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Iron Gate Dam Reservoir in northern California is one of the reservoirs that would be affected by Tuesday's vote to eliminate dams on the Klamath River.

Klamath County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a Memorandum of Understanding for the Klamath River Renewal Corporation's plans to own and remove four Klamath River dams.

KRRC consultant Joe Spendolini said the MOU was a way for KRRC to incorporate local government input in its plans to remove the four dams – J.C. Boyle in Oregon, and Copco 1 and 2, and Iron Gate in California – which are currently owned by PacifiCorp.

The dam removal plan needs ultimate approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Spendolini said, which pre-empts normal county permitting processes other local projects may go through. Spendolini said the MOU, which KRRC and the commissioners have crafted together over at least three meetings since November, would honor local concerns with the project.

The actual MOU will likely be submitted into the public record Wednesday when commissioners are expected to officially sign the agreement. The Herald and News will obtain and publish a copy of the agreement online when it is available, and report on key negotiations made by commissioners.

Two to one

The commissioners’ vote was split – Derrick DeGroot and Kelley Minty Morris voted to approve the MOU, and Donnie Boyd voted against it.

Boyd said he voted against it because he didn’t feel the county was fairly benefiting from the agreement.

“The MOU is written to benefit, in my opinion, KRRC,” Boyd said. “I don’t think it benefits the taxpayers; I don’t think it necessarily is in our favor.”

Boyd said he was concerned the MOU allowed too many opportunities for KRRC to back out of their agreements with the county.

“If you’re going to start down this path, I think you need to finish it,” he said.