Key Points of Agriculture’s Relationship with Upper Klamath Basin Refuges

(Including the National Wildlife Refuge Lease Lands)

  1. The Klamath Reclamation Project irrigates approximately 200,000 acres of farmland.
  2. The Upper Klamath Basin contains 450,000 acres of irrigated farms and ranches.
  3. The Upper Klamath Basin contains 220,000 acres of Federal, State and private refuges.
  4. For Every 2 acres of irrigated farmland in the Upper Klamath Basin there exists 1 acre of Refuge. This represents a 66% farm to 33% refuge ratio.
  5. It is estimated that historical wetlands in the Upper Klamath Basin totaled 359,000 acres while existing wetlands total 141,920 acres. Historical wetlands consumed over 1 million-acre feet of water annually.
  6. Forty percent of the historical wetland acreage of the Upper Klamath Basin has been maintained and/or restored. The Central Valley of California would need to restore 2.5 million acres of wetlands to compare with the Upper Klamath Basin.

Compliance with the Kuchel Act

  1. Cereal grain production is required on seventy five percent of the refuge lease lands. This requirement directly benefits waterfowl. The land itself benefits from an effective crop rotation program that continually improves the fertility of the soil.
  2. The crop rotation program maximizes cereal grain residues for consumption by waterfowl.

These crops are the same soil building crops required by the Kuchel Act.

3. Competition among producers of row crops on the lease lands is the only vehicle that can possibly maximize lease revenues as required by the Kuchel Act. In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is utilizing considerable revenue generated by the Lease Land Farm Program for a number of environmental purposes. This will be discontinued if water is withdrawn from the Tule Lake lease lands.

4. Crops grown today constitute continuation of the present leasing program as defined by the Kuchel Act.

5. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will violate the above provisions of the Kuchel Act if water is withdrawn from the Tule Lake lease lands and applied to Lower Klamath wetlands

Integrated Pest Management Plan

  1. The State of California has the most stringent pesticide rules and regulations in the nation.
  2. Ninety percent of the registered pesticides used in California are disallowed on the lease lands in accordance with the Integrated Pest Management Plan for Leased Lands at Lower Klamath and Tulelake National Wildlife Refuges Oregon/California.

Agriculture’s Position

  1. We seek to co-exist with our abundant wildlife resources yet maintain a sustainable agricultural economy which generates $250 million dollars annually.

2. We believe that ample opportunity exists to pursue ecosystem restoration by creating intelligent farm, ranch and refuge design changes which demonstrate the greatest potential to work for the benefit of all interests.

1. Determined in consultation with Oregon State University Extension Service, Siskiyou and Modoc County Department of Agriculture

2.  Table 11-20, page 74, Volume II, draft-Klamath/Central Pacific Coast Ecoregion Restoration Strategy.

3.  Table 11-19, page 72, Volume II, draft-Klamath/Central Pacific Coast Ecoregion Restoration Strategy plus the addition of the Wood and Williamson River Deltas and the Tule Lake sump rotation wetlands.




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