Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2003
Smith Calls on Klamath Task Force to Move Quickly on National Academies’ Recommendations
WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) wrote to Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, who co-chairs of the President’s Interagency Task Force on the Klamath Basin, urging the swift implementation of the high priority recommendations for the recovery of listed suckers and salmon contained in the National Academies’ National Research Council’s report entitled, “Endangered and Threatened Fishes in the Klamath River Basin: Causes of Decline and Strategies for Recovery”. The report, commissioned by Secretary Norton, was released yesterday.
The full text of the letter is available upon request.
“I believe the report provides a great opportunity to end the confrontational approach by some interest groups that has targeted Klamath Project irrigators, and begin to build a collaborative, basin-wide effort to recover salmon and suckers without destroying the local agricultural economy.” wrote Smith.
The report states that, “(r)ecovery of endangered suckers and threatened coho salmon in the Klamath basin cannot be achieved by actions that are exclusively or primarily focused on operation of USBR’s Klamath Project.” The report also found that Klamath Project operations were not responsible for the 2002 fish kill in the lower Klamath River.
A number of the recommendations in the report have been discussed for years; some are contained in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s April 1993 recovery plan for the listed sucker species. In addition, Smith proposed many of these same actions to Secretary Norton during their meeting in September 2001 and several of these action items were subsequently contained in the Bureau of Reclamation’s Biological Assessment on the Klamath Project, dated February 25, 2002.
“I believe this report provides us with an opportunity to move forward with actions that will actually recover salmon and suckers, without decimating the local economy,” wrote Smith.
Caroline Mullen Espinosa
Senator Gordon Smith
202/228-1823 - direct
202/228-0521 - fax
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2003, All Rights Reserved