Klamath Indians asking to take down PacifiCorp dams
- Klamath Indians asking to take down PacifiCorp dams By Clea Benson - Bee
Last Updated 1:59 pm PDT Friday, April 27, 2007
Kelly Catlett of 'Friends of the River' speaks along with Klamath Basin
tribal leaders and commercial fisherman on the south steps of the State
Capitol Friday morning. Sacramento Bee/Jose Luis Villegas
Indians from Northern California tribes stopped Friday in Sacramento on
their way to Omaha, Neb., to ask billionaire Warren Buffett to remove
hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River that they say are jeopardizing
their health, economy and traditions.
PacifiCorp, the utility that owns the dams, is a subsidiary of an
Omaha-based company that Buffett owns. Members of the Yurok and Karuk
tribes, long economically and culturally dependent on the river's
declining salmon, said that removing the company's four dams would
revitalize the fish population.
PacifiCorp is in the middle of renewing its licenses for the dams. The
company has been reluctant to remove them, though federal government
regulators have said they will require hundreds of millions of dollars
in environmental mitigation projects before the licenses can be renewed.
"Mr. Warren Buffet has the opportunity to make right a lot of the wrongs
that were done to native people on the Klamath River," said Frankie Joe
Myers, a member of the Yurok tribe.
Bill Fehrman, president of PacifiCorp Energy, said Friday that the
company has been trying to reach an agreement with the tribes and about
two dozen other affected groups.
"As long as a solution involves an outcome that respects our customers'
rights and our property rights, we're OK with that," he said. "If that
includes some dam removal, that would have to be part of a more global
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