Measure G: advisory vote on dam removal

Skye Kinkade

Though it’s an advisory vote only and holds no real political weight, the campaign for and against Measure G is heating up in Siskiyou County.

G asks voters, “Should the Klamath River Dams (Iron Gate, Copco 1 and Copco 2) and associated hydroelectric facilities be removed?”

For several years, the subject of dam removal has spurred furious debate and controversy. Despite the Feb. 2009 signing of the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which together would manage the removal of the dams and attempt to revitalize the basin’s salmon fishery, the  majority of the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors has remained staunchly against dam removal.

In order to gain insight into the opinion of the people, it was voted on Aug. 6 to include Measure G as an advisory vote on the Nov. 2 Siskiyou County ballot.

While proponents of dam removal believe it will not only improve water quality, restore fish population and provide reliable irrigation water for agriculture, they also attest it will create an abundance of local jobs, promote investment in the local economy and ultimately save power customers money on their electric bill.

Those against dam removal are concerned with the amount of sediment which would be released in the river if the dams are pulled out, the loss of renewable electricity production, elimination of flood control, a depreciation in property value, a reduction in tourism if the river doesn’t flow 365 days a year and power rate increases.

Dam removal would begin in 2020, pending an approval by the Secretary of the Interior and the outcome of environmental studies and a cost-benefit analysis of the removal project.

Those against Measure G hope that a large voter opposition to the measure will factor into the secretary of the interior’s decision.

To learn more about Measure G, go to, or