Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
PacifiCorp's role in Klamath
September 14, 2006
To Linda Prendergast, PacifiCorp email@example.com
From: Julie Kay Smithson, PropertyRightsResearch.org firstname.lastname@example.org
As a researcher on the twin topics of property rights and resource providers, my work is often focused on farmers, irrigators, dams, etc.
As might be imagined, the Klamath Basin, Klamath Project and those living in, and impacted by, water, are often part of my work.
My website, http://www.PropertyRightsResearch.org, has several directly related buttons: Articles By State [California and Oregon], Farmers, Fisheries, Klamath, and Water.
PacifiCorp is charged with a delicate balancing act: PacifiCorp must continue to be profitable, appeasing Mid-American shareholders while protecting the interests of ratepayers.
Just as PacifiCorp/Mid-American must generate a return on its investments, so, too, must PacifiCorp's Klamath customers be able to reap the harvest of their investments.
In the Klamath Basin and Klamath Project, irrigators utilize water in ways marvelous to behold.
From the use and reuse of Project water, which is "recycled" more than a half-dozen times before going downstream, to the amazing bounty that the Klamath Project offers the region, America and the world in the form of a top-quality diversity of products grown -- this PacifiCorp service area delivers more than the checks it receives from ratepayers.
Those very ratepayers and Klamath Project irrigators help feed PacifiCorp directors, shareholders and employees, consequently doing one thing that PacifiCorp also does: improving the quality of life for employees, shareholders and ratepayers alike.
What a Mecca is this Klamath Basin!
Dams are built and maintained for many reasons. In the Klamath Basin, dams exist both to provide water for the Klamath Project and hydroelectric power for PacifiCorp.
Tribal concerns and those of self-proclaimed "environmental" and "conservation" organizations, regarding the very existence of dams, are certainly vocal. However, the fact that tribal members, as well as the rest of the community that is the Klamath Basin, benefit directly from the dams and their purpose, is undeniable. Arguments for fish ladders may be well-placed, but the temperature of the water in the Klamath River is influenced by many factors other than dams.
In the twenty-first century, the existence of "meth" labs has become something that has caused fish kills in the Klamath River. This is not often reported or even recognized or admitted, but it is no less a fact.
Other reasons for the warmer temperature of the Klamath River are:
the region's natural environment, including, but not limited to, the altitude, precipitation, climate, snowpack, snowmelt, etc.;
the warm surface temperature of the Upper Klamath Lake, which are not affected by any downstream dams;
and more reasons of which I am either unaware or that I cannot call to mind at this time.
There are other websites that provide a great deal of research and facts, including, but not limited to:
The continued existence of the Klamath Project and the custom and culture of the Klamath Basin since the turn of the nineteenth century, may not hinge on whether the Klamath River remains dammed, but downriver water demands continue to expect the Project irrigators to "get along" on less and less water each year. Granted, this may seem like "recent history" to some, but the fact remains that the bounty of the Klamath Basin -- through the generational devotion and dedication of Klamath Project irrigators and farmers, who are also property owners and PacifiCorp ratepayers -- is, with the exception of the Willamette Valley, unsurpassed by any agricultural region in the Pacific Northwest.
I ask, Linda, that you read the following paragraph and consider the impact on this man's life and that of his family, plus their custom and culture, property rights and future, that caused him to say:
"We may now be expected to go to war for America, little knowing if we will even have farms to come back to, because of the undue influence and pressure that is destroying our American custom and culture as resource providers due to the Endangered Species Act and the uninhibited lust that the non-governmental agencies (notably the Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club among others) have for our lands. Almost one hundred years of 'sweat equity' are valued at as little as $28 per acre, and our wildlife refuge inhabitants are suffering, too, at the hands of those who profess to love wildlife, the 'environmentalists'" - Oregon farmer, commenting after the horrors of 9-11 that prompted those at the Klamath Falls, OR "A" Canal Headgates to break up camp and allow the federal agency employee to be better utilized elsewhere for national security.
Thank you for your time and consideration, Linda. I look forward to your reply!
Miss Julie Kay Smithson, researcher
213 Thorn Locust Lane
London, Ohio 43140
"As a teenager, I used to wonder if Johnny Tremaine, Nathan Hale and John Paul Jones knew what exciting times they grew up in. I suspected they were oblivious to their place in history and wished I could have been there to partake in the creation of a new nation, founded in liberty & justice for all. And now I look around, and I see I have the very same opportunity I yearned for so long (ago)." - Rich Martin, June 15, 2003.
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