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

             Green Fascism, How Ecological Extremists Seek To Curtail Freedom

Green Fascism 
How Ecological Extremists Seek To Curtail Freedom

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By EDWARD ZEHR 
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The crowd looked on expectantly. And then, over the crest
of the ridge, the riders came, 140 or more, profiled
against the sky, many of them carrying American flags, some
of which were upside down. The national anthem boomed forth
from a "sound system in the encampment on the opposite side
of the A Canal, crowded with more than 300 spectators,"
according to a front page story in the Klamath Falls Herald
and News. 

One of the riders, I. F. Rodgers, was quoted by the paper
as saying, "The anthem brought tears to my eyes, I couldn't
talk. It was the most wonderful and thrilling ride I ever
went on." Rodgers had lost everything in 1992, "the first
year water cutbacks occurred in the Klamath Reclamation
Project," says the Herald and News, and "was forced to sell
off land and declare bankruptcy on a ranch and farm in the
Poe Valley." 

"Any time you lose water, it breaks you. The only ones that
come out OK are the attorneys," said Rodgers. Another
rider, Diane Mathies, said, "It made me proud to be an
American, It was contradictory, but I was proud to stand up
for what I believe in." 



The Story Unfolds in Klamath Falls
The following day, Saturday, the federal gestapo dispatched
to Klamath Falls to ensure that local farmers would not
avail themselves of the water allocated to the
eco-extremists' precious trash fish by our all-knowing,
benevolent federal autocracy, were subjected to a bit of
antic harassment. Livestock "wandered" into the federal
"compound" and were shooed away by the troopers guarding
the headgates. Then came a series of fence-jumpers, chased
around in the Keystone tradition by harried federal
mili-cops. "You're under arrest," snarled one of the feds
at an interloper. "No I'm not," said the intruder, who
promptly jumped into the nearby lake. The feds were
reluctant to give chase and, noting that the water was more
than a tad "slimy," implored the young man to come out and
give himself up lest he become "infected", even as he
dog-paddled off into the distance. 

Shortly thereafter, the "Klamath Navy" made a demonstration
of force majeur off the coast of the "compound." Jeff Head,
a pro-farmer publicist, reported that, "2 boats full of
people have entered the inlet at the headgates at Klamath
Lake. The U.S. Park Police are attempting to surround them,
but they're having difficulty getting down to the water
near them. The protesters in the boats are causing no
problems, but evidently are too close to Federal
'property'. The crowd of over 500 patriotic Americans is
cheering and chanting," 

Evidently the local farmers had not been overly impressed
by Jeff McCracken of the Bureau of Reclamation, who had
made an appearance to hand out calendars and offer hollow
"explanations" for our all-caring, benevolent federal
government's heartless decision to cut off their irrigation
water, creating a man-made drought in the region. Jeff Head
writes that, "When questioned he admitted that the water
and the deeds to it belong to the people, the farmers, but
that THEY (the government) built the dams for them. He
stated he was sorry that the laws have no "conscience," but
his charge is to enforce the law." 

But what IS the law? The Endangered Species Act of 1973
forbids killing, harassing, or damaging habitat necessary
for the survival and recovery of any species deemed to be
in danger of going extinct, without explicit permission.
Congress has the power to grant such permission, but the
Senate recently voted 52-to-48 in favor of the "endangered"
suckerfish, at the expense of drought-parched farmers in
the Klamath Basin region of southwestern Oregon. 

McCracken stumbled and stuttered "when asked about the fact
that the water level is a foot higher than the top level
set by the government," basically taking a 'so what'
attitude," according to Head. A report by the Associated
Press says that, "Even in a drought-dry summer, the lake is
swelling. The agency had set a minimum lake elevation of
4,140 feet above sea level to protect endangered fish ..."
Michael Milstein writes in The Oregonian that "preliminary
calculations by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation now suggest
the lake's lowest level this year -- likely to be reached
in September -- will be about a foot higher than what
biologists ruled must stay in the lake to protect suckers
through the drought." 

Local authorities are disposed to weigh the interests of
voters a little more heavily than those of trash fish.
Later that evening Sheriff Evinger appeared at the
headgates in Klamath Falls and read, to the plaudits of the
crowd, a letter he had just dispatched to the Department of
the Interior in Washington, DC. He was wearing a dark blue
cap and jacket with "US FARMER" emblazoned on the back,
similar to the raid jackets sported by the feds. In his
letter, the Sheriff requested that the federal Park Police
leave the headgates, saying that the necessary security
would be provided locally. 

The following Tuesday, Secretary of the Interior Gale
Norton announced that "between 70,000 and 75,000 acre-feet
of water for crops and livestock could begin flowing as
soon as Wednesday," according to an AP report. It was a
victory for the farmers, albeit a modest one. As the AP
noted, "the water to be released is less than 20 percent of
the 450,000 acre-feet that would typically be released into
the canals." 

While welcoming Norton's decision, Farmers Against
Regulatory Madness (FARM) note that, "Economically, this
water delivery will not benefit the Klamath Basin farmers."
Characterizing the Interior Department's decision as "an
admission of error by the federal government," the FARM
statement concluded with the assertion that, "This water
delivery is a battle won for this group, but...the war
rages on." 

Expressing concern about the farm families, Secretary
Norton stressed that, "This is what we are allowed to do
under the Endangered Species Act." The 75,000 acre-feet of
water released represent the one foot of margin between the
level of the lake and the figure specified as the minimum
for the safety of the suckerfish. The Interior Department
is constrained by the Endangered Species Act which
delegates to bureaucrats the power to determine the
guidelines for shutting off the water. Congress has the
power to grant exceptions, but it recently voted not to
afford relief to the farmers of the Klamath Basin region, a
fact that was notably missing from the few sparse articles
on this story that have appeared recently in the mainstream
press. 

Not that the federal government was always so concerned
about the "endangered" suckerfish. Mark Hunter, writing in
the Denver Post, blames the sad plight of the poor,
imperiled fishies "on wildlife agencies that during the
1960s and '70s poisoned entire rivers to kill 'trash' fish
that are now considered endangered." 

One of the more striking aspects of the Klamath controversy
is the paucity of evidence supporting the government's
position. Yet few seem inclined to question the conclusions
which serve as the rationale for this man-made disaster
created by an authoritarian government, out of control. In
an article titled " Klamath Basin Realities and
Enviro-Myths," Dick Carleton examines the levels of Klamath
Lake for the years '92,' 94 '95, '96 and '97 and the
consequences for the indigenous fish": 


Year Min Lake Elev
1992 4137.37 No fish kills
1994 4136.79 No fish kills
1995 4138.60 Fish kills
1996 4138.72 Fish kills
1997 4140.10 Fish kills
(Source: US Bureau of Reclamation)

Carleton comments: "Please notice that the higher lake
levels in '95, '96, and '97 produced fish kills whereas the
lower lake levels in '92 and '94 did not. Also notice that
the lake level in '97 was almost 1 1/2 feet higher than in
'96 and there were fewer fish reported in '97 by the Fish
and Wildlife Service." 

Even a cursory glance at the above table should suffice to
convince the most ardent greenie (in theory, that is) that
there is something terribly wrong with the government's
rationale for creating an artificial dust bowl. Their
stated conclusions are contradicted by their own figures,
which are explained as follows by Carleton: 


"Higher lake levels produce fish kills. Heavy algae blooms
reduce oxygen levels at the bottom of the lake where we
find sucker habitat. Higher lake levels prevent winds and
currents from turning over lake water. Simply and
factually, higher lake levels endanger the suckers." 
Are even federal bureaucrats capable of such moronic
incompetence? Noting that, "Steve Lewis is the biologist
who gave the biological opinion for the US Fish and
Wildlife Service recommending that the minimum lake level
be raised to its highest level in history," Carleton goes
on to suggest that a hidden agenda may be involved. It
seems that the biologist Lewis is also the Commodore of the
Klamath Yacht Club. "In late summer when the lake levels
drop, yachtsmen must take their boats out of the water
because their keels are in the mud," writes Carleton.
Noting that Lewis owns a boat on Upper Klamath Lake,
Carleton can't help wonder if the biologist is "protecting
the sucker, or is Mr. Lewis protecting himself and his real
love, boating?" 

This is an invidious insinuation, to be sure, but how is
the glaring discrepancy between the facts and figures, on
the one hand, and the government's decision, on the other,
to be explained? It hardly seems credible that the flawed
decision of a single biologist would be allowed to create a
man-made disaster with nationwide political implications,
yet this whole affair has a very unseemly smell, especially
when you consider that the man-made drought is having a
disastrous effect on the Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge.
Carlton writes that "an entire ecosystem is being
destroyed. Habitat for ducks and geese, deer and antelope,
muskrats, birds, insects and a myriad of other wildlife is
being destroyed or severely limited." Is it possible that a
much larger hidden agenda is involved in this tangled tale?
In order to answer this question it will first be necessary
to consider the hidden ideological motives that underlie
the "environmental" movement. 



The Ideological Ambience
"Will we ever experience fascism in this country?" asked an
inquiring reporter of "Kingfish" Huey Long, the depression
era dictator of Louisiana. "Yes," said the Kingfish, "but
we'll call it democracy." 

The Kingfish had learned that hard times bring out the
worst in people. Many are willing to sell their vote to the
highest bidder, enabling the charlatans who pretend to
represent us to buy us with our own money. This inherent
flaw in political systems based on self-determination has
been recognized for as long as such systems have existed.
Socrates is said to have commented on this, but then he was
always grumbling about something. In more recent times, the
royalist, anti-democratic British historian, Thomas
Babington Macaulay observed that "democracy will last until
the populace learn that they can vote themselves emoluments
from the public treasury." 


Macaulay was a staunch opponent of independence for this
country, insisting that our form of government would never
work for the reason cited above. He may yet prove to be
right -- the issue is far from settled. Every society has
its quota of degenerate, weak-minded nitwits who are
prepared to barter away their freedom (and ours) for the
proverbial "mess of potage." (This archaic term refers to a
thick stew of vegetables, such as was served up to inmates
in institutions back in the bad old days. When their
keepers were feeling well disposed -- which was not often
-- they might even add a lump of meat or two). 

Since the depression of the 1930s, the Democratic Party has
been the chief advocate of programs contrived to buy up our
liberties in exchange for government largess paid for with
our money. Of course, the money gets redistributed just a
little, horrible bit in the process, which is really what
makes it all seem worthwhile to underachievers. So what's
wrong with that, ask the liberals in all apparent
innocence. Too much wealth is concentrated in too few
hands, so why not spread it around a little? 

What's wrong with that, in a word, is positive feedback.
Okay, that's two words, but it still describes with
penetrating succinctness the fatal flaw in all
political/economic systems based on Marxist ideology,
including socialism, however well disguised. The
characteristic of all self regulating systems subject to
positive feedback is that the system's output stimulates
more of the same input that produced it. Thus the output,
free from all constraint, builds up and up and up -- until
something breaks. At least that's the theory. Such systems
are said to be unstable. 

A political system based on buying the acquiescence of the
voters with emoluments from the public treasury is grossly
unstable on the face of it -- each new freebie only whets
the public's appetite for more. The more they get, the more
they want -- the more they want, the more they get. Since
freebies are not inexhaustible, the feedback loop cannot go
on diverging forever. 

So why did it take the better part of the 20th century for
the Soviet Union to collapse? The answer to that is obvious
-- the Soviet economy was not self regulating. Nor was the
political system. Both were run "open loop," that is to
say, everything was done on command from higher authority
-- there was typically no appreciable feedback. Such a
political system is called despotism. Even so, the Soviet
System lasted for less than a century -- just long enough
for the younger members of the ruling class to realize that
the game wasn't worth a candle. The system "worked", but
very badly. 

Democrats seem to envision a political/economic system
based on a kind of watered-down Marxism, such as most
European countries now have. Such systems are supposed to
work because the Marxism is "moderate" (i.e. "socialist")
and the politics are "democratic," which, in modern terms,
means that public assent is bought with the public's money,
while the truth about what is going on is dissembled with a
massive smokescreen of propaganda provided by a compliant
media. 

But in truth, the economies of most European countries
really don't work that well. That is partly because
Europeans do not work all that hard -- I happen to know
because I worked there for the better part of a decade.
I'll admit that I found their laid-back ways appealing, but
I can't say as much for their stagnant economies. The
European living standard is noticeably lower than ours. And
the demand for government freebies keeps building up,
stimulated by the incitement of power-hungry politicians.
The instability is undoubtedly there, but it is a slow one
that could take a long time to diverge to unmanageable
proportions, barring some unforeseen economic crisis. 

Such a crisis might be induced artificially by an
irrational act such as adopting the Kyoto Accords, designed
to bleed off wealth from the developed countries for the
enrichment of the corrupt Third World politicians who
manipulate the U.N. to their advantage. Naturally,
environmental idealists do not see it that way -- they live
in a stylized wish-fulfillment fantasy world in which
politicians do not act like politicians and people behave
like cartoon characters of their imagining, totally
subservient to their every whim. 

In a desperate effort to save face, a number of countries
reached agreement on a watered down version of the Kyoto
accords last week. By giving industrialized countries extra
credit for forests and farmlands, which absorb CO2, against
their obligations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions the
conferees greatly reduced the liability of these countries,
inducing stragglers such as Canada and Japan to go along
with the sham. The greenies were not fooled -- MSNBC
reports that the World Wildlife Fund complained "the heavy
allowance for these carbon sinks effectively reduced the
commitment in the Kyoto accord to cut emissions by 5.2
percent from their 1990 levels. The real reduction would be
closer to 1.8 percent ..." In other words, the new
agreement reduces the commitment by 65 percent. 

Philip Stott, a professor of biogeography at the University
of London and one of Britain's leading climatologists says
that, "Even if all the countries achieved all the cuts in
emissions proposed [in the original Kyoto protocol], the
effect would be a temperature change by 2100 of 0.07 to 0.2
[degrees Celsius] at best." Thus, if we assume a linear
relationship between reduction in CO2 emissions and
reduction of temperature change, all this huffing and
puffing should suffice to impede global warming by 0.02 to
0.07 degrees Celsius. Even the greatly reduced commitments
of the new agreement are largely cosmetic -- the conferees
spent days haggling over the enforcement provisions until
the agreement had been rendered exceedingly difficult to
enforce. Even so, Australia has given indications that it
is going to bail out of the new agreement unless all
penalty provisions are removed from it. The effect of this
will be a further delay in adoption of the agreement. The
Sydney Morning Herald comments, "it is understood Australia
had won support for its delaying tactics from the US,
Canada, Russia and possibly Japan." All of which reinforces
the impression that the real purpose of Kyoto is to provide
European socialists and their pals in the American
mainstream press with more hot air to blow at the Bush
administration. 

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Marxists have
taken refuge in the environmental movement, their last,
best hope for keeping alive the fantasy of a command
economy. Since Marxist economics have proven useless as a
means of providing for the wants and needs of the people,
the new crypto-Marxists have resorted to an attempt to
shock and terrify people with "scary scenarios" of global
environmental disaster, whether it be an impending ice age
or catastrophic global warming. (Eco-extremists are nothing
if not flexible). The bottom line of their message is,
"unless you do EXACTLY as we say, you are all doomed to
utter ruin if not extinction. " Environmental catastrophe
has replaced nuclear winter as the left's "kinder-schreck"
(bogeyman) of preference. The object of the exercise is to
frighten the public into accepting a much reduced standard
of living. 

That is not to say that all greenies are scoundrels. I've
known a few and they all seemed like nice people to me.
It's just that they are a bit naive about such things as
economics and politics. I once worked for an early member
of the Green Party in Germany. He spent hours lecturing me
on the "lessons" of Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. But in
most respects he was as nice as he could be and a very good
supervisor. He was highly idealistic, however, which made
it difficult for him to compromise once he had made up his
mind about something. This can be awkward in a management
environment where lots of give and take is involved --
consequently his tenure was a short one. 

The people who guide and manipulate the environmental
movement are another matter. Mark Vande Pol writes that
"What was once a group of dedicated volunteers is now
becoming a brutal phalanx of corporate foundations,
government agencies, lawyers, and global power interests,
all manipulating private resource value for ulterior
purposes." 


Rural Cleansing
If Vande Pol is correct, there may be more involved in the
current confrontation at Klamath Falls than leftist
ideology in green disguise. Since the big money boys have
taken over the environmental movement, more than a hint of
post-Marxist corruption has become evident. Vande Pol
writes: "When government gains the power to control the use
of private property, it becomes possible for the
politically dominant to profit by high commodity prices
using government regulation to constrain supply. One merely
drives competitors out of business by manipulating the
perception of risk to a land use preferred by a democratic
majority." 

What gives the decision by federal bureaucrats to shut off
irrigation water to 1400 farm families in the Klamath
Basin, on the pretext that they are attempting to protect
"endangered" suckerfish, a particularly ugly smell is the
fact that the reasons given by the feds for their action
are so transparently contrived. Vande Pol notes that,
"Federal action to protect suckerfish has been to retain
water in the lake to keep the level as high as possible in
a drought year." However, he goes on to explain:
"Unfortunately for that rationale, suckerfish apparently
prefer shallow water in what would have been a drying swamp
but for construction of the lake. Bureau of Reclamation
records reportedly document high water levels corresponding
with suckerfish kills in 1995, 1996, and 1997 and no kills
corresponding with lower levels in 1992 and 1994." 

In other words, these wretched creatures thrive on flopping
around in the mud and are most at risk when the lake is
full. Odd that the Bureau of Reclamation didn't know about
that, is it not? Here they are, prepared to destroy the
livelihoods of 1400 hard working farm families in order to
"save the suckerfish," yet they don't even know enough
about the poor "endangered" fishies to realize that it is
their own actions which place them in greatest danger. 

This would be considered far enough beyond strange in any
rational society to require a detailed explanation, but in
our slapdash, anything goes culture, the protected
bureaucratic species of fat-faced stone-wallers simply
dummy up, while the foxes who stand tireless vigil at the
chicken coop, our grand and glorious "free" press, primly
avert their gaze and pretend not to notice anything out of
the ordinary. 

But wait, it gets better. Vande Pol informs us that, "In
only 3 years, since 1991, has the lake elevation been
higher than it is now." In short, this entire "crisis" was
contrived out of thin air. Vande Pol notes that "Subsequent
scientific evaluation of the study has indicated that it
was deeply flawed. Agency action has been to deny review or
just compensation to the OWNERS of the water. Federal
Marshals have instead taken possession of private property
by force." 

What remains to be determined is the reason for the federal
government's deception. Vande Pol asserts that, "The
original goal of environmental health has been pushed aside
in the aggressive pursuit of parochial interests." The
parochial interest in this case would appear to be that of
using the Endangered Species Act in a fraudulent manner as
a means of driving down property values in an effort to
force farm families to sell out for a fraction of what
their land is worth. 

But how could anyone hope to succeed at so blatant a scam?
Vande Pol explains: "As democratic claims against the use
of property proliferate, legislatures and courts are
overwhelmed with cases that are technical and difficult to
prove. Neither have the power to enforce a judgement. The
demand for expediency seduces them into defaulting upon
their constitutional responsibilities to the only remaining
branch with relevant expertise and police power: the
executive branch of government. Administrative agencies can
then acquire power by effecting public claims on the use of
private property. That process proceeds unchecked as
agencies gain sufficient power to ignore the preferences of
the democratic majority and instead use the asset to
express their own interests." 

No doubt the porcine bureaucrats would reply to any
allegation of malfeasance by insisting, "You can't prove
it." Of course not, the deck has been meticulously stacked
and they hold all the high cards. The "environmental"
movement has become a billion-dollar industry with
unlimited funds at its disposal with which to disinform the
public. They are staunchly supported in this endeavor by a
"free" press worthy of a police state. And, most
significantly, they have the "law" on their side -- a legal
code subverted over a period of years by leftist autocrats
in black robes. 

The implications of this extend far beyond the Klamath
Basin, for as Vande Pol notes, "Legal precedents sufficient
to take control of individual property are sufficient to
take control of ALL property. To socialize private property
is a monstrous evil because control of the resource falls
under an agent with no structural motive to prevent or
eliminate ecological problems." 

And if you have any doubts about that, consider the state
of the land in an industrial park featured in a TV special
some years ago. The park, which was the property of the
People's Republic of Germany (a.k.a. communist East
Germany), boasted such scenic features as a bubbling river
of green slime that flowed from a fog shrouded chemical
plant off in the distance. The "water" (or chemical waste)
was topped here and there with patches of sickly, gray
froth that seemed to emit noxious vapors. The "trees" in
the park resembled telephone poles festooned with the
stumps of branches long since rotted away. The overall
impression was that of the Club Sierra's worst nightmare.
If the Volksrepublik had any "structural motive" to
eliminate these ecological horrors it had long since
withered away, much as the state was supposed to do
according to Marxist theory. 

All of which supports Vande Pol's observation that "civic
management of the environment not only doesn't work, it has
every reason not to work. As ecological problems worsen and
resulting economic crises deepen, the power acceded to
government agencies expands while destroying the ability to
finance solutions!" 

That describes East German industry to perfection. It was
being run to destruction with the safety valves tied down.
The point that ecologists invariably miss when they paint
glowing visions of their brave new world is that there is
no way to get there from here. Their very existence is the
product of our excess affluence. The effect of their agenda
would be to eliminate the economic cushion which made their
program viable in the first place. 

The net effect is that, "The agency instead serves the
limited interests of the politically dominant, who use the
power of government to gain de facto control of ALL factors
of production. History teaches that this is not a good
thing," writes Vande Pol. Indeed, this is the sort of thing
against which we fought a Cold War extending over
half-a-century. 

"Private 'charitable' foundations of major corporations"
have devised a nationwide strategy of promoting legislation
and court decisions aimed at property owners. Vande Pol
explains that, "Property owners gradually lose their
ability to finance the cost of compliance or legal
resistance. Lacking a profitable use of the property, the
market value approaches zero. After repeated exercise of
expensive regulations, purchase of the land then concludes
any remaining claim by an owner." 

It may be difficult to convince the public of this, and yet
it goes a long way toward explaining why the
"environmental" movement has become the favorite "charity"
of so many foundations bankrolled by major corporations.
The corporate power suits realized early on that they could
not beat the environmental movement, which is promoted and
protected by our left-leaning mainstream media, so they
gradually bought it. They have pumped millions into the
movement, which is why the main offices of the Club Sierra
have come to resemble those of a Fortune-500 company. 

The result of this subterfuge is a conundrum worthy of
quantum physics -- it is a strange complementarity that
resembles anti-corporatism when viewed by one observer and
corporate venality run amuck, when viewed by another. It
all depends upon the test which the observer applies. 

At first glance all of this seems a bit far-fetched, and
yet it goes far to explain certain anomalies which
otherwise remain enormously puzzling -- why, for example,
so many "conservative" commentators have been unable to
bring the Klamath Basin crisis into focus. Many of these
same commentators have been acerbic in their criticism of
"environmental-whackos." 

Another puzzle that might be explained by what I will call
the Vande Pol paradigm is the strange silence of
Republicans regarding this affair. After all, GOP senators
voted overwhelmingly to grant an exception to the
Endangered Species Act for the embattled Klamath Basin
farmers. One might think that this would be the ideal cause
with which to belabor their hypocritical liberal opponents
who never cease to portray them as callous and indifferent
to the needs of citizens. Could it be that they are
inhibited by the knowledge that many of their largest
campaign contributions come from the very sources that
bankroll the "environmental" movement? Or is it just that
they recognize they cannot win this battle with the mass
media so overwhelmingly biased against them? 

As for the media, they have a vested interest in supporting
both agendas of the movement bankrolled by corporate
behemoths that patronize them with millions in advertising
revenue. Klamath Falls is a story made for TV, but the
networks have all avoided it. Many liberals have been
unable to believe that the mass media are biased in their
favor, invariably citing those petty exceptions that prove
the rule. "What about the McLaughlin Group?" they defiantly
demand, ignoring the dozen or so similar TV hand-puppet
shows that tilt the other way. They are simply unable to
fathom that a broadcast industry so completely dependent on
big business for its revenue could be inclined to favor
liberal Democrats. 

But wherein lies the problem? Do these same big
corporations not bankroll the Democratic Party, perhaps not
to the same extent as the GOP, but close? Do I mean that
they work both sides of the street? Of course they do --
their business has to go on even when the Democrats are in
control. The problem of those "follow the money" liberal
skeptics is that the political machinations of large
corporations and liberal politicians are a lot more subtle
than they would have them. This leads them to break off
their analysis when troubling contradictions arise. 

Well then, if the paradigm is valid, what are these
"parochial interests" that militate against the Klamath
Basin farmers? Vande Pol names a few: "Residential
development interests desire to purchase land at low prices
to construct estate properties for the wealthy. Resource
industries desire to raise prices by restricting access to
land for mineral and food production. Activist groups want
grant money to run the place. Agency personnel want to
increase the scope of their authority and will do so at the
expense of your freedom." 

This scenario was made even more explicit in an article by
Kimberley Strassel that appeared in Thursday's Wall Street
Journal. Strassel writes that, although environmental
groups used the "endangered" suckerfish as their pretext
for cutting off irrigation water to Klamath, [they]
revealed another motive when they submitted a polished
proposal for the government to buy out the farmers and move
them off their land." 

Strassel has a term for "what's really happening in
Klamath" -- she calls it "rural cleansing." What's more,
"it's repeating itself in environmental battles across the
country. Indeed, the goal of many environmental
groups--from the Sierra Club to the Oregon Natural
Resources Council--is no longer to protect nature. It's to
expunge humans from the countryside." 

"Environmental" groups use nearly identical tactics in
every case to pursue their hidden agenda: first they "sue
or lobby the government into declaring rural areas
off-limits to people who live and work there." Their
primary tool for accomplishing this is the Endangered
Species Act, supplemented by "local preservation laws, most
of which are so loosely crafted as to allow a wide leeway
in their implementation." While some of the property owners
lose their land straightaway, the more usual procedure is
for the "environmentalists" to cause restrictions to be
placed on the use of their land "that either render it
unusable, or persuade owners to leave of their own accord,"
writes Strassel. 

The application of these tactics in the Klamath Basin
region began in 1983 when suckerfish were listed as an
"endangered species." At first, the Bureau of Reclamation,
which controls irrigation in the region, attempted to
balance off the "needs" of the fish against those of the
farmers. But when drought struck in 1991, the Fish and
Wildlife people began to tilt more towards the fish. "That
was the environmentalists' cue," writes Strassel. "Within
two months, the Oregon Natural Resources Council--the pit
bull of Oregon's environmental groups--was announcing
intentions to sue the Bureau of Reclamation for failure to
protect the fish." 

The eco-nazis' initial legal maneuvers did not meet with
immediate success, "in part because of the farmers'
undeniable water rights, established in 1907," but they
persevered until, this spring, they found a federal judge
sufficiently pliable to rule in their favor and order "an
unwilling Interior Department to shut the water off,"
according to Strassel, who observes that, "The council had
succeeded in denying farmers the ability to make a living."
The result was swift and Draconian. "Since that decision,
the average value of an acre of farm property in Klamath
has dropped from $2,500 to about $35 Most owners have no
other source of income," writes Strassel, who goes on to
note that the "environmentalists" who created this man-made
disaster submitted a proposal last month "urging the
government to buy the farmers off." The Green Fascist Grand
Council (a.k.a. Oregon Natural Resources Council)
"suggested a price of $4,000 an acre, which makes it more
likely owners will sell only to the government." While this
would not be a bad price, Strassel points out that "it's
nowhere near enough to compensate people for the loss of
their livelihoods and their children's futures." 

What on earth would motivate a mob of greenie-two-shoes
mush-heads to commit such patently fraudulent and downright
evil acts? Clearly their hidden agenda has nothing to do
with "saving" the suckerfish. Nor do they seem to care
about wildlife in the region -- as previously noted, their
man-made drought has done enormous harm to the eco-system
in the Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge. A clue to the
real game plan was given by a journalist for the Rocky
Mountain News who called attention to a claim posted on the
Web site of the Club Sierra last June. According to the
club, the "efficient" urban density would be about 500
households an acre. Strassel notes that this "is about
three times the density of Manhattan's most tightly packed
areas." 

It seems that the true agenda of Green Fascism envisions
depopulation of rural areas and resettlement to urban
centers which, in time, will come to resemble ant-hills. If
this appears far-fetched it would be well to take note of
the fact that the program is already underway and all but a
tiny fraction of the population are still blissfully
unaware of it. 

The carefully planned swindle of the Klamath Basin farmers
exudes the putrescent stench of corruption, from the
lab-coated government prostitutes who faked the
environmental "crisis" which serves as the pretext for
cutting off irrigation water in the region, to the big
money-boys who bankrolled the scam. But who stands to cash
in once the farmers have been driven from their land? 

The Klamath Falls Herald and News gives us a clue. Andy
Kerr, former head of the Oregon Natural Resources Council
(ONRC), is now the President of the Larch Company LLC, a
firm that lobbies in Washington for the ONRC. But as Becki
Snow points out in the Herald and News article, "Kerr and
the ONRC are active business partners with a large and
impressive list of investors who are willing to fund them
in order to kick-start the industrial Hemp industry in the
United States." And where do these intrepid entrepreneurs
have a keen interest in growing their hemp? You guessed it
-- the Pacific Northwest. Of course, growing (or smoking)
hemp is presently illegal in this country -- perhaps those
Democrat senators who so callously refused to grant relief
to the Klamath Basin farmers will seek to remedy this
injustice at some future date. By merest coincidence, Mr.
Kerr is also Treasurer for the North American Industrial
Hemp Council. 

The Audubon Society, another greenie-two-shoes outfit taken
over by the extreme left, and bankrolled by big, bad
industrialists, noted in its house organ: "Three years ago
Oregon environmentalist Andy Kerr helped set up the North
American Industrial Hemp Council, an alliance of farmers,
scientists, industrialists, and environmentalists whose
mission is decriminalizing hemp." Heaven forfend that
anyone should get the idea they plan to abuse this
controlled substance. The article goes on to say, "Members
who even associate with advocates of marijuana
decriminalization are summarily dismissed." These
idealistic altruists see hemp as a means of "protecting and
restoring the planet." Naturally, of course. 

Picture it if you can: Andy Kerr, the former head of the
ONRC is also a Washington lobbyist for a well organized
campaign to bankrupt Klamath Valley farmers and force them
to sell out at rock bottom prices. In addition, he plays a
prominent role in an organization that seeks to legalize
the growing of pot in the very same region. (For industrial
purposes only, of course. This process would never be
abused by drug dealers -- perish the thought; why, the very
idea!) 

Becki Snow draws the obvious conclusions. "It is possible
that the Oregon Natural Resources Council has pursued the
Klamath Valley farmers NOT for environmental purposes, but
for the purposes of lining their own pockets. It is also
possible that someone will expose these industrial shills
who, masquerading as environmentalists, seek to destroy the
Klamath Valley Farmers so Kerr and his business cronies can
buy their land." 

But if this be true, why would the ONRC lobby for the
federal government to buy out the farmers at a substantial
price? That may prove to be the acid test -- if Congress
follows through on their proposal it will mean that they
were serious about it. Otherwise it can be written off as a
bit of protective camouflage. Such proposals are sometimes
made with a wink and a nudge. 

No doubt most environmentalists are very idealistic people,
but this does not absolve them from responsibility for
understanding what motivates those with hidden agendas who
manipulate their cause for highly dubious purposes. The
environmental movement has been protected from criticism
thus far by an intellectually corrupt and morally derelict
mainstream press, but the utter vileness of what is
happening to the Klamath Basin farmers will eventually work
its way into the public's consciousness, as did Ruby Ridge
and the Clinton scandals, despite the best efforts of our
"free" press to spike these stories. If the greenies wish
to avoid the opprobrium that goes with it they had better
give some thought to cleaning up their act. 


Edward Zehr can be reached at ezehr@capaccess.org 



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Published in the Jul. 30, 2001 issue of The Washington
Weekly. (http://washington-weekly.com) Copyright 2001 

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