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Klamath River Activists Get Obama Administration’s Attention
by Dan Bacher
Wednesday May 20th, 2009 4:06 PM
More than a dozen Klamath River activists seized a chance to send their message to Obama administration officials yesterday in Klamath, Ca. when they unfurled three giant banners from the Highway 101 "Golden Bear Bridge" near the mouth of the river.

For Immediate Release: May 20, 2009

KLAMATH JUSTICE COALITION

Contacts:
Georgianna Myers, Lower Klamath community organizer
(707) 599-0877 sregonlady [at] gmail.com
Stormy Staats, Klamath Justice Coalition (contact for more photographs)
(530) 627-3205, cell 530-598-1670, jkstaats [at] gmail.com


Klamath River Activists Get Obama Administration’s Attention


More than a dozen Klamath River activists seized a chance to send their message to Obama administration officials yesterday in Klamath, Ca.

Members of the Klamath Justice Coalition (KJC), a group of Native and non-Native river residents, youth activists, and commercial fishermen, unfurled three giant banners from the Highway 101 “golden bear bridge” near the mouth of the Klamath River. Negotiators representing 24 stakeholder groups including State and Federal representatives had come to Klamath for a dam removal settlement meeting.

The negotiators are still holding confidential meetings in an effort to finalize an agreement by July to remove four hydropower dams on the Klamath River. Dam owner PacifiCorp and representatives of the federal government and the states of California and Oregon signed an agreement in principle to take the dams out last fall in the face of mounting grassroots pressure applied by KJC and its allies.

As they sped down the river on three jet boats for an early morning river tour, the negotiators passed beneath activists and their banners on the bridge chanting, “Open the river, close the deal. Let the Klamath River heal!”

Dania Rose Colegrove, Yurok and Hoopa Tribal member and long time activist said “We’ve been at this for years, we want them to know that we’re watching closely, and we’ll keep coming back and increasing pressure as long as is needed until the dams come down.”

Further upriver, students lined a river bar holding a banner that read “Dams Kill Salmon, Jobs, and Communities."

Frankie Myers, Yurok Tribal member and KJC activist, commented, “There is now a need for people who support Klamath dam removal to put the pressure on the Obama and Schwarzenegger administrations. We need to see strong leadership from them that results in a dam removal agreement we can trust.”

KJC has been fighting for better water quality on the Klamath