Klamath, Ca –A decision spanning state lines and even nations was made today, and now four dams along the Klamath river in both Oregon and California will be removed.
At the site where the Klamath River empties into the Pacific Ocean an announcement was made that will literally change the course of the river and the future of those who depend on the Klamath for their livelihoods.
The morning began with a prayer, a message of appreciation
“For future existence, for our people, so we can live on the salmon for years and years to come,” said Yurok Tribal Vice Chair David Gensaw Sr.
The Yurok people of Northern California say they have a lot to be thankful for.
“People have come together recognizing that everyone has rights to this beautiful resource but it’s only going to work if we share, if we understand each other’s position, if we understand each other’s livelihoods,” said Secretary Sally Jewell of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The agreement signed Wednesday by Governors Kate Brown of Oregon, Jerry Brown of California, Secretary of the Interior Jewell and local tribes who call the Klamath River home will remove four controversial dams that were built in both states as far back as 1917.
“Healing the Klamath is about much more than the dams, for the Klamath tribes it’s about restoring lands, and healthy water sheds that nurture fish, wildlife and plants,” said Governor Kate Brown.
“That’s why we are here today, our ancestors told us Yurok people to take care of the salmon,” said Gensaw Sr.
A new chapter for the native people of the Klamath who call the river, not only home, but a source of life.
“This is our way of life right here, and we want to continue that,” said Gensaw Sr.
The removal of the four dams along the lower Klamath will begin in 2020.
© 2023 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.