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View 2007 Awards

Warren Buffet: Tear Down Those Dams

Lead Group(s):

Friends of the River
Karuk Tribe
Yurok Tribe

Support Group(s):

Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fishermen's Association

Description of the Problem the Campaign is seeking to address (50 word max):

Removal of four destructive dams on the once-thriving Klamath River, which would be the largest dam removal project in US history. Prevent the loss of salmon and other river species, destruction of the Klamath River, collapse of commercial salmon industry on Pacific coast, damage to tribal culture.

Brief Description of the Achievement(s) (30 word max):

The cross-country boat drive attend the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting generated more than 200 media mentions and increased public and financial pressure on Buffett's subsidiary PacifiCorp to remove dams.

Description of how this is an important step toward the Campaign's goals, and if applicable, how it shows innovation (150 word max):

PacifiCorp, which owns the four dams destroying the Klamath River, must make the final decision to remove them. After significant stalling by PacifiCorp, FOR decided to ratchet up the pressure by appealing to PacifiCorp's owner, Warren Buffetts Berkshire Hathaway. FOR and others organized a cross-country drive of traditional dugout canoes and spoke at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. The result: increased public pressure, raised awareness of the financial, as well as environmental and cultural, rationale for removing the dams, and narrowed Pacificorp's ability to raise arguments against removal. The media and the public now know that the federal government, California, Oregon, fishermen, tribes, and environmentalists all want the dams removed. They also know that dam removal is actually the cheaper option and better business decision for PacifiCorp. The next step will further focus attention on Pacificorp's poor business decision until PacifiCorp finally makes the final commitment to remove the dams.