Last week, the Klamath River took another important step toward opening up 400-miles of critical habitat for salmon and other species. In dramatic fashion, a test explosion blew open part of Copco 1 Dam, allowing the Klamath River Renewal Corporation to complete the deconstruction by August of this year. This is just incredible progress, and we’re so excited that removal is progressing ahead of schedule–and caught us slightly off guard! 

You may remember seeing news that the Copco 2 Dam was fully removed last year. Copco 1 is located upstream and will be the next dam to fall. According to KRCC, the additional two dams (Iron Gate and JC Boyle) are slated for removal later this fall and just in time for the fall run of Chinook salmon. 

“We are excited to get to work,” said Mark Bransom, CEO of the Renewal Corporation “with the initial phase of drawdown complete, the dam is fully exposed and can safely be disassembled.”

KRCC added in a press release:

“Copco No. 2, a diversion dam that was located just downstream of Copco No. 1, was removed last year. The remaining three dams, Copco No. 1, Iron Gate, and JC Boyle created reservoirs that needed to be drawn down before removal could begin. The initial phase of drawdown concluded last month, and shortly thereafter FERC approved an advancement in the schedule, allowing for the removal of Copco No. 1 ahead of the other remaining dams. Iron Gate and JC Boyle, which are clay core earthen dams, will remain at their full height until the spring runoff period has concluded and the Klamath River has returned to baseline flows. Work on their deconstruction will likely begin sometime in May, depending on precipitation.”


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A post shared by Shane Anderson (@shaneandersonfilm)

Exciting news for The Klamath and river advocates all throughout the country! Kudos to KRCC and all those working tirelessly to complete this critical work–we’ll be looking forward to more positive news of a restored Klamath River!

Cover picture courtesy of Shane Anderson of Swiftwater Films, via KRCC. 

Drawdown Begins–Klamath River Restoration Continues

Klamath River Restoration–Copco 2 Dam Fully Removed

Breaking: Federal Regulators OK Plan to Remove the Klamath Dams


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