Commissioners Say 'No' to KBRA

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, February 26 2013 at 4:18 PM, Updated: Tue, February 26 2013 at 4:27 PM

The Klamath County Commissioners say they want nothing to do with dam removal, or the KBRA...despite mixed input from the community.

"Aye'  'Chair votes aye, motion carries."

With that vote, the Klamath County Commissioners took a formal stand against the removal of 4 dams from the Klamath River, and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.

Commissioner Dennis Linthicum believes keeping the dams will prevent more fresh water from going downstream...

"More supply will be more resources available for fish, for farmers, for agriculture, for fisheries.  There would simply be more of this precious resource."

Commissioner Tom Mallams noted that candidates in Klamath County supporting dam removal have been soundly defeated at the polls...

"Anybody who discounts the elections that have happened in the last, since 2010, we can't deny the public input there."

Frank Summers of the Klamath Tribal Council said he was 'dismayed, disheartened, and somewhat ashamed'...

"What I want to know is, all the comments that were sent in, and the comments that were made here a couple Tuesdays ago, what were the numbers?"

Public comment after the vote was mixed.

Belinda Scalas:  "I'm very disappointed that you have chosen not to steer the ship from on it, but rather to send torpedoes at it."

Michael Luft:  "I want to thank you gentlemen for your decision, and your vote."

The board is expected to formally adopt the order next week.

The KBRA was scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.  The previous board of Klamath County Commissioners voted in November in favor of a 2-year extension, despite opposition from 2 commissioners-elect.

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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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