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Cultivating Place: The Yurok Tribe's Revegetation Planning for the Undamming of the Klamath River, Brook Thompson & Joshua Chenoweth

Seed sorting and cleaning for revegetation of Klamath River. courtesy of Joshua Chenoweth, all rights reserved.
Joshua Chenoweth
Seed sorting and cleaning for revegetation of Klamath River. courtesy of Joshua Chenoweth, all rights reserved.

Seen in the overview, the 30 x 30 conservation efforts at federal and state levels are tremendous, but as the last two weeks’ conversations have made clear, it is at the landscape and local levels that these conservation efforts work or don’t work, get done or don’t, and ideally get done as thoroughly and thoughtfully as possible.

This week we focus on one specific and historical project at least 50 years in the making – the undamming of the majestic Klamath River. The final approval for the removal of a series of hydroelectric-production dams (whose installations date from the early to the mid1900s) was won in November of 2022. Dam removal is set to begin in 2023. We’re in conversation with two people, Brook Thompson and Joshua Chenoweth, engaged in preparing for the revegetation of the more than 2000 acres that will be re-exposed following the draining of the dam basins.

Brook is a Yurok tribal member, a Native scholar, a civil engineer, water rights and cultural sovereignty activist, and Joshua is a restoration ecologist working for the Yurok tribe and leading the many-year planning and implementation of this complex revegetation process. It’s all about re-connections. Listen in!

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Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.