Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Fighting for Our Right to Irrigate Our Farms and Caretake Our Natural Resources


  March 11, 2003

<Insert Name – see below>

<Insert Address – see below>

Dear <Insert salutation>:

I am a farmer that relies on the water supplies of the federal Klamath Project, and I am still recovering from the devastation caused the 2001 Klamath Project water cutoff. I believe your actions and those of other leaders in the federal government are directly affecting the welfare of my family and the vitality of my community. My name is <insert>, and my family <insert summary of your role in the Klamath Basin agricultural community>.

Despite the best efforts of our local communities and elected officials, the federal government cut off irrigation water supplies from Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River to the Klamath Irrigation Project. For the first time in nearly 100 years, our farmers were left without water. The resulting impacts to the local community were immediate and far-reaching. Hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable farmland were left without water, resulting in unprecedented damage to my neighbors and the broader Basin community, as well as myself. The wildlife benefits provided by farms left without water were also lost.

I believe the 2001 cutoff resulted in a taking of my property, but my case – Klamath Irrigation District, et al. v. United States of America - has been stalled in the United States Court of Federal Claims for about one year. This delay is likely due – in no small part – to the government’s insistence that the Court should abstain from hearing this case because of the existence of an almost 30 year-old stream water adjudication that has not even made it to state court.

I am under the impression that you and other federal leaders just want this issue to go away. I hope you understand that Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers expect that this Administration will address the 2001 Klamath Project takings, in addition to developing a lasting solution that will take care of future related problems.

I urge you to do everything in your power to push for a rapid resolution of Klamath Irrigation District v. United States of America. Specifically, I respectfully request the United States withdraw its motion to stay this action.

I merely want my day in court.


<insert name>



Contact Information

We urge that you send (by fax or e-mail) copies of your letter to the following officials:

The Honorable John Ashcroft
Attorney General of the United States
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.  20530-0001
Fax: (202) 514-4371
Email:  askdoj@usdoj.gov

The Honorable Gale Norton
Secretary of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W., Suite 7229
Washington, D.C. 20240-0000
Fax: (202)-208-6856

Thomas L. Sansonetti
Assistant Attorney General
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
Fax: 202-514-0557
E-mail: askdoj@usdoj.gov

Thank you for your assistance in this important effort.


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