Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Fighting for Our Right to Irrigate Our Farms and Caretake Our Natural Resources

        Archive 12

Oct. 2002

Task Force Seeks Increased Storage, H&N,  Ryan Harper, Oct 18, 2002  

Klamath salmon run is strong, by Liz Bowen, Pioneer Press, Oct 16, 2002

KWUA Newsletter, October17, 2002.  Included is schedule of tomorrow's Potato Festival events, letter from Westlands' water district,  and response by Dan Keppen, KWUA, to Secretary Nicol's letter to Secretary Gail Norton.  "...Specifically, water levels in the Klamath this year have been higher than water levels during three of the last 10 years. It is important to note that there were no significant die offs of salmon in those years when water levels were lower than they were earlier this fall, suggesting that other factors than flows may be responsible for the disease that killed the fish this year...."

Despite yesterday's 'Let's all work together' mantra, Klamath Project is still being attacked, Oct 17, 2002 kbc news team Oct 17, 2002  Local farmer said, "Before you crush us, what are all the factors for total restoration?" link

Photo: Pat Ratliff, Malin, OR

POTATO FESTIVAL with Lars and Walden!!  Hooray, there were potatoes grown this year in the Klamath Basin!! We will celebrate the harvest Friday, October 18 with Lars Larson broadcasting live from the Merrill Civic Center from noon to 4pm. Friday evening Lars will give the welcoming address at the banquet and will MC the talent show. At 11 a.m. Saturday he will MC the Potato Festival parade with Johnny Crowell and will attend the BBQ. Congressman Walden plans to be in the parade. Lars’ trip here is sponsored by: Klamath First Federal Savings and loan, KFLS Radio, Harvest Ford, and Mia and Pia’s pizzeria. Thanks to folks like Lars and Congressman Walden, the Klamath Basin is still ‘the land of the free, and the home of the brave’!!

Klamath River Basin Fisheries Task Force met in Klamath Falls with Hatfield Upper Klamath Basin Working Group by KBC news reporter. 10/16/02 "The recent Klamath River fish kill of 20,000–30,000 fish was a topic of intense discussion and blame. 95% of the deaths were from a near-record run of Chinook salmon, with one trout, one sturgeon, and a few coho amongst the casualites."
 "Supervisor Blackburn stated that, until the Klamath Basin farmers and Trinity irrigators are at the table, with Klamath and Trinity rivers and tributaries considered, we can not assess the problem." 
"Farmers did not plant their fall crops or fall irrigate this fall at Sabo’s request to conserve water, explained Dave Sabo, BOR." LINK

 Water future for Basin depends on balance, 10/14, William Kennedy, H&N. Link.  "(Elwood) Miller is advocating to “drastically decrease” diversions of irrigation water to the Klamath Project. This is not new rhetoric. There are many extreme individuals who want to see our irrigation infrastructures dismantled. How interesting, though, when you realize that, because of this infrastructure, we have stored water to create artificial flows in the Klamath River......Our infrastructure has also created an artificial Upper Klamath Lake." "Once we abandon the mantra of “it’s your fault,” and engage in meaningful, solution-oriented planning, our perspective will become enlightened."

TID Meeting, Monday, October 14, 8:00. Ground Water Management Plan and well pumping are included on the agenda.

Bureau bears brunt of anger, Matt Hall, H&N, 10/13. Story.

Yuroks bring fish protest to KF, Matt Hall, H&N, 10/11. Article.

'Blame game' playing out on Klamath, by Pete Ottesen, 10/9  '' 'The species will do fine because this year's fall-run was so large, much greater than normal,'' said Neal Manji, a Fish and Game biologist. ''We're getting three-fish limits routinely, and releasing more than 20 fish per day on every outing,'' said guide Ron DeNardi of Hornbrook. In August, 100 or so of the commercial nets were pulled from the lower river by the Indians because the market had a glut of salmon. The price had dipped to less than 55 cents a pound. Some tribesmen were selling salmon for 35 cents a pound, working turnouts on Highway 101 and peddling fish from ice chests, as if they were soda vendors." Link.

We Have To Share, Nell Kuonen, H&N Letter, 10/06. Letter.

Let Science Work On Lower Klamath Fish Kill, H&N, 10/06. Editorial.

Open Letter from Oregon Dept. of Transportation and KWUA to USBR Commissioner John Keys, 10/7. Letter. Another case of making up the news. "All three articles (in the Eurika Times Standard) contain factual errors and leaps of logic that cannot be substantiated."

Klamath Gothic: Good science is no longer sent over the falls, Kimberly Strassel, Wall Street Journal, 10/7. "What (the environmentalists) are interested in is getting the farmers off the land; they have admitted it. As a result, any report, study, or theory they advance is toward that goal, regardless of its scientific merit." Link. And Reader responses

ESA Hits Albuquerque, Convoy Continues, Kehn Gibson, 10/7. "The situation in Albuquerque is another example of how people don’t count when it comes to the Endangered Species Act."  Story.

A Recap of the 2002 Klamath River Fish Die-Off by Dan Keppen, executive director, KWUA Newsletter, October 4, 2002.  This is an invaluable collection of quotes from The Oregonian, Yurok Tribe spokesman Dave Hillemeier, PCFFA Glen Spain, NMFS Jim Lecky, USFWS Director Steve Williams, and many others. Also notes Keppen, “Reclamation has pointed out in the past week that this year’s (Chinook) return is expected to be the 5th largest in history of the Klamath.”

Convoy in Salt Lake City, Utah, Kehn Gibson,10/05. "'Water is the economic engine of the West, and if you deprive farmers of that, the engine stops,' Utah Rep. Darin Peterson said. 'We lose our ability to fund our schools, and to attract new business to the area. We also turn what once was a productive taxpayer into a burden on the tax rolls.'" Story.

Dead fish, live debate, Sacramento Bee, 10/6/02.  "Environmentalists and Indian tribes are blaming the Bush administration for depriving the river of water." "All signs indicate a whopper of a fall salmon run is arriving into the Sacramento and Klamath river systems." "Ninety-five percent of the dead fish on the Klamath are fall-run Chinooks." "So the reflexive more-flow-is-better mantra is just too simplistic. A "natural" Klamath this September, in fact, might have had even less water. And that would have closed the mouth of the river." "Give the biologists some time to sort this out." "The river deserves better. So do all that depend on it and live in it." Link.

No study needed - just check the news, Bill Spears, H&N, 9/30. "Neither the ONRC nor any other environmentalist organization is in good moral position to criticize anybody for not telling the complete truth, given their track record of veracity — or, more accurately, their lack of veracity. " Story.

Also - Please click for larger picture. Thanks to jt on the forum.

Playing With Fire:  Link.

Convoy Continues. Kehn Gibson, 10/4/02. "Reports of my death
 have been greatly exaggerated"
. Mark Twain.  Story.

Agency head: Low flows not yet determined to be big factor, Ryan Harper,
H&N, 10/02/02.

California Democrat lawmaker delivers dead fish to agency, Lee Juillerat,
H&N, 10/02/02.

Water Must Be Shared, Lee Juillerat, H&N, 10/3/02. Story.

Bill Ransom speaks outside Sacramento Capitol, by Kehn Gibson,
 Oct 1, 2002.   Convoy News.


Sep. 2002

Klamath Water Users re: memorandum regarding fish kill from Fish and Wildlife. "Given the limited data, at this point we consider it premature to draw conclusions. There are too many unanswered questions. Therefore, we are gathering facts and aggressively seeking answers." 1. Here.   2. F&W Memorandum.

Water Users Comment on Federal Plan to Ease Overcrowded Salmon
 Conditions in the Klamath River, September 27, 2002. Article


One rational view, from the Forum. Post.

More water sent down river for fish, 09/27/02 Ryan Harper, H&N. Story.

Basin residents don’t deserve to be target, 9/27/02. Editorial.

Fish kill suit targets Basin, Ryan Harper, H&N, 9/26/02. Looks like the "blame the farmers for everything" group is at it again. Story.

Senate Passes Walden Bill to Reimburse Klamath Basin Irrigators’ Operations and Maintenance Fees. Link to article.

A road problem, maybe; but not a fish problem, H&N, 9/25/02, editorial.

Lower Klamath fish kill a mystery, 09/24/02, By Ryan Harper. Article

Bucket on the move once more, H&N, 09/22/02,By Lee Beach. Story

Government Threatens Florida Pastor, offering the site of the Sawgrass rebellion, 09/22/02, Danny E. Meek, esq.
"I love nature, but we should not be enslaved to it"Article

Klamath Bucket Brigade Headed for Homestead, Florida,
Joining the Sawgrass Rebellion. 09/19/02. Article

 "This action by the Corps is turning 350 families into what they hope become 'willing sellers'. The Klamath Basin knows all about 'willing seller' programs."

Keep public informed about talks with tribes, H&N editorial, 09/18/02. Here

Klamath Tribal leaders 'satisfied' with negotiations, Ryan Harper,
    H&N, Sep. 12, 2002.  Story

More Klamath Basin Hay Donated to Colorado Ranchers,   By Kehn Gibson September 16, 2002  “This community watched their fields dry up and their livestock struggle last year,” Boyd said. “They understand. This is about neighbors helping neighbors.”<story

Convoy Route Assistance Sought, Sep. 11, 2002. Link.

Heavenly Help For The Sawgrass Rebellion, Sept. 9, 2002.

"The Lord certainly does work in mysterious ways," Walley chuckled. "Who would have thought that after looking literally all over the county, our answer all of the time was to look to the church for help. Isn't that just something? Pastor David Mallory welcomed our group with a handshake and a smile." Jay Walley of the Paragon Foundation is the organizer of the Sawgrass Rebellion, destination of the convoy from Klamath Falls to Florida."

Klamath Irrigators and Growers Strive to Conserve Water to Meet Agricultural Needs and Help Refuges, September 4, 2002.





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