Documentary filmmaker Ben Kempas offers a nuanced snapshot of a decidedly complex situation by detailing the devastation done to the Klamath River by the construction of four hydroelectric dams in Northern California and Oregon. For centuries, Pacific salmon have been swimming up the Klamath River to their spawning ground, replenishing the salmon population while simultaneously providing food for local tribes who walked the region long before a state called California ever even existed. But over the course of the last few generations, four hydroelectric dams in the region have poisoned the water. Before the construction of the dams, millions of salmons made their way up the river each season; these days, the number has dwindled to just a few thousand. Marv George is the leader of a citizen's crusade and a member of the Hoopa tribe. The culture of the Hoopa has been based around fishing salmon for as long as the tribe has existed, and as the fish population continues to dwindle, his people suffer the consequences. But the Hoopa aren't the only locals who have found their livelihood threatened by the dams, because the local farmers who rely on the water for irrigation are crucial stakeholders in this fragile ecosystem as well. Now that the dam license is up for renewal, George and his allies form a united front in hopes of forcing new owner Warren Buffet to undertake the biggest dam removal project ever attempted.
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