Environmentalists have persuaded the Department of the Interior to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. These dams not only provide clean, green energy to the Klamath community, they sustain area ranches and farms with continual access to water. An environmentalist’s dream, right?
But the fish! We must always put fish ahead of people!
It seems that once upon a time, salmon would migrate upstream on the Klamath River to spawn, a process that has become interrupted by the dams. For several decades, ranching and farming families have relied upon the steady stream of not only water but also renewable energy provided by the dams. Destroying the dams would destroy these people’s livelihoods.
Grace Bennett, the board chair for the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, says:
With the dams gone, it will impact our area … because there won’t be enough water in our river. It will not be a matter of when you irrigate, or how much you irrigate; it’ll be a matter of can you irrigate? Can you do these things? And if we don’t have the dams in, to give the water for the fish that return, and we’re taking that water from our farmers and ranchers, we won’t have any farmers and ranchers.
What is the government’s obsession with prioritizing fish over people? This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this sort of thing in California. The Delta Smelt has destroyed much of the farming community in central California, because the ugly bugger ended up on the endangered species list and politicians decided to cut off the water from the San Joaquin Valley to the farmlands in order to ‘save’ it.
Now the salmon need saving too. Except maybe they don’t. It’s hard to tell, with all the twisted ‘evidence’ going into the decision-making process over the removal of the dams. Professor Paul Houser was a science advisor to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation before he was fired for alleging “that the Obama administration intentionally falsified scientific fact in a proposal for dam removal in the Klamath River.”
Debbie Bacigalupi, a 5th generation rancher whose family depends on the dams to sustain their ranch, says, “The reason they want to take out the dams, the Klamath River dams, is because they claim, the government and special interest groups claim that the Coho salmon is an endangered species and that it’s indigenous, even though we have Department of Fish and Game records saying that the fish is non-native. It doesn’t even belong here.”
So much for progress.