* "I like win-win" - Congressman Wally Herger.
By Pat Ratliff, Pioneer Press Sept 6, 2006
TULELAKE - The Tulelake Growers Association
hosted Congressman Wally Herger Monday to
showcase efforts and improvements farmers are
making in the Tulelake area.
The Congressman was joined by Ron Cole, manager
of the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge
complex, Deb Crisp, Executive Director of
Tulelake Growers Association, Marty Macy, TGA
President, Earl Danosky, Manager of the Tulelake
Irrigation District, Greg Addington, Executive
Director of the Klamath Water Users Association
and a number of local farmers from the area.
Herger toured the Tulelake Irrigation District's
D plant, where water is pumped through Sheepy
Peak to Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge, and
eventually to the Klamath River.
The tour then proceeded through the TID
leaselands, where Herger was shown the "walking
"These are new, dynamic wetlands." Ron Cole told
the Congressman, "This is what we're short of in
the basin. I don't want to overstate the
win-win situation we have with these walking
wetlands, but that's exactly what it is. This
is great wildlife habitat. I come from a
wildlife background and it's hard to deny what's
"I like win-win, myself" Congressman Herger
quipped to Cole as he looked out at an enormous
number of diverse species of birds using the
The "walking wetlands" is an extremely
successful cooperative program between the
Wildlife Refuges and the farming community where
tracts of land are flooded for a number of years
before being drained and used for farming again.
The newly flooded ground makes very beneficial
wetlands for wildlife and results in fertile
ground for farming after it is dried up,
resulting in much of the ground being used for
organic farming practices.
The wildlife love the walking wetlands,
utilizing both the wetlands and the surrounding
"If you came out here at 8 p.m. in the evening,"
Rob Crawford, a local farmer told Herger, "all
the birds will be in the fields. They use the
fields as much as the wetlands."
Marshal Staunton, another local farmer told
Herger that 22 percent of the leaselands are
being farmed organically now, primarily because
of the walking wetlands program.
"The costs are lower and the market prices are
higher." Staunton said.
The tour concluded with a lunch at Mike and
Wanda's restaurant in Tulelake.
"You have my continued commitment," Herger told
the group, "to keep working for and with you."