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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Archive 68 - January 2008
also  see main archive page

Around 1900, Link River, between Upper Klamath Lake and Lake Ewauna, occasionally went dry before the Klamath Project was built. There was no hydropower, no hatcheries, occasionally no fish (fish need water), no artificially-raised river flows or lake levels.  HERE for more


Klamath Dam letter to KBC from John Turner, Klamath Falls: "My simple view on Dam Removal is that Non-polluting renewable energy sources are more important than salmon, especially in this day and age. However that doesn't mean we should ignore the salmon. From what I can tell Pacificorp is planning to help the salmon by improving fish ladders and other means.   So don't remove the Dams. Once removed a valuable resource is lost forever."

Jim Foley comments to Glen Spain and Troy Fletcher on Oregonian Blog regarding Klamath dams, posted to KBC 1/31/08

Water settlement opinions vary on dam removal, H&N 1/30/08

1/30/08: Frequently asked questions regarding the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement by KWUA

California Dept of Water Resources link to tribal meetings for control of water, posted 1/30/08

Klamath Tribes to vote on water plan; Signatures to wait until PacifiCorp agrees to dam removal, H&N 1/30/08. (KBC NOTE: Klamath Tribe would receive 90,000 acre Mazama Tree Farm, and millions of $ to build a timber industry, power plant, and economic development. Power, no matter how dirty, will be needed to replace clean hydropower of 4 Klamath River dams which service 70,000 customers. Also not mentioned is the land for water agreement in the proposed settlement with project irrigators.)

KWUA KBRA Powerpoint Presentation at public meeting in Merrill, posted to KBC 1/29/08

Water Rights Settlements Between Basin Tribes and Klamath Reclamation Project; Key Elements of the Proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, 1/29/08 by KWUA.

Karuk minutes: Hoopa Tribe supports Karuk Tribe in getting fishing rights, posted 1/29/08
More minutes go HERE > http://karuk.us/staff/minutes/

As a little child, Sunday bible lesson from Jim Foley 1/27/08

***Klamath Settlement PUBLIC meeting:  KWUA 1/26 at 1:30, Merrill. CORRECTION: Invited speakers were environmental group rep, Klamath tribal member and tribal attorney, KWUA speaker and KWUA attorney, Yurok tribe, and Fish and Wildlife. Others stakeholder groups attending and not on the forum were Modoc and Siskiyou County supervisors and PacifiCorp rep Toby Freeman.  The Correction by KWUA member Steve Kandra is: "Nobody was denied the opportunity to stand up and speak their minds." Our apologies for stating that "Modoc, Siskiyou and PacifiCorp were not welcomed to speak." They indeed could have spoken during the question and answer period after the forum. KBC

2008 Tongass Management Plan Announcement, 1/25/08. "The 2008 Amendment to the Tongass Plan designates almost 90 percent of the 17 million-acre Tongass National Forest as wilderness, scenic viewshed, or recreation area – off limits to economic development.  Less than 10 percent of the Tongass will be made available for timber harvest."

Klamath water settlement power lawsuit resurrected, H&N 1/25/08

Walden: Don’t rush review, Agreement Background, and Ransom Note, H&N 1/25/08

Briefs filed in appeals court on wild vs hatchery listing policies, cbbulletin 1/25/08

Fish and Wildlife rejects salamander protection, Seattle pi, posted to KBC 1/25/08

Klamath Settlement PUBLIC meeting: KID 1/25/08, 6:30 Merrill

Water settlement perspectives, H&N 1/24/08

Dams should remain on Klamath, H&N 1/24/08

Groups urge full reading of plan, H&N 1/24/08

Deal may ease conflicts, Proposed water settlement could help with adjudication, H&N , posted 1/24/08. (KBC NOTE: Settlement document 15.3.2ii : "Recognizes the tribal water rights at the claimed amounts and with the priority date of time immemorial." Water Users essentially give up their contest and claim to the water rights, and the tribe promises not to enforce their new rights. That's how we understand it)

Just Plain Aggravating by Larry Toelle, "The Klamath Basin farmers haven't got a clue ... no idea what they've done to themselves and others" posted 1/23/08 grange-pfusa website

1/23/08 - The following was in the Herald and News hidden in the sports section, by attorney James Buchal regarding Klamath Settlement Buchal may be coming to the Klamath Basin soon to discuss the settlement with us.

Proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement raises hackles, and hands, at first hearing. Siskiyou Daily News 1/23/08

RERUN 1/23/08: The Economic Ruin of the Klamath and Its Tributaries a future “Model” for American Industry, The Tip of the Green Spear, by John Martinez, Happy Camp, Pioneer Press -  9/24/03 and 9/6/08.

No 'Kumbaya moment' on Klamath deal, Times Standard 1/23/08. "The Yurok Tribe is never going to waive its water rights or fishing rights, he said, but the agreement only requires a limited waiver if a series of conditions are met."

Marshall Staunton r, Tulelake farmer, was the lone voice supporting dam removal and the Klamath Settlement at yesterday's public comment meeting 1/22/08 with the Siskiyou County Supervisors.

Klamath dam plan generates doubts, Triplicate, posted 1/23/08. "If you have a deal about the dams coming out, I can honestly tell you our people wouldn't be happy with that, Siskiyou County Counsel DeMarco said. I'm not happy with the settlement. I don't feel comfortable with this document. Siskiyou had to ask to be part of the settlement group, DeMarco said. He said it was a "rigorous" process to get to the table."

Klamath settlement goes under knife before board, Eureka Reporter 1/23/08. "Belchik said a delegation of Yurok tribal members and upper Klamath Basin farmers had arrived in Washington D.C. Tuesday to meet with lawmakers and Department of Interior officials to discuss the plan."

Klamath River salmon run hits another boom with more than 17,000 kings, Record, posted 1/23/08

In the midwest, there are tribal hatchery programs. In California/Oregon, tribes, fishermen, environmentalists and Klamath Water Users support removing hydro dams and eliminating hatchery fisheries:

Supreme Court: ESA can be be trumped, News With Views, posted 1/23/08

County residents educated about Watermaster District, Yreka's Siskiyou Daily News 1/23/08

Secretary Kempthorne Selects New U.S. World Heritage Tentative List, 1/23/08

Siskiyou County public meeting on water settlement 1/22/08

Tribal land plan clouds dam deal, Oregonian 1/20/08

Dark side of a hot biofuel, Sacramento Bee 1/20/08.

New Web site networks info for off-reservation Yuroks, Times Standard 1/20/08

Stakes high in fight over tribal casinos, SacBee 1/20/08

An open letter to the on-project water users from an off-project irrigator Bruce Topham 1/19/08. "Where are you in our time of need? In 2001 when you suffered a government inflicted water crisis, we marched with you though we were not affected. We passed buckets hand to hand down main street with you. We carried your signs. We wrote letters on your behalf and contacted by phone state and federal representatives. We were proud to stand by your side and together we prevailed..."

Klamath Settlement Analysis, by Marcia Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor District 5 1/18/08. "Siskiyou County’s economy has been bled to death by reorienting management priorities from putting bread on our family’s tables to fisheries production and other species management. In case they hadn’t noticed, our local economy gets very little out of reallocating resources to fisheries, spotted owls and salamanders. Where is the environmental and social justice in Siskiyou County’s 12.3% average unemployment; massive job loss in the timber (80%) and agricultural (45%) sectors; 65% of our children in low income and 27% in poverty? Enough is enough."

Protestors object to proposed water settlement, Herald and News 1/18/08. Several articles related to Klamath Water Settlement.

Support Settlement, letter to KBC from Marshall Staunton, Staunton Farms, Tulelake 1/19/08
Rancher/farmer response to Marshall Staunton's settlement comments, 1/19/08

New Cloud Over the Klamath Basin, James L Buchal 1/18/08. "A related Klamath Tribe document even suggests that the Tribe expects to “[s]ecure assurances that the Tribes and Tribal members will be given preference on contracting, employment and business opportunities generated on the Tribes’ ancestral homelands by the Settlement Agreement”.

***Oppose Clean Water Act expansion..go HERE for details, HERE to write letter. Here for comment period extension to 1/21/08

Reaction to agreement varies in the Basin, beyond, H&N 1/16/08. "...The groups agreed to a permanent limitation on the amount of water taken from Upper Klamath Lake, and crafted assurances to irrigators using a variety of approaches including increased efficiency, land and water acquisitions..." (KBC NOTE: Our public, constituents of the farm leaders, was NOT included, and in our irrigation district, the directors will not allow the farmers' opinions to influence their vote/pledge last Monday to support their sell-out plan. We've only heard promises we cant find in the settlement document that we were allowed to see yesterday, and also threats for if we don't agree with the plan. We were scorned for daring to ask questions.)

Klamath River pact out of the gate, Times Standard 1/16/08

Reliable water to farmers; Tribes get 90,000 acres; Four dams on Klamath River would be removed, H&N 1/16/08

Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, settlement addresses 3 goals, H&N 1/16/08

Group can collect signatures; Home rule supporters need to collect 1,421 names by Feb. 20, H&H 1/16/08

Deal on Dams on Klamath Advances, New York Times, 1/16/08

Tentative Klamath deal reached, But it hinges on removal of four dams by a utility not included in the talks, Sacramento Bee 1/16/08

1/16/08 - A new website has been brought to our attention, www.savethefamilyfarm.com. "We are a coalition of landowners, irrigation districts and individuals dedicated to opposing the devastating Klamath Settlement and the massive instream claims which will destroy agriculture in the Klamath Basin if not defeated."
Does this document actually abolish the Biological Opinion and ESA mandates? What does it say about giving Klamath Tribes our water rights for "time immemorial"? Go HERE for discussion on if this document actually says what folks promoting it promise.

Deal afoot to alter Klamath for users, Dam removal - The program hinges on getting $1 billion and PacifiCorp's OK Oregonian 1/16/08. (KBC NOTE: that billion $ does not include dam removal and liability).

***THE Klamath Basin Restoration (Settlement) Agreement, Draft 11, 1/15/08 pdf. HERE for text version, official released to the public today 1 p.m., 1/15/08.

*Official Summary of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, pdf. HERE for text version

*PRESS RELEASE by Klamath Water Users Association Executive Director Greg Addington, Yurok Tribe Troy Fletcher, and Chuck Bonham from Trout Unlimited 1/15/08

KBC Note regarding Public Input on Settlement - Tulelake Irrigation District met January 14 and voted to support the Klamath settlement document (the final document should be out Jan 15). There will be public meetings for discussion and input. However, I (KBC editor) was told at the public TID meeting that my questions, not comments but questions, were "bellyaching", and the board would support the document even if the whole community rejects it. That is, unless, we/you, can come up with a better plan, in their opinion, in the next 2 or 3 weeks. And if a district does not support the settlement, the future of water and power are grim for that district. THAT is what they mean by Public Input. The people were told previously by Klamath Water Users Association Executive Director Greg Addington that the districts would support the will of their constituents at the end of the month. That is not true in TID. How about your districts?
We will post the settlement full document as soon as it becomes available, hopefully the 15th.

Klamath Fish Disease Funding Meeting 1/15/07 Medford

Water Update, Herald and News from Bureau of Reclamation 1/15/08

On January 14, 1784, the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Revolutionary War and fulfilling the Declaration of Independence..."We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Senator (Whitsett) slams water proposal, H&N 1/13/08. " 'The Klamath Basin water settlement agreement will cost $1 billion to implement over 10 years and contains no provision for add water storage,' state Senator Doug Whitsett of Klamath Falls said Saturday...The agreement would retire about 30,000 acre feet of water rights in the upper Basin,' Whitsett said, adding that could severely damage the area's cattle industry. 'The document will supersede Oregon water rights...Another provision gives about 80,000 acres of land along the Cascade Range to the Klamath Tribes,' Whitsett said. 'The "Mazama Project," which runs from Sun Mountain to the Chemult area, will become sovereign Indian property.'.. " "...But Greg Addington, who has represented Klamath Project irrigators at the negotiating table, said, 'the community should keep an open mind' "

1/13/08 - Klamath Settlement: Although 26 enviros, gov't agencies, 3 counties, and 2 farm reps, have been at the table for months drafting a secret water rights/dam removal/tribal land gift/etc (according to the above article) for years, to date they have refused to share it with the farmers, ranchers, and communities to be effected. Yurok tribe spokesman told us months ago that their communities have had meetings to study the plan. Klamath farmers and ranchers have not been so blessed; we are told, "maybe next week," over and over. It's time...Release The Plan! Remember "We the People"????

Tulelake Irrigation District well water levels, posted 1/13/08

Sunday prayer lesson by Jim Foley on Righteousness, for 1/13/08

1/12/08 KLAMATH FALLS - Klamath County Assessor, Reg LeQuieu, on Home Rule. LeQuieu shares his Thursday night speech about "home rule" he presented at the Republican Central Committee meeting.  It is about the non-partisan issue regarding the proposed new charter for Klamath County's home rule system of government.

Groups seek review of coho ruling; Lawsuit asks for endangered species designation decision, Capital Press, posted to KBC 1/12/08

Klamath salmon returns exceed goal, Oregonian, posted to KBC 1/12/08

1/11/08 - Upper Klamath Lake government land acquisitions, updated. "The U.S. Government and The Nature Conservancy have taken nearly 100,000 acres of private farms and ranches, and converted them into wetlands. One ranch at a time, Government agencies and TNC promised that these farm and ranch acquisitions would save water, improve water quality, benefit fish, and store water for the rest of the irrigators and put more water into the Klamath River. The opposite is true." 

Undated letter from Bureau of Reclamation former Commissioner Keyes to the former Klamath Fisheries Task Force Chairman, on behalf of former Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, supporting Barnes Ranch acquisition. The land is now a flooded swamp evaporating water and used as a refuge, not storage as advocated, like all the rest of the Upper Basin acquisitions.

"The average consumptive use for the crop mix in the Project is just about 2.0 Acre Feet/acre. Wetlands probably use about 3.0 to 3.5 AF/acre or maybe a little more for permanently flooded wetlands with cattails and tules. So it's a little less than twice but certainly well above the use for crops." Dr. Ken Rykbost. Go HERE for Dr. Rykbost biography.

Go here for audio of Barnes Ranch snow job. This land acquisition was promised as storage for irrigators by American Land Conservancy and our government agencies. Against the will of the public and elected officials, The Nature Conservancy bought Barnes and converted it into refuge...NO 50,000 acre feet of water storage that was promised. You will enjoy the audio, furnished by KBC.

No date set for (Klamath) water document, followed by, Group is working on two documents, H&N 1/5/08. "Edward Bartell, who represented the Basin’s off-Project irrigators during talks, called the impending agreement 'Draconian...What is there now, we see as extremely negative...I think it’s bad for everyone in the Basin.' "

Snowfall boosts local water supplies, H&N, posted to KBC 1/5/08

Last timber payment received, H&N 1/5/08

(Klamath) Water stakeholders meet today; group to be polled about releasing document, H&N 1/4/08

Stuck between Measures 37 and 49, Sandy family dumps money into claim but finds project in limbo, Clackamas County Review, posted to KBC 1/4/08. More on 37 and 49, go HERE.

***Snowy Plover comment period by 1/4/08

1855: scarcity of fish in the undammed Klamath, by James Foley 1/3/08

Weekly water report, H&N from the Bureau of Reclamation 1/3/08

No decision on water; Tulelake Irrigation District board discusses water settlement plan, H&N 1/3/08. "He said there would be several public meetings before an agreement is finalized...Participants include government agencies, tribes, environmentalists and irrigators. Officials say the settlement should be made public soon, but reports of when vary from a week to a month."

1/2/07. FERC settlement update: It was our understanding today at a TID meeting, according to Tulelake Irrigation District attorney Paul Simmons, no settlement signing is presently scheduled this week that he is aware of. He was asked what the legal basis was for the settlement talks but said he could not comment. It sounded doubtful that TID members would be allowed to vote on whether they wanted to adopt the settlement agreement when they are eventually allowed to see it; the board most probably would vote on what they feel is best for their constituency. Other questions to Simmons were not answered because of their confidentiality agreement. Then the public was asked to leave and the board had closed session settlement discussions. HERE for dam/settlement page.

All 52 came home because of prayers, submitted by Rudy Hiley, Tulelake 1/2/08
A New Years prayer, submitted by KBC reader 1/2/08

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