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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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ARCHIVE 34 - March 2005
also  see main archive page

Do Klamath Irrigators own water deeded to them, in storage paid for by them? Marzulla takings hearing 3/31/05 by KBC "Do the Klamath Irrigators have rights to the stored water in the Klamath Reclamation Project, a storage that they paid for in full? According to the irrigators’ deeds, land owners and their heirs forever have water rights apportioned to their land; does this constitute a property right under the fifth amendment? Can it be sold?"

photo Fred and Velma Robison, 1946

Lake Levels River Flows H&N 3/30/05. Upper Klamath Lake storage is up 18,588 acre feet from a year ago.

Report faults costs of Klamath water bank, Oregonian by Michael Milstein 3/31/05. (The Bureau of Reclamation demands over 100,000 acre feet of irrigation water this year, 1/3 of water we stored in the project we paid for to be sent to the ocean. Now the ecoterrorists are using our depleted aquifer and compensation to landowners as leverage to try to buy our farmland, creating arid waste. It would destroy  habitat of 489 species of wildlife and $200 million worth of crops. Historically the river went dry before the project was built, so water that used to be in lakes-converted-to-farmland is now being diverted down the river, creating artificially high lake levels and river flows. Go figure...KBC)

John M. Bartholow. 2005: Recent Water Temperature Trends in the Lower Klamath River, California. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, posted to KBC 3/30/05

Drought meeting assesses problems, Register Guard 3/30/05. "If farmers reduce how much they plant this year, that could hurt donations of surplus and off-grade produce such as onions and potatoes for the Oregon Food Bank, said Steve Randolph, agency relations manager for the organization. Wyden jumped in to say, "There's no question in my mind that drought can translate into more hunger."  

Reclamation Met Its Water Bank Obligations, but Information Provided to Water Bank Stakeholders Could Be Improved, Government Accountability Office GAO 3/30/05 
KBC waterbank page and history of waterbank, go HERE

Tulelake Irrigation District well water report 3/30/05

PRESS RELEASE: PLF Lawsuits Charge Government with Flawed Critical Habitat Designations for 42 California Species: Fish and Wildlife Service Admits Designations Routinely Skirt Scientific Standards, Pacific Legal Foundation 3/30/05

Proposals at Committee’s Bipartisan Water Conference, List includes industry, enviros, academia, government, FFA 3/30/05

Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources -  April 5, 2005 Water Conference, by Dan Keppen, Family Farm Alliance posted to KBC 3/30/05

Tribes and farmers come together while Glen Spain, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen spokesman and Eugene attorney, still fueling the flames.  KBC commentary followed by Tidepool's article  Cutbacks Reflect Klamath Fish Kill Legacy,  3/30/05

Fishery managers propose limited Chinook season, Coos Bay World 3/29/05
Oregon fleet reels in a whopper of a year, Oregonian 3/29/05

Oregon Agriculture Power Point Presentation  Thank you Brent Searle, Special Assistant to the Director, Oregon Dept. of Agriculture March 2005

Klamath River Basin Compact is 'The Law of the River', H&N by James Ottoman 3/28/05.

A historic bargain doesn't just evaporate, H&N 3/28/05. "If PacifiCorp has its way before federal and state regulators, rates could go up tenfold. That would wipe tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars off the bottom line for individual operators. It might well dry up irrigation in the Klamath Basin. This is not a result that should be left to one company, nor to panels of non-elected regulators."

$149 million in refunds demanded from Peoples Energy, Breeze - Courier posted to KBC 3/28/05  "The Chicago Sun-Times reported last month that the lunch occurred just days after a utility watchdog group filed paperwork with the ICC demanding $149 million in refunds from Peoples Energy for alleged overcharges to Chicago-area cnsumers."

Clear Lake water users may go dry, H&N 3/28/05

Water claims hearing to be televised at OIT, H&N 3/28/05.

PRESS RELEASE: Pombo Requested GAO Report on Harmful, Noxious Weeds Released, House Committee on  Resources 3/28/05

PLF Sues Government to Compel Missed Status Reviews for Nearly 200 Species in California, Pacific Legal Foundation posted to KBC 3/28/05

Weekly Update for March 25, 2005
*   Video Presentation of Takings Hearing
*  Upper Klamath Lake elevation
*  US Senator Gordon Smith recently introduced the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act. 
Oregon Governor Kulongoski calls for Public to join water conservation and fire prevention efforts.
*  Oregon Department of Agriculture has posted resources and information for drought-related concerns on their website:
*  New California legislation would relieve farmers of some of the costs associated with checking for polluted discharge.
*  Justice Dept. Says ESA Law 'Pretty Much Inoperable'

Dear Friend from CA Senator Barbara Boxer regarding Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), posted to KBC 3/28/05.

Pacific Power prepares irrigators for rate hike, H&N 3/28/05

Water Data Update from Bureau of Reclamation – posted March 25, 2005

Supes ask for Trinity water, once again, Times Standard posted to KBC 3/25/05

Endangered Species Act: 30 years of Endangering People and Animals is Enough! conservativevoice.com posted to KBC 3/22/05.

East side could go dry this summer, H&N posted to KBC 3/22/05.

This isn't about water, but it's about life: Congressman Doolittle: Life Deserves One More Chance, Applauds House Passage of Schiavo Legislation, 3/21/05

Scripture from Mike Connelly regarding the Chadwick meetings last week,  Prayer Page 3/21/05.Taken from the discussion forum.

Klamath River Compact spelled out how water in river was to be used, H&N 3/21/05 by Lynn Long, Klamath Water Users power committee chairman. "As both federal and state law, the compact spells out a priority listing for the use of water, and also provides for "lowest power rates which may be reasonable for irrigation and drainage pumping, including pumping from wells."

Ag has a big impact on nation, Capital Press, American Farm Bureau posted to KBC 3/21/05. "This great nation was founded by farmers 229 years ago. Since then, the United States and agriculture have remained inextricably linked. As goes agriculture, so goes the nation."

Water forums build trust, communication, H&N 3/21/05.

Western irrigators hire Keppen as director, H&N 3/21/05

Justice Dept. Says ESA Law 'Pretty Much Inoperable', Greenwire 3/21/05

Senator Whitsett update District 24  3/21/05

Tulelake Irrigation District well report 3/21/05.

Prayer for water crisis, 3/21/05 by Pastor Gordon Aguiar, Calvary Fellowship Lower Klamath

OTHER PLACES: Double Standard: Eco groups silent on federal fish kill, The Monitor View, posted to KBC 3/21/05.

OTHER PLACES: Projections suggest banner year for salmon, striped bass, sfgate 3/20/05.

Cowboys and Indians and Feds Are Talking

by KBC 3/19/05 TULELAKE, CA After several years of vicious press bites, devastating biological opinions, broken promises and distorted science, around 100 Yurok, Karuk, Hoopa, and Klamath tribal members, farmers and ranchers from the Klamath Project and Upper Basin, government agencies, students, biologists, facilitators, and environmentalists, met at Winema Lodge and the Tulelake fairgrounds March 15 through 18th.

Irma Lagomarsino, supervisor of the
National Marine Fisheries Service

Lake levels river flows H&N posted to KBC 3/17/05

Water forcasts worsen   H&N 3/17/05

Klamath River power depends on reclamation, H&N by Steve Kandra, president Klamath Water Users Association board of directors, .posted to KBC 3/17/05

PRESS RELEASE: Walden Cosponsors Bipartisan Critical Habitat Legislation to Update ESA 3/15/05

Severe limits for salmon proposed for south coast, Curry Pilot posted to KBC 3/17/05

Chadwick Workshop Day #2. Approximately 90 people attended, less than 10 farmers because they are tilling their field. The Yuroks and many government agencies and environmental groups came.3/16/05. More information to come.

Power open house draws crowd, criticism, H&N 3/17/05.

PRESS RELEASE: Dan Keppen is new Executive Director of Family Farm Alliance, posted to KBC 3/17/05. Congratulations Dan!! Family Farm Alliance, New Leadership Will Examine Storage Needs, Irrigated Ag’s Future

Final order of Judge Armstrong re: dismissal of fish die-off suit by Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen and Yurok Tribe, pdf file posted 3/17/05.

Chadwick Workshop
Day #!, 3/15/05
by KBC "
Most of the irrigators expressed their frustration with the flawed Hardy report...."

Tonight's Public Utility Commission public hearing was attended by well over 100 people at the Klamath Fairgrounds. However, there was no public hearing as anticipated, no chairs, but only a few booths. People were welcomed to give their testimonies to 2 recorders, telling how the projected power rate increase will end their farm operations or local businesses. KBC 3/15/05

PUC Public Utility Commission public meeting Klamath Fairgrounds 3/15/05 6-8-PM
PUC press release for 3/15/05 

Governor proclaims drought in Klamath, H&N 3/15/04

Greater Klamath Basin Stakeholder's workshop, March 16-18. With facilitators, irrigators, government agencies, tribes and 'environmentalists', the outcome is supposed to be understanding and solutions. We'll be there and keep you up to date. KBC

Klamath River power depends on reclamation, H&N 3/14/05 by Steve Kandra, President Klamath Water Users.

Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett letter to his constituents, 3/14/05.

Basin turns nervous eye to snowpack, H&N 3/14/05. Does anyone find it peculiar that, with low snowpack, the irrigators are forced to send 100,000 acre feet of water into the ocean to create higher-than-historical, unnaturally-elevated lake levels and river flows. This is despite the National Academy of Science peer review saying that lake-level/river-flow management is scientifically unjustified.  Now newspapers allover the West are screaming drought, drought, and it's the irrigators' fault, while our storage is being depleted because of a flawed, obsolete biological draft opinion that was not peer reviewed!!!

Limits on ocean-trolling targets sought to aid Klamath Basin fish, Oregonian posted to KBC 3/14/05. "Whether fish numbers will prove as bad as projections is far from certain. Forecasts have underestimated and overestimated run sizes by tens of thousands of fish in many years. Actual returns won't be known until after the fishing season, so larger returns won't allow more fishing."  "Troll fleets off Oregon and California last year took unexpectedly large numbers of Klamath salmon," (Another projected crisis and blame of Klamath irrigators even though there were recent record runs and huge underestimations in fish forcasts in the past. KBC)

Nature Undisturbed. The Myth behind the Endangered Species Act  PERC March 2005

PRESS RELEASE: Bureau of Reclamation, Notice of Implementation of Drought Plan, and Drought Plan. Go HERE.

SacBee published 2 local letters to the editor regarding Klamath Project power rates by William Kennedy, Klamath Falls, and Steven Plass, Tulelake, posted to KBC 3/13,05. These were in response to an article, Klamath Farmers, Fish at Crossroads.

Tribes look for governor's support for removal of dams, Times-Standard 3/13/05.

KWUA Weekly Update for March 11, 2005
* Bureau of Reclamation Area Manager Dave Sabo issued "Notice of Implementation of Drought Plan"
* Oregon Wheat Grower Sherman Reese was elected President of the National Association of Wheat Growers
* The Senate Environment and Public Work Committee again postponed consideration of S. 131 the "Clear Skies" initiative
* USDA Rural Development and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a new interagency partnership
First blush seen on ocean salmon season


3/11/05 deadline comments on draft coho report.

Greed rules county, H&N 3/10/05. "Along comes Cob power plant offering millions to the county."

PRESS RELEASE: Updated Klamath Basin Water Supply Triggers Release of Reclamation's Drought Management Plan, Bureau of Reclamation posted to KBC 3/9/05

Drought plan: Parks may go brown, H&N 3/10/05. (What the article does not mention is that the Bureau of Reclamation is taking over 100,000 Acre Feet of irrigator's stored water and sending it down the Klamath River to provide artificially-high water levels supposedly 'for fish', water not historically available before irrigators built and paid for their water storage. So not we have this 'oh noooooo!!! emergency created to take more water from irrigators. KBC)

Mild winter brings early birds to Klamath refuges, H&N posted to KBC 3/10/05. (When the government mandates taking over 1/3 of our area's irrigation water this year, which is designed to end up in the refuges, it affects these 594,000 birds. Single species management of illegally-listed coho salmon, and tens of thousands of listed sucker fish, is destroying the rest of our ecosystem and economy.) For more local wildlife, go HERE.

Fish and Wildlife Service Dave Menke


NEWS RELEASE: Healthy Forests received increase in funding, Congressman Walden's office 3/10/05

Stop Nature Conservancy's Midnight Sweetheart Deal! 3/20/05 alra. More on The Nature Conservancy go HERE.

Lake levels, river flows 3/9/05.

Budget plan would mean huge power rate increase, H&N by Congressman Greg Walden, posted to KBC 3/10/05

Anti-Cob initiative tossed, H&N posted to KBC 3/10/05

Water and Power by Pat Ratliff, Klamath Courier March 9 2005 issue. "An important point to remember, and one that Scottish Power, PacifiCorp’s parent company does not recognize, is that PacifiCorp receives value from the water in the lake stored by the Project.  Having the ability to use the water spread out over time, and to a degree when they want it, and not just as it runs through the system, is of definite power making value."

Oregon officials to talk power rates, H&N 3/9/05

Scarce water triggers Klamath Basin plan, Oregonian 3/9/05. (See waterbank page for more on the Klamath water theft. In 2001 the Dept. of Interior told irrigators to devise a waterbank, making more reliable water supplies available to irrigators.  That was thrown out entirely, a plan that would work on low water years. It has been discarded for the Bureau of Reclamation's plan that takes 100,000 acre feet of our water annually, regardless of water levels, and NONE of the idled land or aquifer pumping is for irrigation needs...it all gets sent to the ocean. Our aquifer is being depleted 5' per year. Now they want more irrigation water. KBC)

Many oppose 2005 version of biennial bill over who owns water, Capital Press posted to KBC 3/9/05

Words from Webster Crazy thoughts, Klamath Courier 3/9/05.

PRESS RELEASE: President's FY06 Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Budget Analyzed   3/9/05, Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health

Grange holds meeting with Pacific Legal, Lee Bergeron, followed by notes by Barb Hall, KBB 3/2/05.

Important to avoid appearance of waste, H&N 3/9/05

First blush seen on ocean salmon season, Times Standard 3/9/05.

Ranchers need flexibility to graze, protect species, Capital Press 3/9/05

Drugs, Mexican cartels, attorney general and your water, Klamath Courier 3/9/05

Sealed land bids due Wednesday March 9, 2005

3/9 Tulelake Growers meeting with USDA.

COB should give percentage of power to Klamath, Brock 3/8/05

City OKs enterprise zone for Cob plant, H&N 3/8/05.

Multimillion-dollar question looms for Klamath, Capital Press 3/8/05

AuCoin Appointment Re-ignites Timber War, Senate Republican Office 3/8/05

Long Lake reservoir, H&N 3/7/05. (Several years ago the irrigators were asked to find storage. They found Long Lake, deep cold water storage. Here we are, 2005, the Bureau of Reclamation is beginning to drill holes and will still be studying the concept for years. At the same time they are downsizing the Project irrigated agriculture by 1/3 with the mandatory water bank. However they support the Barnes Ranch acquisition, which will further take more ag land out of production to add to the government's 100,000 acres of acquired ag land in the upper basin, making shallow warm water storage that will further harm the water quality and increase evapo-transpiration. KBC)

Nevada 91.9% government owned, Elko, NV 3/7/05

Talk isn't cheap when you have to mean it, H&N 3/7/05

Senator  Doug Whitsett update 3/7/05

Karuk Tribe seeks removal of dams to restore healthy salmon diet,  posted to KBC 3/7/05. A link and commentary will eventually appear to this incredible article.

Irrigators add new blood to biop litigation  3/07/05 Fish Letter.

Mar 7 COB City Council meeting

KWUA electrical power legal brief. Rate was part of original deal asserted by federal Law, KWUA,  posted 3/7/05
Why the Klamath Project receives a reasonable power rate, by KWUA posted 3/6/05
Klamath Water Users Association Electrical Power Brief,  posted 3/6/05

KWUA Weekly Update for March 4, 2005
* Greg Addington, the new KWUA Executive Director, was in Klamath Falls
* KWUA Power Committee members presented an update on the electrical power situation
* Federal Court of Claims Judge Francis M. Allegra ruled to allow the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Association (PCFFA) to intervene
* Innovative Landowner Incentive Program (LIP
* TGA Sponsors Meeting with USDA Farm Service Agency Officials
* OR PUC to hold open houses on rate increases

Water director returns to roots, H&N 3/6/05.

With these pro-active women for us,  there is hope for Klamath Basin by KBC March 6, 2005. KBC speaks at Oregon Women for Agriculture conference.
"Brent Searle, Oregon Department of Agriculture Special Assistant to the Director, explained that " 'the America public has little knowledge of agriculture anymore.'
"   Some issues presented were Oregon's wolf introduction, and the BLM's agenda regarding Steen's ranches.

Power meeting notes by Barbara Hall, KBB posted 3/6/05

Water year looks like 2001, H&N posted 3/6/05.
Water looking scarce for Klamath irrigators and fish, Oregonian posted 3/6/05.

Former Klamath County Commissioner Steve West forms Consulting Group, posted to KBC 3/6/05

Fish and Wildlife Service Year 2006 restoration proposals, due May 2.

23,600 diseased chinook salmon killed, Bend.com posted to KBC 3/6/05 (Why is it that when salmon in the Klamath are diseased,  Cal Fish and Game and all the environmental groups and green press blame the Klamath Irrigators 200 miles away despite court rulings and peer review proving otherwise? However diseased fish managed by tribes and government agencies  in other places are automatically attributed to 'natural causes'. KBC)

Salmon outlook mixed, posted to KBC 3/6/05, register guard. "The good news is that the ocean is expected to be chock-full of chinook salmon bound for the Columbia and Sacramento rivers." "the forecast calls for about 152,000 "Oregon Coastal Natural" coho, up 1,000 from the 2004 forecast"

Smith waits -- and waits -- for Klamath Council appointment, Times Standard 3/6/05.

Critical Public Power Meeting March 3. "PacifiCorp proposes to raise Klamath irrigators' power fees 2500 percent of the current contractual rate by 2006."

Judge allows salmon fishermen to intervene in irrigators' lawsuit, signonsandiego.com 3/2/05 "U.S. District Judge Francis M. Allegra ruled Monday that the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations had an economic interest in the allocation of water to the Klamath River, because salmon that the fishermen catch spawn there, and fishermen cannot depend on the government to fully represent their point of view." (What Judge Allegra does not say is that 'environmentalist' Eugene attorney Glen Spain of PCFFA represents no Oregon fishermen. KBC)
Fishermen let into takings case, H&N 3/2/05

In Fish vs. Farmer Cases, the Fish Loses Its Edge, NY Times posted to KBC 3/2/05 (Roger J. Marzulla,Washington property rights lawyer representing farmers in the Klamath River basin and Sue Ellen Woolridge,solicitor for the Interior Deptment comment in this article in the NY Times on Feb.22. Important Read. Rob Crawford.)

Mar 7 COB City Council meeting

Students scope Basin products at Farm Expo, H&N 3/2/05

TID well report  3/2/05.

Coho numbers skyrocket in Siskiyou County, California, Pioneer Press by Liz Bowen posted to KBC 3/1/05

Low stocks mean fishing cutbacks, Corvallis Gazette Times 3/1/05

Tulelake Growers Association Sponsors Meeting with USDA Farm Service Agency Officials, 3/1/05.

KWUA weekly Update for February 25, 2005
*KWUA Announces New Executive Director
*KWUA and Refuges Team Up
*KWUA gives presentation to Oregon State University Cultural Anthropology Class

Karuks file lawsuit against mining, Forest Service is expected to stop suction-dredge mining Pioneer Press 3/2/05.

$117,500 goes to legal fees, Pioneer Press by Liz Bowen 3/2/05

SOSS explains water issues, posted to KBC 3/1/05, Pioneer Press by Liz Bowen.

Snowpack's status nearing critical, Oregonian 3/1/05




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