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.

also  see main archive page

This is an aerial photo sent to KBC of a farmer's design in a grain field written with a grain harvester, September 2004. (all harvest designs welcomed - KBC)


KBC represents the voices of Klamath Basin irrigators and their community. KBC has had many calls and emails from community members needing our help in getting their voices  heard. They do not want a multimillion dollar company coming to their rural community, putting one of the largest power plants in a farm designated area, getting preference to groundwater above long-time irrigators, and demanding tax breaks. We have not the money or the clout, but please hear our voices!
Legal problem delays Cob site decision, H&N 10/1/04.
Save Our Rural Oregon's  (SORO) response to Recommended Order, 9/29/04
Hearing Officer's Recommended Order - pdf file
COB webpage--includes articles, testimonies and documents


Our aquifer is being depleted by the mandatory downsize of Klamath surface-water  irrigation

9/30/04 This year the Bureau of Reclamation is again demanding a 'voluntary' water bank....irrigators had to forgo over 75,000 acre feet (AF) of irrigation water with idling land or pumping groundwater. Next year, despite peer review of the National Academy of Science refuting this flawed 'science', 100,000 AF of our water will be taken--the Klamath Basin irrigation use will be downsized 1/4. Here is another graph showing our aquifer being depleted sent to KBC by  Ned Gates, Hydrogeologist, Oregon Water Resources Department.  Go HERE for larger graph. Go HERE for more on water bank.

TID well water report 9/30/04

Klamath Bucket Brigade, KBB, has moved offices from 201 Main Street, Suite B to 507 Main Street.  The phone numbers have stayed the same:  541-850-9495  (Fax) 541-850-9492.

This attachment is the hearing officer's recommended order order that was released on September 15th regarding the COB proposed energy plant near Bonanza.  People's Energy wants to build a multimillion dollar facility in a small Klamath Basin farm community that does not want it. They have been given rights to pump groundwater when small farm owners have been denied the same permits. They want to not have to pay taxes to our little communities.   According to COB neighbors who are fighting this construction in their neighborhood, after the above recommendation was submitted, "the DOJ decided there were so many errors in this that it will have to be redone!" See COB page for more COB news.

PRESS RELEASE: Congressmen Doolittle, Herger, House Agriculture Chairman Bob Goodlatte Blast Radical Environmentalists, 9/30/04. "It's clear that these so called 'environmentalists' are intent on turning our communities into charred shrines to their cause," stated local Representative John T. Doolittle.  "The obstructionists who filed this baseless lawsuit are inviting destruction on the very forests they claim to protect.  In order to return our forests to a healthy state we need to expedite these forest restoration projects and not allow these radical eco-marxists to hijack the process."

REGIONAL DAM NEWS: Judge questions plan on dams, Oregonian posted to KBC 9/30/04

Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) weekly update, go HERE:
* Humboldt County Supervisors Endorse Study of Long Lake
* Upper Basin Representatives Featured on Klamath Panel in Missoula this Friday
* Reclamation works to Establish a Klamath River-Wide Committee
* Invitation to California Waterfowl Association Tulelake Dinner

Thank you Klamath Water Foundation (KWF) for your recent financial contribution to KBC.  Go HERE to read about their organization.
    Those contributing to KBC in 2004 are listed in our right-hand column.  Their support has helped defray some of our expenses of computer and camera equipment, film, web costs,  transcriptions. and supplies.
    Serving over 4000 weekly readers, we try to provide you with the latest daily Klamath Basin news regarding agriculture, irrigation, 'endangered species' and water quality regulations, power, science,  archives, and events and issues effecting our irrigators.  To date we have provided our services without fees for our news, photos and archives, and weekly research we do to assist our readers' requests.  Daily we have dozens of visitors from universities and schools worldwide, government agencies and offices of congressmen and senators, environmental groups, power companies, tribes, and the list goes on. We publicize meetings and events at request with no fee.
Purchasing 'Homesteading in a Promised Land" video helps support KBC  This is a 100 year documentary told by  family settlers in the Tulelake basin. Go HERE for more information.

To continue the current level of services with no fees, we need your help.  If you can help, please buy a video, an ad, or send contributions to KBC, PO Box 314, Tulelake, CA 96134.


PRESS RELEASE: Two Walden Bills Passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Legislation to provide forestry education for Oregon’s youth, improved water quality and quantity in Medford head to Senate

Fishlist grows crowded, H&N 9/27/04    "Another federally protected fish could be entering the fight for Klamath Basin water"...".Last week's designation comes in response to a court order. In all, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated about 1,748 miles of streams and 61,235 acres of lakes in the Columbia and Klamath River basins of Oregon, Washington and Idaho as critical habitat for bull trout."


What do Klamath Basin wildlife refuge managers and farmers have in common? And Organic Farming is on the Rise, KBC September 25, 2004.
       KBC was given a tour of the Lower Klamath wildlife refuge, seeing the permanent and seasonal wetlands, while at the same time watching migrating geese coming to the basin, sand hill cranes, and an otter crossing the road.  HERE FOR STORY

For more on our refuges, go HERE.


l-r FWS Fran Mais, master gardener Larry Herne, FWS manager Ron Cole and FWS biologist Dave Mauser watching birds

Letter from Don Stevens, Oregon Salmon Commissioner and a commercial salmon troller. The folks he addressed the letter to are members of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council. 9/24/04

Jeld-Wen bid wins tree farm, H&N 9/24/04

For KWUA weekly update for 9/24/04, go to Klamath Water Users website:
* New USFWS Critical Habitat Rule for Bull Trout Adds Complications
* Activists Won Court Decision that Pushed Feds to Complete Bull Trout Rule
* Relationship of Bull Trout Critical Habitat Rule to the Klamath Project
* KWUA Believes USFWS Needs to Justify Inclusion of Agency Lake in New Rule
* Bull Trout Habitat Designation for Agency Lake Raises Economic Concerns
* No Secret Meetings Going at USBR - Just a Parking Lot Improvement
* CWA Sign Up for Tulelake

An addendum to yesterday's Press Release regarding Greg Walden and bull trout, from Walden's office 9/23/04. "USFWS stated that “in 30 years of implementing the ESA, the Service has found that the designation of statutory critical habitat provides little additional protection to most listed species, while consuming significant amounts of scarce conservation resources.”  The Service went on the say that “The present system for designating critical habitat has evolved since its original statutory prescription into a process that provides little real conservation benefit, is driven by litigation and the courts rather than biology, limits our (USFWS) ability to fully evaluate the science involved, consumes enormous resources, and imposes huge social and economic costs.”  

USGS Water Quality and Sucker Distribution Update  for 9/23/04. For past reports go to Water Quality Page.
USGS Water Quality and Sucker Distribution Update posted to KBC 9/23/04 for 9/17

Lake Levels River Flow update for 9/22/04, Herald and News posted 9/23 to KBC.

Hatchery salmon policy meetings and comments deadline 9/23/04  Times Standard.

PRESS RELEASE: Congressman Doolittle 'My, how things have changed', 9/23/04, THANK YOU AMERICA!

PRESS RELEASE: Department of the Interior, Secretary Norton to Announce Grants to States For Endangered Species Conservation, 9/23/04

TID well water report 9/23/04. TID well water report archives go HERE. Waterbank page go HERE.

As flow of salmon surges, US moves to cut protections, Boston.com posted to KBC 9/23/04. ''It's going to be difficult to justify taking out the dams with large numbers of fish coming back," said James J. Anderson, associate professor of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington.

Klamath team prowls for new crops, Capital Press 9/23/04.

Klamath River Basin Fisheries Task Force October 13-14, 2004, Yreka.

Doak Mountain work to ease the lot of truckers, suckers H&N 9/22/04.

Science team comes under fire, Capital Press 9/22/04. "SALEM – Natural resource groups last week in a meeting before an Oregon legislative interim committee called for the state’s science review panel to be more open to the public."

Enough really is enough, Capital Press 9/22/04.

BOR leads Klamath watershed-wide task to create an all encompassing committee, Pioneer Press 9/22/04. "Leo Bergeron, president of the Greenhorn Grange, accused the federal agencies of adding another layer of bureaucracy and feeding a multi-billion dollar industry – government and employee pockets. 'Your bureaucratic system will not work for us,'  he said and added that the CIP process is based on biological opinions that have not been verified as accurate."

County commissioners shortchanged those who wanted to be involved on energy plant, Herald and News 9/22/04. " because of the lack of timely input from the county commissioners, Klamath County residents were deprived of the support of their representatives and were essentially hung out to dry."

SCOTT/Shasta Valleys, Siskiyou County, Water master fees may be reduced, Pioneer Press 9/22/04, "In 2003, all the irrigators under water master service in Siskiyou County paid $84,000. This year, the bill was $377,000."

Attorney says laws are out of control, Odessa American 9/22/04, according to Mt. States Legal Foundation.

PRESS RELEASE: Walden Named “Hero of the Taxpayer” Americans for Tax Reform recognize Walden’s strong voting record, protection of taxpayers 9/22/04

Klamath salmon active despite dry conditions  Capital Press  9/22/04

PRESS RELEASE: Western Caucus Members Applaud the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Designation of Critical Habitat for Bull Trout 9/22/04  "Congressman Greg Walden (OR-02) responded to the decision saying, "As I heard from the communities in Oregon that would be most affected by the possible bull trout critical habitat designation, it became very clear to me that the proposed plan was inappropriately broad.   ...  Given the vast mileage of streams and acreage of lakes and marshes this critical habitat places in the Klamath River Basin, we ought to be reminded of the crisis that unfolded in 2001. When the esteemed National Academy of Sciences completed their peer review of the decisions in the Klamath Basin, they found that the actions taken three years ago might actually have had detrimental effects on species."

Fish screened from canal danger, H&N. 9/12/04

Dispel myths in deciding how best to deal with tribes, Lee Matchett,H&N guest columnist, 9/20.
"Indians are being manipulated continually."

For KWUA weekly update for 9/17/04, go to Klamath Water Users website:
 * California Waterfowl Association Plans Tulelake Fundraiser for October 9th
* KWUA to Participate in Modoc Uprising
* KWUA Supports Klamath Basin Birding Trail Mapping Effort
* Frivolous Lawsuits Hurt Economy, Environment & Taxpayer
* My Summer "Vacation" at KWUA (by KWUA intern Brooke Heiney)
* CWA Tulelake Dinner Sign - Up Form

Tribes bidding on Longbell, H&N 9/15/04.

A Farmer's Last Harvest, Tri County Courier by Kehn Gibson 9/15/04, also appearing in the Siskiyou Daily News.

PRESS RELEASE: Frivolous Enviro Lawsuits Hurt Economy, Environment & Taxpayer, 9/14, House Resource Committee

Friends say farewell to farmer with harvest,
H&N 9/14/04. Tulelake gathering brings in deceased friend's wheat crop. "This is what a small community does," Quinn said. "There are multi-generations out here helping. My Dad was always good working with the young farmers. He firmly believed in keeping this way of life for the Basin."

Water's too short, H&N posted to KBC 9/14/04. "It is my opinion that the agencies and others pushing the power plant could be sent to the Department of Justice because they made such a mess of the contested hearing. Cathy Van Horn is pushing from the Oregon Department of Energy, which, in my opinion, has bent over backward to accommodate the power plant...."

USGS Klamath Lake water quality and sucker distribution update 9/13/04

9/13/04 A collection of some 2002 fish die-off articles full of blame of project Irrigators. Also there is a recent letter to President Bush asking for money because fish died. It does not mention that it was a record run of chinook that year, or that the National Academy of Science (highest level of peer review) could not find evidence that more warm Klamath Irrigation water at an artificially high level would prevent a fish die-off.
With the same tone of blame with no scientific basis:
Fishermen want salmon plan now, Times Standard posted to KBC 9/13/04.

PRESS RELEASE: Smith Introduces Legislation to Speed Biscuit Fire Salvage and Replanting Amendment Would End Lawsuits and Allow Reforestation, 9/13/04

AgLifeNW Magazine, September Issue

Klamath Basin Water Management,  posted to KBC 9/13/04 by Dr. Doug Whitsett, President of Water for Life, Inc. "In the Upper Klamath Basin more than 90,000 acres of verdant productive fields that were previously reclaimed from swampland have been "restored’ to wetlands..... This wetland ET (evapo-transpiration) exceeds the expected ET from irrigated pasture by at least 1.5 feet per year. Restored wetlands are currently wasting as much as 150,000 acre feet of water each year. These losses, roughly equivalent to half the amount of water used for irrigation by the entire Klamath Project, are resulting in measurable reductions of in-stream flows in the tributaries of Upper Klamath Lake and in the Klamath River."

KBB update posted to KBC 9/13/04.

"The following is my column that will appear in the Pioneer Press next week regarding the Bureau of Reclamation's CIP." Marcia Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor 9/10/04 "Personally, I dislike the plan because: ..."

Come to the Tulelake Fair Sept 9-12'

Tulelake Settlers 4th annual fair time gathering 9/11/04

For KWUA weekly update for 9/10/04, go to Klamath Water Users website:
* Fish Die-Off Trial Rescheduled: Court Will Hear Motion to Dismiss Next Month
* Fish Die-Off Trial Has Its Roots in Litigation Launched in 2002
* Public Meetings Scheduled on the Conservation Implementation Program
* Reclamation Chief Responds Quickly to Congressional Storage Request
* There's a Good Thing Growing at the 53rd Annual Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair

Judge puts fish death trial on ice Thursday, Herald and News 9/10/04.

Bonneville Power Administration says Cob can plug in, H&N 9/10/04.

NOAA Fisheries files new Columbia Basin salmon plan with court, sfgate.com 9/10/04.

Letter to the editor of KBC followed by KBC response 9/9/04.  This is regarding our plea for people to vote with a link to praythevote, and the Communist Party USA supporting Kerry.

Even now the federal agencies ask us for local solutions. We find solutions. We found them 40 years ago. They do nothing---read on:
Valley in Oregon may hold Klamath Solution, winter excess could be stored, pumped to river, Crescent City's Daily Triplicate posted to KBC 9/9/04 "John Elliott, a commissioner in Klamath County, Ore., believes excess water that flows into Klamath Lake in the winter can be pumped into a natural bowl known as Long Lake. The area, which lies southwest of Klamath Lake, has the potential to store 350,000 to 500,000 acre feet of water that could be pumped into the Klamath River in emergency situations, such as the threat of a fish kill, Elliott said." For more on Storage go HERE

EPA news regarding water quality from CA Congressman  Doolittle's office 9/9/04

Salmon-protection plan upheld, Statesmans Journal 9/9/04. “ 'We aren’t going to be able to reach a goal of 222 million board feet a year on the Tillamook (state forest),' Tillamook County Commissioner Paul Hanneman said. Opponents of the plan said there is no scientific evidence that the existing rules regarding timber harvest don’t protect fish habitat and water quality."

More insanity to devastate our brother fishermen and our economy: 10 a.m. today, Sept 9: SAN FRANCISCO -- Press conference is scheduled to bring attention to the potential closure of much of the West Coast's salmon fishery due to the impact of the 2002 fish kills that occurred on the Klamath River because of the failure of the federal government to heed the advise of fishery biologists and release enough water to the river for fish survival. Scoma Restaurant, Pier 47, Fisherman's Wharf. Contact: Tom Worthington (415) 956-1985

Salmon river pot raid, Pioneer Press posted to KBC 9/9/04. "Marijuana raid nets over 5000 plants" (It's interesting that environmental activists bend on shutting down our forests to the public and logging, demolishing our economy, are also affiliated with pot growing in the same areas. KBC)

Liberty for All, Felice Pace Wrong Again, Pioneer Press posted to KBC 9/9/04.
Following are some archived Pioneer Press articles regarding Felice: Salmon River Drug Industry, 5/21/04,
KFA violates rules, 4/14/04 Pioneer Press. This article is regarding Felice Pace, Klamath Forest Alliance KFA. For KFA influences, go HERE. KFA connections, go HERE.

Siskiyou makes voice heard at capital, Pioneer Press posted to KBC 9/9/04, regarding hike in water fees.

Leave it alone, H&N letter by Henry Christiansen, past Tulelake refuge manager 9/8/04, regarding Rep Earl Blumenauer's persistence in trying to eliminate refuge farming, "...it would take 162,800 acre-feet more water to flood the farm area than it takes to farm it. At present, that amount of water isn't available and there isn't anything indicating it will ever be available."

Court blocks Biscuit salvage, H&N posted to KBC 9/8/04. For more on 'environmentalists' blocking the harvest of these dead burned trees, go to 'logging and our forests' page. For more on Oregon and it's devastated economy, go to 'Oregon' page.

Klamath water storage request turns into regional diplomacy gambit, Times-Standard 9/8/04.

9/7/04 Following are three opinion pieces that ran in Friday's Capital Press,  9/3/04, all addressing the July 17th congressional field hearing on Endangered Species Act implementation in the Klamath Basin:
Hearing underscores need for common sense, Capital Press by Dan Keppen, Klamath Water Users Executive Director."The diverse panelists agreed, to the voiced approval of 700 audience members, that peer review of critical resources decisions — like the review conducted by the NRC committee of the federal decision to curtail Upper Klamath Lake irrigation supplies in 2001 — is a good thing." {The NRC committee also found that lake level/river flow management is not justified, however the the irrigators are forced to fallow land and pump wells, this year over 80,.000 acre feet, while our federal agencies disregard the peer review--KBC)
No more Klamath Basins: Require sound science, Capital Press by William A. Steel, president of the National Grange. "The sudden disappearance of irrigation water generated a loss of nearly $200 million to the local economy and forced nearly two dozen farmers into bankruptcy. The NAS report also concluded that shutting off the irrigation and disrupting the seasonal water flow created environmental conditions that were, in fact, harmful to the species the government was trying to protect. What a disastrous consequence of irrational law enforcement."
The things that weren’t said in Klamath Basin, by Felice Pace, volunteer activist with the Klamath Forest Alliance. (Look at the photos on top of this page--KBC Home Page. Then read the article, then look at the photos again. Remember, much of Klamath Basin was a closed basin, with no water getting into the Klamath River. Not only was our lake water diverted down the river, raising the river flows up to 30%, Link River occasionally went dry. Now the Bureau of Reclamation's mandatory water bank is depleting our aquifer according to Ned Gates, Oregon Water Resources, to make artificially high river flows and lake levels. KBC)

KWUA letter to Federal Energy Commission regarding Klamath Hydroelectric Project, FERC No. 2082-027, posted to KBC 9/7/04

Developers of Cob power plant underhanded about intentions, H&N 9/7/04.

Klamath water supply: Talk of long term solutions, Capital Press 9/7/04.

Letter from KWUA to Congressman Blumenauer posted to KBC from www.kwua.org  website.9/6/04. re: August 26 meeting in Klamath Falls 9/1/04 followed by attachments 1-6. There are 2 missing graphs that hopefully will appear soon:
1. KWUA’s comments sent earlier this summer regarding "Scoping Document No. 1" prepared by FERC in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA"). This should provide you with the additional detail you requested regarding our stance on, and related history of, the current power rate enjoyed by Klamath Project irrigators.
2. Description of pre-Project hydrology, relative to downstream flows in the Klamath River.
3. Description of Klamath Project efficiency.
4. Summary of cropping patterns and irrigation.
5. Summary of March-October diversions, 1962-2001.
6. Summary of refuge water demands, 1951-2001.

Lake conditions and fish distribution update courtesy of USGS, posted to KBC 9/5/04.

Congressman Blumenauer's response to a H&N editorial, Failure to deal with Basin problems the real threat in H&N posted to KBC 9/5/04. (Farms use less than half the water than wetlands. In the past 10 years, over 92,000 acres of farmland have been converted to wetlands,--go HERE for documentation--. He feels taking 1/10th of our land out of production will help Oregon, the state that sports the highest unemployment in America. Our agriculture contributes 200 million dollars into the economy and employs thousands of workers. KBC) HIs article is after the article that he responded to:: Congressman's words conflict with each other, H&N 8/31/04, "So, the question for Blumenauer is this: Which is it? Is the route to a resolution through local bargaining? Or is it through a decision in Washington to take the most productive tenth of the Klamath Reclamation Project out of crops and start Basin agriculture into a death spiral?"
Representative opposed to lease-land farming, H&N August 29, 2004. "A change Blumenauer has tried to bring to the Basin is the end of agriculture on lease lands on national wildlife refuges." (...even though over half the feed for wildlife comes from Klamath Basin farms and it would destroy our local economy like the rest of Oregon. KBC)
Letter to Klamath Basin farmers from Jim Beers in response to Blumenaur article, 8/30/04.

NRDC: Biting the taxpayers who feed them, 9/5/04. "The Natural Resources Defense council is the most effective litigation group in the environmental movement. But why should we taxpayers support an advocacy group that raises millions from scare campaigns and lawsuits?"

KWUA weekly update for September 3, 2004
* Upper Basin Representatives Testify at Rep. Thompson's Klamath River Briefing
* Local Producers and Community Leaders Meet with Congressman Blumenauer
* Recent San Joaquin River Decision Clouds Central Valley with Uncertainty
* Klamath Water Users Association Teams Up with Local Economic Coalition

NewAmerican Magazine, Water is for Fighting, and ESA, Reform or Abolish, by William Jasper F Jasper, August Issue, posted to KBC 9/2/04.

David Vogel
 kbc photo
"David A. Vogel, one of the most knowledgeable fish biologists concerning the Klamath Basin area, pointed out that the original listing of the Lost River and shortnose sucker fish were 'based on a very limited, inappropriate technique and exceptionally small sample size.' They were not endangered and should not have been listed. 'The two sucker populations are now conclusively known to be much greater in size, demonstrating major increases in recruitment, and are found over a much broader geographic range than originally reported in the 1988 ESA listing notice,' Vogel said. 'Despite this indisputable empirical evidence, current implementation of the ESA does not provide the flexibility necessary to downlist or delist the species.' "

Settling on the Klamath Dams, Times Standard 9/2/04. Addendum by Barb Hall, KBB. Klamath Water Users Perspective, go HERE.

Good news out of Willow Creek, Times Standard 9/2/04. "sport salmon anglers fishing off Eureka and Trinidad have been scoring big time.  Gisela Kinder of Johnny's Marina reports "fishing for salmon off the stacks has really been good all week."

TID wells water level 9/2/04.  TID wells have not run for the last two weeks, according to Earl Donosky, Tulelake Irrigation District manager. HERE for past TID well reports. HERE for waterbank information and local consequences.

Klamath's Al King glad he's in New York, H&N 9/2/04. "King, a Klamath County rancher who is running against Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, has spent the week meeting with party leaders, top fund-raisers and national political operatives, as well as attending nightly sessions at Madison Square Garden."

Mini mint still is ready for research 9/2/04

Letter to the editor of KBC, Sept 2, 2004.

PRESS RELEASE: Bureau of Reclamation: Public Meetings Scheduled on the Conservation Implementation Program, 9/2/04

Funds available for restoration projects 9/2/04

Federal draft plan to protect salmon will be delayed, Oregonian 9/2/04.

Lake levels/river flows Sept 1, 2004.

Shasta Tribal Chairman, Roy Hall, says that coho salmon are not native to the Klamath River system, Pioneer Press 9/01/04.







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