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OPED-SALMON-HATCHERIES-COMMENTARY-DMT

The Klamath dam demolitions, the world’s largest dam removal project, offer a spectacular opportunity to return this California and Oregon river to its wild state.

Wednesday, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC), along with lead contractor Kiewit, selected Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC (RES) as project restoration sub-contractor, according to a press release

KRCC is charged with fulfilling the terms of the Amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) for dam removal on the Klamath River.

The entire dam removal project is estimated at $450 million. It expects to employ 400 full- or part-time workers through contracts, subcontracts and direct hiring. If federal approval of the operating license transfer for the dams from PacifiCorp to the KRRC takes place, the project is expected to start in 2021.

Under the current award, RES has been added to the team to take a leadership role in the restoration design and planning, with the goal of RES leading the restoration following the completion of design.

“We could not ask for a better partner than RES to undertake the vital environmental restoration that is a key part of this landmark project. They have the proven experience and expertise needed to ensure success,” said Mark Bransom, KRRC Chief Executive Officer.

RES is a nationally recognized leader in environmental restoration and water quality improvement projects. Recently, RES has undertaken a significant permittee-responsible mitigation project restoring approximately 17,000 acres into a functioning native ecosystem for the North Texas Municipal Water District.

RES enables turnkey environmental solutions ranging from initial site planning, design, construction (restoration), and long-term stewardship, the release said.

After a decade of operation, the team has worked across nearly 20 states, improving more than 300 miles of streams, restoring more than 50,000 acres, and planting more than 15,000,000 trees.

“By returning our nation’s rivers to their natural condition, these projects enable large-scale restoration to occur, which provide significant benefits to the local community while enhancing the surrounding ecosystems,” said Elliott Bouillion, RES, President and CEO.

“We are excited to work with KRRC, Kiewit, and agencies to evaluate the environmental restoration elements to ensure a timely and durable solution is in place for the community.”

RES is known for integrating long-term stewardship into its restoration designs and has extensive experience addressing potential liabilities associated with challenging, large-scale projects.

Given the complexity of a project this size, RES will ensure the restoration plan provides the necessary adaptive management to ensure the permit requirements are achieved as the river returns to its natural state, the release said.