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.
 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Dick+Cheney?tid=informline
Solving the Klamath River fisheries issues requires true and wise leadership.
Washington Post 7/7/07 by Steve Kandra, Merrill farmer

Once again, we see that it has become more important to assign blame for political gain than to solve the problem and bring communities together.

The first act of the Bush administration was to shut irrigation water off from family farms to address fish issues. The later actions of the administration were to address a lack of substantive biological information regarding the needs of the fishery resource, while pursuing significant environmental restoration. That work continues as a priority to this day.

Productive conversations are taking place among the people of the region. Tribes, farmers (of which I am one), ranchers, local governments, fishermen, and state and federal representatives are pounding out collaborative agreements. Unfortunately, surrounding that conversation are those for whom ideology and rhetoric are more important than addressing and solving problems.

It's time to move on. The farmers, tribes and fishermen are solving problems, not pointing fingers. Political maneuvering will only perpetuate the problem -- and it is a disservice to all the Klamath peoples whose interests should be the real goal of policy.

STEVE KANDRA

Merrill, Ore.

The writer is a member of the board of directors of the Klamath Water Users Association.

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Fish and Farmers Both Need Water  
Washington Post 7/7/07


The June 27 front-page story linking Vice President Cheney to the 2002 killing of 70,000 fish from Northern California's Trinity and Klamath rivers is no surprise to the Hoopa Valley Tribe. Because these two rivers run through our reservation, we were the first to walk the shore and see thousands of dead salmon that were starved for water so farmers who wanted to grow surplus crops would vote for congressional candidates friendly to the White House.

Today the fish in the Trinity and Klamath rivers are still fighting for their lives as the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation starves the Trinity River for restoration funding and aged dams block natural propagation on the Klamath River. Congress now has an opportunity to turn back the tide of political corruption that has almost destroyed these rivers by reaffirming decades of restoration science and water needs supported by tribes, fishermen and local governments in Northern California.
 

CLIFFORD LYLE MARSHALL, Chairman Hoopa Valley Tribe, Hoopa, Calif.

 

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