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.

Tulelake Growers Association
Contact: Deb Crisp, Executive Director (530) 667-5214

Comments on the Silvery Minnow Decision,
June 17, 2003

In 2001 Klamath Project farmers and ranchers learned first hand what causes an environmental disaster and the unforgettable hardships as the result of poor decisions. The potential impacts will be the same for any entity that receives water from a US Bureau of Reclamation project. If upheld this decision sets precedence in that it allows federal law to become superior to State and individual water rights. It will also expose the Bureau to never ending environmental lawsuits that could cost the taxpayer millions.

I believe this 2-1 decision places the Bureau at the discretion of US. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service that develop Biological Opinions for listed and threatened species. Klamath Project irrigators experienced an unnecessary water cut-off due to incomplete and agenda driven science accepted and developed by these agencies.

My understanding of Bureau discretion to reduce delivery pertains to drought or other natural causes. Most water contracts in the West were agreed upon long before the ESA was spawned. I agree with Judge Paul Kelly, the ESA has grown into a monster. It is being used in an attempt to destroy American agriculture and other natural resource producers.

Fortunately, the BOR does not agree with the decision and will pursue all legal options. It is good to know that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has vowed to appeal this case to the Supreme Court if necessary. I also appreciate the involvement of the Pacific Legal Foundation and hope the decision will be overturned in the near future.





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