Throughout the United States dams are approaching the terminus of their original licensing periods and are undergoing re-licensing by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This period of review has prompted extensive studies in these basins to determine the cost-benefits associated with keeping these dams, versus removing and restoring the natural ecosystems that are currently inundated. In situations where a dam is deemed to be no longer economically relevant, and/or a detriment to endangered species or their critical habitat, an agreement for removal and restoration is often proposed as the next step in the management of that basin’s water resources. However, agreements to remove dams and restore aquatic habitat have been difficult to draft and finalize due in part to the wide spectrum of positions held by stakeholders, along with the incredible financial cost and liability involved with such an undertaking. This paper discusses the past, present, and future outlook of four such dams on the Klamath River in California and Oregon. In particular, this paper analyzes several revolutionary tactics that were used in drafting the final agreement between parties which have the potential to improve the process of future negotiations and subsequent agreements in other basins around the United States
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James C. Ish,
A Road Map to Restoring Rivers: How the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement Might Influence Future Dam Removal and River Restoration Projects,
Nat. Resources J.
Available at: https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/nrj/vol60/iss2/6