Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Murphey describes his ranch in New Mexico with deep appreciation and thanks. "I believe so deeply my life has been blessed. I've always insisted on living in the country and not in the city." His teenage daughters spend all of their free time, when not at school, tending the animals on their ranch. "I don't think God asks us to leave our family behind, and leave our wife and kids." He explained that he is home more than he is gone, and his children understand his absence. "They know what I'm doing supports the way of life they love."
Very few people that are victims of our government's encroachment on private land and lives understand the scope, power, and agenda, of the agencies and so-called environmental groups that have targeted their land. Murphey does.
And he understands that "when ag fails, civilization fails."
He understands that city people are totally misled; they are totally misinformed. They believe that a rancher or farmer is not doing anything good. An 'environmentalist' is someone with a certain agenda, a land grabber hiding behind 'environmentalism'. Murphey explains, that is what's happening even in Florida's Everglades, where they are flooding out the farmers, And what is the agenda in Naples Florida? It is to develop the Everglades. He said that even the New York Times admitted that flooding the Everglades may destroy the eco-region and it may come to development.
Describing private land stewardship, Murphey said "I served on a board like a commissioner in New Mexico. It was my job to find places where tourists go to watch wildlife. It was mostly on private land."
"I live next door to the largest, most protected elk herd, 4000, in the the U.S., kept in 100,000 acres of pasture. The elk break out of the fence to go to private land. That proves that private farmers are doing more to protect wildlife than real environmentalists," because on private property you can protect access.
Everything that he spoke and talked about reflected his passion for searching for God's will--- for truth. "I'm willing to live with the truth." He said they pray before every concert. And it was obvious by his vast knowledge and drive that he does not let anything rest until he has gotten down to the truth of the matter.
"What ARE the endangered species in Klamath?" he asked. "Are they really endangered." He was not surprised when he learned that, when the sucker fish were listed, it was assumed that there were 2650 short nosed suckers and 1200 Lost River suckers. At the same time, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) suggested the shortnose suckers would be extinct in just a few years (BIA 1986) according to testimony from fish scientist Dave Vogel. Now it is known that there are tens of thousands of these species, the Chiloquin Dam presently blocks 95% of their habitat, yet they are still 'listed'.
And he asked what about the coho? Low and behold, a recent court ruling concluded that they were illegally listed.
And what about the National Academy of Science (NAS)? Murphy commended the Klamath irrigators on encouraging the NAS to find the true science and to be willing to deal with the 'truth'. He learned that the NAS concluded that there was no scientific justification for the 2001 water shut-off, and the current lake-level/river-flow management is not scientifically justified.
And what was the river before the Klamath Project? It was lower than after the irrigators funded the Project, because more water is available now for the Klamath Lake and the Klamath River.
So what's the problem? When he learned that the government agencies, while using the 'environmental' groups, are not using the latest or the best available science in Klamath, they are still using this as a land and water grab, and they are still demanding 100,000 acre feet of our irrigation water and aquifer, he said regarding the agencies, "They are basically violating their mandate of going by science!" Boy, has he got that right!
Well, what about the Indian Tribes and farmers? "The word Indian doesn't mean anything. What kind of cowboy are you? What kind of hunter, farmer, resource protectionist, mountain biker? What impact do you have on the land? What is your agenda?"
Murphey is supported by a group called the Paragon Foundation. Paragon is supporting these farm concerts. They are paying for the facilities for the concert and dinner with Michael. They are in areas all over the country, hosting forums that folks can get together and learn from each other how to protect themselves from government land grabs and atrocities. They and Murphey have put on concerts to help pay legal expenses for private citizens who are battling the government agencies and tax-exempt 'environmental' organizations trying to take away their land and rights. They were here in 2001, trying to get the truth out to the far corners of the world what our government was doing to the United States rural citizens of Klamath Basin.
Murphey feels that our courts are a good venue for evidence. He sees the "enviro bambi" advertising by groups with lots of government funds, putting out a lot of propaganda. That's why he and Paragon are helping the victims of this government abuse.
Murphey said we must try to restore people's respect for agricultural land and agricultural people. We have to irrigate to grow this food on this planet. And grazing land is a great thing. We are doing Adams original charge, being a good steward of the land. I dedicate resources as much as I can. "I'm just trying to format a process where the truth will get told....once you tell the truth to the American people, people are pretty fair."
Murphey's message to the Klamath irrigators is, "It's time to take heart. People, you aren't a voice crying in the wilderness. Ag people have human rights too. I want the people , the ranchers and farmers to know, I heard you in Wisconsin, I heard about this in New Mexico. I won't be happy until the entire nation hears about you!"
Come join Michael Martin Murphey for dinner on Sunday so he'll know what to tell the nation.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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