First Salmon

By Thomas F. King

for the Klamath River Intertribal Fish and Water Commission

March 25, 2004


This report is based on studies done by or on behalf of the Yurok, Karuk, and Shasta Tribes, together with documents provided by the Hupa Tribe, dealing with the cultural significance of the Klamath Riverscape – that is, the Klamath River and its surroundings. It addresses several questions that are fundamental to fulfilling the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and under other cultural resource authorities, in considering relicensing of the PacifiCorp Klamath River Hydroelectric Project.

The report first asks whether there is a definable “Klamath Riverscape” that may be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. It concludes that there certainly is such a riverscape. It next outlines the characteristics that contribute to the riverscape’s cultural character, identifying such elements as the river itself, its anadromous and resident fish, its other wildlife and plants, and its cultural uses and perceptions of its value by the Yurok, Karuk, Shasta and Hupa Tribes.

The report then turns to whether the riverscape is in fact eligible for the National Register ñ that is, does it meet the National Register Criteria at 36 CFR 60.4. It concludes that it does meet these criteria, as a traditional cultural landscape.

Next, the report considers the effects of the Klamath Hydroelectric Project on the riverscape, concluding that there is a complex pattern of cumulative adverse effects, caused by multiple factors, to which the hydroelectric project contributes. Effects include obstructions to fish passage, alterations in water quality, quantity, temperature, and flow regime that affect fish, plant life, habitat, and human use of the river, and erosion of significant cultural sites along the river. These effects damage tribal use of and relationships to the riverscape, and diminish its cultural integrity.

To view the whole report email your request to: Klamath Restoration Council