Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Young Klamath Basin aspiring agriculturist Colten Wright regarding the Bureau of Reclamation's decision to shut down more than 90% of our deeded water allocation
April 13, 2021
As a young, aspiring agriculturist I have always wanted to continue on the legacy of my families farm. Getting the phone call at 1 am to go bale hay and smelling the dew settle in on the hay is one of the most satisfying experiences ever. The relationships and lessons on a farm are so much more beneficial than anything learned in a classroom. Growing food for a nation is noble and rewarding in the experiences possible. I had a sudden sense of change within this last year. A fear mongering reality set in... will this way of life that has given so much simply be around for me to cherish?! As I drove my families hay squeeze through a rally of farmers just protesting for water, I felt a rush of resatisfaction. Seeing all of these amazing people come together for one goal... to SURVIVE. I was hopeful for the upcoming water year. Then with a less than ideal winter and more incompetent science, irrigators were told they are being cut off to an almost nothing supply once again. I simply felt crushed for my community. I now sit here and wonder if it is such a good idea to take my hand in surviving as a Klamath Basin farmer. I am fearful for another devasting water year to come. What is the goal of cutting off these farmers, to starve our communities of the limited resources we have? Malin, Merrill, Tulelake, Bonanza, Keno, Klamath Falls, Fort Klamath, we are at risk of losing everything we know and love. If the farming community is lost, we don’t have a sustainable economy. We will no longer be cities, we will be ruins and travel destinations for what once was.
I spent a lot of time in the organization, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and in that organization we would always say, “I believe in the future of agriculture”, but can we believe in the future of Klamath Basin Agriculture? In order for this precious farm ground, beautiful landscape, the future for young Klamath Basin kids, and an absolutely astonishing community to survive we must have support from the people sitting in DC and hopefully they will recognize the bad biased science. Hopefully they will take a hand in protecting communities at stake. Hopefully they will recognize that American agriculturists have always had a goal of a prospering nation and then will take partnership in supporting a small group of people who do so much in this country.
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