4630 Northgate Blvd. Suite 150
Sacramento, CA 95834
COURT RULING WILL HAVE INTERNATIONAL IMPACTS
Klamath Basin is the most valuable waterfowl area in North America.
This Basin is critical in sustaining healthy populations of
migratory waterfowl for the entire Pacific Flyway.
The diverse mosaic of wetlands, uplands, and agriculture provide
staging, breeding, and molting habitat for 20% of all migratory waterfowl
in North America. Stakeholders
in the Pacific Flyway include Russia, British Columbia, Alberta,
Saskatchewan, the Yukon Territories and Northwest Territories of Canada,
Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, California, and
Mexico. These include
hunters, birdwatchers, Eskimo and Indian tribes in Alaska and northern
Canada who rely on migratory waterfowl for subsistence.
75 and 80 percent of all Pacific Flyway waterfowl, which migrate from
Russia, Alaska, and the western Canadian Provinces to southern breeding
areas such as California and Mexico, funnel through this critical area to
feed and replenish depleted fat reserves that were lost in their long
migratory flights. They
actively seek the food-laden wetlands and agricultural crops such as small
grains and potatoes to regain their fat reserves.
Some pass through after a brief stop and others stay in the Basin
until freezing temperatures send them to their southern wintering grounds.
In spring, the waterfowl return again to acquire and store energy
reserves to get them to their northern breeding grounds.
Geese rely heavily on the protein-rich green shoots of irrigated
pastures and alfalfa for the energy needed for their flight and grains to
build fat reserves for northern breeding.
Their reproductive success is directly related to the condition
they are in when they reach breeding areas and this depends on food
supplies at migration staging areas like the Klamath Basin. The Basin
provides nesting habitat for roughly 50,000 waterfowl, which adds at least
100,000 birds to the fall flight each year.
The Klamath Basin also serves as a major molting area for
California raised mallards. During the molt birds are rendered flightless
as they shed and replace their flight feathers.
Each year, at least 100,000 ducks use the heavily vegetated,
deep-water wetlands to molt where they are relatively safe from predation.
60 percent of the remaining wetlands in the Central Valley of California
are privately owned and managed by hunters.
They manage these few remaining wetlands to provide habitat at
significant cost. The Klamath Basin is a key component to the health of
nearly all ducks, geese and swans in the Pacific Flyway. Loss of Klamath
Basin wetland and food resources will force decline in their numbers and
discourage private landowners from spending money on management. This will
create degradation of wetlands and compound the affect on waterfowl.
is critical to the health of the entire eco-system to get water to the
Klamath Basin wetlands and wildlife-friendly agriculture. Over 430 documented species of wildlife live in the Klamath
Basin and to adversely affect them to protect only 3 makes ecological
NON-sense! Decisions to
withhold water to the Klamath project are destructive to a vital
community, a tradition of America’s rural lifestyle, a critical
ecological system, and our greatest international ambassadors of wetlands
and wildlife – waterfowl.