California Governor Gavin Newsom, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, and representatives of dam owner PacifiCorp, the Karuk and Yurok Tribes, and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation announced a Memorandum of Agreement that clears the way for the final steps of Klamath dam removal.
Rivers are often viewed as places of respite, reflection, and relaxation. The gentle music of moving water is a welcome change to the cacophony of modern everyday life. Unfortunately, the Klamath River’s therapeutic qualities are severely compromised each summer by massive blooms of toxic blue-green algae.
Currently, at least three large wildfire complexes are burning through the Klamath Basin. The Two Four Two Fire has burned 15,000 acres on the northside of Upper Klamath Lake near Chiloquin, the Slater/Devil Complex has burned 150,000 acres including 150 homes in Happy Camp in the middle Klamath, and the Red Salmon Complex has burned over 100,000 acres between the Hoopa Reservation and the Salmon River.
In what has become an annual ritual, the Karuk Tribe and state water quality officials are posting the Klamath Reservoirs with recreational health advisories to avoid contact with the water due to blooms of the toxic algae Microcystis aeruginosa.
Imagine an Upper Klamath River Basin and Upper Klamath Lake abundant with salmon populations. It wasn’t so long ago when several of the earliest Euro-American explorers to reach the Klamath River Basin noted the bountiful salmon runs that the Klamath River supported.
Reconnect Klamath embodies the idea that the diverse individuals who make up our local communities have more in common than not, and that the broad interests of the Klamath Basin are all connected—we either succeed together or suffer cultural and economic losses apart.