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Resighini Rancheria

Secretary of Interior Dam Removal Process

The Secretary of the Department of Interior began a process to consider removal of Klamath Hydroelectric Power (KHP) dams and to implement the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) and Klamath Hydropower Settlement Agreement (KHSA) in September 2010. The government is set to unveil the final revised EIS/EIR that is 9,000 pages long, but still avoids discussion of KBRA impacts. Although the EIS/EIR will be complete, there can be no Secretary of Interior Decision because of lack of authorizing legislation. The KBRA (7.6.1) has a termination date of December 31, 2012 and the Resighini Rancheria believes that dam removal should now come instead through the FERC relicensing process.

The Resighini Rancheria participated in review of the government's Klamath Hydroelectric Project Facilities Removal Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).  We believe they failed to meet requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act.

Resighini Rancheria filed comments on the DEIS/DEIR and lodged the following criticism:

Major ethical questions have been raised about the Secretary's environmental review process, including a whistle blower complaint by Dr. Paul Houser, the former Department of Interior (DOI) Scientific Integrity Advisor. 

An Affirmative Secretarial Decision with authorizing legislation would disallow participation by the Resighini Rancheria and Hoopa Valley Tribe on committees and in decision-making related to Klamath River fisheries or water quality for the 50 years. This means the Upper Basin water users have inordinate influence and indigenous peoples are disadvantaged, which is a major social justice issue. The quickest way to Klamath dam removal is not through the Secretary's Decision process but by return to the FERC relicensing process.

References

Dunne, T., G. Ruggerone, D. Goodman, K. Rose, W. Kimmerer, and J. Ebersole. 2011. Draft Scientific Assessment of Two Dam Removal Alternatives on Coho Salmon and Steelhead. KBRA Expert Panel produced with assistance from PBSJ, Portland, OR. 149 p. (Coho-Steehead Expert Panel)

Goodman, D., M. Harvey, R. Hughes, W. Kimmerer, K. Rose, and G. Ruggerone. 2011. Scientific Assessment of Two Dam Removal Alternatives on Chinook Salmon. Final June 3, 2011.  Funded by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service but produced with assistance from Atkins Company, San Diego, CA. 172 p. (Chinook Expert Panel)

Hoopa Valley Tribe. 2011. Comments of Hoopa Valley Tribe on DEIS/DEIR for Klamath Facilities Removal. November 18, 2011. 61 p.

Houser, P. 2012. Allegation of scientific and scholarly misconduct and reprisal for a disclosure concerning the biased summarization of key scientific conclusions for the Klamath River dam removal Secretarial determination process. Letter to Office of the Executive Secretariat and Regulatory Affairs Department of the Interior. Dr. Paul Houser, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. 11 p. (Whistle-Blower Complaint)

Video interview with Dr. Paul Houser Whistle-Blower from May 10, 2012.

LA Times. June 25, 2011. Scientists find holes in Klamath River dam removal plan. Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA.

Redding Searchlight. 2012. Fired federal adviser files whistle-blower complaint over Klamath dam removal: Professor says information was manipulated to support removal. By Ryan Sabalow. February 28, 2012.

Resighini Rancheria. 2010.  Questions to the Department of Interior and State of California in preparation for Government to Government Meeting.  Transmitted to Liz Vasquez (U.S. BOR) and Dennis Lynch (USGS) December 22, 2010. Resighini Rancheria, Klamath, CA. 9 p.

Resighini Rancheria. 2011. Cover Letter from Chairman Dowd for Resighini DEIS/DEIR comments to Liz Vasquez, U.S. BOR. Resighini Rancheria, Klamath, CA. December 27, 2011. 2 p.

Resighini Rancheria. 2011a. Resighini Rancheria Comments on the Klamath Hydroelectric Project Facilities Removal Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR). Filed with DOI December 27, 2011. Resighini Rancheria, Klamath, CA. 37 p.

Resighini Rancheria. 2012. Time for Different Direction on Klamath Dam Removal. Editorial in the Eureka Times Standard of July 11, 2012 by Resighini Rancheria Tribal Chairman Donald McCovey. Resighini Rancheria, Klamath, CA.