From the Times-Standard, February 28, 2012.
Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, announced today that he is not making a decision on the Klamath Dam removal, by the March 31 deadline, because of a lack of action in Congress.
According to Salazar’s office, Congress has not enacted the legislation necessary to authorize a secretarial determination, under the terms of the Klamath dam agreements. Salazar was expected to decide, whether or not the removal of four dams on the Klamath River, would be in the public’s interest and advance the restoration of salmon and steelhead fisheries in the Klamath Basin.
“The department of the Interior, working with our partners at NOAA and the U.S. Forest Service, has upheld our commitments in these agreements that are so important to strengthening the health and prosperity of those that depend on the Klamath River for their way of life,” Salazar said in the release. “I am proud of the work of our team of experts who have completed more than fifty new studies and reports, that are providing significant new information on the potential effects of Klamath River dam removal as part of a transparent, science-based process.”
The U.S. Department of the Interior has been completing peer reviewed scientific and technical studies, and an environmental analysis in the past year to inform Salazar for the determination, a condition of the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and the Klamath River Restoration Agreement.
Craig Tucker, a spokesman for the Karuk tribe, one of the parties to the agreement, said this will not deter the parties or delay the dam removal. “This is a bump in the road. All the parties remain committed to seeing this through,” said Tucker.
The removal of the four dams is scheduled for 2020.