Tribes Protest Privately Owned River Dams

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, March 14, 2005

With prayers and drumbeats, over a-hundred members of several Klamath River-area tribes started a march to the state Capitol from Old Sacramento. Frankie Meyers is a member of the Yurok Tribe. He says Native Americans must protect the fish that are central to their culture.

“We believe it’s a connection that’s more than just a subsistence connection but it’s also a spiritual connection with the salmon.”

The tribes want the state to back their idea to remove privately owned river dams where electricity is generated. They say the removal would increase water flow, spurring higher fish populations. State Resources Agency spokesman Sandy Cooney says it’s a complex subject involving farmers, commercial fishermen and others.

“We are facilitating the dialogue between all parties to try to come to a reasonable accommodation on how we solve this problem.”

The Klamath Water Users Association, that says it represents family farmers in Northern California and Southern Oregon, is urging further study of whether dam removal will restore salmon populations.