His latest letter: June 25, 2001
Felice Pace says: "Let's Get Real in the Klamath River Basin"
see his letter
The words cannot be used here to describe this man, but see
bottom of letter
"Self-appointed Local Arbiter of the Public
Trust" quoted from story below
web site: http://www.sisqtel.net/~klamath/
Felice Pace wants to protect wolverine ..... a few people think
they may have seen one..... see story below
"Land rights group 'crashes' meeting," What a shame..
A Letter to the Editor Siskiyou Daily
"intimidation" utilized by Felice Pace and KFA see
How he thinks.... one
story written by Felice Pace LETTERS, August 30, 1999 in High
Country News ( link)
for many more stories go to Google
search for "Felice Pace" ..... and notice what web site comes up
first..... we have arrived !!!
Felice Pace, and
in this corner ......
I need the editorial Connelly refers to .. told is Herald and News about June
May 05, 2001 Siskiyou Daily News
Supervisors commended for standing up to Pace
The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors need to be commended.
Not only did they show their support for a group of beleaguered farmers and ranchers but they also told an unwelcome Siskiyou County resident they were not afraid of him.
When the Supervisors passed the resolution supporting the Klamath Basin farmers they sent a message that they were also tired of people being hurt by special interest groups pushing their own agendas down our throats.
Apparently Felice Pace doesn't understand the way agenda items are placed. It doesn't take a group vote or even a discussion between board members over coffee.
The only collusion involving the Klamath Basin woes comes from those special interest groups (we can't even call them environmentalists) who are determined to destroy the entire economy of Siskiyou County and the region.
It is time that people quit kowtowing to people like him. They need to
fight back whenever he or his kind threaten lawsuits or start howling their tired cliches. The damage is being done on a daily basis through their interfering with our governmental process.
In the Klamath Basin there are people who are being forced from their land. In the forests around the area, honest, taxpaying people have been run off of their logging and mining rights. People in the Scott Valley area are losing their water rights which have been guaranteed for decades.
This has to stop and stop now!
It is time that Congressmen, Senators, Assemblymen and local officials heard from the silent majority, those who are tired of the worn-out cry of, "we are trying to save the environment."
That environmental saving is coming at great cost to the very people who made it possible for those selfsame and selfish people to even live among the forests and mountains they are wanting to save.
If the region's economy is damaged further what will these selfish people do for food, electricity, gasoline or even the roads to get to their homes and rallies?
The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors meeting and the Farm Rally May 7 should be the first stands made by the common people to combat a problem that threatens everyone.
Way to go, supervisors! We stand behind you and the Klamath Basin
farmers and ranchers.
By Bruce Jones, Daily News Publisher
April 03, 2001 Siskiyou Daily News
Lawsuit threatens resort
Klamath Forest Alliance tries to prevent water diversion that powers
SOMES BAR - Doug and Heidi Cole have always considered
themselves to be environmentalists.
They are avid outdoors people, living in the steep, rugged country near
Somes Bar down the Klamath River. Taking care of natural resources
is something that has always been a top priority for them and
something they believe they have been doing since purchasing the
Marble Mountain Ranch in 1994.
However, now their very existence is being threatened by a "notice of
intent to sue" over the use of a water diversion that powers a hydroplant
on their property. The diversion comes from Stanshaw Creek, which is
on Forest Service land. With the nearest power lines more than seven
miles away, the Coles said hydroelectricity is the cleanest and
cheapest way to generate electricity to the ranch.
It is the way electricity has always been generated on the property,
Doug Cole said.
The notice of intent to sue was filed by the Coles' neighbor, Conrad
Fisher, and by the environmental group Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA).
The group claims the water diversion violates various sections of the
Endangered Species Act (ESA) and is harmful to steelhead and coho
The crux of the matter actually lies in the issue of water rights. Felice
Pace, KFA's project coordinator, maintains the Coles do not have the
legal right to take 3 cubic feet of water per second (cfs) from Stanshaw
Creek - the amount needed during dry months to keep the hydroplant
running. Pace also claims the Coles have put in a new dam - a
concrete structure - and changed the diversion from .5 cfs to 3 cfs.
However, the Coles dispute the allegations. According to their records,
the Marble Mountain Ranch actually began as a mining claim in 1867 -
even before there was a Forest Service. It can even be argued that it is
one of the oldest water rights within the state of California.
In 1911, Samuel Stanshaw patented the claim and the accompanying
water rights became a deeded part of that claim.
December 27, 2000
Environmentalists want wolverines protected
SISKIYOU COUNTY - An elusive animal that some people believe to
exist in the higher elevations of Siskiyou County is the subject of a
lawsuit intended to give it greater protection.
A handful of environmental groups are suing the federal government to
give wolverines Endangered Species Act protection in Southern
Oregon and Northern California.
There's no hard evidence that wolverines are present in the region, but
several people have claimed to have seen them, or at least their tracks.
And those claiming to have spotted the large member of the weasel
family aren't just weekend sightseers, but biologists for the government
and Indian tribes.
"We still have some of them in the Klamath Mountains," said Felice
Pace of the Klamath Forest Alliance. "It's thought to be one of the better
places for them that's still around."
Although Pace hasn't seen a wolverine in Siskiyou County, a worker for
the Karuk tribes said he spotted one. A pair of federal and state
biologists doing an aerial survey of Mount McLoughlin west of Klamath
Falls, Ore., spotted wolverine tracks in 1998. Biologists also spotted
tracks in the Umpqua National Forest near Diamond Lake, Ore.
The sightings by the biologists led the Forest Service to approve
wolverine searches this winter in the Winema National Forest in
The Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Predator Conservation
Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife and Northwest Ecosystem Alliance
announced they will sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in hopes of
getting protection for wolverines.
Pace said wolverines, which weigh up to 60 pounds and look similar to
badgers, have a home range of about 500 square miles. That makes
them difficult to monitor.
The last sighting he heard of in Siskiyou County occurred near Dillon
Creek, located about 20 miles down the Klamath River from Happy
Several hunters reported seeing what they thought were wolverines in
the Rogue River National Forest of Southern Oregon in the early 1990s.
A California study using bait to lure animals to an area to collect tracks
failed to turn up any sign of wolverines.
Wolverines are nocturnal predators.
A listing could lead to restrictions on logging, mining and other
activities on federal lands.
July 24, 2000
PFUSA response to Felice Pace Challenge: Request for a debate is
As president of both the Scott Valley Chapter and the California State
branch of People for the USA (PFUSA), I feel I should respond to
Felice Pace's opinion column in the July 19 issue of the Siskiyou Daily
I find Pace's offer to debate PFUSA (whoever he feels that may be) to
be typical of a man and an organization that has a long history of
cloaking activities devastating to the social and economic well-being of
Siskiyou County in "warm and fuzzy" environmental rhetoric and
The debate to which Pace invites PFUSA has been going on in this
county ever since he assumed the mantle of Self-appointed Local
Arbiter of the Public Trust. People aware of and affected by natural
resource-related issues have had more than ample opportunity to
evaluate his platform and persona.
Pace's statement that he actively tried to help the miners early in his
career is accurate and acknowledged. He was one of the few people in
this county who rose to the defense of these early victims of expanding
federal control of natural resources. I am ashamed to admit that I did
not support the miners in this battle. However, in the minds of the
miners, that was the last thing Pace ever did to support natural
resource development and production in this county. It is the only thing
that he can point to where he delivered on his rhetoric of working for
"the little guy." It is an aberration in an otherwise consistent effort to
deconstruct our local economic and social fabric.
More often than not, Pace's efforts involve personal attacks similar to
his recent insinuation that the Lemos family has engaged in cutting
fences to allow illegal grazing of their cattle on federal land or alleging
the "greed" of Tule Lake Basin farmers holding on by their economic
fingernails. So much for helping "the little guy."
Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) and its ilk have been successful and
appear to dominate the debate for two main reasons. First, and quite
simply, the vast majority of Americans are opposed to the wanton
destruction of the environment. However, the main reason that
environmental extremism is prevailing on many aspects of this ongoing
policy struggle is that far too many Americans are sitting on the
sidelines and allowing the two ends of the spectrum (industry and
preservationists) to argue the issue. Their hope is that out of the
rhetorical crossfire the proper course will make itself apparent. This is a
typical American trait and in this instance contributes considerably to
the growing power of the federal government as the referee in settling
the many seemingly irresolvable issues. It is to alter this unhealthy
passive attitude and its dire consequences that PFUSA sees the need
to constructively participate in property rights and public lands issues.
The July 12 meeting in Somes Bar was a perfect example of this effort.
While some in the audience were discourteous, some admittedly
PFUSA members, their anger should be viewed in the context of the
economic and cultural devastation wreaked on the Klamath River
community. Pace's efforts have contributed substantially to this
situation, yet he was unabashedly proud of having "paid his dues in
Happy Camp." As objectionable as the discourteous behavior was, it
does not compare to Pace's past public performances. Pace's
behavior has contributed to the demise of at least three local
organizations involved in natural resource issues: the Marble Mountain
Audubon Society, the Siskiyou Roundtable and the former incarnation
of the Scott River Watershed Council, the Scott River CRMP.
Despite KFA's tiresome allegations that PFUSA is trying to obstruct
citizens in their right of free association, our involvement at the meeting
in Somes Bar was merely to insure that a fringe minority was not
attempting to misrepresent itself as a credible voice for businesses
along the Klamath River.
The need for such oversight became apparent when Ms. Reis was
claiming support from the Karuk tribe for her project. Fortunately, there
were some tribal elders present to remind Ms. Reis that the tribe did
not endorse this project. Additionally, the elders elicited from Ms. Reis
the admission that her claim was based on discussions with Leaf
Hillman who is not in a position to represent himself as speaking for the
In PFUSA's view, there is a world of difference between advocating
environmental businesses' interests and advocating the environmental
interests of businesses. It is precisely through the exploitation of such
semantic fine points that KFA has managed to exert undue influence in
our area. PFUSA is determined to minimize the damage of such
Additionally, the efforts of KFA have contributed to an increasing
bureaucratic notion that people must prove that a given activity has no
negative effect on the environment before being allowed to proceed.
This essentially amounts to having to prove innocence and it flies in the
face of the American concept of justice.
If KFA demands that even a shadow of negative impact be precluded
from activities on public lands, that is certainly a matter for public
debate. However, absent a clearly demonstrable impact on public
health and safety, or even the "public trust," such an infringement on
basic rights of private property is simply intolerable. That a stand in
defense of these rights is repeatedly labeled by KFA as "selfish" or
"greedy" is an insult to all Americans who value the principles for which
this nation stands.
I take it as a measure of PFUSA's success that Pace has resorted to
such a shop-worn and transparent tactic of distraction as to challenge
PFUSA to a public debate. Public debates are more a measure of
debating skill than a forum for resolving difficult issues. Pace is well
aware of this from his law studies at Yale. Lawyers train by arguing both
sides of an issue and the best lawyers can prevail on either side of an
Personally, I am more than content to let my actions serve as my
argument. Mr. Pace should likewise be content to be judged by his
actions. As well, local media such as the Siskiyou Daily News have
proven to be exceptional forums for serving the public interest by
promoting public discussion on natural resource issues. In this critical
regard, Siskiyou County is thankfully a leader in the state.
Ric Costales is president of the Scott Valley Chapter of People For the
USA and the California State PFUSA.
July 14, 2000
Land rights group 'crashes' meeting
SOMES BAR - An unexpected attendance at a Klamath Institute
meeting Wednesday may have thwarted efforts to establish a
pro-active environmental business council that objectors claim would
have an anti-business stance on issues.
More than 75 members of People for the USA (PFUSA), made their
presence known and voices heard at the meeting.
The PFUSA group effectively volunteered to take over the proposed
council by filling eight of the 10 open seats on the board and prompting
guest speaker Felice Pace of the Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) to
cancel his presentation.
Members of PFUSA traveled from as far away as Yreka and Montague
to attend the meeting at Junction Elementary School in Somes Bar,
picking up members in Happy Camp and other areas along the way.
Pace, who himself traveled from Etna to deliver a slide show
presentation of the Klamath River region, became frustrated by the
group's appearance and packed his projector and other materials back
into his car, refusing to give his slide presentation.
Speaking outside the school, Pace said he had hoped for a more
peaceful meeting to organize a voice for people along the river who are
not represented in Yreka.
"I think it's a shame these people wont be allowed to organize a
committee like they intended to do," Pace said. "These are honest
people who are concerned about the river and want to see it brought
back to it's natural, restored state."
According to Pace, the PFUSA members were a group that, "only want
to circumvent the efforts of concerned citizens."
Pace said the Klamath Institute conducted a survey of business owners
along the river and found a majority of those people expressed serious
concerns about the eco-system of the Klamath River and watershed
areas of tributaries that feed into the river.
However, many in attendance at the meeting rejected Pace's survey
result claims, stating the group only talked with less than 10 percent of
all business owners on the river and focused only on those whose
opinions closely resembled their own "extreme environmentalist views."
Ric Costales, of Ft. Jones, who is the president for the California region
of PFUSA, said he supported Pace when his efforts were toward
helping small miners and loggers in the region.
"But now that is not Mr. Pace's goal or agenda," Costales said. "He
claims to help or work with people, but he uses lawsuits or the threat of
lawsuits to jeopardize the livelihoods of working people in Siskiyou
"I am offended when he says he is representing the business owners
along the Klamath River," Costales added, "when he doesn't even
represent the interests of 10 percent of the people he claims."
According to Costales, Pace and the Klamath Institute are using the
results of a fraudulent survey to push an agenda that is destroying
Siskiyou County's economy.
The Scott Valley rancher said PFUSA conducted a survey of the same
business owners listed in the Klamath Institute survey and found
completely different results than those reported by Pace, including a
number of business owners who claimed they were fraudulently listed in
Costales said a number of business owners along the river told the
PFUSA surveyors they refused to talk with the Klamath Institute, yet
comments attributed to them were found in the survey results issued by
Blythe Reis, of Happy Camp, who organized the meeting to form the
Klamath Business Council, admitted to the audience she was
unprepared for the number of citizens who showed up.
Reis, who owns a fishing resort along the Klamath River near Happy
Camp, said she organized the meeting because she was interested in
educating herself and other business owners along the river about
environmental concerns in the region.
"It was my hope that we form a coalition of business owners along the
Klamath River who want to see the region protected and restored to a
natural state," Reis said. "I know that my own business has suffered in
the eight years I have owned it because of river conditions which are
keeping the fish away."
Reis, who facilitated the flow of the meeting by allowing people in
attendance to speak if they chose, found the majority of those in
attendance did not share her views on conservation.
Ken Oliver, president of the Happy Camp chapter of PFUSA and
life-long Happy Camp resident, said the extremist environmental
approach pushed by the Klamath Institute is a wrong one.
"None of us who live here want to see the polluting of the river, or the
clear cutting of the mountains so they can be paved over," Oliver said.
"We the farmers and ranchers of and residents of Siskiyou County and
the Klamath River region are the true conservationists because we
respect the resources for our livelihood.
"It would be ridiculous for anyone to pollute or destroy the eco-system of
the river when that is how we make our living," he added. "The same is
true with the timber industry."
Pace agreed there are a number of farmers and ranchers who are
trying to be good stewards of the streams and creeks on their land, but
said more needs to be done to preserve the river.
"There are some who are powerful people in this county who don't want
to see clean water, or properly manage the watershed areas in our
area," Pace alleged. "We are talking about a serious ecological
problem here that if it is not addressed and dealt with soon will mean
the death of a valuable California river."
Pace cited a recent fish kill in the lower Klamath River of Chinook
salmon found dead between June 18 and 24 by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service as evidence of the serious state of the river.
Warm water was attributed to the cause of the deaths of the salmon,
Pace said, as temperatures climbed well above the limits the salmon
Pace said decreasing flows of water being released from the Iron Gate
Dam, combined with warm temperatures and heavy nutrient loads in
the water may have been responsible.
He went on to add that a number of factors are causing problems to the
streams and creeks filling into the Klamath region, including high
sediment and nutrient load levels from cattle and other commercial
animals and warm water temperatures caused by the removal of trees
near shores and banks that would normally provide shade for the
However, Marcia Armstrong, of the Siskiyou County Farm Bureau, said
the river region is cleaner now than it has ever been in years. The steps
proposed by Pace and the Klamath Institute, she said, are designed to
eliminate all businesses in the area which make their living by utilizing
the vast natural resources of the area.
"At the turn of the century, when miners were building diversions to the
river and mining the gold and other precious minerals out of the
county's river, they provided much more pollution and worse conditions
for fish and other wildlife than currently exist," Armstrong said. "The
same is true with timber harvesting in the past. We know now that clear
cutting is not good for the forest, but doing nothing, or allowing no
cutting at all is also bad for the forest as well."
Armstrong explained that by thinning the forests, loggers are actually
helping to prevent the spread of diseases and other ailments affecting
the trees, as well as reducing the risk of wildland fires by knocking
down brush and other potential fire accelerants.
Pace vowed to return at another time to give his presentation, when
those he called "radicals" had left.
The new Klamath River Business Council has not yet set a schedule for
Some speculate the council may never be formed.
February 22, 2000
Response to Pace
In response to Felice Pace's letter, "Will the 'patriots' stand up to the
'feudal lords'? in the Feb. 14 edition of the Daily News:
Felice, how does it feel to be on the receiving end of a screwing? You
are now screaming for your constitutional rights because you're
suffering from a governmental decision that affects you personally.
We local citizens who own private property have been attacked by
environmental agencies and people like you for years, whose credo is
to save everything except people and their way of life - without mercy -
just to keep your agenda at its peak. It always seems that the end
justifies the means for your kind of actions.
But now you're asking for the help of the people you have been fighting
against for years. According to you, if we don't have the "guts" to back
you, we are hypocrites. Boy, I'll give you credit, your sure have a lot of
"brass guts." I figure you've been in bed with these "Paper Tigers" and
now the bed's too small. Damn!
-Jerry Randazzo, Siskiyou Patriot
Welcome to the real world! We've been fighting for your rights for a long
time, now you know how we feel.
February 10, 2000
County supervisors OK gravel quarry
YREKA - After four-and-a-half hours of testimony before a packed
house at the Miner's Inn Convention Center, the board of supervisors
ruled to uphold the decision of the planning commission to issue a use
permit for the operation of a gravel quarry in Greenview.
During the public comment portion of Tuesday's appeal hearing,
speakers shifted attention from environmental concerns over the Nash
project to the public's perception of "intimidation" utilized by Felice
Pace and KFA in their ongoing efforts to prevent the people of Siskiyou
County from proceeding with projects that KFA opposes.
The initial application for this permit on property owned by Steve and
Dusty Nash in Greenview was filed in March of 1998 by Kiewit Pacific.
Public hearings were held before the planning commission on Sept. 1
and Nov. 3, 1999 with the commission making its decision to issue the
permit on Nov. 3.
Following that decision, Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) and Scott
Valley Citizens for Quality Growth (SVCQG) filed an appeal and also
filed a Petition for Writ of Mandate in Siskiyou County Superior Court
against Siskiyou County, the Nashes and Kiewit Pacific. The petition is
seeking an order from the court to set aside the use permit, declare
that the use permit is in violation of CEQA and for costs of suit.
At a settlement conference held Jan. 24, the attorneys agreed to allow
the Board of Supervisors to rule on the appeal of the planning
commission's decision before the petition proceeded any further along
in the court process.
At the outset of yesterday's appeal hearing, attorney Kelly Drumm,
representing KFA and SVCQG, outlined flaws in the analysis and
conclusions of the planning commission, alleging that by not
recirculating the negative declaration, the county committed procedural
error. Drumm also contended that the issuance of the permit was not in
compliance with the requirements of the California Environmental
Quality Act (CEQA) and an environmental impact report was required.
Representatives of SVCQG argued to the board that Kiewit could
afford an EIR and that the citizen's group did not have the money to hire
experts to refute the contentions of Kiewit's engineer.
Felice Pace, Ann Marsh, Betty Lindholm and Melinda Perlman spoke
on behalf of the opposition and presented arguments dealing with
storm water, violations of the Williamson Act, air quality, traffic, noise,
water quality, the Greenview dump and quality of life.
Lindholm outlined her qualifications in the field of water quality
sampling, expressing concern over water that could leach from the
Greenview dump into the gravel quarry.
She showed photographs with the Nash property in the background
and waste materials exposed from the dump.
"Any leach could migrate into the pit which could contain possible
waste material," Lindholm added.
Supervisor LaVada Erickson expressed concern over these issues
later in the meeting and questioned Lindholm about the implications of
the Greenview dump's location.
Donna Black, the attorney for Kiewit Pacific reminded the board that
the issue is not whether Kiewit can afford an EIR or whether the
appellants can afford to hire experts. The issue is whether an EIR is
necessary and whether there is substantial evidence that the project will
have an adverse impact on the environment.
"I have not heard that evidence today," Black said. "I have only heard a
lot of concerns, speculations and erroneous facts."
Doug Jenner, a neighbor of the Nashes, voiced concern about his
irrigation ditch that runs on the southerly boundary of the project and the
possibility that his irrigation water could leak into the gravel pit.
"I want to know about the impact on my ditch before this project
commences," Jenner said.
Steve Nash told the board that the only legitimate issue raised at this
appeal was Jenner's concern about his irrigation ditch.
"If the ditch leaks, we will fix it," Nash said. "I am sure we can satisfy
that requirement," Nash said. Kiewit, he said, has already committed to
line the ditch to ensure that no irrigation water is lost.
Nancy Ingalsbee of KARE spoke in favor of the Nash project and told
the board, "This appeal stinks. It is time to put a stop to negative
obstructionism in this county. People must have assurance that when
they fulfill their obligations and their projects are approved,
non-meritorious appeals will not ruin their project."
In a facetious comment, Brian Peterson of Klamath River observed that
the only mistake the Nashes made was they did not submit their project
to KFA for approval first. He described KFA as a well-funded vocal
Speakers offering public comment on the project referred to KFA and
SVCQG as a group opposed to people making their living from the
land, a small bunch who does its work by intimidation and people trying
to tell the county how to run its business.
Scott Valley was described as the one-time home of seven lumber
"Trucks traveling up and down Highway 3 were dusty and noisy, but this
meant jobs and prosperity to us," Bernard Dally said.
Keith Taylor favored the issuance of the use permit and admonished
the board about using an EIR as a compromise.
"This may be small potatoes to Kiewit," Taylor said, "but when the next
project is yours, this requirement could establish a precedent that could
have an impact on all of us in the future."
With 30 mitigating measures, Supervisor Joan Smith said she was
convinced that the planning commission had looked "long and hard" at
this project, had bent over backwards to resolve any problems that may
arise, and favored upholding the planning commission's decision.
At that point, Supervisor Kay Bryan made the motion to approve the
CEQA environmental document and uphold the planning commission's
decision. She added that the board also needed to look further into the
concerns presented over the Jenner ditch, the berm that borders the
project and mitigation measure 10 at next week's meeting.
The board decided the issue by a vote of four to zero, with Supervisor
Jerry Giardino not being present to vote. At 5 p.m., Giardino announced
that he had another meeting to attend and left the hearing prior to the
The time it has taken for the permit process to proceed to this point is
approaching two years. Even though the board has decided to uphold
the planning commission's decision, the Petition for Writ of Mandate is
still pending in Superior Court and will continue to delay the start of this
Siskiyou County Counsel Frank DeMarco said another mandatory
settlement conference is probably in order at this point for the
opponents to voice their demands.
"Assuming next week the board can get everything worked out, whether
the Nashes and Kiewit start work on the project is up to them,"
DeMarco said. "Generally people do not go forward with a project until
all the impediments are removed."
Planning Commissioner Blair Hart was present for Tuesday's hearing,
and views the Board's ruling as a vindication of the planning
commission. Hart did not participate in the commission's decision
because of a conflict of interest, but stated that there were
unsubstantiated allegations leveled against the commission following
its ruling that it had acted improperly and engaged in "back room
"I did not observe anything improper and did not hear anything
improper and feel the commission's actions were above reproach,"
The Board of Supervisors will be meeting Feb. 15 to finalize approval
of the use permit and resolve the three remaining issues outlined in
Supervisor Bryan's motion.
The following was distributed by KFA - Felice Pace
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: (Fwd) Eureka hearing needed for downstream interests to
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2001 07:50:05 +0000
From: "Felice Pace [firstname.lastname@example.org]" <email@example.com
Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org (Felice Pace)
Organization: Klamath Forest Alliance
Fish Folks from <email@example.com
To Klamath River Defenders and other activists:
OREGON LAWMAKERS ARE EXERTING POLITICAL PRESSURE
TO CUT FLOWS IN THE KLAMATH RIVER IN ORDER TO
MAKE IRRIGATION DELIVERIES
Please ask California Senator Dianne Feinstein to hold a Eureka
to discuss Klamath River fish and water needs.
In a Washington, DC hearing, on March 21, 2001 Oregon Senator
Smith, Chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee of
the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
called on federal agencies to devise a Klamath Basin
water management plan. There is extreme pressure being exerted by
basin irrigators, as well as Oregon Rep. Greg Walden and California
Wally Herger, to try to force an allocation of water for irrigators
the upper basin regardless of the negative impacts on
resources (and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges bald
Senator Smith's hearing resulted in a meeting the following day in
chaired by the Bureau of Reclamation. This was followed by a
meeting in Klamath Falls on Monday, March 26 in Klamath
Falls with hundreds of
angry farmers demanding water for agriculture (to the
detriment of threatened
species including bald eagles, Klamath River coho salmon, and
lake fish (kuptu and tschuam) in Upper Klamath Lake.)
There is more than just the irrigator's side that Congress needs
hear. Upper Klamath Basin irrigators are framing this as an
of "fish over families." However, water for salmon is also
for fishing families, tribal families and families that rely
Klamath River fishing and recreation. It is very important
downstream interests also have a voice in what has so far been
crafted as a very one-sided debate. Senator Feinstein, is also
member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The
Coast Federation of Fisherman's Associations has thus requested
Senator Feinstein also hold a hearing in Eureka. Please contact
office in support of this request. (Please email only in addition
calls, faxes or letters.)
Senator Dianne Feinstein
c/o Richard Pouyat
331 Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
ph (202) 224-3841, fax (202) 228-3954
Please also copy your letter, with an expression of your concern
adequate water flows be supplied for the Klamath River this summer
Senator Barbara Boxer
c/o Sarah Barth
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3553 ph
(202) 228-1338 fax
Congressman Mike Thompson
317 Third St. Suite 1
Eureka, California 95501
Here's a recent Op-Ed which discusses the issues!
Klamath River Water Wars -
Can Agriculture and Salmon Both Survive
by Felice Pace
Part 1: Understanding the Issues
In 1993 I attended a luncheon at which the chief water attorney
the California Farm Bureau Federation, spoke on the "Potential
water reallocation in Siskiyou County, California." After
all applicable common, federal, and state laws and court
the Farm Bureau official concluded that, yes, there would be
reallocation in Siskiyou County and across the West. Then he
"All I can tell you is this, hold onto your water as long as
can." Hold onto the water as long as you can. It has stayed
and describes accurately what the agricultural community has
doing in the Upper Klamath River Basin - stubbornly ignoring the
for change, stubbornly clinging to the past, fighting a
action against the New West.
This year drought, a regular visitor to western North America,
returned to the Klamath Basin. There is not enough water
to meet the needs of irrigators and several species which are
protected by law, including the Endangered Species Act. This is
the first time this has happened. The extended drought of the
80's and early 90's shrunk supplies too. The Bureau of
cut deliveries to Wildlife Refuges and failed to meet FERC
flows in the Klamath Basin. Downriver tribes countered with
studies and a claim to water to maintain salmon fisheries on
Yurok Reservation. Conservationists petitioned to have Klamath
Coho salmon listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Klamath Basin Irrigators hired a consultant and quickly came out
a study of their own. Not surprisingly, the study was not accepted
credible by most scientists. It said the fish did not need the
which irrigators wanted.
Upper Klamath Basin Irrigators have a new study this drought
Not surprisingly, it questions the knowledge gained in 20 years
studies on Upper Klamath Lake. It is quoted regularly in news
reports. It is praised by Klamath County Commissioners and
Falls City Council Members It is handed out in Washington, DC.
Twenty years of research vs one hired PhD, one quick-and-dirty
The Irrigators and the politicians who do their bidding want
Interior Secretary Gale Norton to rewrite the science so that
can get irrigation water this drought year. They want Gordon
and Ron Wyden to fix their problem. They are indignant and
insistent. They are firmly convinced of their unique situation
the right of their cause. They say fish should not be put ahead
There are several things wrong with the picture the irrigators
paint. First, this is not an issue of people vs fish. Salmon
fishermen in Northwest California and Southwest Oregon depend
salmon from the Klamath River. The peril salmon now face and
changes needed to protect the few that are left in the Klamath
have all but eliminated the fishermen's livelihood. Lodge
kayak schools, raft and fishing guides, Mom and Pop stores up
down the Klamath depend on the river. Low flows and poor water
quality hurt river businesses. The survival of native cultures
life ways in the Upper and Lower Klamath Basin are also linked to
survival - and restoration - of salmon. If the Kuptu and Tshuam
(Lost River and Shortnose suckers) go extinct, the Klamath Tribe,
Klamath People, will be diminished. So this is not people vs fish.
is all about people. We ARE the fish.
Most importantly, the irrigators are wrong about the uniqueness
the situation. As Bureau of Reclamation manager Carl Wircus stated
a recent meeting, "this is going on all over the West."
scarcest resource in the West, is being reallocated. Irrigators
who traditionally used up to 90% of summertime water flowing
western streams - are now being required to share.
I've been personally involved in efforts to solve the problems
the Klamath River since 1986. Every step of the way agriculture -
those who do agriculture's bidding - have done what the Farm
lawyer suggested - they have dragged their feet, resisted,
stonewalled. Ironically, resistence to change is the reason there
no surplus water for irrigation this year. If agriculture had
resisted marsh restoration at the North end of Klamath Lake,
might now have thousands of acre feet of additional supply stored
deep water marshes there. If agriculture had not resisted
measurement above Klamath Lake, inflow would now be greater.
agriculture had not resisted eliminating commercial farming on
Klamath and Tule Lake Refuges, there would now be enough water
on those lands to help the ducks, geese and Bald Eagles through
drought. If agriculture had not stonewalled building screens
irrigation canals, perhaps Kuptu and Tshuam would not be in
But that is the past; what about now?
If Gale Norton orders the Bureau of Reclamation to deliver water
agriculture this year, it is likely Coho salmon, Kuptu, Tshuam
Bald eagles will suffer losses. Weaker species need more
managers take fewer risks judging what they need. Thus, if the
irrigators "win" this year, they are buying themselves
in the future. That is the dilemma irrigation in the Upper
River Basin faces.
Klamath River Water Wars
Part 2: The Solution
It would be a mistake for Interior Secretary Gail Norton to
water needed by Klamath River Basin Bald eagles, salmon and
and give it to irrigators. It solves nothing and will make
bitter toward agriculture. Instead, all interests need to join
together to secure for all Klamath Project farmers the relief
income support they need to survive the drought. We need a
partnership among irrigators, tribes, fishermen and
for this purpose but our work together can't stop there.
The conservation community proposes a partnership among
conservationists, irrigators, tribes, federal, state and local
government to make the Klamath Basin a model for how to survive
just drought but also the historic and inevitable reallocation
limited water supplies among those who use and need water.
Agriculture must be at the center of a solution focused on three
objectives: Downsizing, Diversifying and Digging In.
We need to store more water. Because lake-wetland systems ARE
storage in the Klamath River Basin, the only realistic way to
more water stored is within permanent, i.e. "deep water"
Lands that can serve that purpose best are currently ag lands -
North-end of Upper Klamath/Agency Lake, the farmland formerly
as Tule Lake (aka the "lease lands"), and the area
formerly known as
Lower Klamath Lake (aka "the Klamath Straits"). The
advantageous action government could take immediately would be
end the lease programs on both Tule Lake and Lower Klamath NWR
store water in deep marshes on those lands. Retiring farmland
restoring deep water marsh habitat in those areas not only
more water, that water is cleaned as it passes through the
into the drainage system and, ultimately, down the Klamath
This helps the remaining farmers with the regulatory burden of
cleaning up the nutrient pollution farms generate (permanent marsh
pollution reduction = nutrient sequestration in underlying soils).
need legislation to authorize restoring: the North End of
Lake, the Tule Lake Leaselands, and Lower Klamath Lake.
The agricultural economy is in a state of transition if not
Upper Basin agriculture is now part of global food markets.
for major crops (sugar beets) have evaporated and potato farmers
stiff competition from Canadian and corporate farms which appear
have lower production costs.
Under these circumstances, farmers should look to diversify
crops with less volatile markets. Garlic - a crop suited to
winters and dry summer - was once grown extensively in the
Basin and can be grown using much less water compared to
crops. High Mountain hay is a good crop since the market -
horses in California and Western Oregon's valleys - is very
The biggest threat to farming in the Klamath Basin is not
Supply - that can be solved by downsizing/adding storage. The
threat is suburbanization, becoming what Southern Oregon's
Irrigation District already is - a suburban community with a
pear orchards here and there. We need legislation to direct
Bureau of Reclamation to work with the city of Klamath Falls,
County and the State of Oregon to enact legislation that would
prevent farmland served by the project from being subdivided.
Essentially, the ag lands would become the open space in a
Family Agriculture still enjoys the respect and support of the
majority of Americans, even as these same Americans fear and
corporate agriculture. But this support will evaporate if those
agriculture do not show a willingness to share water and
on-farm conservation and water quality. Klamath Basin
need leaders who will show respect for the needs of other and who
willing to work with tribes, fishermen and conservationists to
manage the inevitable reallocation of water in a just, equitable
Felice Pace is the Conservation Director of the Klamath Forest
Alliance, a Klamath River Basin organization dedicated to
the Klamath River. The Alliance works to sustain ecosystems
communities from its base in the town of Etna in Northern
California's Scott River Sub-basin of the Klamath River.