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Application filed to tear down Klamath River dams

SACRAMENTO — The utility that owns four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River in Oregon and California is beginning the formal process to tear them down.

PacifiCorp petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday to transfer ownership of the dams to a new nonprofit, which separately requested permission to decommission them.

The regulatory filings are the result of a landmark agreement earlier this year to allow salmon to return to hundreds of miles of the Klamath River in what federal officials call one of the largest river restoration projects in U.S. history.

The agreement also protects farmers and ranchers from rising power and water prices as various interests work to end long-running water wars in the drought-stricken Klamath basin.

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