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 http://www.heraldandnews.com/articles/2003/10/29/news/agriculture/ag02.txt

District presents annual awards

published Oct. 29, 2003

Farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin continue to find ways to share their stored irrigation water to benefit wildlife and the environment, according to Martin Kerns, chairman of the Klamath Soil and Water Conservation District.

Kerns spoke to the district's leaders at their October annual banquet. The district presented six awards to leaders in conservation for their work over the last year.

Award winners included:

n Langell Valley farmer Jere Goss, who won the water conservation and irrigation management award, for converting from flood irrigation to sprinklers, improving efficiency and water quality.

n Bill Moore, of the Sunnyside Irrigation District, won the water conservation and farmland protection award. Moore reclaimed farmland by converting from open ditch delivery to closed pipeline.

n The conservation activities and natural resource management award went to Bill Kennedy, of the Lost River Ranch. He was credited for integrating natural resource management in conjunction with cattle ranching practices.

n Marshall Staunton was awarded for implementing no-till farming practices by working with the district to implement and promote no-till farming practices in the Klamath Basin.

n Bill Worthington, of Angus View Farms, was awarded for his irrigation management and conservation practices.

n Klamath County Commissioners Al Switzer, Steve West and John Elliott were given the conservation leadership award, for vision, leadership and the promotion of sustainable agriculture in the Klamath Basin.

"Hopefully, with the attention of the nation focused on the Klamath Project, people will become informed that it is possible and practical to sustain agriculture and still maintain wildlife habitat, fish habitat and water quality for future generations," said Dan Keppen, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association and keynote speaker at the annual banquet.

In addressing the packed room, Keppen reviewed some of the many efforts that led to "righting the wrong," referring to the irrigation water cutoff in 2001.

Keppen lauded the efforts of those involved in the return of the stored irrigation water in Klamath Lake to the farmers, but added "much more work lies ahead in the water controversy."

Rick Woodley, conservation district manager, praised Basin farmers and ranchers for their "continued good stewardship of the land and the area resources."

Woodley concluded, "if those organizations who point fingers and litigate would help with conservation projects instead of constantly putting up roadblocks, there is no limit to the good that could be done in the Klamath Basin."

For more information on conservation activities, contact the Klamath Soil and Water Conservation District at 883-6932, or visit the office at 2316 S. Sixth St.



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