11 Jun 2010, 11:08am
Latest Wildlife News
by admin

Agreement fuels Klamath discord

In wake of historic dam-removal deal, doubts linger over ultimate outcome

By MITCH LIES, Capital Press, June 10, 2010 [here]

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Don Boyd, a third-generation farm equipment dealer in Merrill, Ore., has watched the water crisis in the Klamath Basin decimate the area’s economy.

“People that work for me aren’t going to movies,” he told the Oregon Board of Agriculture at a recent meeting in Klamath Falls. “They aren’t eating out as much.

“This is devastating to this community,” Boyd said.

Sales of tractors, balers and windrowers are down 66 percent at Floyd A. Boyd Co., he said. And business in his service department is off 55 percent.

In addition, he said, the “can-do” attitude and the unity that once permeated the area is harder to find.

“I have two kids and I’m telling them not to come back to Klamath Falls,” Boyd said.

From a conflicted citizenry to conflicting biological opinions for three endangered fish — one calling for water managers to keep water in Klamath Lake and another calling for managers to release the water — the Klamath Basin these days is home to conflict. …

At the core of the dispute is an agreement on how to resolve environmental and irrigation needs in and around the Klamath Reclamation Project. It’s a deal many don’t agree with.

The pact between farmers, Indian tribes, fishermen and environmentalists calls for conserving water and removing four dams on the Klamath River in exchange for assurances of water delivery. …

The precedent-setting plan has drawn praise from high-ranking Obama administration officials and top state officials in Oregon and California.

“It’s all about keeping productive, viable agriculture in this area for the next 100 years,” said Greg Addington, executive director of Klamath Water Users Association.

But opponents say environmentalists, tribes and fishermen were handed far too many concessions at the expense of farmers and ranchers.

“We didn’t get anything we asked for,” said Tom Mallams, who ranches outside the Klamath Reclamation Project.

Mallams said opponents were willing to make concessions, but in exchange they wanted affordable power, stable water deliveries and protection from lawsuits over the Endangered Species Act.

The agreement, Mallams said, provides none of that.

“We’re typecast as unbending, but we’ve compromised all over the place,” Mallams said.

“The KBRA doesn’t give us assurances,” said Bill Kennedy, a Klamath Basin rancher who uses off-project and on-project water. “I’ve asked over and over to show me where it says we’re assured water.”

“We’re giving up major, permanent concessions for some hoped-for benefits,” Mallams said. … [more]

12 Jun 2010, 3:34pm
by bear bait

On the Oregon side of the California border, the government is shutting water off.

On the California side of the Oregon border, the US and CA governments are threatening ranchers and farmers with ESA fines if their diversion of water harms a listed coho salmon. But there is no water being shut off. No dams being breached on the California Klamath system.

The only ones proposed for that end are in Oregon, a state with 5 house members. California, a state with 53 members of the House of Representatives, including the Speaker, Ms. Pelosi, gets 2.5 million acre feet of water diverted out of the Klamath Watershed, water sent to the highly populated areas of Southern California through a system of canals and diversions that send Klamath River water clear to San Diego.

Might makes right. And in California, farmers have some clout. They are, after all, employers of those millions of illegal aliens and thus quite important to the economy of Mexico in the form of remittance checks to families. Walls are breached at the area of least resistance, and Oregon’s urban 4 loyal liberal Democrats in Congress might as well be from San Francisco when you look at how they vote. And how Oregon farmers get treated as opposed to Siskiyou County, where ranchers show their middle digits to regulators.



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