Friday, February 19, 2010

Rivers and rural livelihoods

That was a theme of two stories I heard or read yesterday, from different parts of the country.

The first was about the Mekong River, and was part of an NPR series on the river. This segment was about the part of the river in Cambodia. Near the end of it, journalist Michael Sullivan touches on Cambodia's agrarian past and present, rural-to-urban migration, and other rural themes.

The other was this story about the Klamath River in Oregon and California. Following is an excerpt about agreements signed yesterday to remove four dams on the river. The presence--and anticipated absence--of these dams has implications for farmers, American Indians who rely on the river's salmon populations, and others in the region.

The agreements would remove the four dams by 2020 if a series of federal studies and Congressional approval and appropriations follow suit; the interior secretary is to make a final decision on removal by March 2012.

The agreements were signed by Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski of Oregon, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Greg Abel, the chief executive of PacifiCorp, the power company that owns the dams, and more than 30 groups representing tribes, farmers, fishermen and environmentalists. Some tribes and environmental groups refused to sign, citing questions over water flow for salmon and the timing of dam removal.

See an earlier post about the matter here.

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