Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Klamath Basin Chronology
1860 U.S. Swamp Land Act (extended to Oregon)- Allows the state to acquire title to public wetlands And supervise their reclamation. This law had Been extended to California in 1850
1870 Oregon Swamp Land Act- Allows citizens to acquire title to wetlands by Reclaiming them for agricultural use. A Similar law had been passed in California In the 1850's
1902 Federal Reclamation Act- Authorizes the interior secretary to develop Irrigation and hydropower projects in 17 Western states and establishes the Reclamation Service (later renamed the Bureau of Reclamation) To turn unproductive land into small family farms.
1903 Reclamation Service engineers begin studies for a Large reclamation project in the Klamath Basin
1905 Oregon and California Cession Acts- Convey title to the beds of Tule Lake and Lower Klamath Lake to the federal government for Purposes of the Reclamation Act
1908 Executive Order No. 924- President Roosevelt cerates Klamath Lake Reservation
(Later named the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge), designating 81,619, acres of lake and Surrounding marshland as a "preserve for breeding birds."
(Private citizens had already filed claims to about a third of the refuge area under the state swampland acts.)
1911 Warren Act Amends Reclamation Act allowing sale of water to Farmers outside a federal reclamation project, provided Each farmer irrigates no more than 160 acres.
1912 Reclamation Service completes damming of Lost River, Cutting off Tule Lake's main supply of water. The lake begins To dry up.
1915 Klamath Drainage District established Swampland owners organize under Oregon law to Collectively develop drainage and irrigation works and To contract with the federal government
1915 Executive Order 2202 President Wilson withdraws over 7,000 acres from The refuge, making the land available for homesteading.
1917 Klamath Drainage District signs contract with Reclamation Service and agrees to repay over $100,000 of reclamation Survey costs in exchange for shutting off water supply To Lower Klamath Lake to facilitate reclamation and Farming. Within a few years, the lake is dry.
1920 Raker Act Allows homesteading on Lower Klamath Refuge lands Valuable chiefly for agriculture, if reclamation survey Costs are repaid. No land passed into private ownership Under the act.
1921 The Klamath Drainage District and the federal government Sign a contract for the sale of Klamath Irrigation Project Water to the district (allowing irrigation of about 27,000 Acres of land)/
1928 President Coolidge designates 10,300 acres of Tule Lake Sump as a federal wildlife refuge
1936 Reclamation Service completes construction of a tunnel To carry excess agricultural runoff from Tule Lake Sump to the dry bed of Lower Klamath Lake. The lower Portion of the lakebed is reflooded and becomes a productive Bird refuge.
1954 Klamath Termination Act Terminates federal recognition of and government services to the Klamath Tribes. The U.S. acquires 800,000 acres Of Klamath tribal land
1956 Tule Lake Irrigation District established Homesteaders organize under California law to manage Parts of the Klamath project that service their farms.
1964 Kuchel Act Provides that 21,000 acres of refuge land within the Klamath Reclamation Project be managed for waterfowl and leased For farming; prohibits further homesteading; moves Management of refuge land under the secretary of the interior.
1966 Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is placed on National Register of Historic Places
1973 Endangered Species Act Provides for the conservation of ecosystems upon which Threatened and endangered fish, wildlife, and plant species Depend, both through federal action and by encouraging The establishment of state programs.
1983 Federal appeals court rules that the Klamath Indians hold In-stream water rights to support their hunting and fishing Rights on over 800,000 acres within their former reservation. Almost all of this land, now part of Winema National Forest, Lies in the watershed that generates irrigation water for most Project farms.
1986 Federal legislation "restores" the Klamath Tribes. The Tribes File a petition to have two indigenous species of suckers listed under the Endangered Species Act. Two years later the fish are listed.
2001 Federal government Cuts off water to 90 percent of the farmers In the Klamath Reclamation Project in order to maintain higher water levels to protect endangered fish.
Page Updated: Saturday December 17, 2011 04:30 AM Pacific
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