Klamath deal moves forward

A new agreement could remove four Klamath dams and provide water for fish and farmers.

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Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other government representatives signed a groundbreaking agreement that could end the Klamath Basin water wars.

The new agreement could remove four PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath River and release water and fishing grounds for fish, farmers and local tribes.

The deal is far from certain: Congress must approve $500 million in extra federal expenses over 10 years for river restoration and protecting farmers in dry years. The dams wouldn’t come down until 2020, and there are plenty of outs along the way. Critics say the accords give Klamath Basin irrigators too much locked-in water and amount to a sweetheart deal for PacifiCorp, which owns the dams.

But the mood was upbeat at the Capitol signing ceremony, which got a celebrity boost when California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

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