Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Fighting for Our Right to Irrigate Our Farms and Caretake Our Natural Resources

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      Letter to:   Phil Norton, Refuge Manager

Submitted by Mark Taft, 

Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex
4009 Hill Road
Tulelake, CA 96134

Phil Norton, Refuge Manager

We read with great interest, your April 18,2001 article in the Herald & News, and your request for comment. Basin commercial agriculture has a long history of inter-dependency with our wildlife refuges, and considers them a common and valued resource. Consequently, I feel compelled to submit the following comments and questions.

Your article references an environmental “assessment”.

Prior to the lawful and prudent extraction of any basin source ground water, the following issues require address:

The submittal, public review, and approval of a comprehensive environmental impact study. This study should include:

A definitive, scientifically sound hydrological study of the inter-basin ground water system, the resultant impact’s, (both quantitatively and qualitatively) of the proposed water extraction, and subsequent use of this geographically inter-linked aquifer.       In light of the current irrigation restrictions, this study shall accommodate commercial agriculture’s   present and future execution of their deeded water rights.

A definitive, scientifically sound plan for the segregation of Siskiyou County resources from extra-county transport, and subsequent utilization.

Quantitative, qualitative, and scientifically sound impact study on the comprehensive basin Eco-system. It should be noted, that the human element and the execution of their livelihood is an intrinsic component of the subject Eco-system.

Quantitative, qualitative, and scientifically sound impact study on the comprehensive western waterfowl flyway system. Of particular concern, is the food supply, and the absence or reduction of commercial agriculture’s contribution.



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