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What Do You Call the Generation That Demolishes What The 'Greatest Generation' Built?

Why is it that if we all loved 'The Greatest Generation' we are so unlike them?

Sep 26, 2011


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What Do You Call The Generation That Demolishes What 'The Greatest Generation' Built?

The misguided generation? The mixed up generation? The stupid generation? The whacko generation? The endangered (species) generation? Why is it that if we all loved 'The Greatest Generation' we are so unlike them? Their vision was to build the infrastructure of this great nation. The vision of the current generation who profess to love 'The Greatest Generation' is to tear it all apart. In the West they destroy farming in the Central Valley and demolish dams on the Klamath River. And they're so blinded by their political views they fudge the science to support their misguided vision.

After having their science of Delta Smelt protection ripped apart by Federal Judge Oliver Wanger, they now come out with their studies showing how wonderful job creation will be with the destruction of the Klamath Dams. Are we supposed to believe anything they say? How do we know this science is any better than the last science? We're supposed to tear down four dams on the Klamath because these guys say their studies prove it? I don't think so. Come back to us when you regain your credibility.


Klamath River dam-removal benefits detailed

Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer

Dismantling the four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River would open up 420 miles of habitat for migrating salmon, create thousands of jobs and cost less than it would to maintain the reservoirs, a U.S. Department of the Interior report said Wednesday.

The long-awaited environmental report on what would be the biggest dam-removal project in California history predicted an 81.4 percent increase in the number of chinook salmon and similar increases for steelhead trout and coho salmon.

Opening up the waterway would also eliminate toxic algal blooms, the report said, and employ 4,600 people during 15 years of work.

The $291.6 million estimated cost of removal is substantially less than the $450 million worst-case scenario outlined in previous reports.

Upkeep is costly

The cost of keeping the dams open - including federally mandated fish ladders, water-quality improvements and construction of new recreational facilities - is in the $400 million to $500 million range, officials said.

"These results have confirmed that removal of the dams will benefit the economy by creating jobs, it will benefit the fishery by increasing productivity, and fishing jobs would increase in the basin and elsewhere," said Steve Rothert, the California director of American Rivers, a national nonprofit conservation group.

The environmental document will be used by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to make a final decision in March on whether to remove the dams. The report predicts 49 utility jobs and 14 recreational jobs would be lost if the dams are removed.

Biggest cost

The biggest cost, most people agree, would be the loss of lakefront property. The value of 668 parcels is expected to go down, said the document, which did not specify exactly how much.

"It devalues the property," said Tom Rickard, 74, who moved with his wife, Lee, into a home on Copco Lake 10 years ago. He said removing the dams would take away the entire reason he and the other mostly elderly homeowners live in the area.

"There are probably 100 families on just this one lake, but nobody listens to us or cares what we think," Rickard said. "We've got 22 acres and at least 2,000 feet of lake frontage. Without the dam there would be nothing there."

The mighty Klamath, which is a federally protected "wild and scenic" river, flows 255 miles from Oregon through California to the Pacific Ocean, draining 12,600 square miles of mountains, forests and marshlands that some have called the Everglades of the West.

The dams - Iron Gate, Copco 1, Copco 2 and J.C. Boyle - have blocked salmon migration along the California-Oregon border since the first one was built in 1909 and have been blamed for much of the historic decline of chinook and coho salmon and steelhead trout in the Klamath.

Destructive parasites and blooms of toxic, blue-green algae have contaminated the water behind the dams during the summer. Water diversions to cities and for agriculture exacerbated the problem, according to fishery biologists.

Serious talk of removing the dams began in 2002 after a federally ordered change in water flow led to the death of 33,000 salmon in the river. The effort picked up momentum over the past few years after more devastating declines in the number of spawning salmon.

Some 28 parties, including American Indian tribes, farmers and fishermen, agreed over the past few years to allow the dams operated by the utility PacifiCorp to be dismantled beginning in 2020.

Ultimate goal

The ultimate goal is to restore what has historically been the third-largest source of salmon in the lower 48 states, behind the Columbia and Sacramento rivers.

The report estimates that 1,400 construction workers would be employed in removing the dams, and between 70 and 695 farm jobs would be created as a result of water-supply guarantees.

The projected increase in the number of chinook would be a boon to the fishing industry, creating 218 annual jobs in the San Francisco area alone, according to the report.

Customers of PacifiCorp in Oregon and California would be paying an extra 2 percent per month on their electric bills to cover the cost of dam removal.

PacifiCorp has agreed to pay the first $200 million, and California will cover any costs above that, according to the removal agreement.

How you can comment: The draft EIS/EIR and comments link can be found at klamathrestoration.gov

E-mail Peter Fimrite at pfimrite@sfchronicle.com.


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