The Klamath originates in marshes in eastern Oregon and descends through thickly forested canyons in the far north of California before flowing into the Pacific Ocean. The watershed is comparatively small  — the river is just over 400 km long. Yet it has earned a reputation as the most contentious basin in the US, pitting farmers and ranchers on one side against Native Americans and commercial fishermen on the other, all fighting over the river’s dwindling resources, in particular its once bountiful salmon runs. But the basin also holds hope for a stunning reconciliation.

In January 2008, many of the feuding parties reached an agreement that would allow the removal of four obsolescent, environmentally disastrous hydroelectric dams on the river, including two that would become the tallest dams ever taken down


© Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua 2009