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The following is my column that will appear in the Pioneer Press next week regarding the CIP.
Marcia Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor 9/10/04
On Thursday, September 16, the Klamath Bureau of Reclamation will hold a meeting from 6-9 p.m. at Miner's Inn in Yreka on the basin-wide Conservation Implementation Program (CIP.) A draft CIP is available online at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao/docs/CIP-ProgramDoc.pdf 

Personally, I dislike the plan because:

(1) It attempts to extend the reach of federal agencies far beyond the scope of their spatial and statutory jurisdiction, delegated authority and requirement to mitigate incidental take for their actions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA);
(2) Ignores and disrespects County constitutional jurisdiction and authority in land planning and in protecting public health and safety in matters of resource use; www.sisqtel.net/~armstrng/cntyjurisd.htm
(3) Smacks of regional government, distancing decision-making hundreds of miles away from affordable local access by those directly affected;
(4) Sets up unelected, unaccountable committees of interest groups to make decisions over things like water use, watershed and resource planning - in other words, your property; and
(5) Duplicates and over-lays existing planning efforts such as the SSRT (Scott and Shasta Recovery Team) and Watershed Plans and creates a large new bureaucracy.

Under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA,) a "biological opinion" (BO) was completed for operation of the Upper Basin Klamath Project 2002-2012. NOAA Fisheries (formerly NMFS) gave the BoR a list of things to do related to the Scott and Shasta Valleys to protect or "mitigate" (counter-balance) the Project's impact on listed coho. Among these "reasonable and prudent alternatives" were:

(1) The restoration of wetlands in the Shasta Valley.
(2) Studying development of Shasta and Scott groundwater resources to replace surface water use in those valleys.
(3) Use of non-government organizations (NGOs) to acquire water rights totaling 25,000 acre-feet in the Scott and Shasta Valleys. (The  intention was to find water flows outside of the Klamath Project that would contribute 43% of the flow required from Iron Gate Dam for the Klamath River under the coho Biological Opinion.)

In addition, the BoR was directed to develop a comprehensive basin-wide plan for  ecosystem restoration and scientific research through 2012. The plan was to be developed by "networking stakeholder groups" in the basin. It would then provide direction for activities on the federal, State and local level, as well as for interest groups. It was envisioned that the program would be built around of the Oregon Resource Conservation Act of 1996 (ORCA P.L. 104-208, Title 2, Section 201) to promote ecological restoration, as well as economic development and stability.

The purpose of the CIP is to: (1) largely restore the Klamath River ecosystem to achieve recovery of the Lost River and Shortnose suckers and substantially contribute to the recovery of Coho salmon; (2) contribute to the Tribal Trust responsibilities of the Federal government to provide harvestable fisheries; and (3) allow continued, sustainable operation of existing water management facilities and future water resource improvements for human use in the Klamath River System.
As proposed, the resulting CIP would establish a new basin-wide bureaucracy complete with paid federal staff. It is envisioned as an umbrella program to coordinate all other programs in the Klamath system. At the top would be the "Policy Administration Group" (PAG) made up of the Tribal Chair, BoR Regional Director and Area Manager, a representative from the Governors' offices, Agencies, CIP administrative officers and the head of the CIP participant's organization. They would ensure the plan is directed toward CIP goals, approve or "ratify" committees or groups that would implement the CIP, and oversee funding and authorization.
Next in hierarchy is the "Coordination Council" (CC.) This council is made up of one representative of each of the CIP "Participants." (Watershed Councils, Klamath Water Users, Hatfield Working Group, Klamath Basin Coalition, etc.) They will make recommendations to the PAG concerning annual work plans and budgets; provide fish status reports and progress reports to Congress and tribal councils; and direct activities of the various committees. These "Participants" will be required to agree to pay for this new bureaucracy and the implementation of its plans in order to participate.
The next level is that of the various committees These include the Public Involvement Committee (PIC,) the Science/Peer Review Committee (including various sub-committees;) the Water Quality Committee; and the Tribal Trust Committee. The PIC will include one appointed member from each organization. It's function is basically to distribute educational and informational material.
You, the public, will be allowed input into the decisions affecting your property by these unelected groups and agencies by attending meetings often scheduled in Klamath Falls or on the Coast and speaking at the limited "public comment" period scheduled on the agenda.  






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