Walden takes a look at
U.S. Rep. Greg
Walden, a Republican whose district
includes Klamath and Lake counties,
crouches to look at a poster
explaining a wetland restoration
project on the Sprague River he
visited Friday. The visit was part of
his two-day stay in the Klamath Basin
while Congress is on summer break.
August 27, 2005
A day after meeting with dignitaries in suit
and tie, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden put on his
bug-resistant shirt, Wranglers and well-worn
sneakers Friday to take a look at wetlands
restoration projects from the Sprague River
into Upper Klamath Lake.
"What runs down there
affects the lake," said Walden, a Republican
whose district includes Klamath and Lake
counties. "I wanted to see first hand what is
Congress is on summer break and Walden took
two days to visit the Klamath Basin.
Walden's day started
with fry bread and coffee in the living room
of Taylor and Becky Hyde's ranch house near
The room was filled with faces familiar with
the water issues in the Upper Klamath Basin,
including Klamath Tribes Chairman Allen
Foreman, Klamath County Commissioner Bill
Brown and Curt Mullis, U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Klamath Falls office manager.
Mullis served as tour guide for the day. The
tour wound from the Hydes' house to two
ranches where federally and state-funded
projects are restoring the river in different
ways and finished on the east side of Upper
Klamath Lake, where the Nature Conservancy is
working on returning reclaimed farmland to the
"We are achieving real results on the land,"
Becky Hyde said. "We have a first step we can
She said small projects done by individual
ranchers and landowners, as well as larger
projects such as those of the Nature
Conservancy, have found support from people on
all sides of the water issue.
The support comes from the success of
projects, such as the digging up old pasture
near the river to re-create wetlands and the
moving back of riverside fences to leave
lusher vegetation on the banks, which Walden
saw during his tour.
More people are also getting involved with
the projects because they are less wary of
working with the government, Walden said.
People are less worried about getting
involved in a project and then losing support
"If they can get protection they will be more
interested," he said.
Foreman said the Klamath Tribes also support
many of the projects and want to see more get
"I think that the
projects happening here are a good start,"
Becky Hyde said the projects will not only
help restore the Sprague River, but also
preserve her family.
"We want to be
ranching here 100 years from now," she said.