- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - An agreement by California, Oregon and the federal government on Tuesday boosted efforts to remove four dams in the Pacific Northwest despite opposition in Congress.

Officials from those two states and the federal government committed in the deal to pressing ahead on plans to remove the four hydroelectric dams on the lower Klamath River, which runs through Oregon to California.

Local tribes and other opponents of the dams say the structures blocked fish from spawning grounds and damaged habitat while generating comparatively little hydroelectricity.

The agreement to remove the dams had been part of a yearslong effort to end disputes among tribes, wildlife advocates and farmers and ranchers over use of the river and its water. The resolution had been put in peril when congressional Republicans opposed to the dam removal had declined to formally authorize the project.

The agreements on managing the Klamath River Basin were the result of “years of hard work and collaboration,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement Tuesday. “We can’t let that local vision go unfulfilled.”

Tuesday’s agreement means the two states, the federal government and more than 40 other parties involved in the negotiation will stick to plans to decommission and remove the dams, using existing funding, despite the lack of congressional support, officials said.

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