Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Bill Kennedy, Klamath Water Users Association
board member, comments on WSJ Dam the
June 6, 2007
Shikha Dalmia has eloquently stated what many of us in the real
world of natural resource management have faced for the past 25
years. (Dam the Salmon 5-30-07
Some who claim to be advocating for the environment have limited
our choices in natural resource decisions. Do we want modern,
renewable hydropower or do we want migrating salmon? Do we
practice forest management with selective logging or do we save
the spotted owl?
The agenda of the greens or the deep ecologists is not what we see
in their advocacy. In the case of Klamath River hydropower,
dismantling our infrastructure creates real economic pressure on
those identified as the big environmental problem, the growing
25 years after shutting down timber production on our national
forest, in the name of the spotted owl, the economy of our rural
counties hangs in a state of disaster. While extreme anti-logging
interests chanted “save the owl” their true desire was to create
an economy not favorable for our communities. We are there.
Our rural counties have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars
lobbying Congress to continue with annual subsidies replacing
timber revenue support for our schools, our public health and our
When we remove our affordable power from the Klamath we will
continue towards the end of irrigated agriculture. With a 90-day
growing season, we will not be able to afford our power to provide
drainage and water delivery.
The reliable water and affordable power in the Klamath also
provides food and habitat for over 400 species of vertebrate
The extreme greens that are focused on removal of dams on the
Klamath River do have a history of opposing just about every
energy source and infrastructure development. There are two such
directions that they were completely AWOL.
People’s Energy of Chicago proposed building a 1500 Megawatt gas
fired generator in Bonanza, Oregon. This would have spewed out
over a million metric tons of CO2 per year yet not one
environmental group came out in opposition to it. Perhaps this is
because such a plant would pay millions of mitigation dollars to
the Energy Trust, which has very close ties to the extreme greens.
When a multinational company proposed an industrial hog production
facility less than two miles away from a private wildlife refuge,
not one of the deep ecology green groups was to be heard of.
The natural resource producers who live in the Klamath basin
prevented these threats to our environment.
As we continue to resolve our resource issue here, we recognize
that the true stakeholders determine direction. The irrigators,
the tribes and the fishers that are in the water understand and
respect each other. On the outside but struggling to portray
themselves as bonafide advocates are the greens. While we are open
to unlimited solutions that may include high tech hydropower and
migrating salmon, the extreme environmental groups will continue
to limit resolution in order to create economic anarchy in our
William D. Kennedy
Lost River Ranch
(Bill Kennedy is on the board of directors of Klamath Water Users
Association, past president of Water for Life, and member of the
Klamath Farm Bureau.)
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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