moved the Bucket Brigade memorial bucket to the
Klamath County Fairgrounds with its sibling
bucket last week. They removed it from the front
of the Klamath County Government Center for the
upcoming filming of "Brother in Laws" in Klamath
Last week, the Klamath
County commissioners moved the Bucket Brigade’s
10-foot-tall bucket from the steps of the county
government center to the fairgrounds. One Klamath Falls
man told commissioners he thought it looks better that
“It overshadows the
monuments of the fallen across the street,” Michael
Hinkel told commissioners at their weekly Tuesday
meeting. He referred to the stone memorial in front of
the county courthouse, which hosts a long list of names
of servicemen who died in World War I, World War II,
Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf wars.
“I served with the
Marines, two tours in Vietnam,” Hinkel said. “I was
there to hear them cry out and fall.”
The bucket, which
commemorates the 2001 water crisis, should not
detract from the more important memorial for the
American servicemen, Hinkel said.
“I believe that it
draws all the attention to that one spot and it’s
rather an in-eloquent addition to the whole scenario
the architect intended,” he said of the bucket. “I
always felt it was somewhat intimidating.”
Commissioners moved the
bucket for the upcoming filming of “Brother in
Laws.” Since Aug. 18 it has sat with its sibling
bucket at the fairgrounds.
“Thirteen years ago I
set that bucket with my crane in front of the
government center. Very happy to do it. I thought it
represented part of our culture here in the Klamath
Basin,” said commission chairman Jim Bellet.
“Thirteen years later my crane was in town and I went and picked the
bucket up and moved it out to the fairgrounds … I
think it does raise the question we need to discuss:
where do we want a permanent home for that bucket?”
thanked Hinkel for his comments and asked others
from the community to come forward and speak their
minds. The public can comment at the weekly 9 a.m.
Tuesday commissioners meetings, during the time set
aside at the end of the meeting, as Hinkel did.
People also can email
the commissioners their thoughts on where the bucket
should go at:
“I think it should come
back here,” said Commissioner Tom Mallams, saying
the bucket should return to the government center.
“But I want to listen to the citizens and see what
they have to say.”
Mallams said the bucket
represents the ongoing water struggles in the
Klamath Basin and acts as a reminder, keeping people
from becoming complacent about the issue.
“It’s been there a long
time. It’s been there 13 years,” he said. “But I do
think it represents the conflict that’s been ongoing
and still is ongoing.”
He said the bucket also
represents the “heavy handed use of our federal
government using rules and regulations to stop the
economy from growing.” The bucket was put in place
during a public protest in August, 2001 — the year
Klamath Project farmers were cut off from irrigation
water from Upper Klamath Lake because of the
Endangered Species Act protection of suckers in the
lake and coho salmon in the Klamath River.
Linthicum agreed with Mallams about the bucket
representing a protest to federal government power.
“Agriculture and timber
industries have been horribly harmed by federal
over-reach,” Linthicum said.
Bellet said he would
like the bucket to find a new home, though he didn’t
know where. He advocated for the Klamath County
Museum, as the bucket is a part of history. But the
museum does not have room, Bellet said. He argued
the government center is not where it belongs.
“It’s not a place that
it needs to sit for the next 50 years,” Bellet said.
“Thirteen years went by pretty quick. We need to
make some decisions and I really want the people in
the community to let us know.”