This week the California Public Utilities Commission endorsed the removal of four dams on the Klamath River.
Scheduled to begin in 2020, the dam-removal project should go a long way toward restoring salmon habitat along the California-Oregon border and ease the water battle between farmers and fishermen.
Fishermen and tribal leaders have been fighting for years to urge the removal of the PacifiCorp dams. Though it will be another decade or more before they see the benefits to be gained by restoring the Klamath River basin, I hope this is a lesson to fishermen across the country that no battle is fruitless.
I hope it may also be a lesson that Mother Nature is a force to be reckoned with.
PBS has a new Nature episode called “Salmon: Running the Gauntlet.” (You can watch it streaming on the PBS website.)
While I disagree with the premise that salmon hatcheries have been essentially unsuccessful, I appreciate the overall message that our interventions with the natural process rarely fail to surprise us.