Folks .. these people are organized.. they have an agenda and they
get things done ..... as you can see below. If we want to save our
way life, and keep these professional eco-activists from depopulating
rural America, we must do the same kind of thing they do..... " Get
of the Land ??????? (link)
The latest from Wendell Wood, our friend at ONRC
----- Original Message -----
From: "Wendell Wood" <firstname.lastname@example.org
To: "'You'" <email@example.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 9:55 AM
Late last night I sent you ONRC's emergency alert as an attachment. I've
had several emails from people saying that the attachment came through
"garbled." Therefore, I have pasted it into the text below. Let me know
if you need an attached copy to better editor for your newsletter--and I
will resend it. Sorry if this is a duplication of what you do have. At a
minimum please consider printing out the suggested letter below to send to
Senator Wyden--also addresses for Gov. Kitzhaber (and Sen. Smith & Gale
Norton included below). Thanks, Wendell
KLAMATH BASIN ALERT ( text
format may be bad.... sorry. just copied and pasted )
HELP PROTECT THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES,
BALD EAGLES, SALMON AND OTHER ENDANGERED SPECIES!
Please sign and return to ONRC the enclosed letter to Senator Wyden.
The Klamath Basin and Klamath River are facing a water crisis this year.
If development interests prevail, both Upper and Lower Klamath Basin
National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) will be left without sufficient water to
meet basic fish and wildlife needs - threatening migrating and nesting
waterfowl, as well as Upper Klamath Lake's endangered native fish species.
Additionally, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has warned that lack
of water at Lower Klamath NWR could lead to starvation or serious harm to
over 950 bald eagles.
Local development interests continue to conduct a massive campaign to
convince the Bush Administration and Oregon elected officials that minimal
water needs mandated by the federal Endangered Species Act should be
overridden or ignored. Last month, Senator Gordon Smith sent a letter to
Secretary of Interior Gale Norton urging her to do so. Fortunately,
Senator Wyden did not sign that letter.
In response, on March 8, Oregon Natural Resources Council and other
conservation organizations put the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and
Secretary Norton on notice that conservationists intended to sue to ensure
that endangered fish and threatened bald eagles get enough water to
But development and political pressures are enormous - and we need your
help as soon as possible!
For too many years regulatory agencies sought ways to accommodate powerful
agriculture interests, while all the time allowing serious degradation of
the national wildlife refuges and endangered species. As a result,
1995 and 1997, 80% - 90% of all the remaining endangered fish in Upper
Klamath Lake died.
Last year, the BOR's commercial farm program on the Klamath Basin National
Wildlife Refuges poured water and pesticides on crops such as potatoes and
onions, yet left no water for waterfowl at the beginning of the fall
migration. This year, there is even less available water.
Additionally, thousands of juvenile salmon died last year as a result of
low flows and insufficient oxygen in the Klamath River. Federal trust
responsibilities to protect Native American fisheries demand that we do
On April 4, 2001, a federal judge ruled that the BOR's dam operations in
the Klamath Basin violated the Endangered Species Act, which protects
Klamath River salmon. The judge's ruling and a USFWS Biological Opinion
released on April 6 will help to increase water levels in the Klamath
this year. However, current plans do not provide sufficient water in
Klamath Lake to support endangered lake fish, and NO water is provided to
the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges and its over 1,000 wintering
Please sign the enclosed letter to Senator Ron Wyden and return it to ONRC
in the postage paid envelope provided. You may also use the letter as a
sample for your own letters to Senator Gordon Smith, Secretary of Interior
Gale Norton, and Governor John Kitzhaber. Please ask them to resist
development pressures to circumvent the Endangered Species Act - needed to
protect Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges, and threatened coho
in the Klamath River.
ASK THAT THEY ADVOCATE TO:
. Provide full water deliveries to Lower Klamath NWR for bald eagles, as
well as nesting and migrating waterfowl. In future years end
pesticide-intensive, commercial farm lease programs on the refuges which
deny water to wildlife.
. Provide full water deliveries to the Klamath River to protect its
threatened coho salmon. Last summer, following low water flows and warm
temperatures, tens of thousands of young salmon died in the Klamath River.
. Provide that Upper Klamath Lake be held one foot higher as the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service recommended in March 2001. Vice President Dick
and others recently leaned on USFWS to change the agency's final
Opinion, which now allows Upper Klamath NWR's marshes to be drained by
summer's end - jeopardizing the lake's two endangered fish species and
. Provide immediate financial relief to all irrigators in the Klamath
Project this year.
. Arrange to buy out willing sellers with leases in the Klamath National
With your help, Oregon Natural Resources Council and our conservation
partners will protect salmon and other endangered fish and wildlife, while
easing the financial pain of irrigators during this severe drought in the
Please sign and return to ONRC the enclosed letter to Senator Wyden, and
include your full address.
For your convenience, you may download the sample letter from our website:
Senator Ron Wyden
515 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Gale Norton, Secretary
US Department of Interior
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
Senator Gordon Smith
404 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Governor John Kitzhaber
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street, NE
Salem, OR 97301-4047
Dear Senator Wyden,
Please work now to protect Klamath Basin endangered fish and wildlife and
the economies which depend on them, while providing financial assistance
all Klamath irrigators.
For years, the Bureau of Reclamation's (BOR's) water diversions for
agriculture threatened the area's National Wildlife Refuges, often leaving
little water in either Upper Klamath or Lower Klamath National Wildlife
Refuges at summer's end.
While providing feeding habitat for 90% of the area's wintering bald
eagles, Lower Klamath also supports the largest concentration of waterfowl
in the Pacific flyway. Lack of critical wetland habitat harms wildlife-
related economies throughout Oregon and other Pacific states.
flows in the Klamath River have harmed recreation businesses, and more
significantly, devastated this region's commercial, sports, and tribal
On April 5, 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a
Biological Opinion which stated that, without water at Lower Klamath
National Wildlife Refuge, more than 950 eagles will either starve or
a lowered, weakened condition at the beginning of the breeding season.
"Opinion" also noted that while Upper Klamath Lake's seasonal levels fell
ever lower in this last decade, it has now been determined that between
1995 and 1997, 80% - 90% of the lake's two native species of endangered
Continued water diversions for agriculture throughout the drought years of
the 1990's forced the USFWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service
(NMFS) in March to recommend higher water levels for Upper Klamath Lake
increased Klamath River flows. These basic measures should have been
initiated decades ago. In April, at the urging of local irrigators and
Senator Smith, the Bush Administration arbitrarily "changed the science"
provide one foot less water in Upper Klamath Lake than what biologists
maintained was required for species' survival. This change paved the way
for a plan to instead irrigate cattle pastures and hay fields east of
Klamath Falls. The good news is that NMFS stayed firm on recommended
minimal flows for the Klamath River to sustain threatened salmon. Again,
these flows are the minimum necessary to sustain steelhead and salmon.
They are not sufficient to recover already depleted stocks.
While agriculture has consistently benefited, other Klamath Basin
have historically suffered from water misallocation. Fishing communities
on the coast have been particularly hard hit, as the Klamath River once
supplied 30% of the salmon caught on the northern California and southern
Oregon coasts. Today at least ten of the Klamath Basin's 54 remaining
salmon populations are at risk of extinction, with many others severely
depressed. For millennia the Klamath River system and its six major
tributary rivers provided important salmon habitat for the tribal
fisheries. The Hoopa, Karuk, Klamath and Yurok Tribes, who have fished in
this basin for more than 10,000 years, now fear that these fish, upon
the very survival of their culture depends, will soon be gone forever.
USFWS and NMFS are finally recommending increased minimal lake levels and
increased minimal river flows. These mandatory precautions should no
longer be compromised. An additional seventy thousand acre feet of water
scheduled for irrigation should be purchased now to provide critical water
for the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges and to assure the health
America's bald eagles. Please support financial aid for all area
irrigators, and advocate that the best science is followed to protect the
Klamath Basin's threatened and endangered species.