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Letter Virginia Topham from Sprague River wrote to Oregon Water Resources Director Phil Ward who will shut off Upper Klamath irrigation wells

February 2014

         After learning that HB4044 was killed in committee by Democratic leadership, I am compelled to write to you. Following the House hearing on HB4044 Thursday, February 6th you approached me to tell me that you “felt my pain.” As water resources director you are obviously aware of the ramifications of your decision to proceed in shutting off our irrigation wells.

          I cannot understand why you have a vendetta against us. All we have tried to do is good – for our land, our livestock, and for the citizens of Oregon.  Why are we being targeted for destruction? Your own people testified that they have no way to prove that we are interfering with surface water.

In the prosecution of the Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials after WWII their only defense was that “they are just following orders.”  As director you are responsible for any and all repercussions from your decisions affecting our lives and livelihood.  This is America! I thought we were innocent until proven guilty. Why aren't you standing up for what is right?  You hold our future in your hands.

          In the 21st Century, the average American is far removed from the land.  Bureaucrats sit in Salem, totally out of contact with the real world, making decisions that can devastate real people, and adversely impact real lives. If you don't care about us, do you care about the land and the wildlife you are destroying?  This land has been irrigated land for 150 years. It will now return to desert because of your action.


Virginia Topham
35133 Sprague River Road
Sprague River, OR 97639



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