Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.


Submit photos ( .jpg )

over farmland near Klamath Falls,
April 2004

Scientist Vogel addresses
flawed Hardy flows

Key concerns outlined in the report: GO HERE for
summary and report.


photo by Anders Tomlinson      Irrigation wheelline in a Klamath Basin sunset
Where is the Klamath Basin, who is our community, who is KBC, and who are the caretakers of KBC?
Go to
About us

Fall 2003 Tulelake hay field



Thank you for your friendship and your loyalty to Klamath Water Users.  We will miss you ! !

the truth has
set you free



the rainbow is for you


Major Problems with the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) 'Fish Kill' Report, by scientist David Vogel. In 2002, the DFG was the major source of allegations regarding the Klamath River fish die-off, blaming the Klamath Basin irrigators, 200 miles away.  In this presentation Vogel personally gave to the DFG Director and those employees who wrote the report, he exposes the agency's inaccuracies. For more on Vogel, go to science 11/14/03


In 1954, the veteran homesteaders and other Tulelake farmers formed a co-op and built Newell Grain Growers elevator.

The Newell Grain elevators alone house 20,000 tons of grain annually, including oats, barley and wheat. Its worth is approximately 2 1/2 million dollars per year.



Upper Basin Water Users Attend Two Day Tour with Coastal Fishermen "Visiting farmers were provided with a better understanding of the difficulties local ports face with restrictions on harbor dredging, the competition fishermen face with local tribes who also depend on salmon, and the growing pains that coastal communities are facing as tourism and tribal casinos begin to overtake commercial fishing in the local economy." HERE for story by Dan Keppen, Klamath Water Users Executive Director 10/31/03


Gary Wright and Scott Seus, Project
irrigators on tribal tour. 

Klamath Tribes host Project irrigators on forest tour

Quotes of participants lead you through this tribal tour. Past and present land practices, questions and answers, economics, restoration, forest management, tribal termination, spotlighting, and other issues are included.  Loggers and ranchers offered some suggestions.  Go HERE for story, 10/20/03



Agency Lake, adjacent to 94,000
acres of wetlands that have already
been converted from ag lands.


                     KBC photos  Klamath Basin, the
                      farmer's and rancher's paradise
  Rangeland Trust, who buys water easements with federal money,  has asked a few irrigators to be at the table with them and the Klamath Tribes as the Tribes try to regain 690,000 acres of the Winema National forest.  DOI is working with the Tribes, and is also trying to find solutions for the irrigators.  ONRC and environmental groups want the government to buy or condemn  private land to give to the Tribes.
     Irrigators want to keep caretaking the land that they have known for generations. They do not want their community and economy downsized. They want to continue to produce American food and jobs, and preserve a wholesome, productive environment for America's children and grandchildren.
CLICK HERE for all available news regarding the negotiations.


October 7, 2003
Sorting onions on the bulker is hard, dusty work, but at least it is employment.  After 2001, and the threats of curtailed water in 2003,  farmers, employees, and the community appreciate,  much more, our bountiful harvest. No one feels the relief more than the children....Mom and Dad can again be proud and self-sufficient, and laugh again.  The community and local economy was damaged, but it is recovering.

            KBC photos of Staunton Farms onion harvest.

KBC photo


World Champion Pilot
Tulelake pilot wins during Reno Air Races

The son of a Tulelake WWII veteran homesteader Paul Macy, Nick began racing at the Reno Air Races in 1986. He succeeds his parents in the family business, Macy's Flying Service. HERE for story.
by Diana Wunderle, Tri-County Courier
posted to KBC Oct 3, 2003

photo by Pat Ratliff/Klamath Media


KBC photo  Barley Field
FALL 2003 The Klamath Basin is producing a bountiful harvest.  Geese are beginning to
fly in, feeding on grain and potatoes.  Many families are being employed by grain, potato,
mint, onion, garlic, and horseradish farms. The community is alive and becoming healthy again.



  Leadership in Conservation
awarded to  Klamath Water
Users Association

by Tri-County Courier staff writer Kehn Gibson, photos by Pat Ratliff HERE for complete story

KWUA director Dan Keppen accepting award, photo.


  "Oregon Dept. of Ag. director Katy Coba said she discovered, during a trip to the Basin with Gov. Ted Kulongoski in April, that there were hidden facts about the efforts of the irrigators in the Basin."
"'In the brief time I spent there I was completely impressed with their efforts to conserve water," Coba said. "There has been so much negative media coverage I think it is important their proactive efforts be recognized.'"
" '... with more than 250 conservation projects completed in the Basin since 1992....irrigators have never been recognized for that work, and to have a Democratic governor be the first gives me a lot of hope that real solutions are coming.' "


Bush backs forest plan as wildfire paints horizon
by Kehn Gibson, The Tri-County Courier.

Go HERE for photos of The President
and our representatives,

by photographer Robert Crawford.


President George W. Bush talks about his healthy forest initiative in Redmond, Ore., Thursday, August 21, 2003. White House photo by Paul Morse.

The President Speaks on Healthy Forests in Oregon
Redmond, Oregon August 21, 2003
Go HERE for entire transcript"
As you know, you've got an issue in the Klamath Basin and we've been trying to come up with reasonable policy so that people can farm the land and fish can live at the same time."


Crystal and Shane Carroll in front of their home in Malin. The ribbon was tied to the tree by Shane's Dad, Tom, when Shane was first deployed to the Gulf in March.

Photo by Kehn Gibson, Tri-County Courier

HERE  for story.



Larger map CLICK HERE
Long Lake Storage

Klamath Water Users Association, Klamath County Board of Commissioners, and Tulelake Irrigation District support the study of Long Lake for potential water storage.

 Preliminary estimates suggest that 350,000 - 500,000 acre-feet of water could be stored in Long Lake.

Go HERE for letters of support, more information and video presentation info.

Go HERE for H&N article


California Congressman John Doolittle came to Tulelake to see first hand the reality of the farm and water situation.

Doolittle says, regarding Tulelake refuge lease land, "I've discovered that government programs that pay for themselves involving the commercial use of resources are highly offensive to extreme environmentalists.  That's why they've destroyed the timber program.."

Doolittle, addressing Bureau of Reclamation representatives concerning the near shutdown this summer of the Klamath Project,exclaimed, "What bizarre policy could actually produce a situation where the water year is upgraded where there's more water available, that actually means less water for the farmers?  That's completely absurd and ridiculous!"  STORY HERE

KBC photo
Accompanied by John Crawford and Marty Macy, Tulelake irrigators, Congressman Doolittle boards a plane to see the Tulelake farmland.


KBC is rerunning this photo for the benefit of
New York Times
Once again they are inventing the news.
 see article

Dan Keppen, KWUA, responds to NY Times 8/6/03


Link River used to go dry...cowboys and Indians did not have to pump groundwater to replenish it.  The fish did not go extinct.  Could it be that Karl Rove speaks the truth and the environmentalists/anti-ag-in-America folks can't bear to hear the truth? KBC



kbc photo

Chart (#1) of TID groundwater pumped this summer to keep Klamath Lake and watershed at mandatory levels.  The Klamath Project provides 2% of the watershed. All water that the irrigators use and reuse 9 times, returns to the refuges and watershed.  If we do not pump, BOR/DOI has threatened to shut down the Klamath Project, again. Private pumpers also are pumping their own wells to irrigate with no compensation, rather than using their stored water in Klamath Lake. 

Chart (#2) of groundwater pumped from USFWS, ONRC, Klamath Tribes, Yurok Tribes, PCFFA, BOR, BLM,  USFS, Power Companies, The Nature Conservancy to enhance lake levels and Klamath River flows? 92,000 acres of ag land has been converted to wetlands---their groundwater contribution to watershed is included on the 2nd chart.



Bill Ransom, KBB (Klamath Bucket Brigade) chairman, "I've fished here all my life, and I've never seen it
he exclaimed.  The sign (l) posted by the bridge by USFWS was amusing...we need to throw back
any trout with antennas we might catch...as if ANY thing could be alive in this  swamp. This river's ecosystem
has been exchanged for flooding the ZX Ranch, purchased by TNC.
  See Story by Barb Hall, KBB


  Tulelake Basin farmland---early summer 2003 KBC photo

July 25 - July 27
Medicine Lake Traditional Spiritual Gathering
Hosted by the Ajumawi, Atwamsini and Itsatewi Bands of the Pit  River Tribe:
CLICK HERE for more information

How this relates to a huge political agenda--example in progress of how wilderness areas happen, clean power gets shut down, and this WILL affect the Klamath Basin: CLICK HERE


photos by KBC.
The 1992 Biological Opinion developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) states "the construction of the Sprague River dam near Chiloquin effectively blocked approximately 95% (70 river miles) of the potential spawning range of the Lost River and shortnose suckers in Upper Klamath Lake".
 This is a few hundred yards upriver from Chiloquin Dam, where spawning habitat is blocked off. According to fish biologist Dave Vogel,""Fish passage at Chiloquin Dam was the primary reason the suckers were listed as endangered in 1988 and, in our opinion, is the primary factor limiting recovery of the species." 
See article on consensus to remove dam.


Farmland 2001 after the U.S. government shut off water to the farmers in the Klamath Basin.
photo by Anders Tomlinson
July 4, 2001.  400 people watched as the headgates were opened by farmers to let water flow onto their parched land.  Many standing side by side were the WWII veterans who were given homesteads by our U.S. government.  They couldn't believe that their government would break the promise of irrigation water  for them and 'their heirs' forever.
July 4, 2003.  1500 farm families are praying for no rain during this time of water mismanagement.  According to the 2003 operation plan, if we get more moisture , farmers get less and fish get more (while the NAS interum report says the fish don't need more). The Bureau of Reclamation says they may shut off our water this year--this month, with $200 million of crops in the ground because we had a wet spring.


H&N photo by Gary Thain  June 11, 2003
Peppermint grows on 140 acres of Rob Crawford's farmland near Tulelake.  Grown for quality and with environmental conscientiousness, the 140 acres are hand-weeded.  Thousands of farm  and  business employees find work from the many Klamath Basin farms and ranches.   see article on mint
Newspaper article HIGH AND DRY  2001
In 2001, the Crawfords were only one of the hundreds of families to watch their land, the first time in all history, go dry.  This ditch had never ever been dry...you see, this used to be a big lake in a closed basin (meaning that the water never could leave the basin until a diversion canal was built to send water down the Klamath River).  So the Klamath Project just rerouted the water so some of the land could be farmed.  These farms, canals and reservoirs, for the past 100 years, have been filled with over 350 species of wildlife.  In 2001 we watched crops and wildlife die, along with the spirits of these American farmers.



1947 veteran Homesteaders Mr.and Mrs. Sprout, came to Tulelake, invited by our gov't as a 'thank you' for serving in the U.S. military to defend America's freedom.

2001 The veteran Homesteaders, with their flags at the Bucket Brigade.  Their cattle and their fields were dying when all water was shut off to Klamath Basin farmers. 
photo by Anders Tomlinson
2001 Many of these WWII veterans, from privates to colonels, our mothers and fathers, facing the armed U.S. marshals who kept them from their deeded, promised water. They built the canals, dams, and headgates, and paid for them in full to store the water for irrigation.
GOD BLESS OUR VETERANS.  HEAR THEIR PRAYERS, lest they are betrayed again.


Sea lions or seals at the mouth of the Klamath River in September.

"It is unlikely that sea lion and seal predation is a cause for the decline of coho salmon," according to the National Marine Fishery Service. 

"If these large, warm-blooded animals are not eating salmon at the mouth of the Klamath River, what are they eating?" Klamath Water Users Newsletter


 According to The Oregonian, 5/27/03, "The sea lions, in slightly longer than a month, have devoured an estimated 2,700 adult salmon and steelhead trout -- a rate that approaches 1.5 percent of the total run of fish during the sea lions' visits..." (this is rampant at the mouth of the Klamath River, yet the environmentalists and tribes seem to only attribute the fish loss to the  Klamath Project 200 miles away, which uses only 2% of the water.  KBC)      

MAY 25, 2003!  TULELAKE. 400 local veterans and their families!  The sound.... a lone voice in the eerily-silent building, reading a seemingly eternal list of names of veterans who fought, and are fighting for, our freedom  Who are they?  click here

THE WALL, photo submitted by Cindy Wright



The  Woman Behind the Association! KBC photo 4/28/03
JoAnn Rogers, Administrative Assistant for Klamath Water Users Association.  She deals with attorneys, governors, senators and congressmen, a bunch of farmers and ranchers, and hate calls. She types, attends meetings--night and day,  takes minutes, organizes, makes decisions, listens, smiles, and thinks. 


Photos by Anders Tomlinson

by John Griffith, Chairman of the Coos County Board of Commissioners,
 "I've polled Oregon commercial fisherman over the years to learn if ANY are members of PCFFA, and have been unable to find any.  I've been unable to find any who say they know of any Oregon fishermen or fishermen's associations that are members.  To my knowledge, PCFFA is Glen Spain, a Eugene attorney, Zeke Grader, of Eureka, and apparently some California fishing groups or individuals." link to story
  May 7, 2003




photo by KBC, May 2003

It is May in the Klamath Basin. The clouds and rain have cleared, and grain and onions are sprouting.  But the dark cloud of uncertainty remains on our hearts and in our souls.  We continue to tend our crops, our elderly,  increase our production, decrease our pesticides unlike any foreign country, and care take our wildlife and natural resources.   Our grandfathers built and paid for the most efficient Reclamation Project in this country, since all of the water we use returns to the river.  Our storage allows more water to be used for downstream purposes than ever before the dams.  We know it is good.  We know it is a success.  Yet the untruths, the lawsuits, the winds of deceit and agendas don't subside.

God is truth, and God is love. "You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free,' John 8:32"  He will see us through this storm.  We believe!





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