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Report from Lee Riddle, Brookings, Oregon, on the rally and Field Hearing

ESA Congressional Hearing ~ K Falls reportage

We got over to K Falls last night and made signs till midnight thirty or so

Got in the parade of about 800 ~ 850 People (and a horse "color guard") at 7 30 this morning hellow and marched through downtown K Falls to the Ross Raglund Theater

There was very heavy sequrity, the whole downtown was closed off and cops were everywhere on bikes, foot, motorcycles

Afterwards we found out SWAT and Secret Service were on the scene, and maybe even more... perched on rooftops?

We gathered in front of the Theater to hear several speakers (one of which was Elliot Schwartz from Brookings) but then a drumming band of 40~80 ? "Klamath Tribe" supporters came up the street and proceeded to try to shout down the speakers, one of the whitie longhaired ones had salmon image shaped turban going through its head and carried a sign that said

"How would you like to be DAMNED ?"

Joan quickly confusilated him with facts I will never comprehend... (nuff said)... "hey he was all ready a potted plant" OK (Jesus)

We found out later that this Klamath Tribe March was in direct violation of what had been agreed to beforehand, between the leader of the tribe and the water users association, (the tribes were not going to be marching, then they were, but not there, but then they would not be confrontational, but they were) and thus the increased "police presents" (but no one got in a knock down fight situation, and there were no problems reported)

Off road jeepers were in the parade, and me with a pro farm sign (and a off road motorcycle T-shirt) held a sign that said "Curry & Del Norte Counties Support Klamath Agriculture" on one side, and

Victims of the ESA

They Take My Land

They Make Me Pay

Fix the ESA~I Say

on the other side (that was the extent of any two wheeled troops) (where were you MRA ?)(Joni from Blue Ribbon was there)

Joan held the one that said "Salvage and Replant ~ The Burnt Biscuit" on one side

and "Curry and Del Norte Counties Supports Klamath County Rights" on the other

Then we entered the Theater, dumped our metal items in the tray, walked through the metal detector, AND

(pocket knives and signs ARE NOT allowed) (back to the truck) (try again) and this time I passed the metal detector and then got the special "wand" crotch test this time…and even passed that one (shucks, And I thought I was a hard case..........) oh well

(did I mention that security was on "red" ?) but i was code blue, so i got through

It is a huge wonderful theater, with great view of the stage

Probably 200 people left after the march, so maybe 650 were seated in a place that holds 850, a pretty good turnout in busy times.

Then it got really interesting

Ken Calvert, the Chairman on Water and Power, California’s 44th District

Introduced the Congressional Panel

Wally Herger 2cd District CA (pretty damn sharp)

John Doolittle 4Th District CA (does a LOT !! not a little!)

Greg Walden 2Cd District OR (does a lot, support this guy! )

These guys got quickly to the chase to determine "just what is the problem that farmers got crucified at Klamath?"

They really nailed Kirk Rodgers (Bureau of Reclamation), Steve Thompson (US~ Fish and Wildlife), Jim Lecky (NOAH Fisheries) to the cross in public.

The wiggleworms kept up the "just doing my job" mantra but Congress MAN "Doolittle" was just warming up, and pretty soon they were looking like three little wienies with their pants off

They had to admit that they were the ones that shut off the water for no good reason

They had to admit that they colluded among each other, had no good science, and admit that they harmed humans to death, and did not help "endangered species" one iota.

But still, they had suits and ties on anyway, and they were stuck on the hot seat bare butted.

little weinies for all to see

The crowd loved it, perhaps it was all a show, but the questions from the congressmen were quite well thought out, and the cadence in which the questions were asked showed a well thought out agenda

The orchestration of this event, I believe, goes well beyond the "appeasement" of the injured attendants and a long way toward some real change for the positive in the near future.


We had our own Curry County Commissioner Ralph Brown giving testimony of the decimation of Pacific coast fishing industry, but not due to K Falls farming, rather to the ESA. I was outside afterwards with him as he was being interviewed by a green newswriter, who lost interest when his facts conflicted with her preconceptions.

Both Brown and Jimmy Smith (Humboldt Co Sup) were queried as to their affiliation with Glenn Spains group. Smith was weak on his response, Brown was not, he is a well educated, hard working man who continues to learn everyday. He reminded them to "think of the people", he gave a great speach, well considered of the loss the ESA has exacted upon the coastal human economy, in regards to fishing, logging income, giving figures as to the exact losses sustained to our communities.

Most interesting was Bill Gaines, California Waterfowl Association, who started out talking about his love affair with bird life, but ended up saying the Klamath Farmers are making MORE bird life than ever happened in history due to their irrigation and farming practice. Sounds like the "success of the goose" here on the coast to me (more in a minute)

The whole proceeding was very professional, the "tribes" representatives acted like undisciplined children, and were reminded several times to be considerate. Those who lost their farms or a family member showed so much restraint, it is hard to even imagine how they could do so.

The "media" will show whatever it wants to promote

You just had to be there

We had lunch with Grange, Blue Ribbon, OR Senate Candidates, Klamath Water Users, and more


They would like to see outside "peer review" of any decision BEFORE it takes an action to list something that would destroy your human existence

They would like to see Human Economic factors included in that equation

They want to sort out who has the authority to ruin your livelihood and why and how

And put some checks and balances there

They want to see that a science based plan, will result in  successfully results in a species "delisting"for the action taken, the effort taken and the money spent.

They want to have un cooped science involved in the mix to rule out "agenda" (wildlands was kind of polititely brought up, without mentioning is ugly face)

And if the science based plan does not result in "species recovery " they want to see changes that work

No "agendas", they want a win win, more "species" and successful farms at the same time


And they want to know EXACTLY "how many" geese or suckers it takes to be "recovered", they want the goal number that we are shooting for, a plan to reach that goal, that non agenda people say will achieve the goal, and when we reach that goal, we reached the goal, and the species is RECOVERED

No more goal swapping,

They seem willing to appropriate Fed $’s to projects that get measurable results "if" increased seasonal water storage at K Falls would result in improved wildlife and help humans at the same time (although that is in question) they seemed willing to pursue FED appropriations to achieve that and they wanted the BoR to provide info ASAP toward that goal (no more friggin around) in fact they wanted info from a number of people "in the next two weeks"

They are open in the next 9 days to input from the affected "public's" humans experiences

Tell them YOUR EXPERIENCE with the ESA

How do you want to see changes in the ESA

YOU have two ways to put testimony into the pot

Send to


or fax to


I think you should send a copy to Herger, Doolittle, and Walden at the same time

Those guys are first class






Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM  Pacific

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