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

Archive 16 - May-June 2003

Tribes call for change in plans, H&N's - July 1, 2003 - "The Bureau of Reclamation has shown once again that their management plans can't work for  (Klamath Reclamation) Project irrigators, for agriculture above Upper Klamath Lake, or for the fisheries that are supposed to be protected under federal law and U.S. government treaties," Foreman said.


Klamath Basin Congressmen Seek Answers From Interior Secretary Over Near Shut-Off of Irrigation Water, Press Release from Congressman Greg Walden's Office, June 27, 2003 containing a letter written to Secretary Gale Norton and signed by Walden, Herger, and Doolittle.


Probe on water decision sought, H&N's - June 29, 2003 - "Three U.S. representative who represent the Klamath Basin have asked Interior Department Secretary Gale Norton for an investigation of the events that lead nearly to a shutoff of irrigation water."


Irrigators face an uncertain summer, H&N's - June 29, 2003 - "At the end of a tumultuous week in the Klamath Reclamation Project, irrigation managers from the federal government and water users are focusing on what to do now."


Dropping inflows led to project shutdown plan, H&N's - June 27, 2003 - "By Tuesday it became clear that he (Dave Sabo, manager of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's Klamath Basin Area Office) was going to have to shut down the project to make sure that the water level of Upper Klamath Lake would meet the requirements of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's for protecting suckers in the lake."


July could be dicey for water, H&N's - June 27, 2003 - "By July 31, the Bureau will have to manage the project in such a way that the level of Upper Klamath Lake meets a new target."



Weekly KWUA Update for June 27, 2003 "Project irrigators reduced their diversions voluntarily late last week in anticipation of dropping lake levels. Since June 20th, when local irrigators were asked by Reclamation to reduce diversions, Project deliveries dropped by nearly one-third. Since Friday, due to groundwater pumping, rerouting of east-side Project supplies, and withdrawals from small reservoirs, irrigation districts dropped UKL diversions by approximately one-third."

 * USFWS Clarifies End-of-Month Upper Klamath Lake Elevations 
* One Very Big Inch - Project Nearly Shut Down to Prevent Lake Level Bust
    - Project Diversion Reductions Offset by Low Inflows into UKL
    - Other Activities
    - Change in Water Year Debated
    - Impacts Associated with Project Shutdown
    - Reclamation Changes Direction
    - Gearing Up for Another Change
    - A Close Call
* OWRD to Review Water Use and Encourage Conservation Above UKL
* House Interior Approps Committee Strips KFMC Funding
* Trying to Take the High Road


White House intervened to halt water shutdown, H&N's - June 26, 2003, "As a result, water is expected to continue flowing to farmers for the time being, although farmers and bureaucrats alike are nervous about the remainder of the summer.


June 26, 2003 Letter from Senator Gordon Smith to The Honorable Gale Norton, "I want to thank you and your staff for working this week to avoid a complete shut-off of water to the Klamath Project irrigators.  You and your staff are to be commended for you ongoing efforts to maintain agricultural deliveries while working to recover sucker and salmon species."

 Disbelief, anger marked reaction to call from Bureau, H&N's - June 26, 2003, "Irrigators reacted with disbelief and frustration. The strong emotions filled the Klamath Irrigation District office and could be heard in the strained voices of water users from around the Basin."


Basin farmers on pins and needles, H&N's - June 26, 2003, "this week's developments highlight again the frustration among farmers that management decisions are in the hands of people far from the Klamath Basin."


Turmoil draws farmers back to headgates, H&N's - June 26, 2003, "Federal water managers had ordered a shutdown for shortly before noon Wednesday to allow the Upper Klamath Lake to reach the June 30 water levels established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service."


Wasn't 10-year plan supposed to end this?, H&N's Editorial - June 26, 2003, "After all, going to a 10-year plan instead of operating on a year-by-year basis was supposed to reduce the uncertainty, anger and frustration that swept through the farming community yesterday."


Refuges facing a shortage of water, H&N's - June 26, 2003, "Closing down water releases to the Klamath Reclamation Project, ordered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Wednesday, means the Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges will face water shortages for the fourth consecutive summer."


Water in the solution - Management strategy for wildlife refuge has many benefits, H&N's - June 25, 2003, "It's the "Integrated Land Management on Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge," a management strategy documented in October 2000 by the Integrated Land Management Working Group."


Typical Basin farm gets a little wetter, H&N's - June 24, 2003, "Lakeside Farms has long been a good example of agriculture in the Klamath Basin."

Photo by Pat Ratliff, KlamathMedia, of Bob Gasser, business owner, and Rob Crawford, Klamath Basin farmer at Klamath Water User meeting.


June 25, 2003,


 by Kehn Gibson "This is outrageous and simply defies all reason," Herger said. "Sadly, this is more evidence that the Endangered Species Act is a runaway train.  We risked another shutoff of water to our farmers, and the economic harm and serious expense that such a situation would have caused, over what in the end amounts to staying within an inch or less of the arbitrarily determined lake level. Before this kind of situation can be forced on us again, we must take immediate action to assess what evidence was utilized to make this potentially harmful decision."


Klamath water cuts ordered, Oregonian June 26, 2003  "I can tell you, we're probably going to see crises like this all year at the end of every month," said Dan Keppen, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association.

Reclamation shuts down Klamath shutdown, H&N's June 25, 2003 "Water will keep flowing to irrigators in the Klamath Basin through the end of June, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials said Wednesday afternoon - a few hours after lower-level Bureau workers said they'd shut it off. This is not the original article printed in today's Herald and News but it's the only story available on their website. KBC


Klamath Water Users Association:   Update on Klamath Project Operations Concerning Today's Roller Coaster Events



Klamath Project



Shut Down


HeraldandNews June 25, 2003.  "We will be shutting down the project until we get to the lake levels we need," Sabo (Klamath BOR) said. "I'm expecting we would start (deliveries) before or on the first of July. Additional shutdowns may be necessary through the rest of the summer, he added."




GOOD NEWSKlamath Basin had a wet spring. Bureau of Reclamation is sending 150,000AF more water down river.

BAD NEWSthe Bureau of Reclamation asks a 40% cut of agriculture. Irrigation water could be cut off! ARTICLE BY KBC 6/25/03


Farmers told there could be less water for farms  Change from a ‘dry’ year to ‘below average’ means more water for the lake, river, H&N 6/22/03. This year, some 17,000 acres of farmland have been voluntarily idled. That factor, along with the use of well water, "will save 60,000 acre-feet of project water, said Keppen, who bristled at the notion that irrigators only should make sacrifices. "You can’t look to the Klamath Project to be the sole answer to the problem," he said. "irrigators use only 2 percent of the entire Klamath watershed."


Link River, July 18, 1918
The Link River connects Upper Klamath Lake to the headwaters of the Klamath River (Lake Ewauna).  Before the dam, the Link River sometimes went dry.  The U.S. Government did not force the people to pump their aquifer or divert water from their closed basin to enhance the fishes' water.  This was NATURAL. There were no artificial water levels or committees. 


Congressmen feuding over Klamath River - House panel moves to disband 'anti-agricultural' fishery board,

San Francisco Chronicle, June 24, 2003 --  "Two neighboring Northern California congressmen, liberal environmentalist Mike Thompson and Wally Herger, a conservative who backs farm interests, are feuding over Herger's move to kill a federal Klamath River advisory panel." . . .  

Further in the article:  "The Klamath has been the scene of a bitter dispute between farmers, who say their livelihoods are being ruined because too much of their irrigation water is being diverted downstream to protect the fish, and environmentalists, fishermen and Native Americans who say not enough is being done to protect the fish. A decision to cut the river flow resulted in the death last year of 33, 000 mature salmon but delighted growers, who said their drought-hit farms were saved from financial ruin."  Commentary:    Letter to SFC  reporter by Steve Cheyne on this article.

Congressman targets Klamath River advisory panel's funding, by Don Thompson, Associated Press Writer. June 23, 2003. "By joining the debate with official letters in October and March, Herger said the advisory council improperly injected itself into the irrigation water debate, when it was created solely to give advice on how much downstream and ocean fishing can be sustained by the river's salmon population."

Klamath farmers retool acreage, but risks of water shortage persist, Oregonian - June 10, 2003

"Farmers and other landowners are restoring wildlife habitat across the basin, including wetlands to cleanse dirtied water.   And there are promising signs for the endangered lake fish called suckers that suffered as the government replumbed the basin for agriculture.  "Everybody knows we're in a critical situation," said farmer Mike Byrne. "People never thought they'd take our water away. Now we know they will. Everybody is in the mood to do the most conservation they can do."

Is plant justified? H&N by Ann Fairclo. "This plant being considered for the Bonanza area will use a huge amount of our natural resource (water). How come the environmentalists are not complaining loudly?"

Weekly KWUA Update for June  20, 2003. "Last Friday, Reclamation changed the 2003 water year designation to "below average" rather than "dry", as forecasted earlier this spring. The change in the 2003 designation – contrary to intuition – actually puts farmers in a more precarious situation because it results in more water being held in Upper Klamath Lake (UKL) for suckers and more water flowing down the Klamath River from Iron Gate Dam for coho salmon. For the remainder of June, the new water year designation triggers UKL levels that are 0.6 feet higher and Klamath River flows that are 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) higher than the requirements for a dry year."

* Irrigators Work to Meet Dropping UKL Levels
* Tribes Call for Higher Flows - Again
* Limbaugh Named as Reclamation Deputy Director

(What this means is, the 2003 water bank idled farmland and pumped wells instead of using their stored Project water to meet requirements in case we had a dry year.  We had a wet spring, so now we have to pump more of our untested aquifer to avoid a water shut-off, and the tribes want more and more (of our 2% of the Klamath water, 200 miles from last year's Trinity fish die-off). Shall we try more lethally-warm water to see if the fish will miraculously survive? ) kbc

Lease land fight settled - for now, H&N's June 19, 2003  35 million pounds of wildlife food comes from the leased refuge farmland.  Also, Bob Hunter, attorney for WaterWatch, has previously said that there would be 'more' water if we didn't farm the refuge . . . wetlands take  2 acre feet of water more than ag production.

Bush Adm.: "Fish Don't Need Water," Something Rotten in Klamath, Source: Counterpunch, with commentary facts by KBC. This article is a typical example of 'environmental' media ignorance that deceives the general public.

House Bill 3298A is a VERY controversial bill.  It could change the adjudication process and the Takings court case. It could change the irrigators' priority  for irrigation. "These issues are complex, and many involve the federal government....These are issues that could seriously erode an irrigation district’s viability and its ability to deliver water to its patrons,"David E Filippi, attorney for OWRC (Oregon Water Resources Congress. THIS WILL EFFECT YOU!!
KWUA and OWRC oppose this bill.
  See attorney memorandum for OWRC view.
Water for Life supports this bill.  See
article by Doug Whitsett

KBC proudly announces the addition of the 

Klamath Bucket Brigade to the website!!                                  

Members of the Brigade have spent the last two years doing research on the Klamath Basin, the Klamath Project, Suckers and Coho, the Endangered Species Act, and many other aspects of the Klamath Water Crisis.  Some research is posted now under "You Need To Know" with much more coming!!
     KBB has used that research to produce a compelling PowerPoint presentation explaining the history of the Klamath Project and our Water Crisis.  Board Chairman Bill Ransom and other board members have shown it to many Klamath civic groups and have taken it to Hermiston and Hillsboro, Oregon along with the message that "it could happen to you."
     Meet all the Board of Trustee's, several who spent long hours at the Headgates in 2001, and helped organize the many rallies and fund raisers.  Read KBB's mission statement -- education is their primary goal now.
     You'll find the link to their sub site on the left navigation bar.

Information on the Water 2025 proposal and the Memorandum of Understanding are on-line at http://www.doi.gov/water2025. Information on relief available to farmers and ranchers is on-line at http://disaster.usda.gov.

Cutting down big water users, H&N June 17, 2003.

Sierra Club spreads untruths, yet Lease-land farming will go on report is in H&N June 13, 2003. Sierra Club, in their promotion of diminishing or eradicating lease-land farming in the Tulelake Basin, is spreading false information: See Sierra Club article    See KBC commentary.
Oregon jobless rate remains No. 1 Herald and News, Friday, June 13, 2003 "The Oregon jobless rate was more than a full two percentage points higher than the national rate of 6.1 percent for May, the highest unemployment rate for the United  States since July 1994."

Klamath Basin homeowner reports sucker fish nightmare, The Illinois Leader May 16, 2003 "And the excuse to decimate our community was the Endangered Species Act. They do not know how many endangered sucker fish there were, there are, or how many they want to have, but they are "listed." So they take the water from the farmers and raise the lake level... while the only fish kills of suckers were on HIGH water years. "

Coastal coho, a success story?, 6/14, The Oregonian.
Oregon, U.S. approve plan to delist coho, Seattle Post Intelligencer, June 14, 2003

ACTION ALERT: The Nature Conservancy is a huge landowner in the Klamath Basin. Bill S.  476 hands over to The Nature Conservancy and other massive Land Trusts a special tax break when buying land. Click here for more info and what you can do.

OFS (Oregonians for Food and Shelter) Legislative Update, week ending May 16, 2003.  "10,254 fewer Oregonians are working than in March." {Look at the 'environmentalists' plans for wildlands (where they don't want us humans), look how they've exterminated logging and much mining and farming.  Then look at the unemployment, domestic violence, suicides, state debt, gang violence, lack of school, health care, prison funding..  Look at the statistics!  Welcome to Oregon! KBC} More Oregon news


There is no KWUA weekly update for June, Friday the 13th, 2003.  KBC notes the past week's important events:
* Appeals court sides with minnow--2 articles.
* Lease land lawsuit.  Yesterday Judge Burrell ruled in favor of farming being continued on the Tulelake Lease Lands.  About the lawsuit, go here.   For Lease Land Farm Program, click here.

* VANCOUVER, B.C. - Scientists gathered for a World Summit on Salmon said Wednesday that new directions and hard choices are needed to restore declining salmon populations around the world. "Arguing that the ocean accounts for a greater degree of salmon mortality than anywhere else, Carl Walters, professor of fisheries at the University of British Columbia, said the millions of dollars spent on restoring salmon habitat in rivers and streams in western Canada were wasted."
The U.S. BOR made official today the change from water year type 'below average' rather than 'dry'. That means that approximately 12% more water will be put in the lake for suckers and sent downriver for fish.  NO peer-reviewed science indicates that more water is needed for the fish, since all sucker deaths have occurred in high-water years. Nevertheless, more water will be unavailable for irrigation in the guise of helping fish. see article

Ex-official, unions differ on COB plant, H&N 6/13/03

Move the C.O.B  Click here for solutions.  "The energy facility would take land out of exclusive farm use.  The land would have to be rezoned for industrial.   We do not want the noise and air pollution in Langell Valley." How to  help stop the COB in Bonanza.

COB plant gives up on water, H&N 6/11/03.

Stop the generating plant., 6/10/03."Who will be required to replace the 12,145 acre-feet of water if it has historically gone down the Klamath River drainage? (discharge point of source aquifer)"

Divers probe Lake Ewana, H&N 6/10/03

Power plant meetings set for June 10, H&N 6/9/03.

Look at how much water the Basin has, then decide how much to export, H&N 6/8/03.  Don Mausshardt, P. E., is a professional engineer, consulting in the nuclear industry and is serving on an advisory board at Oregon State University, College of Engineering. A resident of Klamath Falls, he has more than 30 years experience in the environmental field, " The Klamath Basin exports more water out of the Basin than it uses for agricultural purposes."

Judge Armstrong says she's inclined to side with fish, H&N 6/6/03

Bureau could change water description conditions, H&N 6/6/03. "Such a change would mean different flow schedules downstream and different lake levels required for Upper Klamath Lake, and, possibly, different amounts for irrigation."

Keep the Water, by Nancy Roeder, 6/6/03."It is difficult for me to comprehend that a public agency would rob the farmers of necessary water to grow their crops to site a breeder electrical facility. This facility will be, of course, smack dab in the middle of farm land."

Weekly KWUA Update for June  6, 2003.
* Judge Armstrong Holds Hearing by Phone: Decision Pending
* Secretary Norton to Kick Off Water 2025 in Denver Today
* Klamath Tribes Proceeding with Assessment of Sprague, Sycan Rivers
Key Facts - 2003 Klamath Project Pilot Water Bank

Environmentalists threaten Valley livelihoods, Fresno Bee - 6/4/03. By Frank Bigelow, Madera County supervisor, Bob Waterston, Fresno County supervisor, and Jerry O'Banion, Merced County supervisor. "Do they want the court to impose a Klamath Basin-type edict on our Valley? Why do they refuse to acknowledge that the type of water releases they are recommending will not only decimate the East Side's economy, but also cause immense flood damage along the river? In its current state, the San Joaquin River simply cannot handle the high-flow regime necessary for salmon restoration."

Senate passes eco-terror bill, AP in H&N 6/3/03. "In theory, he said, that could include the farmers in southern Oregon's Klamath Basin who in 2001`cracked open government-controlled head gates that blocked the flow of water to their parched fields."  I remember July 4, 2002, standing at the headgates watching my teary-eyed neighbors---homesteaders---farmers and their wives in their 70's and 80's, standing, watching, as the head gates were being opened.  They had been given their farms and an old barracks as a thank-you for their service in foreign wars. They paid for the Klamath Project (including the head gates).  Some were in Pearl Harbor when Japan bombed it.  Some were POW's. They watched their brothers die for our freedom. Then they committed the rest of their lives to providing food for America.  Their fields were parched.  Their cattle had to be slaughtered.  The water, promised to them in their deeds--to them and their heirs forever--had been taken away by ecoterrorists.  This law would make these veterans criminals for defending freedom that they fought to defend. KBC

ee article and prayer request by Monty Fisher, Tonkin Gulf North Vietnam 66/67. Submitted June 1, 2003

AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.
ACTION: Supplemental information related to the notice of intent to prepare a draft environmental impact statement. "Reclamation is initiating a formal scoping period of 120 days following the publication of this supplemental NOI. Reclamation invites all interested parties to submit written comments or suggestions during the scoping period."

Weekly KWUA Update for May 30, 2003.

* Interior Schedules Regional Planning Conferences
* Judge Armstrong Calls for Telephone Conference in PCFFA v USBR
* Irrigators Line Up to Conserve
* Western Irrigators Await Enviros' Reaction to Water 2025
* Sea Lions Gorge on Columbia and Klamath Salmon
* USFWS Halts Critical Habitat Designations - Pombo Weighs

Interior Department is seeking delays in protecting endangered species, ENN,  "'Starting this month, the Fish and Wildlife Service also began inserting new language into its critical habitat action plans that are published in the Federal Register. It begins with a disclaimer: "Designation of critical habitat provides little additional protection to species.'"

Check out this great link:  www.allianceforamerica.org It is now on our link page.

Interior Dept wants to find the next Klamath, 5/30/03, H&N. "John Keys, commissioner of the Bureau, said he wants water users, environmentalists, tribal members, water recreationists and community leaders to come to the conferences. To avoid crisis, he said, groups will need to pool their efforts."
Then read the following article by Frank King,
What about sucker fish, "A big meeting was held in Redding the first part of May to discuss the management of the 50,000 acre-feet of water purchased from the agricultural people of the Basin. Present were the Bureau, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the concerned Tribes. Interestingly, not there were farmers who supplied the water from the ground they will not cultivate."  If the DOI wants 'water users' to be involved to avoid 'another Klamath', why aren't they invited to the current meetings?  Why, after the DOI requested that the water users form a water bank to retire farmland and water and to pump our untested aquifer (in exchange for more certainty for the remaining farmers), --why were their efforts thrown out the window after water users worked on it for hundreds of hours? BOR scrapped it and used their own plan (providing NO certainty).  Maybe that's the new meaning of 'come to conferences' and 'pool their efforts'.

Large Klamath Basin Landowner--"protector of the US countryside' is in trouble: Wilderness bewilderment, "Nature Conservancy felled trees, allegedly drilled for gas beneath the last breeding-ground of an endangered bird and sold unspoilt land at discounted prices to its trustees so they could build luxury homes in some of America's most beautiful landscapes, according to the Washington Post, which spent two years investigating its activities,"  May 29, 2003, The Guardian.
EPA, Notice of availability for the Draft Upper Klamath River Management Plan/ Environmental Impact Statement and Resource Management Plan Amendments"In California, the segment of the Klamath River within the planning area was determined to be eligible for inclusion as a scenic river under the Wild and Scenic River Act, and is currently under interim protective management until a designation decision is made. This plan considers management of land both within and adjacent to the scenic river corridor." 

Crappo believes ESA is broken, 5/30/03 NWRA daily report

They've been waiting on the weather, H&N May 28, 03.  Waterfowl on and about Tule Lake love the Kandra's alfalfa, which each year eats about $20,000 worth. And that's okay. "We love having the birds," she said. "We are feeding Honker babies right now. They're very cute. Plus deer herds come in and birth in the alfalfa. They like the camouflage."

What about sucker fish, by Frank King, letter in H&N 5/29/03  "We have adjusted lake levels, in-creased habitat, purchased ranches to expand marsh area, worked on methods to expand spawning areas, built a new fish screen costing $14 million to reduce entrainment of 1 million juvenile suckers at the A Canal diversion, cussed and discussed the breaching of Chiloquin Dam (nothing yet) paid farmers to idle ground and divert that water to aid the fishery, and most disastrously, taken all of the water from the farm community in 2001 to protect these fish, that in the first place may not have been so near extinction."

Bureau analyses Chiloquin Dam, 5/29/03 H&N.

Sea lions feasting on fish runs, 5/27/03, The Oregonian. "The sea lions, in slightly longer than a month, have devoured an estimated 2,700 adult salmon and steelhead trout -- a rate that approaches 1.5 percent of the total run of fish during the sea lions' visits..." (this is rampant at the mouth of the Klamath River, yet the environmentalists and tribes seem to only attribute the fish loss to the  Klamath Project 200 miles away, which uses only 2% of the water.  KBC)

How will the proposed COB plant in Bonanza get around Oregon Law? , H&N Bill Brock, 5/25/03. "Let's suppose the Peoples Energy signs a power contract with Sacramento Municipal Utilities District. Then Oregon finds a problem in Peoples' water use - the wells in Bonanza are going dry. Peoples Energy is told by the state of Oregon to cut back on water use. It curtails power production. The lights go out in Sacramento. California's governor is sitting in the dark again....."

Basin water plans should aim toward providing mutual gains, co-existence, 5/25/03 H&N Marshall Staunton guest writer. "The Upper Klamath Basin farm community approached the tribal, environmental and bureaucratic communities in a cooperative manner by agreeing to convert 25,000 acres back into wetlands and out of agricultural production. (This to my knowledge is the largest wetland restoration effort to be undertaken west of the Mississippi River). Instead of rewarding proactivity, tribes, environmentalists and bureaucrats took ultra-competitive political and biological approaches by demanding that pre-project Upper Klamath Lake levels had to be adhered to in 2001 biological opinions for Lost River and shortnose suckers and by demanding river flows out of the Upper Klamath River Basin in excess of today's natural stream flow. In fact the biological opinions for salmon and suckers demanded 110 percent of all available Upper Klamath River surface water (April-September) resulting in dueling demands, which exceeded by 100,000 acre-feet available Upper Klamath Lake and River water supply during summer 2001. This ultra-competitive approach even resulted in out-of- basin diversions from the Lost River Basin to the Klamath River Basin to meet fishery flow targets"

Bureau of Land Management releases draft management plan for Upper Klamath River, H&N 5/25/03

"Wherefore hast Thou afflicted Thy servant?" by Deb Crisp, Tulelake Growers Association executive director.
Battle over fishing ban heads for round 2, Santa Barbara News Press, 5/26/03--this is the environmentalists shutting down fishing.
Battle over fishing an heads for round 2 COMMENTARY  by Coos County Commissioner, John Griffith, 5/27/03 "
The salmon fishermen in northern California and PCFFA are the ones suing Klamath Water Users, not our guys. As the greens continue to push for reserves, they'll continue to push more fisheries off the ocean, including the ones they're more cozy with today."

NEW POETRY PAGE, May 25, 2003.  This page is long-overdue, considering the emotions shared felt throughout the past 2 years in the Klamath Basin.  Please feel free to send your poem to share with KBC readers...we welcome your feelings.  Go to POETRY page.

Ore. water bill sent forward despite concerns,  Capitol Pres

Weekly KWUA Update for May 23, 2003.
* Oakland Court Hearing Cancelled - Judge to Issue Order Based on Written Dox

* Yale Prof Visits Klamath Project
* KWUA Submits Comments on Bull Trout
* Homesteader Videos for Sale
* Humboldt State to Host Watershed Institute Meeting
* California Resources Agency - Again - Criticizes Klamath Project Operations

Dry times return to basin, H&N 5/22/03. 

Land-use bill moves to Ore. Senate committee, Capital Press Staff Writer, May 20, 2003

Dan Keppen, KWUA executive director, responds to a letter sent by California Resources Secretary Mary Nichols to U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton earlier this week. A copy of Secretary Nichols' letter is also attached re: Klamath Project operations. "The latest letter from the California Resources Agency continues an advocacy posture that began last fall when the agency quickly and publicly laid the blame for the 2002 lower Klamath River fish die-off on the Klamath Project without examining all the factors that may have contributed to that unfortunate event. Our concerns are further outlined in the attached response." Dan Keppen.

Speech by President Bush on preserving our forests, May 20, 2003.  To President Bush from KBC and the Klamath Basin.....THANK YOU!!!!!!! "Last year 23 firefighters died while battling disastrous forest fires. Our professional firefighters take risk. We need to mitigate those risks by sound policy. We need to be smart about how we manage our forests. Those fires last year scorched 7 million acres, more than double the average of the last 10 years. Major blazes burned in 15 states across our country, destroyed 815 homes. It cost the taxpayers about 241.6 billion of fire suppression. The economic impact of these wildfires and of mismanaged forests is widespread. Hard working Americans and the communities that count on healthy forests are suffering," President Bush. 
Letter to the Klamath Basin from Greg Walden, friend and Congressman, sending good news about Healthy Forests Act 2003, HR1904, 5/20/03. 

Klamath Basin eligible for Farm Bill Funds, H&N 5/18/03

Judge cancels water hearing, 5/19/03 H&N.

The truth about The Nature Conservancy, a large land owner in the Klamath Basin.  This is a series in the Washington Post of this Organizations unethical practices throughout the country.  For TNC in the Klamath Basin, click here.

KLAMATH & TRINITY RIVER BASINS, Commentary: Preventable fish kill, Fresno Bee

The hearing scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday May 20th in Oakland in the fish case,  has been cancelled.  Judge Armstrong will issue an order without a hearing some time in the future. Essentially, the judge will render her decision based on the material that has already been submitted to the court.  Source: Dave Haddock, Pacific Legal Foundation, via Klamath Water Users. May 19, 2003
The prayer request for my daughter Rebecca posted on the KBC website (prayer page) is very much appreciated.  She is home from the hospital, but is still recovering.  Dr. Gander a specialist in Internal Medicine diagnosed acute pancreatitis which can be fatal. The cause is still unknown, but I am sure Rebecca survived because so many wonderful people have been praying for her.  God truly blessed me with a beautiful daughter and I am so thankful she is still with me.  Please let everyone know I appreciate their concern and faithful prayers.
Kind Regards,
Deb Crisp, Executive Director of Tulelake Growers Association

These 2 articles are the epitome of what is happening in the Klamath Basin--"environmental groups fight to let millions of acres of timber burn, including our homes, communities, firefighters and endangered species--essentially our economy.  Then have gov't agencies spend multimillions$$$$$ on a 5-year review of the endangered species that just burned up.  Then blame President Bush, the farmers and loggers for all the damage:
5-year review of spotted owl and marbled murrelet
Seeing forests and trees

Another take on environmental groups filing a lawsuit because hatchery fish poop!,  5/18,03

Weekly KWUA Update for May 16, 2003.
* Ninth Circuit Hears Wild vs. Hatchery Case in Appeal of Alsea Decision
* Plaintiffs Submit Columbia Dam Breaching Decision to Oakland Court
* Bush Administration Report Lays Out Impressive Agency Efforts in Basin
* Partial List of Efforts Undertaken by Local Ag Interests

Activists may sue fish hatcheries, H&N 5/16/03. With record runs of fish the past couple years, and fishing limits raised and markets flooded, the fish would maybe become delisted.  So what do the enviro groups do to enhance their survival???...as usual, another lawsuit. 

Deb Crisp, of Tulelake Growers Association, has a very ill daughter.  Please see prayer page. May 14, 2003.

Radical Environmental Appeals Add Fuel to Forest Fires, 5/14/03, Press Release Washington D.C. The same environmental groups that are fighting to shut down the Klamath Project have shut down fire protection measures in our forests.Washington, DC - Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) and members of the House Resources Committee expressed outrage over the findings of a General Accounting Office (GAO) study concluding that 52% of appealable thinning projects proposed near communities were delayed by environmental organization appeals in 2001 and 2002

Current 2003 Bureau of Reclamation operation plan for the Klamath  Project.

May 14, 2003.  CHARTS.  The first chart is from the 2003 Operations Plan from the Bureau of Reclamation for the Klamath Project CFS =cubic feet per second of water.  It describes Project operations from 4/1/03 through 3/31/04 to be consistent with biological opinions issued by USFWS and NOAA.  Look at it closely.  This is how much water must be sent down the river at Iron Gate Dam.  The second chart, converted by Tulelake Irrigation District, shows how much water that will be sent to the ocean from our storage (that farmers built and paid for) if we get more moisture and are  put into a different year type.  This disregards all of the science, including the NAS interum report, that does not substantiate water level management for fish well-being.

Too Many Questions, H&N 5/12/03 "some ranchers have lost the farm and others are threatened, but we are going to allow an outside multi-million dollar conglomerate to come in and take more than 7.5 million gallons of precious liquid every day to create electricity to send to California so it can get richer"

Oregonians starving in a land that has enough for everyone, by Bob Kennedy, 5/12/03

Feds tighten dam security, H&N 5/12/03

Leaving Oregon, by Janet Whitfield , 6/12/03 (this if from KBC's discussion forum.
Federally owned lands in Oregon, by rjd: 31,809,283 acres
(almost 50,000 sq. miles, and nearly the size of S.C.) 51.6%. N.C. 2,023.456 acres ( 3,161 sq. miles ) 6.46%  'Figures from Almanac and do not include inland waters'.  These are 1997 figures..so now they would be higher.

Weekly KWUA Update for May 9, 2003.
* Tribes Push Feds to Remanage Water Bank Flows
* "Takings" Case Rolls Forward
* Future Water Supplies Will Come From Ag, Says Farm Bureau Chief
* Slippery Salmon Science on Trial Before the Ninth Circuit - Commentary
* Reclamation Making Progress on Draft EIS for Klamath Project Operations
* California Waterfowl Association Tulelake Dinner Set for Tomorrow - Tickets Still Available

Coho endangered status debated before judges, KIX 5/8/02.

Visit a logging site, H&N letter, 5/8/03.

Cause of Klamath River fish kill an issue for court, 5/8/03, H&N.

Drugs suspected in die-off, 5/8/03, H&N.  According to fish biologist David Vogel..."In a court brief, he noted that water samples weren't taken until seven days after the fish died. So, he said, there wasn't evidence one way or the other." Read related article

COB Energy Plant Use of Groundwater, by Doug Whitsett, President, Water for Life, Inc., May 9, 2003. "During the May 1, 2003 OWRD informational meeting at the Klamath County Fairgrounds, Klamath County Commissioner Steve West asked Catherine Van Horn if the Oregon Department of Energy was required to implement any of the extensive mitigation conditions included in the OWRD’s PFO. Her one word answer was 'NO'".

Farms and Refuges both suffer, H&N 5/7/03.

Eastside Water levels looking up, H&N 5/7/03

Irrigators suit moves ahead, H&N 5/7/03

Slippery Salmon Science on Trial Before Ninth Circuit by Russ Brooks, Managing Attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation, 5/6/03

WHY COASTAL COUNTIES JOINED THE BUCKET BRIGADE, by John Griffith, Chairman of the Coos County Board of Commissioners, 5/7/03.  "My Coos County Board of Commissioners colleagues and I were proud to stand beside the residents of Klamath County and northern California on May 7, 2001, at the Klamath Bucket Brigade." 

Basin irrigators plan for power rate hike, 5/5/03, H&N. When farm water was cut off in 2001, the Power company made millions of $'s from selling that same power that the farmers could not use to run their irrigation pumps.  So why would the Power company want farming to thrive, when they could make more $ from selling that power? kbc

Barnes Ranch deal far from done, H&N 5/5/03.  Despite the fact that the water is warm, and high phosphorus levels may be lethal for the fish, the $9.1million Barnes property that American Land Conservancy is brokering, is still on the table. It comes with no promises of more irrigation water for the farms, and no assurance that dikes will be built for more storage.. 94,000 acres of farmland have already been converted to wetlands which USE  MORE WATER THAN FARMLAND, and still no benefits to agriculture.  Right now, Sump B, USFWS water storage for the farms, is being drained to encourage wetland weeds for the ducks, so this new part of the refuge can for the second year be open to duck hunting. 

Biologist disputes report blasting water deliveries by Kehn Gibson, The Tri-County Courier, posted 5/5/03.  "Vogel, who spent 14 years working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, said there were numerous errors contained in the report. Particularly egregious was Fish and Game’s misreading — and misreporting — of a river temperature gauge located in the vicinity of the fish die-off at river mile six, called the Terwer Gauge.....Fish and Game erroneously charted river temperatures from the Terwer Gauge four days before they actually occurred, Vogel said. The mistake resulted in peak high temperatures of the river being shown occurring on Sept. 16, two days before fish began dying.Water Bank a threat."

Water Bank a threat, H&N 5/2/03 "Farmers using the federal water bank are not allowed to irrigate, and therefore cannot raise crops. The result is that cattlemen cannot obtain the grass they need to sustain their herds. The water bank effectively drives a wedge into our community, dividing it into two separate groups: the farmers and the cattle ranchers - divide and conquer...." the water bank damages the Basin's infrastructure. Water bank participants will not be needing the supplies necessary for growing crops, including seed, fertilizers and machinery....It is clear that the goal of the federal government and the environmentalists remains the same - to shut down the farming and cattle ranching in the Klamath Basin."

Power plant questions dominate meeting, H&N 5/2/03. A crowd of 80  people came to discuss the 1150-megawatt-Chicago-based power plant plans for Bonanza that could affect their ground water supply.  At the same time, farmers who applied 11 years ago are not allowed to pump their own wells to irrigate their crops.  MONEY TALKS!!!!!

Congressional Delegation ponders ranch purchase, H&N 5/2/03. In spite of the illegal phosphate levels, warm water with fatal fish temperatures, and other massive land aquisitions by the federal gov't and conservancies in upper Klamath, the representatives are pushing for this latest land aquisition promising more water for the irrigators.  The community does not forget all of the other land grabs made in the guise of "water storage".  This land grab goes with NO ASSURANCE that Klamath irrigators will get irrigation water.

Western water initiative aims to douse disputes, by Patrick O'Driscoll, USA TODAY, 5/02/03.

Weekly KWUA Update for May 2, 2003.
* OWRD, USGS Present Groundwater Update
* The Checkerboard of Groundwater Management in the Klamath Basin

                      Photos by Lee Juillerat

Homesteading is in their Blood, H&N 5/1/03.  Marion and Dorothy  Palmer grew up near Tulelake, CA in the Klamath Basin.  They were part of the community that built a community from nothing but a lake bed...no roads or infrastructure, and they know hard work.  Their story is told partly by their daughter Mary in the video, Homesteading in a Promised Land.

A Klamath Basin water solution may be go up in steam, H&N 5/1/03.  Billion $ power company plans to take 10-14,000AF water per yr, evaporate it and haul it away, while 36 Bonanza farmers have waited up to 11 yrs to get permits to pump their own wells.  Farmers use up to 2.5 AF water, and have no assurance of getting it.  They do not have to follow our rules.  MONEY TALKS!  "Trotta said studies have proved the deep aquifer is completely separate from the heavily used shallow aquifer.Langell Valley farmers say that isn't so. They fear the water intermingles between aquifers, and COB will take water that cannot be replaced.Gail Whitsett, a Langell Valley farmer and a geologist, told commissioners the research about the deep aquifer is incomplete and inconclusive.However, she said tests of the deep aquifer revealed the presence of nitrates, indicating a connection to surface water.'Nitrates come from the presence of animals and people,' said Whitsett."



See Archive 15:  Jan-Feb 2003     also  see main archive page

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Klamath Basin Irrigators Fight for Water     


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