By opening up 350 miles of spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead, the restoration of the Klamath River in southwest Oregon and northern California will not only be an obvious boost for anglers and local economies, but will serve as a model for other, similar restoration efforts throughout the world.
Trout Unlimited (TU) is among 20 diverse groups, along with the Governors of Oregon and California, that signed onto an historic agreement in February, 2010, to remove four dams on the Klamath River and restore its former runs of salmon and steelhead. Supporters of this collaborative agreement include numerous user groups: farmers, ranchers, tribes, county governments, environmentalists, recreational fishing groups and commercial fishing interests.
This remarkable pact calls for the largest dam removal project in the world, a path forward to end one of the most bitter resource struggles in history. Years of negotiations between federal officials, tribes, irrigators, power corporations and conservation groups will lead to restoration that supports and enhances fishing, farming, and ranching — the backbone of Klamath’s economy and the heart of the Klamath Basin.
Oregon State Senator Jason Atkinson, an avid and passionate fisherman, is helping produce a 90-minute documentary called “Why the Klamath Matters” that explores the communities, challenges, issues and opportunities that are the fabric of this complex river system and will point the way to the successful restoration of the river — protecting the people, the wildlife and the river.
“I want to share the story of an historic water-sharing agreement which will restore salmon, clean water and – most importantly – peace and prosperity, to one of the most beautiful regions in America,” Atkinson says. “From the headwaters to the ocean . . . from the Klamath’s birth in Oregon to its meeting the sea in California — and in all the communities along the way — I know the people and the issues. With your help, I can bring their voices and their stories to the screen, ultimately paving the way for the most ambitious and important restoration project we will see in our lifetime. Together we will update the way American conservation works for the 21st century.”
To learn more about the film and how you can help, please check out the following link:
To learn more about TU’s involvement in the restoration of the Klamath, click here: TU Signs Historic Klamath Restoration Agreement.
You can also learn more about the restoration of the Klamath here: Klamath Restoration Agreements: Restoring a River and Revitalizing Communities.