Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Archive 69 - February 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

Words from Webster - The end-game, Pioneer Press, posted 2/28/08

Conservancy group wants more negotiations, H&N, posted 2/28/08

Family Farm Alliance annual conference, Las Vegas, Feb 28-29.

Water roundtable: Discussions focus on dam removal, power rates, H&N, posted 2/28/08

Poll Results Back Group's Stance Against Expansion Of Clean Water Act, Western Business Roundtable, posted 2/28/08

Lawmakers push feds to better help salmon, Oregonian, posted 2/28/08

Letter to the Editor from Shasta Nation, Pioneer Press, posted 2/28/08

Water settlement: Twelve districts sign on to pact, H&N, posted 2/27/08

Irrigators clash over proposed Klamath deal, California Farm Bureau, posted 2/26/08

 Bureau of Reclamation moving ahead on storage studies, H&N, posted 2/26/08. "The effort is in the appraisal stage and will be completed in 2011." (KBC NOTE: Settlement does not include funds to create Long Lake storage. We were told several years ago that the Bureau was studying Long Lake, and now they will still be studying it for 3 more years???)

Question-answer session draws 100 people, H&N, posted 2/26/08

A response by Klamath Basin irrigator and Klamath Water Users Association board member Steve Kandra to 62 questions by Siskiyou County regarding Klamath Settlement Agreement that calls for removal of 4 hydropower dams, 3 being in Siskiyou County, 2/26/08
Clarifying questions regarding the settlement/restoration agreement, "This is the full revised list of questions I have and that my constituents have brought forward concerning the Settlement/Restoration Agreement. My District includes approx 110 miles of the Klamath River, the Scott Valley and the Salmon River drainage." Marcia Armstrong, Supervisor District 5, Siskiyou County, 2/25/08

Oregon ag director says water is a top priority for governor, Capital Press, posted 2/25/08

Long-term water solutions sought, Capital Press, posted 2/25/08

State Wildlife Agencies To Receive over $700 Million For Wildlife And Sport Fish Restoration, Fish & Wildlife, posted 2/25/08

Council Seeks Comments On Standards For Future Electricity Supplies, Columbia Basin Bulletin, posted 2/25/08

Natural resource council supports more negotiation, H&N, posted 2/25/08

Representative Greg Walden urges patience about water agreement, H&N, posted 2/24/08

A big step towards peace, H&N, posted 2/22/08

Siskiyou County hears comments, H&N, posted 2/22/08

Oregon Cattlemen's Association opposes agreement, H&N, posted 2/22/08

Tulelake Irrigation District well water levels from February 22, 2008

Researchers unsure how dam removal will affect river's ecosystem, Missoulian, posted 2/21/08

From Senator Whitsett, posted 2/21/08. "...ranching and farming activities do not, and could not, cause these elevated phosphorous concentrations, and that steps to reduce fertilizer use or cattle grazing would have little or no impact on improving water quality in the Upper Klamath Basin."

 Cook: Klamath decision can't be "made lightly", Siskiyou Daily, posted 2/21/08 "(FWS Ron) Cole told the supervisors that he likened the situation to being in a pickup truck heading for a cliff. 'Here we are in this pickup, heading for the edge,’ he said. ’The only thing that can save us is using the steering wheel to move us away from the cliff.’ "

ACLU Files Free Speech Suit Against TriMet, KPTV, posted 2/21/08

Klamath Commissioners Q&A regarding Klamath Settlement, Klamath Fairgrounds blue building, 2pm.

Klamath County Natural Resource Advisory Council meeting Feb 21, 2008, 4pm. Gov't building rm 219. 4:20-5:15, discussion of Klamath Water Settlement among members.

Reasons for dams still valid, H&N 2/20/08

Bentz: Klamath water deal could have ripple effects on Eastern Oregon, Baker City Herald, posted to KBC 2/20/08

Water: Klamath Basin Settlement Group Gives Capitol Hill Briefing, followed by summary, posted to KBC 2/20/08. Includes link to video.

Dam Removal to Cut Both Ways, (NOTE: here's an old article sent to KBC from somewhere; it tells the reality of dam removal) posted 2/20/08

Klamath Irrigation District votes in favor of settlement agreement, H&N 2/20/08

Martha Anne Dow Oregon Center for Health Professions, by Senator Doug Whitsett, posted to KBC 2/20/08

FOLLOW THE MONEY, To: Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, From: Concerned residents of Copco Lake & Mid-Klamath Watershed, Subject: Klamath Dam Removal, poem by Ruth Waltner, President, Copco Lake Fire Auxiliary.

According to a Siskiyou County Supervisor, at today's Yreka public comment meeting, there were about 200 people and about 70 speakers - overwhelmingly against the Klamath Settlement Agreement that includes removal of 4 Klamath River hydro dams. At the Klamath Falls meeting last week there were 70% against the proposed Agreement. Also, all the Siskiyou County Granges and Oregon Cattlemen's Association are against the settlement.

Siskiyou County public meeting on Klamath Settlement Agreement, 2/19/08, 1:30 pm Yreka Community THEATRE,

‘Good science’ casts doubt on blame laid on Basin farms Herald and News 2/19/08. "Ian Madin, chief scientist for the department, however, questions how accurate that claim is and how much value there is in efforts to reduce fertilizer use and ranching to decrease phosphorous in the water. "Some of the impact of phosphorous is natural,” Madin said. “If a large percentage is natural and farmers are not allowed to use phosphorous, it could have no impact on the water quality, but could be detrimental to farmers.” (KBC NOTE: Much of the Klamath Settlement evolved from the 'Phosphorous myth.' It was used to acquire 100,000 acres of ag land in the Upper Basin by Nature Conservancy and feds, and in the settlement agreement it demands 30,000 acre feet more water of the dab they have left. The settlement also says this acquisition and flooding ag land will create more storage when in fact is will evaporate more water.)

Tribes get active about water, H&N 2/19/08. (KBC Note: Since off-Project irrigators want to renegotiate since the settlement document demands 30,000 acre feet of water with no cap, the tribes plan to go around the group by trying to get individual ranchers and farmers to give up their land and water rights, and agree to giving the tribes 90,000 acres of prime timber land)

Klamath coach hit, killed by auto. Our condolences to Dan Keppen's family, posted 2/19/08

Klamath Settlement FAQs, by Save the Family Farm 2/19/08

Letter to KBC regarding settlement by Karuk tribal member 02/19/08

***The PHOSPHOROUS SCAM! Mapping out a new mindset/Studies indicate phosphorous occurs naturally, H&N, posted to KBC 2/17/08. (KBC NOTE -- In the Klamath 'settlement' agreement, section 16 tells about 30,000 acre-feet being demanded from Off Project irrigators. Of 150,000 acres of land irrigated by surface water, 100,000 has already been taken out of agriculture and flooded, evaporating much more water than it saves. That leaves 50,000 acres, of which 1/2 must be retired according to this fair settlement, decimating off-Project folks. The excuse of The Nature Conservancy and Gov't agencies and tribes is more water and better water quality, when in fact it evaporates more water, and does not help water quality. Read phosphorous link above. Read Senator Whitsett's scientific knowledge regarding phosphorous. Read Klamath Tribe document on intentions from settlement land and money and taking private ag land -- water quantity and quality, along with casinos and etc.)

Opinion on Klamath River dam impact on downstream communities by Marcia Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor District 5. "Last time deals were cut for these groups, the burden of what amounts to a subsidy for this rate break fell upon the shoulders of the California rate payers of Pacific Power." (KBC NOTE: KBC takes issue with this statement. The Klamath Project, paid in full by Project irrigators, provided free, clean, regulated water for affordable power for the power company's customers. We pump our water from a closed basin uphill, out of the Project and into the River for fish and power. When Pacific Power did not want to continue the agreement for at-cost power for Project irrigators who made Klamath hydro dams possible, earning billions of dollars for Pacific Power and saving millions of dollars for customers, Siskiyou joined Yurok and Hoopa Tribes and Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen (PCFFA) and enviro groups to end this agreement. It was untruthful and extremely divisive for PacifiCorp to spin that Project power rate was a "subsidy paid by the customers." However, this spin lost the Project the court case and forced desperate Project irrigators into this blackmail settlement by the same tribes and enviro groups; settlement seems the only way out Project irrigators can find to theoretically afford to continue pumping their water uphill out of this basin into the Klamath River. PS. Most of these same groups that petitioned against the Project now claim to be "brothers" and "friends" of Project irrigators against PacifiCorp in the settlement demanding dam removal. HERE for "brothers" at the settlement table. Here's another article for your enjoyment. KBC does not support blackmail or dam removal.)

KLAMATH SETTLEMENT: Appoint task force on local water issue, Carole Canevari, H&N 2/17/08

Records: No precedent to coastal dead zones, Area first showed in 2002 and has returned every year, H&N, posted to KBC 2/17/08.

Eminent domain abuse described by Annual Meeting speaker, California Farm Bureau AgAlert, posted to KBC 2/17/08

A new test for Oregon's salmon plan; Return of coastal coho to the endangered species list puts landowners' recovery efforts in the spotlight, Oregonian, posted to KBC 2/17/08

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Review, Bills and Laws, posted to KBC 2/17/08

Sunday Scripture, Acts 3, by Jim Foley 2/17/08

Watermarks, a Herald and News publication of Klamath history, settlement, indians, dams, posted 2/17/08. It includes some valuable historical info.

Letter by Basin Alliance chairman Frank Wallace opposing the KBRA giving Mazama Tree Farm to the Klamath Tribes, posted to KBC 2/16/08

The Board of Directors of Klamath Irrigation District passed a resolution on February 14, 2008, supporting the 2008 Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA).

SETTLEMENT: What do they think they're doing - the shocking truth, Larry Toelle, Pioneer Press, posted 2/14/08

Water groups to meet, discuss differences, H&N 2/14/08

Fourteen local irrigators sign petition supporting water agreement, H&N 2/14/08. (KBC Who's Who NOTE - (the links will lead you to familiar faces): Signer Jim Root is President of Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust, KBRT. The settlement document presently does not put a cap on how much water will be demanded of the off-Project irrigators. In recent years, of 150,000 private acres irrigated by surface water, Federal Agencies and  The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have acquired 100,000 acres. That leaves 50,000, and this document demands 30,000 acre feet to be permanently relinquished on the remaining land, and Klamath Tribe has not agreed to cap the amount of water they will take above the 30,000AF. KBRT is an organization that facilitates water marketing above Upper Klamath Lake.  Taylor and Becky Hyde, along with several Klamath Basin irrigators and TNC, participate in Upper Basin restoration projects as Klamath Basin Ecosystem Foundation,   Go HERE and scroll down for past KBRT involvement.)

Supreme Court won't review coho decision, Capital Press, posted to KBC 2/14/08

Basin Alliance President Frank Wallace, PacifiCorp Toby Freeman, and Attorney James Buchal   KBC Photos
Water settlement Attorney says no to agreement, H&N, posted 2/12/08. “'What you have is a crisis caused by government and by liars,' Buchal said...."Toby Freeman, regional community manager for PacifiCorp, reminded the nearly 100 people in attendance that costs to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River, stipulated in the agreement, would fall to them as ratepayers."
More than 130 cowboys, farmers, businessmen, fishermen, and Shasta Indians, attended, along with Modoc, Siskiyou and Klamath County residents.

Water users president pulls name, Luther Horsley rescinds signature on letter seeking reopening of talks, H&N 2/13/08.

Klamath County Commissioners must consider many emotional comments of their constituents to decide if they support the settlement document.

KBC Photos/More than 150 people attended settlement public meeting: Nature Conservancy, farmers and ranchers, Tribal Members, gov't agencies.
Water questions raised, More than 80 people speak at hearing about settlement, H&N 2/13/08. "More than half of those who testified opposed the agreement or called for reopened negotiations."

Public airs opinions of water agreement, H&N 2/12/08. "Earlier Monday, Luther Horsely, president of the Klamath Water Users Association, signed a resolution that rescinds his signature on another letter that lists demands regarding the agreement. The document says that the Klamath Water Users Association will support the agreement and opposes any initiative to re-open negotiations."

Special Report: Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement by Galusha 2/12/08. Copyrighted at myoutdoorbuddy.com.

County won't sign water deal anytime soon. "Klamath County won’t be signing the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement anytime soon. The three members of the Klamath County Board of Commissioners indicated Tuesday that more time is needed to review the 256-page document as well as comments from at a public hearing Monday night. Commissioners Al Switzer and Bill Brown said they are not eager to embrace dam removal. Full story in Wednesday's Herald and News." H&N 2/12/08

***Klamath Settlement informational meeting with James Buchal, 2/11 at 3 p.m. Hear another point of view.
Upcoming settlement public meetings, H&N 2/9/08

Sunday 2/10/08, Acts II, by James Foley.

Another View: Fish are key to deal on Klamath, by Clifford Lyle Marshall, Hoopa Tribal Chairman 2/10/08, Sacramento Bee. (KBC NOTE: What an interesting scenario. Since the Yuroks, Karuks and Klamath Tribes are signing onto the agreement, they need to act like friends of the farmers. Here we have the Hoopa's in the media telling  how this is unfair to the Yuroks since the Yuroks can't say much. The other 3 tribes say how the Hoopa's are radical and not working together. At the same time the Hoopa's are trying to get fishing rights on the river for the Karuks, who have no fishing rights. Yet the Karuks were the lead tribe demanding dam removal. So, the other 3 tribes will sign that they will not make a call on Klamath irrigators water, however, the Hoopa's can if they don't sign. With this agreement demanding on and off Project irrigators to downsize water use, the river will continue to have higher than historical flows.) For more on settlement, go HERE.

A tough season for calving, H&N, posted to KBC 2/10/08

Support for further negotiations, Klamath Water Users Association president signs letter with off-Project demands, H&N 2/09/08

People for USA Grange comments on Klamath dam removal, Katherine Lehman, posted to KBC 2/9/08

Cold Ocean Means More Salmon, NW Fishletter 2/8/08. "But these days the Klamath seems to be doing just fine. About 50,000 wild fall chinook returned to spawn there last fall, twice the number from the previous year, and better than any of the three years before that."

Retired vet teaches science in state Capitol. Years of experience help legislator bring rural perspective to issues, Capital Press 2/8/07.

Karuk Tribal Member writes about Klamath Settlement, 2/7/08. "Many such “tribal” political groups have tribal council members that are securely imbedded inside of Clan-Favored voting practices.  They are fooling people with their false political self-importance as to bamboozle the news media and the members of government; and are deeply involved in large pay-off politics from Environmental Obstructionists."

Doug and Gail Whitsett return to their rural home
in Southern Oregon between sessions.

Time to find common ground in the Basin, commentary by Joseph Kirk, Chairman Klamath Tribes, H&N 2/8/08. 1 "If we fail to act now, farmers and ranchers will go broke..."  2 "If you oppose progress you have an obligation to propose a better alternative, and we haven’t heard one..." (KBC response 1. Yes, the reason we will go broke is because tribes and environmental groups, with their then-allies the power company, petitioned against the irritators getting a continued affordable power rate in exchange for the free regulated water provided by the Klamath Project, paid for by basin irrigators. Once the public utilities commission ruled against us, the tribes and enviros and gov't agencies then decided to be our 'brothers' against PacifiCorp, forcing us into agreeing to a $1billion deal where Project Irrigators usually get some water and a better power rate, tribes are given a forest and millions of dollars, enviros get 4 dams ripped out, and other irrigators are downsized into oblivion. The sucker will no longer be important to the Klamath Tribes so this land for water deal will allow farmers to irrigate and tribes p r o m i s e not to make a call on the irrigation water.  Project irrigators know that they will again sue to shut us down unless we bow to this deal--they have been forced to believe this is the only way out. Siskiyou county residents from Yreka call it blackmail, as they must lose 3 dams, reservoirs, and their economy. KBC response 2: District boards and Indians are telling their people that they are just 'bellyachers' unless they can come up with a better idea, in 3 weeks. Umm. We were not at the table with the 26 groups for 2 years, and we were not privy to this great 240-page deal until 2 weeks ago. How were we to know whether it was a deal we could live with? But now we are being bullied into shutting up or coming up with a solution in 2 weeks, OR, we'll all "go broke" because these same groups will sue us for our water.)

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Review, 2/8/08

PRESS RELEASE: Northwest’s First Cellulosic Ethanol Plant Bound for Oregon, US Senator Gordon Smith 2/8/08

Some gave up a lot, some a little, Bruce Wirth, H&N 2/7/08. "We read that the 26 stakeholders have compromised and given up some demands — a give-and-take deal. Well, what have the Tribes, the fishermen’s association, and the assorted environmental organizations given up — zilch, nada, nothing?"

Klamath Deal Steals Middle Ground, Shasta Nation for Pioneer Press, posted to KBC 2/7/08

Water Report, Bureau of Reclamation by H&N, posted 2/7/08

Water settlement: Reopening talks could be hard, Klamath Water Users Association executive director says new negotiations may be detrimental, H&N 2/7/08

Klamath deal could mean bigger sports fishing limits, Eureka Reporter, posted to KBC 2/7/08

Senator Doug Whitsett statements on Basin Alliance petitions -- Around 1 year ago. Today KWUA, 3 tribes, 3 counties, 9 environmental groups and a bunch of gov't agencies in closed-door meetings formed a 'settlement agreement' which would include giving Klamath Tribes 90,000 acres for timber industry, power generation (because the settlement would rip out 4 hydroelectric dams) and money to develop those industries. The Klamath County Commissioners assured the public that any talk of tribal land gifts would be done in an open forum.

NAIS, National Animal Identification System update 2/6/08

Congress Moves To Seize Control Of All U.S. Waters, 2/6/08 ALRA PLEASE WRITE LETTERS TO YOUR REPS!!

Off-Project users list demands, H&N 2/6/08. (KBC NOTE: according to someone involved in the process, this was a list of possible changes produced in a meeting between on and off Project irrigators, NOT a definite demand list. It has not gone before their boards yet.)

Cattlemen’s group opposes deal, H&N 2/5/08. "The Shasta Nation of Northern California and Klamath Cattlemen’s Association of Klamath County voted to oppose the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement...this deal would be detrimental to the county’s cattle industry"

Klamath bull sale wraps up, H&N, posted to KBC 2/5/08 "105 bulls and 21 horses were auctioned"

Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett Newsletter, posted 2/5/08

Klamath Tribes back water deal, H&N 2/5/08. (KBC Note: The Klamath Tribes had a reservation. They voted to sell it. They were given allotments. Most of them sold those. Now in the Klamath Settlement, the tribes would be given 2/3 of the 90,000 acre Mazama Tree Farm, prime timberland, along with tens of millions of dollars to build a timber industry, power plant which will be needed if the 4 Klamath river dams come out, and, 'economic development.' The Klamath Project irrigators would sign: "Recognizes the tribal water rights at the claimed amounts and with the priority date of time immemorial.” Their claim is for more water than is in the basin. BUT, they promised to not make a call on their claims. We think that means, if their promise is good, that they are trading land for water. They get forest so water for suckers won't matter anymore.)

County commissioners have first public hearing, H&N 2/5/08. (KBC NOTE: The public was told this meeting would allow public input however we heard they were not allowed to have input.)

Coho are once again listed as threatened, Oregonian 2/5/08

PRESS RELEASE: Bureau of Reclamation 2009 budget, posted to KBC 2/5/08, "$25.0 million for the Klamath Project (OR, CA) to continue funding for studies and initiatives related to improving water supplies to meet the competing demands of agricultural, tribal, wildlife refuge; and addressing environmental needs in the Klamath River basin including endangered species recovery and other restoration activities"

President's $2.2 billion for birds and conservation 2009 budget 2/05/08

County could benefit from water pact, H&N 2/4/08 “We need people to come in and tell us what their feelings are,”

OPINION: Settlement plan not perfect, but better than more of the same, H&N Dan Keppen 2/3/08

Gerald Leslie Johnson, Tulelake Homesteader, memorial service February 4th, 2 pm. HERE for his military photo and 2001 testimony to Congress when the irrigation water was shut off. HERE for Homesteader Page.

Tulelake Irrigation District public informational meeting regarding proposed Klamath Settlement 1p.m. Tulelake Fairgrounds Home-Ec building Feb 4th.

Klamath Settlement: Taking it a few bites at a time better than a just gulping it down, H&N guest James R Ottoman 2/3/08

Callifornia Farm Bureau Friday Review, posted to KBC 2/3/08

Siskiyou residents speak up about Klamath settlement  and dam removal, Pioneer Press, posted to KBC 2/3/08

Sunday 2/3/08, Acts 1 by James Foley.

Hoopa Valley Tribe files $80 million lawsuit, Eureka Reporter, posted to KBC 2/3/08

Shasta Nation takes stand on dam removal, 2/1/08. "...the aboriginal boundary between the Shasta and Karuk Tribes was at Clear Creek approximately 10 miles down river from Happy Camp, CA...The Karuk Tribal leadership has gone to great lengths with ghastly amounts of hard working tax payer dollars to create the illusion that they have lived historically in Happy Camp and Yreka CA, therefore giving them the right to make decisions regarding the four controversial dams that are within Shasta Nation ancestral boundaries."

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