The Klamath Mitigation Fund (Fund) is a voluntary claims-based compensation and settlement program related to potential impacts from the removal of the four dams in the Lower Klamath Project: J.C. Boyle, Copco No. 1 and 2, and Iron Gate. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved decommissioning of the Lower Klamath Hydroelectric Project, which will result in the removal of four dams on the Klamath River.
Dam removal may impact certain groundwater wells in the vicinity of Copco Reservoir and Iron Gate Reservoir, impact a small number of properties adjacent to Copco Reservoir due to slope instability following reservoir drawdown, and slightly increase the flood risk for certain properties downstream of Iron Gate dam. The Klamath Mitigation Fund is designed to provide compensation for specified physical impacts to private properties that are caused, or will be potentially caused, by the Klamath dam removal project. The Fund will provide compensation to select property owners who will have the opportunity to make improvements using Fund compensation to address impacts. Neither the Klamath River Renewal Corporation nor any state of federal agency will construct the improvements.
The Fund will be independently administered by Fund Administrators, Joan Smith and Monte Mendenhall. The Fund Administrators will oversee the Fund and make specific compensation decisions with individual property owners whose property and potential impacts fit within the Fund criteria. The Fund Administrators will conduct virtual informational sessions for each category of potential impacts (groundwater wells, slope stability impacts, and flood risks) followed later by private exchanges, virtual or in-person, with individual property owners with properties that meet the specified criteria. Each affected property owner with properties that meet the required criteria will decide whether to enter into a settlement with respect to such claims. The Fund Administrators are available to facilitate this process.
While the Fund is independently managed and operated by the Fund Administrators, it must be managed in a way that is consistent with applicable law, including the legal requirements for public funding used in the Fund.
Temporary relocation to ensure safety for individuals with homes and/or underlying
lands immediately adjacent to Copco
Reservoir in the case of slumping or other instability in the reservoir slope during the period of reservoir drawdown as well as
for any damages to homes or underlying
lands as a result of slope instability.
Increased risk of flooding for certain dwellings downstream of Iron Gate dam. Many of these structures are currently within the designated 100-year FEMA floodplain. The settlement will allow homeowners to create or modify berms, raise foundations, or take other actions to mitigate the impact of increased flow elevations during a 100-year flood event. (We expect that 100-year flood elevations will increase up to six to eighteen inches in some locations.)
Potentially reduced production in groundwater wells that may be hydrologically linked to a reservoir. Wells must be within 1000 feet of Copco Reservoir to be eligible for compensation.
Mrs. Smith is well known in Siskiyou County, having previously served on the Yreka City Council and the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors. She has also served as Executive Director of the Siskiyou County Farm Bureau, the Klamath Alliance for Resources and Environment, and the Yreka Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Mrs. Smith has 15 years of experience in corporate banking and finance.
Mr. Mendenhall recently retired from PacifiCorp where he served as the public affairs contact for Siskiyou County. He lived in Siskiyou County for many years and was an established local figure, with a breadth of
public-facing experience specific to the project area. He now lives in Southern Oregon.
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We want to thank the many people who have filed claims for compensation. The Fund is currently closed. When the Fund reopens after Copco Reservoir is lowered, we will review claims for structures in the rim stability category with demonstrated physical damage as well as claims in the groundwater wells category by those who previously filed notice of intent to monitor their groundwater well for impacts.
If your property is in the rim stability category and your home experiences an observed physical impact as a result of drawdown, please contact the Fund with your property address and photos.