KBRA / Dam Removal Hearing

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, February 12 2013 at 3:53 PM, Updated: Tue, February 12 2013 at 4:05 PM

The Klamath County Commissioners took public comment on dam removal, and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement today...But some believe the commissioners have already made up their minds.

The commissioners say they want to know if they should be playing an active role in backing the KBRA, or not.

An overflow crowd was divided on the issue.

"So I ask you, commissioners, to stay engaged."  Testified Gary Wright, a Klamath Project irrigator.  "We feel whether you like it or not, the KBRA is, and could be a way to keep the water flowing."

Klamath Project irrigator Brent Cheyne disagrees, citing uncertainty over power rates...

"As it stands right now, I am not a supporter of the KBRA as it is written."

Backers say the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement would help to provide more reliable water supplies for project farmers.

Opponents say that removing four dams from the Klamath River is too high a price to pay.

All three commissioners have already expressed a strong opposition to dam removal.

"It's obvious that they've made up their minds."  Stated Klamath Tribes Vice-Chairman Don Gentry.  "It seems to me from comments that the commissioners have made, that they don't fully understand the agreements."

Ann Watson wanted to know if the commissioners have a better plan...

"Today's job as commissioners is to decide if the community should remain at the KBRA table, or just throw your hands up in the air, and scream 'no no no'.  That's always worked well in the past."

You can still comment on the issue by sending an email to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The commissioners will be taking comments through 5:pm Friday.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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