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

                   Got Water? Community Water Forum Highlights - Jan. 12, 2002 

                   photos below           Note: comments or additions to this story welcome

The crowd of 3,700, (estimated by fairgrounds manager Drew Langley) was calm and rather quiet. They were hoping to hear some positive news in the messages of the speakers.

Congressman Greg Walden was introduced by Master of Ceremonies Mike Byrne and received a standing ovation. He was given framed pictures of his participation in the Klamath Basin Bucket Brigade with a brass plate that stated: The Honorable Greg Walden~ With sincere gratitude for your extraordinary leadership and dedication~~The Klamath Basin Communities.

During his comments he addressed the positive nature of his recent flight on Air Force One with President Bush. Congressman Walden was very encouraged with the Presidentís interest and concern for the Klamath Basin. He feels that this is a great opportunity for the slow wheels of government to begin turning faster to solve the basinís water crisis. Walden encouraged the crowd to continue to pressure our government for justice and balance by peaceful means, because our message is being heard all across the United States, and President Bush has now stated publicly that Klamath Basin farmers need water.

Speakers Dave Solem, Klamath Irrigation District Manager, and Dan Keppen, Klamath Water Users Association Executive Director were both cautiously optimistic about the possibility of receiving a favorable allocation of water. However, both agreed that at the current levels set by the biological opinions, there is no guarantee. Keppen stressed to the crowd that a letter-writing campaign is very important because there are new people in place in the Bush administration that need to hear our concerns. A sample letter, updated addresses and a sheet of bullet points to address were handed out at the rally. Addtionally, that information should be available on the website and in an ad next week in the Herald and News.

Bill Ransom gave a brief update on money received and distributed to needy community residents by the Klamath Relief Fund.

Russ Brooks, Pacific Legal Foundation explained their actions in current legal cases. For more information, visit their website: pacificlegal.org

The crowd moved quietly through the lines to receive their coho salmon snacks and donated bread. It was a day to receive and digest current information and ponder what direction should now be taken.

Three Photos

Looking south

Looking North





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