Dam removal advisory vote set for Klamath County

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Voters in Klamath County will soon voice their opinion on the proposed removal of 4 dams from the Klamath River.

The Klamath County Commissioners voted 2 to 1 Tuesday morning to place the question on the November ballot.

The advisory asks:  ‘Are you in favor of removing the 4 hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River.’

All 6 people who testified Tuesday morning were in favor of putting the question before voters.

“I think the people have a right to comment on it.”  Stated Bob Moore of Klamath Falls.  “In our previous communications, we had about a 60 / 40 support of keeping, maintaining those dams.”

“I’m always in favor of letting the people vote on any issue.”  Added Carol Warren of Klamath Falls.  “And wherever the chips fall, that’s what we have to accept.”

The measure also asks whether the citizens wish to see the Klamath County Commissioners oppose, or support removal of the dams.

“It’s still an advisory vote.”  Noted Klamath County Commissioner Jim Bellet.  “The new board of County Commissioners is going to have to decide how they’re going to look at that advisory vote, and what they’re going to do with it.”

Commissioner Kelley Minty Morris, the only one who will be in office next year, cast the dissenting vote…

“(It) leaves people with the impression that if they vote ‘no’, dam removal won’t happen – and that’s not the case.”

Pacific Power plans to begin taking out the dams in 2020.

Pacific Power issued a statement following the vote, which reads in part:  “Pacific Power is disappointed that the outgoing Klamath County Commissioners are promoting a symbolic vote intended to divide the local community and undermine basic private property rights.”


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