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Looking Back: This week in Klamath Basin history


Herald and News 7/9/11


Week of July 9-15, 1991: After months of meetings between various state and federal agencies, confusion still surrounds the status of a plan to save two endangered species of sucker in Upper Klamath Lake, even as a drought has heightened concern for their survival this year.

But a lawsuit filed yesterday in U.S. District Court aims to cut quickly through the complications. The Oregon Natural Resources Council has asked a federal judge to halt any operations of the Klamath Reclamation Project that may endanger the fish.

The ONRC also suggested that screens should be required on the A Canal to prevent fish from being stranded in irrigation ditches within the 240,000-acre project. It appears unlikely the huge A Canal would be shut down any time soon, a move that would leave 800 farmers without water halfway through the growing season.


2001: Farmers will help police agencies protect the A Canal headgates this weekend. Meanwhile, a Klamath County resident says he is proceeding with plans to stage a demonstration at the headgates, despite pleas from farmers to cancel the gathering.

Donnie Boyd, a farm implement dealer in Merrill, said farmers are prepared to provide a round-the-clock vigil at the headgates in Klamath Falls to prevent anyone from tampering with the gates. They will stand there to protect what is rightfully their property, the A Canal, and its headgates. They donít want anybody doing anything to the canal or headgates that may jeopardize the future operation of the canal. On one side of the fence stood 11 federal marshals, somber and quiet, their eyes concealed by sunglasses and their navy blue blazers buttoned up despite the hot weather. On the other side stood more than 150 farmers, business owners, and general citizens, angry and at times loud, their options uncertain and their patience worn thin. As twilight faded over the A canal, people on both sides waited to see who would make the next move. So ended a week in which tension mounted day by day in the Klamath Basin water crisis, with attention focused increasingly on the headgates of the A Canal on the south end of Upper Klamath Lake.

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