Monday, January 28, 2013

Global Water Project unveils mural in the town of Orleans

Below you will find a press release from the Klamath Justice Coalition and the Estria Foundation about the dam removal mural they just completed with community members in Orleans. Those who love the Klamath and Klamath Salmon and want them restored agree that removal of four PacifiCorp dams is a key restoration action. River communities and salmon advocates remain divided, however, about the best path to dam removal as well as about how best to advance River and Salmon restoration. 

Below the press release you'll find links to on-line photos and a U Tube video documenting the painting of the mural. For more information contacNancy Hernandez at 510-698-6604. 

You can enjoy the mural in person at the Amayav Market in the town of Orleans along the Lower Klamath River. Amayav Market is an outdoor market located next to Highway 96 near the (indoor) Orleans Market. The mural is the seventh public mural in a global series dedicated to water issues coordinated by Estria Foundation .  

A local youngster examines the mural from close up

Here's the press release: 

The Klamath Justice Coalition, a community group along the Klamath River and the Estria Foundation announce the completion of a collaborative mural project. The mural is located at the Amayav Market, a local farmers market and space for community trade in Orleans California. Founded in 2009, the space promotes a sustainable economy and food security through local commerce. Weekly open air markets provide a space to exchange locally grown food, home cooked baked and canned goods, arts and crafts and reusable goods.

The mural is a collaboration between local artists, elders, youth, The Estria Foundation, and community organizers. Karuk artist, Brian David Tripp painted the woven baskets at the center of the image and played an integral role as an advisor in the project. Educator and artist, Annelia Hillman, painted much of the story of the place and the people and helped to guide the content of the image.

The mural portrays the story of the removal the dams from the Klamath River. Dancers are painted bringing balance back to the river with their world renewal ceremony. To their left are images of past industry and the effects left on the land and water; mine tailings from hydraulic mining, toxic algae from industrial farming and hydroelectric dams, and the fish kill of 2002. To their right is the vision of a future healthy river after the largest dam removal project in human history is complete; salmon are swimming strong, people are fishing and harvesting, and trade is strengthening the community. Coyote is represented in the center as a catalyst for change. The mural is completed by a frog foot pattern border, to symbolize healing.

The Estria Foundation, a public arts organization based in the Bay Area is painting murals about water across the globe in a series entitled #WaterWrites. The Klamath mural will be linked with projects completed in LA, Oakland, Honolulu, The Philippines, Palestine, and El Salvador. There are 5 murals in planning in different cities. For more information, visit www.estria.or 

Please view the photos at:  and watch the video at:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best 2012 article on Klamath River Issues

Below you will find a reprint of what KlamBlog believes is the best of what has been written about the Klamath River Basin during 2012. The article's author is Erica Terence. Erica recently began a period of extended leave from her job as executive director of Klamath Riverkeeper.

The article first appeared in the Huffington Post; it has been reprinted in several publications including EcoWatch.

In her article Erica makes a strong case for removal of the Klamath River Dams. Having grown up on (and in) the River, she places the case for dam removal within a personal and community context. And while KlamBlog does not agree with Erica that the Klamath Deals are the best route to dam removal, salmon recovery and river restoration, we nevertheless recognize that Erica is part of the community of people, governments and organizations which – however divided on how to proceed - share a common vision of a restored Klamath River sustaining vibrant and healthy river communities and ecosystems.

The essay is also very well written.

Well done Erica; we wish we had a prize to give you!

Razing Dams From the River That Raised Me

Looking back, I can see that I was spoiled growing up, though my family wasn't rich by American standards.

I had a cold, clean river bubbling past my house that contained fish bigger than me. Even when I traveled to Haiti at 13 years old, I didn't comprehend how lucky I was.
In the mountains just outside Port-au-Prince, people bathed in streams so polluted and foul, I couldn't fathom how it would facilitate cleanliness.

Only as an adult, whom the Klamath River called back home, did the truth finally wash over me: without people and communities to speak for stable mountainsides, adequate supplies of clean, free-flowing water, and a diversity of wild fish runs, we could easily have rivers like the ones I saw in Haiti.

 (Photo courtesy of Erica Terence)
My childhood also taught me that we need to fish, swim and raft our rivers to appreciate their magnificence and remember how to protect them.

That's why Klamath Riverkeeper, the nonprofit organization I represent, led 50 children, tribal members, anglers and other community members on a paddle down eight miles of Klamath River canyon last weekend.

Like me, many in this group have been swimming and fishing in this watershed since we were kids, drifting through rapids and hopping rocks endlessly. We grew up in a place relatively untainted by development. Now we take our children, nieces and nephews to the river, so they can learn about catching currents and eddies and how water moves around resistance on its way to the sea.