1. Restore fisheries. The Klamath Dams are one of the primary reasons that Klamath fisheries are in steep decline. Dam removal would re-open hundreds of miles of habitat to Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, and lamprey whose numbers run dangerously close to extinction. map.
  2. Improve water quality. Fish need cold, clean water rich in oxygen, but the shallow reservoirs behind the dams warm to temperatures lethal to salmon and are low in oxygen.
  3. Save money for power customers. According to dam owner PacifiCorp and the Public Utility Commissions of Oregon and California, dam removal under terms of the Klamath Restoration Agreements is cheaper for PacifiCorp customers than relicensing. That’s because the dams make relatively small amounts of power and upgrading the aging dams to meet modern specifications would cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
  4. Boost regional economy. Rural communities like those in the Klamath Basin are struggling economically. The Klamath Agreements would breathe new life in these communities by investing in large scale river restoration projects, agricultural infrastructure, and dam demolition. Longer term, restoration in a balanced approach that considers the economic needs of local farmers and ranchers ensures our rural economies will be durable in the long term.
  5. Resolve conflict. Fights over water resources have left the Klamath Basin is mired in perpetual crisis and conflict for decades. For the first time ever, a comprehensive solution to this crisis that is supported by a large majority of stakeholders has been developed.
  6. Protect Human Health. The Klamath Dams trap the nutrient rich waters of the Klamath River in relatively shallow reservoirs which create ideal growing conditions for the highly toxic blue-green algae Microcystis aeruginosa. This results in hundreds of miles of shoreline being posted with warnings against contact with the water each summer.
  7. Protect Native Cultures. The Klamath’s Native People have been using and managing the Klamath’s fisheries and other natural resources for countless generations. Tribal cultures are intimately and intrinsically tied to the river and fisheries. The Klamath’s cultural diversity is an asset to the region and the world and we all have a moral obligation to preserve and protect it.
  8. Protect rural agricultural communities. Agriculture is a key part of the local economy in the Klamath Basin. Any successful restoration plan must address economics as well as ecology. That’s why the Klamath Agreements seek to balance restoration with economic stability.
  9. Restore the Klamath Wildlife Refuges. The Klamath Refuges are major feeding grounds on the Pacific Flyway. Under current management, the refuges suffer drought like conditions in 8 out of 10 years. Implementation of the KBRA would create new assurances for water deliveries for the refuges resulting in sufficient water deliveries in 9 out of 10 years.
  10. Maintain west coast salmon fisheries. The Klamath is one of the three major river systems support the West Coast commerical salmon fishing fleet (the Sacramento and the Columbia). In years of low abundance of Klamath stocks, commericial fishermen are not allowed to fish and make a living along hundreds of miles of the west coast creating economic risk for hundreds of rural communities.