The U.S. Department of the Interior Tuesday announced another step toward a determination by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on whether removing dams along the Klamath River will advance salmon and steelhead fisheries in the Basin and be in the public interest.

The interior department released results from an independent peer review panel evaluating the draft Klamath Overview Report, just one of many steps toward the secretarial decision.

The peer review — completed by a panel of six experts from across the country — found the overview report “connects to the sound science that underlies its conclusions, provides a depth of coverage suitable for the anticipated audience and provides clearly stated concepts and conclusions,” a news release said. It also said the “science appears to be reliable for a secretarial determination.”

The overview report combines several past steps in the secretarial determination process.

In September 2011, more than 150 scientists, engineers and technical experts completed 50 federal science reports. Between January 2011 and July 2011, four expert panels reported on Klamath River fisheries and the potential impacts of dam removal.

The Klamath Overview Report draft, published in January 2012, combines the findings of the 50 federal science reports and the four expert panel reports. The overview report also addressed the impact of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement on local communities, American Indian tribes and the environment, Tuesday’s news release said.

Federal agencies will finalize the overview report during the next few months.

The peer review of the overview report is available at When the overview report is finalized, it will be available at the same website.