October 2, 2023
Mark Bransom, CEO
2001 Addison Street Ste. 317
Berkeley, CA. 94704
Re: Klamath River Mitigation Fund
Dear Mr. Bransom,
In both your remarks at Copco Lake and the special Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors meeting of September 26, wherein you addressed the issue of the Mitigation Fund, you made reference to a law and/or fund regulation that limits the amount of compensation to affected citizens caused by the removal of the Klamath River Dams. Your Mitigation Fund website, which I have copied here for point of reference contains essentially the same language you used (Exhibit A).
I have worked in real estate related public projects for many years early in my career and never came across a law that superseded the Constitution of the United States, Fifth Amendment, exempting a public project from payment of “just compensation” or as Supervisor Kobseff references, making people including the County of Siskiyou “whole”. Since both the State of California and the State of Oregon are co licensees with KRRC, who is the third party arm of the States, the removal of the dams and the consequent damages therefrom are logically and legally a public project.
California Constitution Article I, Section 19(a) (Exhibit B), also requires payment of “just compensation” to those damaged in whole or in part by the process of a public project. I would note that the language in the Mitigation website included here also references public funds being used to carry out this project.
The question I posed for you in the meeting at Copco was very straightforward; I asked what law exempted the Mitigation Fund from paying for damages incurred by individuals, companies or the County as required by the Constitution? So, I ask again this question of you, what law are you referring to?
President Siskiyou County Water Users Association
Cc: Doug La Malfa, California Congressman District 1
Cliff Bentz, Oregon Congressman District 2
Siskiyou Supervisor Kobseff
Siskiyou Supervisor Haupt
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