A podcast about the context, science, and engineering of the Klamath Dam removals. This podcast can be listened to on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Audible.

Source: David Baker, OSU

Source: David Baker, OSU

Episode 1: Why did we do this??
Desiree and Miranda reflect on putting the podcast together and our favorite episodes

Episode 2: I’m not doing this for myself. I’m doing this for my kids
The Tribes of the Klamath Basin have played a leading role in advocating for dam removal, as well as leading the management, restoration, and science around fisheries on the river. Barry McCovey Jr., Yurok Tribal member and director of the Fisheries Program for the Tribe, discusses what life was like growing up on the Klamath River, how it has changed over time, and how the momentum built through the dam removal will guide the further healing and recovery of the ecosystem and the people. 

Episode 3: The healing process has begun
Want to know what’s happening on the ground with the dam removals? Mark Bransom, CEO of the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, shares lots of fascinating details about the timeline, logistics, and how they are managing liability for the world’s largest dam removal.

Episode 4: Getting to the dam removal decision
Bob Gravely with PacifiCorp explains how the private electric utility reached the decision that removing their four dams on the Klamath River was in the best interest of ratepayers.  

Episode 5: How Gwen sleeps at night: communication, expertise, and partnering in the project of a career 
Gwen Santos with Resource Environmental Solutions (RES) walks us through how the many contractors are orchestrating such a large project, and why constant communication and the right expertise are essential. She explains some of the vast scale of site restoration, a large and often underappreciated aspect of all dam removals. She also talks us through how RES owns and manages the restoration risk, from wildfires to elk browsing.

Episode 6: The fish will figure it out
Miranda gets into the fishy details with Dr. Tommy Williams from NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center. Tommy provides a clear overview of why the dam removal is so important for the Klamath River fish as the system faces climate change and other threats. The conversation covers what why restoration actions need to focus on resetting processes at large scales and collaborating until it hurts. 

Episode 7: Lessons in adaptive environmental permitting
Environmental permitting isn’t at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but it certainly was for project partners on the Klamath. Long known for being tedious and lacking in transparency, environmental permitting is often considered a barrier to getting projects completed, rather than an opportunity to collaborate and improve projects. But as the environment around us changes, so should environmental permitting, right? Chris Stine with ODEQ walks us through how the states (CA and OR) worked the permitting process to support the projects, setting an important precedence for how environmental permitting can adapt along with the environment.

Episode 8: There will be mud! Sediment and water quality in the Klamath River following dam removal 
Want to know what scientists think could happen with all of that sediment (13 million cubic yards!) stored behind the dams? Or how the temperature, nutrients, and algae in the river could change? Chauncey Anderson, recently retired from the US Geological Survey, helps unpack what we think we know about the water quality changes ahead for the Klamath, where the gaps in our knowledge are, and why it is important for scientists to keep collaborating until it hurts.  

Episode 9: A lot to celebrate: Whitewater guides talk Klamath dams and dam removals
Since the construction of JC Boyle, whitewater recreation occurs via scheduled releases from the dam. Known colloquially as the “Upper Klamath,” this reach of the river has legendary rapids with big waves and exciting drops. With the dams gone, flows will be much more variable and less predictable, eliminating the reach as a reliable option for guiding businesses. This will be a loss for outfitters and recreational users of the river, but as you’ll hear, dam removal also creates some new opportunities. This episode was recorded on the banks of the Upper Klamath with guides from Indigo Creek Outfitters.

Episode 10: It feels like we have no control
Francis Gill and Danny Fontaine, two local landowners at Copco Lake, share their perspectives on the impacts of the dam removals on local residents, as well as the threats facing rural communities in the American West more broadly.   

Print Friendly, PDF & Email