Tue. Jun 18th, 2024
Pacific Power has submitted an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the purpose of removing four dams, three of which produce an enormous amount of hydro electric power.  Spokesman Randal South from DNGR, the non-profit creating Del Norte County’s public utility is opposed to the removal and believes it will have a significant impact on wholesale power costs incurred by the city of Crescent City and Del Norte County.  DNGR believes that the four dams would be more appropriately owned by the Bureau of Reclamation, or DNGR, with the Bureau of Reclamation managing the dams.  And furthermore is against the removal of the dams until other sufficient electric producing infrastructure is installed.  Other considerations are that the removal of the hydro electric and irrigation dams potentially put additional pressure on fossil based fuels which are a major source of global warming.
When questioning Randal South about the merits of removing the dams, “Randal South commented that there is nothing wrong with any of the dams and that the removal is one of the biggest wastes of public funds ever to be undertaken”.
The dispute over the dams started when Pacific Power was accused by the Yurok Tribe of not letting sufficient water out of the dams to maintain water quality levels, and Pacific Power’s refusal to work with the community to build a fish ladder, which is considered the standard practice.  Instead Pacific Power decided to raise electric rates in Del Norte county for the removal of the dams.  Three of the 4 dams proposed for removal appear to produce significant amounts of power, and the other dams provides water to local farmers.  There are alternative solutions to the immediate removal of these dams, but Pacific Power isn’t exactly an investor in infrastructure when it comes to the grid, and we know this because of the engineering study done in 2003.
In 2003 it was determined that Pacific Power’s grid was a “C” rated grid at best, but many believe it has moved into “D+” territory, due to the frequent outages at night in the Grants Pass area.  For those who were in Del Norte County in 2003, they may recall the county’s attempt at going public resulting in an engineering study.  The attempt was squelched by attorney Bob Black who took over the position of the previous attorney who died in office, while representing the city of Crescent City, Del Norte County, and several other cities located in Siskiyou County.
Not everyone in Del Norte County supports Randal South’s position.  A recent communication from Roger Gitlin suggest that Supervisor Gitlin believes that the dams should be removed, and made the following comment:
“The amount of energy developed from Hydro-electric sources is under 2%
and it is difficult for me to justify man-made remedies like fish ladders as
appropriate response for not removing the dams.  We will just have
to agree to disagree on this one.
My best,
Roger Gitlin”
Unfortunately Supervisor Gitlin is wrong on this one.  More than 6% of the power in this region comes from hydro electric power.  The source on this information was taken from FERC’s website http://www.energy.ca.gov/hydroelectric/  California’s hydro power is down due to a lack of rainfall, and California is a net importer of power which substantially threatens the industrial sector of this state.  For these reasons DNGR is opposed to the removal of any Klamath dams at this time, but does support significant investments in the energy infrastructure, particularly the smart grid, so that removal of the dams can be reevaluated in terms of investment infrastructure.  Additionally DNGR supports best practices to improve water quality, including the construction of fish ladders which is the standard practice.
For those wishing to make a comment on the removal please visit FERC’s website at https://www.ferc.gov/, search for the dockets related to the removal of the Klamath dams may be located at FERC’s website, or by typing the following docket number P-2082.
Randal South
  1. This is the true story. As we all have a story




    IN ALASKA THE 80% of the Older Kings. ARE GONE. We had feeder Kings around Kodak Island and small Kings in Cook,inlet.

    As Radition is still being put into the Pacific.

    In 2018 A 6 oz of Yukon King sold at all the high end Anchorage Ak Restaurants sold for I $100.00, Per Plate. Each restaurant was allowed one Salmon Of Yukon Kings.

  2. Looks like the dams are coming down. They have the money and are ready to start bringing them down. Great for future generations.

    1. I wouldn’t count on it Bob. It may happen eventually, but I suspect that the removal process if approved by the feds, will have some tough legal battles to overcome which if successful by those opposed to dam removal could derail the whole thing.
      This is a tactic used often by extreme environmental groups to derail quite a few essential projects in California and else where. They often had meritless cases that many times have been thrown out eventually, but they served the purpose of delaying the project so that they eventually were dropped because the funding either dried up or inflation proved to be too much to overcome.
      In a previous case brought by Siskiyou County last summer to halt dam removal the judge ruled that the case could only move forward when the plaintiffs could establish unmitigated damages should the removal process be approved. Seems as though they will have met those conditions if the feds give the project the go ahead. Then the legal wrangling will begin.
      The other potential hiccup in the process is that the budget currently being reviewed by the feds may not pass muster. There is some concern that the project is underfunded by a significant margin. The feds are not going to green light a project that could run out of money mid stream, with the current project managers vanishing into the mist. The Feds take a dim view of this kind of thing, so the budget for the project will get a close look. This by the way is following previous budget submissions that did not pass muster.
      The bottom line is that dam removal may not be the certaintee that you think, or produce what you think it will. Dam removal hasn’t been particularly successful on other West Coast rivers and streams. Of course the dam removal people aren’t going to care one way or another if nothing happens. The $450 million will have been spent enriching those involved and those that hoped for restoration will be left wondering what happened. As has been pointed out on many different occasions, there far more credible reasons for why the fish populations are what they are, and they have nothing to do with the dams.

  3. Remove those dams now. They have destroyed the Klamath along with the logging near the river in the 50’s and 60’s. Let’s bring the river back to how it was in the 30’s.

    1. Are we to take your statements as a matter of faith, as in religion or do you have something to back up your comments? Seems pretty clear where other West Coast dams have been removed on rivers a decade or more ago, and we are still waiting for that religious transformation to how they were in the 1930’s. Might be something in the idea that something other than “dams” are and have been causing the decline of all fishing stocks in the Pacific?
      Just have come back from the South Pacific where there are no dams to blame and low and behold, they are experiencing a similar decline in fishing stocks across the board. Could it be that multiple scientific studies point to other reasons for the decline that are largely ignored by “dam removal fanatics” that likely have a much greater rational behind salmon population decline than simply dam removal.
      It is often refreshing to open ones mind to a greater realm of possibilities than simply parrot the religion of the dam removal con artists. Rather than blow $450 million dollars on something that only exists in the minds of Miss Cooper and other dam removal cultists and very likely will achieve nothing, perhaps a more rational solution is already out there, you never know.

  4. We do not make money on electricity or the farm produce in Siskiyou County, we make money on fish. Trump would get it, protect our industries.

  5. It is my understanding that a private corporation, California
    Oregon Power Corporation, COPCO, was responsible for the construction of the dams in question and no public funding was employed. The company was later purchased by Pacific Power and Light in 1961. Pacific Power now.

  6. The biggest waste of public funds ever to be undertaken was the construction of these dams. Randal do you fish, Or eat Salmon?

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