In 2002, the Dept
of the Interior (DOI) asked the water users to create a water bank to idle
farmland, pump our untested aquifer, and make a plan to keep our fields
irrigated while they take more water for fish, even though higher water
levels have never caused more fish. Hundreds of hours were
spent by local citizens who wrote a 65-page document, nothing overlooked.
They labored into the night, brainstorming ways to conserve water, protect
farmland, and protect fish that are having record-high runs. By
forfeiting our water, one of the irrigators conditions was that the rest
of the Project gets water.
The DOI, claiming to
want local input, basically trashed the entire local concept. They
are taking more water than originally asked for, there is NO guarantee
that the remainder of the Project will get water, the USFWS refuge has no
plan (they used MORE water than usual last year) nor is Tribal Trust water
quantified. This was once a lake in a closed basin, and on dry years
Klamath River dried up (there are historical photos).
In 2001, the irrigators
were told to pump ground water down the river or we would be possibly shut
down, and since onions and potatoes and mint would die, the blackmail
could only work. We were forced to give them the water. For
ESA? For endangered fish? No, for a term that no one dares to question,
the unquantified 'tribal trust'. Over 60,000 acre feet of
irrigator's water. Why?
Here we are in 2003. The
DOI tells us we must pump, idle, and still maybe get cut off. So by
2006 they want to take 100,000 acre feet of our water, every year in
spite of the snow pack? Where is our farmland water credit they
promised when they've taken over 90,000 acres ag land out of production?
Since it did not agree with the tribes and the environmental groups, do we
throw out the NAS interim report? JUST TELL US, DOI.......COULD THIS BE
STEP ONE IN A PERMANENT DOWNSIZE IN SPITE OF THE NAS
BEST-AVAILABLE-SCIENCE THAT YOU REQUESTED????
We American farmers
don't have the $$$$$$$ that your government agencies or your subsidized
environmental groups have, but we are honest. We have ethics.
We spent our lives to provide American food. And we know when we
have been betrayed and lied to.