Indians want Klamath River dams removed

August 3, 2006

U.S. Indian tribes living along the Klamath River staged a rally in Portland, Ore., demanding removal of four hydroelectric dams.

The Indians say the dams block salmon from reaching spawning grounds upriver, The New York Times reported. The Yurok and Karuk tribes in California and the Klamath tribes of Oregon plan to ask Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to help push for the dams' removal.

The PacifiCorp -- the power company that owns the dams -- issued a statement coinciding with Wednesday's rally that said: "We have heard the tribes' concerns. We are not opposed to dam removal or other settlement opportunities as long as our customers are not harmed and our property rights are respected."

Craig Tucker, a spokesman for the 3,400-member Karuk tribe, told the Times the tribes want Kulongoski and Schwarzenegger to find a way to pay for removing the dams, provide power from other sources and restore fish habitat along the river, which begins in southern Oregon and reaches the Pacific Ocean in Northern California.

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service supports the removal of the dams to facilitate salmon spawning.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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