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The Klamath River’s dams are being removed. Inside the effort to restore a scarred watershed

Ian James | March 24th, 2024

HORNBROOK, Calif. — Near the California-Oregon border, reservoirs that once submerged valleys have been drained, revealing a stark landscape that had been underwater for generations.

A thick layer of muddy sediment covers the sloping ground, where workers have been scattering seeds and leaving meandering trails of footprints. In the cracked mud, seeds are sprouting and tiny green shoots are appearing.

With water passing freely through tunnels in three dams, the Klamath River has returned to its ancient channel and is flowing unhindered for the first time in more than a century through miles of waterlogged lands.


dam removal