Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
We must use coordination powers
Siskiyou Daily News, Letter to the Editor, February 24. 2012 by Brandon Criss, candidate, Siskiyou County Supervisor District 1
Butte Valley, Calif. — M. David Stirling, vice president of the Pacific Legal Foundation, described the 2001 water shutoff to the Tulelake Basin like this:
“Homesteaders were lured by the federal government to enter into contracts under which they would pay for and the federal government would provide irrigation water in perpetuity.
For almost a century, irrigation water was delivered without fail. For the sucker fish and coho salmon, 1,400 farm families were denied water for their livestock and crops.”
He also explained, “The results included numerous bankruptcies, two known suicides by distraught farmers and many dashed dreams.”
Then came the KBRA and dam removal agreements. The Tulelake Basin, which is dependent on its agriculturally based economy, was promised by the state and federal governments as well as by radical environmentalists that if they support dam removal they will be promised water for their farms.
The Tulelake Basin stood up against that blackmail attempt and voted 77 percent against dam removal. The political importance of the Tulelake Basin’s vote is incalculable when it comes to lobbying Sacramento and Washington, D.C.
The Siskiyou County government has no choice but to fight intelligently and effectively for the Tulelake Basin. We have to do this in order to keep that unity in Siskiyou County. The Tulelake Basin must know that Siskiyou County greatly appreciates their support for the dams. That we appreciate Tulelake standing up against the blackmail attempt.
Siskiyou County must now use its “coordination” powers vested to it under federal law and demand government to government meetings with the federal bureaucracies that shut off the Tulelake Basin’s water in years past.
Every year for years now, the Tulelake Basin is unsure whether or not it will get its irrigation water. If we fight and lobby the state and federal bureaucracies in a united front, together we can win for all of Siskiyou County.
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Page Updated: Saturday February 25, 2012 03:22 AM Pacific
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