Time to Take Action

Archive 190 - March 2018
also  see main archive page


Water rights of non-Indian purchasers of Klamath Indian Reservation lands, To: Commissioner of Indian Affairs From Solicitor 3/14/58


In the Battle for the American West, the cowboys are losing. "Now, the Hage cows are gone from that private pasture and the family ranch is in foreclosure." WSJ 3/30/18
Hage v. U.S. AgLifeNW Magazine November Issue by Scott Johnson, 11/15/04

Happy Easter! He is Risen!

Klamath Lake 3/19/18
Klamath Project Water Update 3/31/18
Yesterday March 30th was a Tulelake Irrigation District meeting let by manager Brad Kirby with more than 50 farmers attending. Bureau of Reclamation will not tell us when we can begin irrigating our fields. Klamath Lake, Sprague River, and Klamath River are full. TID paid 78% to build the Lost River Diversion, however we are not allowed to use that overflow presently; the water is being diverted into the Klamath River to flow to the ocean. The Hoopa Tribe (they live on the Trinity River, not the Klamath) sued to send more of our water down the Klamath River, so the liberal judge will not even hear the case until 2 weeks after our normal start-up date. The Hoopa Tribe took 10 times their limit of salmon. Klamath Tribes filed a lawsuit to take more water into the lake for suckers. There are 10's of thousands of suckers. FWS planted million$ islands in Tulelake and Lower Klamath to attract fish eating birds. We may not learn until mid May or June when or if we will be allowed to use our deeded water in 2018.

   Sprague River overflow 1 mile

north of Beatty 3/24/18

Klamath River at Keno 3/24/18

Merkley to host town halls in Klamath, Lake counties April 3, H&N 3/28/18. "Merkley will update constituents on his work in Washington, D.C., answer questions and invite their suggestions about how to tackle the challenges facing Oregon and America." KBC NOTE: Hopefully Merkley has turned over a new leaf, as he supported close door "settlement" meetings, giving land to the Tribes they previously sold, downsizing agriculture, and still supports destroying Klamath River hydro dams despite 70% opposition of Klamath County and 80% opposition Siskiyou County. Did our "suggestions" matter?

The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws, Oregon State Senator Dennis Linthicum District 28, March Newsletter. "..partisan tax scheme will force 192,000 small businesses to pay $258 million in 2018 taxes while protecting large multinational corporations..., ...two Cap and Trade bills...would burden taxpayers with a minimum of $700 million dollars in extra taxes, annually...neither would make a discernible difference in global greenhouse gas emissions..."

OSU Study: Coast Range Trout Thrive After Logging, Oregonians for Food and Shelter, News Channel 21, KTVZ 3/28/18.

USFWS releases water from the refuge, H&N, 3/29/18.

Idaho tribes want fish passage above Snake River dams, Capital Press KBC 3/28/18.  "Biologists have said the Snake River above the dams is so degraded it couldn’t support salmon and steelhead without significant rehabilitation."

BOR recommends reduced water allocation. Pending court action, no water start date guaranteed, H&N 3/27/18

Walden talks (Klamath) drought relief, education funding, mental health, H&N 3/27/18

Hoopa Tribe questions BOR Plan, Feds eye scaling back antiparasite Klamath dam releases,  Eureka Times Standard, 3/26/18. "...The bureau wrote in its court filing that it also evaluated the option of releasing a smaller dilution flow, but that the questions about these flows effectiveness still existed. Including a smaller dilution flow would also cause a complete irrigation shutoff in the Klamath Project until as late as June 15, according to the bureau."
KBC NOTE: Obama-appointed District Judge William Orrick, who ruled against President Trump in the sanctuary city policy, and "ruled in favor of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, Yurok Tribe and environmental groups’s arguments in February 2017..." stated “courts are not permitted to favor economic interests over potential harm to endangered species.” He will hear this Klamath case April 11th, and could potentially determine the fate of the Klamath Basin irrigators.
Hoopa Tribe Went 10 Times Over Trinity River Salmon Catch Limit, WONews.com KBC 3/23/18. Hoopa's catch was "...1,660 fall salmon last year when its quota was only 163 fish, the Hoopa Tribe admitted it knowingly went over its limits and allowed tribal members to continue fishing, even though the fall salmon season for sport anglers was completely shut down last fall in the Klamath and Trinity rivers, and ocean seasons were severely curtailed as well to protect Klamath Basin salmon." 

BOR PRESS RELEASE: Reclamation Responds to Klamath Water Users’ Motion in District Court, Outlines Proposed 2018 Operations, 3/24/18. "Reclamation’s proposal includes implementing a full surface flushing flow, augmented with non-Project water; forgoing an emergency dilution flow; and providing Klamath Project irrigators with a supply of 252,000 acre-feet – 65 percent of a full project supply – with deliveries commencing on April 19 with charging of main canal networks."

Species battle pits protected sea lions against fragile fish, H&N 3/23/18. " the mammals’ numbers dropped dramatically but have rebounded from 30,000 in the late 1960s to about 300,000 today due to the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act...Last winter, a record-low 512 wild winter steelhead completed the journey, said Shaun Clements, the state wildlife agency’s senior policy adviser. Less than 30 years ago, that number was more than 15,000...Of all the adults that are returning to the falls here, a quarter of them are getting eaten.”

KID threatens to file suit against BOR; District requiring BOR response by Wed, H&N 3/23/18. " '...by the Bureau not distributing water in accordance with water law as it exists, they're causing irreparable harm to every irrigator in the state,' Reitmann said."

Late water information sickening for users, Bill Heiney, letter to the editor of H&N, 3/21/18. Heiney is board member of Tulelake Irrigation District, and former board member of Klamath Water and Power Agency/KWAPA. "2018 feels like a repeat of 2001. Our current watershed conditions are similar to 2015, but we have no allocation, no start date, and no tools to develop a water bank...2001 was a year when I saw many homesteader veterans lose faith..."

Agency may be awash in red ink from water litigation; The Oregon Water Resources Department is on track to overspend its litigation budget by $1.3 million in the 2017-2019 biennium, Portland Tribune 3/19/18. "Litigation over water has increased mostly due to more regulatory calls cutting off water to junior irrigators in the Klamath Basin...The agency has a legislatively adopted budget of $98.6 million for 2017-2019."

Tule Lake Basin Advisory Group Membership for North Coast Regional Water Board Program for Discharges of Waste Associated with Agricultural Lands in the Tule Lake Basin. (quote from Klamath Riverkeeper's website in 2010: "Our successful lawsuits, nonstop policy advocacy, and targeted grassroots pressure forced PacifiCorp to sign a stakeholder agreement to un-dam and restore the Klamath River in 2010.

BOR public meeting Tuesday 1 p.m. March 20; Water delivery start date not expected at BOR meeting Tuesday, H&N 3/16/18

Klamath dam removal entity (KRRC) to host open house Tuesday, H&N 3/16/18. HERE for KBC's KRRC Page

Upper Basin ranchers get reprieve to water cattle, H&N 3/15/18. "Ranchers in the Upper Basin of Klamath County — and the town of Chiloquin — received an emergency exemption from the call on water Friday allowing them to use water for their stock cattle and for human consumption...The Klamath Tribes has the first rights to the water, which it uses to protect endangered short-nosed sucker and Lost River sucker."

Environmentalists file lawsuit claiming dams harm fish in Willamette Basin, Capital Press 3/15/18.

CALIFORNIA - Undocumented immigrant appointed to statewide post in California, Fox News 3/15/18

2018 Short Session Summary E.Werner Reschke, Oregon State Representative 3/14/18.

Gov. Brown signs drought declaration; Continued requests to be made for federal assistance, H&N 3/14/18.

Environmental groups sue over survival of steelhead, chinook, The Spokesman-Review 3/13/18.
    US considers protected status for wild spring Chinook, H&N 2/28/18. "California's Karuk tribe, which joined the Salmon River Restoration Council environmental group in petitioning for more protections for the fish, say the species is nearly extinct throughout much of its range in Oregon and Northern California. The tribe blames Klamath River dams..."

Fish & Wildlife weighs drawdown of 10k acre feet from lower refuge, H&N 3/13/18

Groups seek protection for unique Oregon salamander, The Oregonian 3/13/18.

Dennis LinthicumKlamath gets mixed bag out of short session, H&N 3/11/18. "House Bill 4016 would have allowed irrigators within the Klamath Project to temporarily transfer water rights from one property to another to help mitigate potential droughts...'Despite multiple supporting testimonies from local constituents, this bill died in committee, due to opposition from Portland environmental and local tribal groups,' said (Rep)Reschke."

(Klamath) Irrigators seek answers on water year, H&N 3/11/18. “Bill Heiney, a third-generation Basin irrigator and descendant of a homesteader:... 'When I bought my first piece of ground, my grandfather, he said, 'One thing you won't have to worry about is water,' ” Heiney said, referring a water pact his grandfather had from the U.S. government"

Wyden talks Basin water crisis, bipartisanship at town hall, H&N 3/11/18. “What we’ve learned is that you can’t leave parts of the community out of the solution...”  KBC NOTE: Democrat Senator Wyden has been are the forefront supporting closed-door, partisan meetings with tribes, government agencies and environmental groups that promote destroying Klamath hydroelectric dams, giving land to tribes that the tribes sold, downsizing agriculture, etc. "Becky Hyde, a Klamath Basin rancher, said she especially wanted to see more people stray away from insults based on partisanship, adding that true solutions could only be reached if people kept away from giving each other metaphorical 'black eyes.' " Go HERE for response to Becky Hyde's letter to former Rep Harper

(Oregon Senator) Wyden Renews Call for Klamath River Basin Solution, YouTube video 9.5 minutes, discussion with Reclamation's Deputy Commissioner Alan Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen: "...we have a trust responsibility and an ESA responsibility to make sure that the 2 species of endangered suckers do not go extinct...FWS have a hatchery grogram...in 2018 we will be releasing the 1st 2 year old fish from that program..." 
KBC NOTES regarding above statements by Mikkelsen: Mikkelsen and Wyden support destroying 4 Klamath River Hydroelectric Dams as a "solution" to Klamath Basin's water issues, and keeping high river and lake levels by taking stored water from irrigators. Peer reviewed science suggests otherwise:
* From Klamath ESA Congressional hearing:
On July 17, 2004, "Loggers, Farmers, Ranchers, Scientists, Settlers, Indian Tribes, Coastal Fishermen, Congressmen, and Government Agencies, came together to examine the Endangered Species Act, the ESA. Fish Scientist David Vogel said, 'In 1986 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff responsible for whether or not to pursue these (ESA) listings believed there were only 12,000 Lost River suckers in Upper Klamath Lake..they didn't believe they were endangered. A couple years later...we now know for a fact that number's exceeded by tens of thousands of Lost River suckers. Now they flip flop and they say they are endangered. What constitutes endangered?' "
* From DOI sponsored Klamath Scientist Workshop, Chairman National Resource Counsel Committee on Endangered and Threatened Fishes in the Klamath River Basin,  Dr. William M. Lewis Jr spoke regarding the NRC conclusions on suckers: "Lewis explained that the suckers were listed since 1988 because of over harvest.  They stopped fishing in '87 but they did not recover. The lake has gone from 3' range under natural conditions to experiencing 6' deep in current dry years. With charts and graphs he showed the habitat and water quality, algae and chlorophyll. He said that the committee looked extensively at water levels, and they find 'no hint of a relationship'. He also said that there was no relationship between lower water levels and extreme ph levels ... '92 was the lowest water year, and they expected it to be the least favorable for fish. 'The lowest water year produced the same amount of larvae as other years...He said that fish kill information does not support that fish are dying by changing water level."
More on Dr. William M. Lewis Jr

(Klamath) Water users push back on injunction, H&N 3/9/18. “Even last year, when it was wet, we almost weren’t able to start irrigation on time because of the possibility a dilution flow might be required, and letting that water out of Klamath Lake would end up affecting ESA requirements for suckers,” said Brad Kirby, president of KWUA..."

Reclamation to host annual public hydro meeting Friday, H&N 3/6/18. Subject: water.

Cannabis vs Water: water theft to grow pot undocumented, H&N 3/4/18. "California legislators said the estimated 50,000 illegal grows in the state were having a significant impact on water availability. Senator Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, said illegal grows were “literally sucking rivers dry” in a Scientific American interview and connected grows to dying fish populations."

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Legislative Review 3/2/18

Home Contact


              Page Updated: Saturday November 24, 2018 11:20 PM  Pacific

             Copyright ©
klamathbasincrisis.org, 2017, All Rights Reserved