The Current Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 11

The process of deciding when or whether to remove or improve an existing dam is always complex. CalTrout is currently involved in three different major dam assessment and removal projects across the state, each at different stages of the relicensing and/or removal process.

In southern California, there is a general consensus that Matilija Dam needs to come down and the complicated process leading up to removal has begun. In the far northern reaches of the state, a broad group of stakeholders reached an agreement earlier this year to proceed with the removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, which are now slated to come out. And along California’s north coast, the PG&E-owned Potter Valley Project on the Eel River will file for FERC relicensing in 2017. Together, these three examples show how CalTrout leverages the best available science to advocate for healthy rivers and native fish.

FERC relicensing and other public processes provide excellent opportunities for CalTrout to advocate for science-based decision-making about how and whether to retrofit or remove dams in the state. We remain committed to starting first with what we know about how natural processes work to support fish and other native wildlife, and then to identifying the best path forward to benefit both fish and people.