Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Letter to the editor of KBC from Andrew in Scotland, followed by KBC response:
My name is Andrew and I live in Scotland. My attention has been drawn to your Fight against destruction of your native fishing grounds-through the news-in the Klamath river by Pacificorp who are a subsiduary of Scottish power. As you are maybe aware many of the Scottish people have a great sympathy with your fight as similar things have happened in Scotland where we have had native traditions, cultures and clans who were effectively destroyed by the British in the early century's in their pursuit of colonisation of the world in the years gone by and the harbouring of our natural resources such as rivers, forests, fishing and oil and the beautiful scenery, which still happens today. In the course of the consultation with Scottish power I really hope your tribes and people do not hold any ill feeling against the Scottish people who have suffered as much at the hands of these globalised companies past and present who's only aim is for profit and no consideration for their surroundings. I speak for all Scots when I say I hope your wishes are granted to restore your Klamath river to, at least, a more natural state and that we do not wish to be associated with the problems Pacificorp and Scottish power have caused your people.
In relation to hydro electric power in Scotland: As far as I know all the hydro plants have fishing ladders built in to the dam infrastructure to allow the salmon and other fish to return up-stream, however I don't think they were totally trouble free, i'm not quite sure what the situation is now.
Response from KBC to Andrew:
Our communities support the dams in our area. The tribes know that if the dams are taken out , it would destroy much of our ag community by floods, etc. The tribes and environmental groups are against agriculture, logging, mining, power, and any kind of economical benefit to our country, however, they eat food, live in log houses, and use power and minerals. They have been successful in shutting down timber harvest of logs that were burned up in 2002 and are now rotting because the 'environmentalists' want everything natural. They would rather the forest burned down along with the 'endangered' owls rather than have a timber company selective 'log' the forest and maybe ruin an owl tree. Owls fly but they don't do well in wildfires.
http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/0kbcsavogl8resns.htm On that page, scientist David Vogel tells the peer-reviewed decline of coho in the Klamath River.
http://www.kwua.org/power/pdamremovalkwuapersp072704.htm tells Klamath Water Users perspective on the dams.
The Tribes are trying to re-obtain 690,000 acres of land that they sold twice. They chose to sell it and voted to sell it. The Department of Justice and Bureau of Indian Affairs hired Dr. Hardy to create science to go against the irrigators in the water adjudication for water rights, favoring the tribes. That is the 'science' they are using to take water away from the private land owners from the irrigation storage they built and paid for, which essentially destroys irrigated agriculture. All of their political activities center around taking our land and our water and giving it to the Tribes, again, even when the peer-reviewed science says it is not justified.
In 2002, over 30,000 Trinity River fish died 200 miles from the Klamath Project of a disease. That year the run of coho was the 3rd highest recorded. So the Tribes and Environmental groups did not test the water for a week, then immediately blamed agriculture in the Klamath Basin for the fish deaths, using that as an excuse to try to shut down our family farms. They say that ag is diverting water from the fish and tribes, where in fact the river flows are 30% higher than before the Klamath Project was built according to recent Natural Flow Studies by the Bureau of Reclamation.
No, the Tribes and 'environmental' groups are not speaking for our communities as a whole, and their words are not necessarily based on truth and science.
Also, regarding the power companies, when the Klamath Project was built, the power company wanted our water to make power for America. So the business transaction was, as a partner, they would have use of more water than possible without the Klamath Project, and we would be entitled to reasonable power rates. That way electricity and agriculture could both be achieved, with great benefits to our economy and food/power availability. So we irrigators and consumers of power and food look at the power companies as partners, not destroyers. Also, the power companies spend millions of dollars to help fish and our environment.
Thanks for your letter. I hope this explains how our communities feel about dams and fish.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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