The agreement with environmental groups and Indian tribes ends decades of battles over scarce water.
Steve Rothert is with American Rivers, one of the environmental groups that helped negotiate the deal.
“When the dams are removed salmon and steelhead will for the first time in nearly 100 years be able to swim back to their home waters to spawn and we expect populations to rebound and support tribal fisheries and commercial fisheries and the industries that rely on those.”
But not everyone’s on board. Officials with the Hoopa Valley Tribe say the settlement pushes tribal water rights aside and compromises protections for the Trinity River – which feeds into the Klamath.
Now the US Secretary of Interior must decide if removing the dams is in the public interest.
Pressure has been building for years on PacificCorp to remove the dams as salmon runs have declined, farmers have faced water shutoffs, and water quality in the Klamath River has declined.