Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

February 24, 2006
F O R  I M M E D I A T E  R E L E A S E
Top Bush Environmental Advisor to Speak to Family Farm Alliance Conference Next Week

President Bush’s top environmental advisor will deliver the keynote address to Western family
farmers and ranchers gathered at the 18th annual meeting and conference hosted by the Family
Farm Alliance next week. James Connaughton, Chairman of the White House Council on
Environmental Quality (CEQ), will speak via videoconference from Washington, D.C. to the
grassroots Alliance audience meeting in Las Vegas on Thursday, March 2, starting at 12:30 p.m.
Pacific time.
“We are pleased to see that President Bush’s senior environmental advisor wants to talk directly with
family farmers and ranchers,” said Dan Keppen, executive director of the Family Farm Alliance.
“Chairman Connaughton’s presentation should provide a big-picture overview to our members of the
environmental challenges and strategies that the Bush Administration is addressing.”
Connaughton, who recently laid out the groundwork for the Bush Administration’s new wild Pacific
salmon recovery strategy at an Oregon State University salmon conference, will address this topic,
cooperative conservation, and other environmental policy issues of national importance to the
Alliance audience, representing family farmers, ranchers and water managers from 17 Western states.
The theme of the Alliance’s annual conference is “Keeping the Family in Farming”. The two-day
event – set for Thursday and Friday, March 2-3 at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino – will feature
irrigators and water policy experts from throughout the western United States and Washington, D.C.
This year’s conference theme derives from discussions that arose at last year’s Alliance Annual
Meeting, where Western farmers and ranchers recounted stories of farming operations that were
disappearing because of increased competition and uncertainty arising from growing urban and
perceived environmental water demands.

Connaughton’s recent speech at OSU was noteworthy because it prompts Pacific Northwest residents
to consider whether salmon recovery really is a shared societal goal. He stressed that all those who
support this goal must also share responsibility for promoting recovery through actions aimed at all
aspects affecting the salmon’s life cycle.
This philosophy resonates with Western farmers and ranchers, many of whom have been shouldering
increased responsibilities to protect fish and wildlife in the past two decades.
“If protecting a species is important to society as a whole, then all of society - not just select family
farms - should bear that burden,” said Patrick O’Toole, a Wyoming rancher who serves as president
of the Alliance. “We have to have a decision-making process that is fair and takes into consideration
the national security aspect of food production.”
Other programs lined up for the Alliance event will reinforce the conference theme. One panel
discussion will focus on how water managers from four Western states are addressing the challenges
associated with agricultural-to-urban land use changes. Another will explain how some farmers in the
Klamath Basin are finding innovative ways of working with national wildlife refuge managers to
help migrating waterfowl and enhance farming operations. On the morning of Chairman
Connaughton’s speech, Pat Mulroy, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, will
describe how Las Vegas is planning to meet the water needs of a city that is growing at the rate of
3,000 to 5,000 new residents per month, in a region where agricultural and urban water users are
already feeling pinched.
Other features of this year’s conference will include presentations by U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
Commissioner John Keys III, Assistant Interior Secretary Mark Limbaugh, and all five Reclamation
regional directors.
THE FAMILY FARM ALLIANCE is a grassroots-based organization of agricultural water users
and agencies, and water and farm-related businesses in 17 Western States.
For more information on the Family Farm Alliance please go to www.familyfarmalliance.org.
The complete Alliance conference agenda is attached.
Media representatives are welcome to attend the March 2nd programs at the Family Farm
Alliance Annual Meeting. Media inquiries should be directed to Dan Keppen at (541) 892-6244.
Important Related Information:
For James Connaughton’s bio, go to
For Chairman Connaughton’s recent salmon speech at OSU, go to
For more information on salmon harvests and hatcheries, visit the Northwest Region's website.
Other parties interested in attending the Annual Meeting should contact the Alliance at (707) 998-9487.

2006 Annual Meeting
March 2-3, 2006
Thursday, March 2
7:30 am. Registration Desk Open
8:30 – 8:45 am. Welcome – Opening Comments
Patrick O’Toole, President
8:45 – 10:15 am. Planning to Meet the Water Needs of Las Vegas
Pat Mulroy, General Manager
Southern Nevada Water Authority
10:15 - 10:25 am. Break
10:25 – 11:25 am. The Farm as Natural Habitat: “Walking Wetlands”
Ron Cole, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Klamath Basin Refuge
Complex Manager, Tulelake, California.
Mike Noonan, grower, Klamath Falls, Oregon
11:30 – 12:25 p.m. Luncheon - Update on Alliance Initiatives
Dan Keppen, Executive Director
12:30 –1:00 pm. Keynote Address
Jim Connaughton, Chairman
White House Council on Environmental Quality (via interactive
videoconference from Washington, D.C.)
1:15 – 2:45 pm. Inside Washington – A Look at DC from The Hill
Moderator: Joe Raeder, The Ferguson Group.
Panelists: Majority and Minority Staffers from Key Senate
and House Water Committees (via interactive
videoconference from Washington, D.C.)
2:45 – 3:00 pm. Break
3:00 – 4:00 pm. The Changing Face of Western Agriculture:
Addressing the Ag-to-Urban Shift
David Bird, Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority, California
Jim Sweeney, Maricopa Water District, Arizona
Don Carlson, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District
Jo Jo White, Texas Water Conservation Association
4:00 – 5:00 pm. Using GIS to Manage Our Water Resources
Mark Deutschman and Christy Shostal, Houston Engineering,
Billings, Montana

2006 Annual Meeting
March 2-3, 2006
Friday, March 3
7:30 am. Registration Desk Open
8:15 – 9:30 am. Achieving Reclamation’s Core Mission in the 21st
Century: The Final Report of the National Research
Council (NRC) Board on Infrastructure and the
Constructed Environment
Tom Donnelly, Executive Vice-President, NWRA
David McCarthy, Deputy Commissioner of Reclamation
Roger Patterson, President, Patterson Consulting, Inc.
(Omaha, Nebraska), NRC Board on Infrastructure and the
Constructed Environment.
Bennett Raley, The Law Firm of Trout, Raley, Montano,
Witwer & Freeman, P.C.
Moderator: Dan Keppen, Family Farm Alliance
9:30 – 10:00 am. Interior’s Agenda for 2006 and Beyond
Mark Limbaugh, Ass’t Secretary for Water and Science
Introduction: Patrick O’Toole, Family Farm Alliance
10:00 – 11:30 am. Reclamation Directors – Panel Discussion
John Keys III, Commissioner of Reclamation
Bill McDonald, Pacific Northwest Regional Director
Kirk Rodgers, Mid-Pacific Regional Director
Rick Gold, Upper Colorado Regional Director
Bob Johnson, Lower Colorado Regional Director
Mike Ryan, Great Plains Regional Director
11:30 – 11:45 am. Award Presentation
Patrick O’Toole, President
11:45 – 12:00 pm. Closing Comments and Adjournment
Patrick O’Toole, President



Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2005, All Rights Reserved