Klamath County votes to withdraw from water deal

The Herald and News (http://bit.ly/XZfQ9F) reported that the board voted 3-0 to have the county’s lawyer draw up an order to drop out of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, with plans to vote on it again next week. The agreement is a companion to an historic deal to remove four small hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River in Oregon and Northern California to help restore struggling wild salmon runs.

Two other signatories of the agreement — the Karuk Tribe and the Klamath Water Users Association — say the county can’t pull out, because the agreement is a binding contract that was just renewed for two more years.

“The Klamath County Commissioners are trying to put their own community on a disaster course,” said Craig Tucker, Klamath coordinator for the Karuk Tribe. “If the KBRA fails, there’s no way to address the dramatic increases to irrigators’ power rates or create a soft landing for farmers when tribes use their senior water rights to fill the lake and river.”

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