Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Monthly Briefing, November 2005
A Summary of the Alliance's Recent and Upcoming Activities and Important Water News
Beginning For Annual Meeting
The time has arrived to sign up for the Family Farm Alliance’s 18th Annual Meeting and Conference in Las Vegas.
This year’s event theme is "Keeping the Family in Farming."
It will offer West-wide perspectives on the shift in water use resulting from growing urbanization and environmental demands.
SESSIONS WILL TAKE PLACE on Thursday and Friday, March 2-3, 2006. On March 1, the Alliance Board of Directors and Advisory Committee will meet prior to start of the public sessions on March 2.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Annual Meeting will have as its venue the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.
Former U.S. Senator Malcolm Wallop (R-Wyoming) has been invited to speak at the 2006 meeting.
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Alliance Representatives Active Throughout West
Family Farm Alliance representatives have been working in a variety of ways throughout the West advocating for the reliable, affordable water supplies to farmers and ranchers.
Bill Kennedy (Oregon), the Alliance’s Chairman of the Board, participated in two high-profile tours of the Klamath Basin (Oregon, California) in October. Kennedy represented the Alliance in a two-day Endangered Species Act educational tour — sponsored by National Cattlemen/Public Lands Council and the Klamath Water Users Association — for staff members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
A group of Senate staffers from the offices of Lincoln Chaffee (Rhode Island), Mike Crapo (Idaho), James Inhofe (Oklahoma), and Gordon Smith (Oregon) joined House staffers from the offices of John Doolittle (California) and Greg Walden (Oregon) for the event.
KENNEDY ALSO participated in another Klamath tour hosted by irrigators for the newly appointed members of the Oregon Water Resources Commission.
Alliance President Pat O’Toole (Wyoming) has already had a busy November with a total of three high-profile events lined up during the month.
On November 3, O’Toole presented an overview of Alliance water supply
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Page2Family Farm Alliance Monthly Briefing November 2005
Bureau Announces Key Appointments
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has announced several key appointments to fill positions in the West and in Washington (D.C.).
Earlier this month, Reclamation Commissioner John Keys III appointed David McCarthy, who had previously served as Reclamation’s Chief of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, as the new Deputy Commissioner of Reclamation.
McCarthy replaces Mark Limbaugh, who was confirmed by the Senate in July as the new Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Water and Science), to replace Bennett Raley. Limbaugh (Idaho) is a Past President of the Family Farm Alliance.
Great Plains Regional Director Mike Ryan announced that Gary W. Campbell of Stafford (Virginia) had been named Deputy Regional Director and Donald E. Moomaw of Mustang (Oklahoma) has been named Assistant Regional Director for the Bureau of Reclamation's Great Plains Region, headquartered in Billings (Montana).
The Great Plains Region encompasses all or parts of nine states from Montana and North Dakota south to Texas.
Kirk C. Rodgers, Regional Director of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region, announced October 18 that Brian Person had been selected as Area Manager of the Northern California Area Office at Shasta Dam, near Redding.
Person joins the Mid-Pacific Region from his position as Area Manager of the Eastern Colorado Area Office in Loveland (Colorado), part of Reclamation’s Great Plains Region.
"The Family Farm Alliance wishes all four Reclamation employees success in their new positions," said Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen.
Representatives Keep Alliance Visible Throughout West
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efforts to the Wyoming Water Development Association in Casper (Wyoming). The following week, O’Toole delivered a similar presentation to the National Water Resources Association conference in Hawaii. On November 18, he will appear with the Wyoming state engineer and Pat Mulroy, general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, before a state business alliance meeting.
Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen (Oregon) spoke to the 14th Annual Oregon Water Law Conference in Portland on November 4 about key federal water and environmental issues.
Keppen and Alliance Advisory Committee member Bob Stackhouse (California) traveled to Reno (Nevada) September 24 to participate in a planning committee for the Mid-Pacific Water Users Conference, which is scheduled to take place in the "Biggest Little City in the World" January 18-20, 2006. In early December, Keppen will attend the Oregon Water Resources Congress annual meeting in Hood River, and from there travel to Spearfish (South Dakota) where he is scheduled to make a presentation to the Upper Missouri Water Users.
The New Year will provide several other opportunities for the Alliance to engage in public forums.
The Alliance has accepted an invitation to participate in a panel discussion at a conference hosted by the Center for the New West entitled "Water and the West: Meeting Supply Challenges Today and Beyond" in Las Vegas January 12-13. Pat O’Toole will likely represent the Alliance at that meeting.
That same month, Keppen will participate in the Four States (Colorado-Kansas-Nebraska-Wyoming) Irrigation Council annual meeting in Ft. Collins (Colorado) and the Idaho Water Users Association annual meeting in Boise (Idaho).
Three Members Join Alliance Advisory Committee
The Family Farm Alliance Advisory Committee has two new members from Colorado — James Broderick of Pueblo and John McHugh of Loveland—and one from Washington, Chris Voigt.
Broderick is Executive Director for the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District, which straddles the upper Arkansas River.
He was appointed by Governor Bill Owens to the Colorado River Advisory Council and he is currently serving on the Arkansas Valley Preservation Committee, Statewide Water Initiative Roundtable Committee. In 2003, Broderick was re-elected as a Colorado River Water Users Association Director.
McHUGH replaces Marc Catlin as the Four States Irrigation Council representative on the Advisory Committee. McHugh serves as one of the Council’s commercial directors.
The Council includes representatives from Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming who are focused on Platte River issues. McHugh is the district manager for Rain Bird and a registered professional engineer, and, through his extensive business travel, is familiar with many Western producers.
Voigt is the new Executive Director of the Washington State Potato Commission. He comes from the San Luis Valley (Colorado) where he was Executive Director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee.
He also worked for the U.S. Potato Board as manager of field operations and spent another previous nine years in the agriculture chemical industry. He now lives in Moses Lake (Washington) with his wife Stephanie and their two small children.
The Advisory Committee — a grassroots panel of farmers and water professionals from throughout the West — is critical to meeting the mission of the Family Farm Alliance. The Committee assists the Board of Directors in developing policy and acts as a contact network.
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Alliance’s 18th Annual Meeting Has a Great Lineup
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Arrangements are also under way to develop a panel of Western governors to highlight key water resources challenges in their respective states.
Other panels will address the challenges associated with agricultural-to-urban conversions, and the National Research Council’s review of Bureau of Reclamation’s future functions.
Assistant Interior Secretary Mark Limbaugh will outline the Interior Department’s agenda for 2006 and beyond.
Reclamation Commissioner John Keys III and the five regional directors of Reclamation will again discuss hot Western water issues, and be available to speak individually with farmers and water agency leaders.
A workshop will also be conducted on GIS applications for watershed decision support systems and web-based operation and maintenance.
Joe Raeder, the Alliance’s Washington, D.C. representative, will moderate the "Inside Washington" panel, an annual conference tradition that features majority and minority staffers from key congressional water committees.
Additional conference registration and hotel reservation information will be mailed out to Alliance members in mid-November.
To receive registration and hotel reservation materials, please contact Jane by telephoning (707) 998-9487, or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Appellate Klamath Ruling Called ‘Arbitrary, Capricious’
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"The court’s decision threatens the water supply for family farmers and ranchers as well as two of the nation’s most important national wildlife refuges," said Greg Addington, Executive Director of the Klamath Water Users Association.
"The court elected to substitute its judgment on matters of biology and species protection for the judgment of the agencies assigned this job by law, and implies the Klamath Project can unilaterally recover the coho, which it cannot," Addington said.
Amazingly, the court apparently did not have before it the final 2003 report of the National Research Council, which clearly states that a myopic focus on reallocation of irrigation and wildlife refuge water supplies is not the way to address concerns with coho populations.
"We believe this court’s ruling was arbitrary and capricious," said Addington.
IN RECENT YEARS, Klamath Project water users have cooperated in programs that have resulted in ever-increasing amounts of water being dedicated to in-stream flows for coho salmon located far downriver from Project lands.
By release of water stored during high flow periods for irrigation, the Klamath Project has furnished flows higher than would occur in a natural state. The increased flows have been pursuant to a long-term plan by the federal agencies, which seeks ultimately to address the multitude of factors that affect coho salmon in the watershed.
"The court’s decision suggests that everything else can be ignored, and that flows from the Klamath Project will mitigate for all other impacts within the watershed," said Addington.
IN 2001, WATER was reallocated away from the Klamath Project by biological opinions that are now known to have been based on flawed science. According to Addington, the residual effects of that flawed science have resurfaced in the ninth circuit’s decision.
Local water users are currently evaluating options regarding future actions related to this decision.
Family Farm Alliance
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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