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.


Where's the science?

A recent AP article by Don Thompson needs an answer.

He centers on one Michael Kelly, a federal biologist, who sought federal whistle-blower protection after he complained the Bush administration violated the Endangered Species Act by pressuring for "altered scientific findings by the review team Kelly led for National Marine Fisheries Service, now NOAA Fisheries.

What "scientific" findings? We farmers in the Klamath Basin came to the conclusion that there was no science that proved the suckers were "endangered" and went to Washington, D.C., with that message in the early 1990s, only to have our water shut off in 2001, costing us about $300 million.

There is still little or no "science" and no count on how many suckers there really are.

The same can be said for the salmon.

Biologists and authorities are more or less testing this or that theory. Right now, they are questioning whether to drop six million salmon fingerlings into the river below Iron Gate Dam all at once, or release various numbers at different intervals according to river flows. Again, a guesstimate? Science? Cost? Lawsuit?

Having listened to a number of biologists, I have come to the conclusion that taxpayers are paying big time for calling in the National Academy of Science (the highest degree of science in the land) when the management of Klamath River flows was based on one man's opinion (Thomas Hardy), shows either a political agenda (get Bush) or a lack of brainpower on Kelly's part.

Case in point: The 33,000 fish dieoff on the Klamath River in 2002 has been harped on extensively by biologists, with little or no science as to the cause. Environmentalist, however, jumped at lawsuits. The media had a field day, and farmers were threatened with water shutoff. All this, and yet it was one of the largest fish runs in Klamath River history.

I (am) know as a farm owner, I am tired of being blamed for harming the environment without proof that real harm has been done, and knowing that for some time a number of people have been paid for their "science" when they only seem to be guessing.

I am also tired of environmentalists filing lawsuits without science to back the suit. I believe their meddling with nature has done far more harm than good, for they seem to back the predators at the expense of the gentler creatures. But I don't have the "science" to back that statement.

Kathryn Baley

Klamath Basin Farm Owner

Anderson, Calif.


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