Klamath River News
BUFFET SAYS REGULATORS, NOT PACIFICORP, WILL DECIDE DAMS' FUTURE
The Associated Press
OMAHA, Nebraska: Salmon fishermen and American Indian tribes from California and Oregon did not win billionaire Warren Buffett's support Saturday in their campaign to remove four dams from the Klamath River on the California-Oregon border.
Buffett said his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will not decide whether the dams its PacifiCorp subsidiary own on the river should be removed; that is a question for state and federal officials.
The groups, who staged protests in the days before Berkshire's annual meeting, wanted Buffett's help. They say the salmon population has suffered along the Klamath, and fishing in the area was nearly shut down last year.
During a question-and-answer period at the meeting, one of the women who asked about the dams said her family lost 95 percent of its income last year because her husband is a salmon fisherman.
"They're barely hanging onto their livelihoods because of the Klamath River crisis," the fisherman's wife said.
TRIBE: BUFFETT MISSES THE POINT
A coalition of Klamath River-area tribes, fishermen and environmental groups converged in Nebraska this weekend to plead for the removal of the Klamath River dams they say are killing fish, destroying livelihoods and threatening cultures.
The four hydroelectric dams up for federal relicensing are owned by PacifiCorp.
The group's multi-state effort to raise awareness of the dams culminated in a rally Saturday at PacifiCorp parent company Berkshire-Hathaway's shareholders' meeting in Omaha, which was estimated to have attracted 27,000 attendees.
Also attending the meeting was Warren Buffett, Berkshire-Hathaway's reportedly environmentally friendly billionaire chief executive officer, who the group hoped would listen to their message.
Dam removal advocates cite state and federal energy agency studies that show PacifiCorp could save nearly $100 million by removing the dams rather than spending the millions needed for fish protection mitigations identified as part of the relicensing process.
Leading up to Saturday's rally, the tribes hosted a traditionally prepared roasted salmon meal on Thursday and performed a Brush Dance healing ceremony Friday.
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