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

       Wyden, bankers duped by ALC

This is the text from the Paid Advertisement in the Herald & News  
Paid for by the " Klamath Basin Agricultural and Business Committee"

String of circumstantial evidence supports rural cleansing agenda.

Whether by coincidence or collusion, the series of events that have
lead up to the stepped up efforts by the American Land Conservancy to
spend 300 million dollars on land purchases in the Klamath Basin gives
strong credence to an organized "rural cleansing" agenda in the Klamath
Basin.
The closed door meeting last Friday that excluded any creditable base
of representation from the farm community to discuss the future
disposition of farmers private land could be considered another step in
an organized effort to remove farmers from the land.
The acceptance by the banking community to attend a meeting organized
by the ALC and listen to the ALCs' and Andy Kerrs' expanded program to
purchase up to 50 percent of the Klamath Basin was a breach of faith and
a disservice to the farmers of the Klamath Basin.
There is a spreading conviction throughout the community that the
biological opinions that were used as the basis to shut off water to
agricultural in the Basin last April 6 were not based on science but
rather on an agenda to take the farm communities property, both water
and land. There is good evidence to support this claim.

Biological opinion lacks supporting science
Ron Larson, PhD and Fish and Wildlife Biologist in Klamath Falls, told
this writer a year ago that it was his gut feeling that raising the
level of water in Klamath Lake was the best solution to preserve habitat
for the endangered suckerfish in the lake. This was after a review of
data collected on Klamath Lake by the FWS for over eight years
indicating fish kills in Klamath Lake were much more a result of weather
conditions that promoted algae growth than the depth of water.
In fact, Larson could not explain why the fish kills occurred in high
water years and not in the low water years.

The shutoff of the water and the economic disaster to the community has
accelerated efforts by the ALC, Wendell Wood, of the Oregon Natural
Resources Council, and Andy Kerr, self proclaimed environmental
consultant, to eliminate the farming community from the Klamath Basin.
In an effort to change hats and become the savior of the farmer, Andy
Kerr is promoting the willing seller concepts. Kerr has not changed his
beliefs that farming should be eliminated from the Klamath Basin. The
willing seller movement has given him an opportunity to take advantage
of the water shutoff and the subsequent financially weakened farm
community.

Wyden supports buying out distressed farmers
The presence of Josh Kardon, Senator Wyden's Chief of Staff at the
meeting with the bankers called by the ALC gave the appearance that
Wyden endorsed the willing seller movement as it was reported by John
Bragg in the Herald and News.
Kardon said the senator supported the buyout of distressed sellers but
not the willing seller program as promoted by the American Land
Conservancy. Kardon stressed that the Senator is opposed to any land
purchase that would result in a transfer of ownership to the federal
government and control to a federal agency.
Farmers question how the federal government can purchase land and
transfer title to any entity other than the federal government.
The bankers at the meeting told Kardon that they did not anticipate any
foreclosures immediately, but when the farmer's mortgage payments came
due in December and January, they foresaw many loans going delinquent.
Their major concern was that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
would require the banks to liquidate any non-performing loans.
In response to the bankers' requests, Wyden wrote John Reich, Director,
FDIC, asking for the agencies patience and assistance with regard to
non-performing loans resulting from the ongoing disaster in the Klamath
Basin.

Fish and Wildlife selectively enforces ESA
The ESA usurps water law and allows private property to be taken for a
listed species. The ESA says that private property owners must be
compensated for any taking of their property. To date, federal agencies
that have taken property (including water) under the ESA have not paid
for it. The ESA also specifies that financial and community impacts
must be considered before any taking occurs for an endangered species.
The same federal agencies have ignored that requirement.
The presumption that demand reduction must be implemented is
preposterous. The only entity being considered for demand reduction is
agriculture. In a normal year, agriculture uses a quarter of the water
available in the Klamath Basin. Even in the drought year of 1992, which
was a more severe drought than 2001, the water was managed in a way that
both the fish and farming survived.

Those that have recently increased their need for water should build
additional storage
Wyden's and others proposals to build more water storage is a good
thing. But agriculture has enough storage for its needs; The Klamath
Project was paid for by agriculture.
Let the storage be built by the Fish and Wildlife. It is their
biological opinion that made the requirement for abnormally high summer
flows in the Klamath River and abnormally high water levels in Klamath
Lake. In fact, those levels could not be sustained if it were not for
the control structures that were built by the Bureau of Reclamation and
paid for by the farmer owned irrigation districts.
Starting in 1992, the Bureau of Reclamation was charged with the
responsibility to develop plans and implement a water storage program.
In the following nine years, there has not been one drop of additional
water saved or stored.

Environmental issues perplexes farmers
Earl Schultz, Basin farmer, does not understand the environmental
communities' focus on eliminating farming from the Basin.
"When an acre of prime farm ground is taken out of production third
world countries such as Brazil will replace it with 5 acres of much less
productive rain forest land through slash and burn agriculture. In
doing so, they and the environmental community that removed prime land
from production are destroying the lungs of the world."

Circumstantial evidence supports rural cleansing agenda
The body of circumstantial evidence that supports an agenda to eliminate
farming in the Klamath Basin is overwhelming. Every action taken by the
environmental community and the federal agencies involved point to a
policy of rural cleansing.
If there was an agenda that influenced the FWS biological opinion to
shut off water to the agricultural community, it stands to reason it was
developed to influence the acquisition of a water right for the
refuges. The same agenda would weaken farmers financially to where they
would be forced to sell by their bankers. If this agenda is factual,
either by unspoken common consent or deliberate collusion then legal
action is in order.

The federal government may have reason to take action against the
principles of the agenda if it is proven that they did not follow proven
and accepted scientific practices in arriving at the biological
opinions.
The ALC, in opening private negations with bankers to influence a
favorable opportunity to purchase distressed farmland is guilty of
collusion. If the bankers take part in that collusion, they would be
guilty as well.
At the vary least, all the parties that attended the Friday meeting to
discuss the disposition of financially distressed farmland should be
held accountable by the farm community.
By the same token, the biologists that wrote the biological opinion
that has devastated
the Basin's economy must be held accountable for their work.

Cutline:
HARVEST OF TEARS --- Basin farmers have started this harvest season with
efforts to salvage what crop they can after the Federal Government shut
off their water last April 6. Steve Fabianek custom harvests Roy
Wright's wheat on land Wright has rented. Yields of less than 50
percent of normal will not even cover Wright's operating expenses.

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