamental
issues raised by the Tribes,
environmentalists, and fishermen.
"We are left feeling betrayed," says Leaf Hillman,
Vice-Chair of the Karuk Tribe. "The company
assured us that we would be partners in deciding the future
of the Klamath, but our concerns
obviously fell on deaf ears. We are going to Scotland to let
Scottish Power and its shareholders know
that its subsidiary is foreclosing on restoration options,
and thereby jeopardizing the survival of our
The Karuk, Yurok, Hoopa, and Klamath Tribes have lived along
the banks of the Klamath River for
thousands of years. Their cultures revolve around the annual
return of the salmon. Since the
construction of the Klamath River dams, the number of salmon
returning to spawn has plummeted.
Once, over a million fish would return annually. Today,
100,000 returning fish is considered good.
The once plentiful spring salmon runs are now extinct in
PacifiCorp's project area. Because of this the
Karuk no longer perform the first salmon ceremony each
spring as they did for thousands of years.
"Obviously PacifiCorp is ignoring the needs and input of
Klamath Basin residents. We hope that
Scottish Power, as the parent company, will show more
concern," says Craig Tucker, spokesman for
Friends of the River. Tucker goes on to add, "Scottish Power
is known around the world as a 'green'
energy company. We hope that if officials there are told
what is happening on the Klamath they will
want to work with the Tribes to save the Klamath River
According to Merv George, Jr., Director of the Klamath River
Inter-Tribal Fish and Water
Commission, "We want to bring the salmon home to the Upper
Klamath Basin. For too long these dams
have robbed us of our most precious cultural and spiritual
resource. Its time we get it back."
When asked if PacifiCorp's verbal proposal to "trap and
haul" fish around the dams in trucks would
work George scoffs, "that is not what we consider river
restoration. The company does not understand
how important salmon are to us- they are the heart of our
people, and you can't put a price on that."
However, for others the salmon represent more than a
cultural icon and an important food source,
they represent a much-needed economic opportunity and
thousands of jobs for economically
depressed coastal rural communities. Glen Spain of the
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's
Associations says, "This river's original salmon fisheries
had a net value to society of at least $4.5
billion, and even in their damaged state today could support
many thousands of fishing-based jobs for
coastal communities all along the Northern Californa and
Oregon coastlines. A lot of fishing industry
jobs have been destroyed by these dams, all to generate
electricity that is little more than background
noise on the grid."
Spain refers to statements by the California Energy
Commission (CEC) that suggest that the electricity
produced by the antiquated dam complex could be easily
replaced by other sources. According to a
recent CEC report, "Because of the small capacity of the
Klamath hydro unit's removal of these units
will not have a significant reliability impact on a larger
regional scale." The report went on to state,
"decommissioning is a feasible alternative from the
perspective of impacts to statewide electricity
resource adequacy and that replacement energy is available
in the near term."
What power the dams do generate do not benefit the tribes.
That is part of the message that Yurok
Tribal Director Troy Fletcher wants to share with Scottish
Power, "While Scottish Power and its
shareholders reap the economic rewards of this project,
downstream Native Americans go without fish
to eat or electricity in their homes." Fletcher points out
that on the Upper Yurok reservation, 61% of
the homes, a school, and two churches are without
The delegation of Tribal members, environmentalists, and
fishermen will be in Scotland speaking to
citizen groups and performing outreach to Scottish Power
shareholders in mid July..
phone: 541 951-0126
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