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Say Hello to the (New) Biggest Dam Removal in U.S. History
233 miles of the Klamath River will run free for the first time in more than a century—so why are some paddlers bummed?
The Klamath River is one of only three rivers to cut through the Cascade Mountains instead of rising from them. The river existed before the mountains, holding its ground for millennia as volcanic peaks thrust up around it and glaciers formed and receded. But in 1910, before boaters could explore or document it, the first of seven dams was built on the Upper Klamath, taming most of its turgid rapids into a series of stagnant, algae-choked reservoirs.
Today, besides a few grainy photos and notes from engineers, nobody knows what lies beneath those reservoirs. But boaters are about to find out. On February 2, California and Oregon struck a deal with energy giant PacifiCorp and the Department of the Interior to remove four deadbeat dams from the Klamath, starting in 2020. It’ll be the biggest dam removal in U.S. history, allowing 233 miles of river to flow freely for the first time in over a century.
adventure journal – Say Hello to the (New) Biggest Dam Removal in U.S. History