KBRA / Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement
Articles, Press Releases, Newsletters


KBRA PAGE Strategy to form the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement: Cal/EPA Environmental Justice Action Plan May 18, 2005. Lead Agency: State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB)
KBC NOTE: Several of our readers have asked us if the KBRA / Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement  has been extended past the Dec. 31, 2014 deadline. Changes in the 2012 KBRA Amendment allows for extensions: Amendment to the KBRA/Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. Page 3, 7.6.1. Cure for Potential Termination Event, it previously read that the KBRA would terminate, which was replaced by the words "be terminable."
Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement/KBRA: Water accord bill reintroduced to Senate. Bill has been renamed as SB 133, H&N 1/10/15.
Water bill stalls in Congress. House won’t sign off on the legislation, HN 12/7/14
SENATE BILL 2379 - Adams, Kellstrom differ on reaction to water accord. (Klamath Falls) Councilman opposes dam removal, supports bill’s intent, H&N, posted to KBC 12/7/14.
Council votes to back water pact with letter. 3-2 vote will send document before congressional debate, H&N, posted to KBC 12/7/14.
KBC Note: In Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallam's presentation to City Council, he cautioned them not to support the SB2379 legislation for the KBRA since it not only would destroy four hydropower dams, but also being discussed by the KBRA stakeholders and Karuk spokesman Craig Tucker regards destroying Keno Dam, which would eliminate Lake Ewauna and much of the water used for Klamath Reclamation Project. Klamath Water Users Association director Greg Addington had also attended the KBRA stakeholders' meetings and denied there was discussion about Keno Dam destruction. Here is previously
circulated agenda of a KBRA secret PAIL meeting including mention of Keno and Link River Dams removal discussions, and "avoid advocating for science..." 1/28/09) {Keno Dam removal and avoiding science are marked by KBC with ** in link above}
HERE is Video with Karuk spokesman Craig Tucker speaking of Keno Dam destruction, and Klamath farmer's being the enemy. HERE for GreenCorp-trained Tucker biography.
* Agenda for Klamath City Council meeting 12/1/14, 4 p.m. at City Hall, 500 Klamath Ave. Senator Wyden's staff has asked the Klamath Falls City Council to pass a resolution supporting his legislation, Senate Bill 2379, on the KBRA. On P. 65 of agenda is SB2379
Page 91:
( 1) The On-Project Plan and Power for Water Management Fund, to be administered by the Bureau of Reclamation (2) The Water Use Retirement and Off-Project Reliance fund, to be administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, (3) The Klamath Drought Fund, to be administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. KBC Note: NFWF is funded by Heinz Family Foundation, HWBuckner Charitable Trust, Howard Heinz Endowment, Surdna Foundation, Bullitt Foundation. Please follow the links: they support Zero Population, Wildlands Project, Earthjustice (attorneys for the environmental groups in the KBRA), Tides, Nature Conservancy, Wilderness Society, Greenpeace, Climate Trust, Ecotrust, Endangered Species Coalition,  many dozens more...
Can Congress help the Klamath Basin restore itself? It must, according to the Oregonian editors, posted to KBC 11/23/14 KBC Note: perhaps we should continue growing food in the Klamath Basin for a hungry world and our urban editorial boards can restore their own cities to prehuman existence.

Water pact receives backlash, Stakeholders decry county letter on dam removal, H&N, posted to KBC 11/23/14. KBC NOTE: Liskey wants the elected Klamath County Commissioners to not oppose the KBRA. In May 2013, Gail Whitsett, KBRA opponent, won the election as Oregon State Representative District 56. Tracy Liskey, proponent of the KBRA, lost the election. On November 4th, 2014, Whitsett ran unopposed and won the endorsement of Democrats, Republicans and Independents with 97.36% of the votes cast. Liskey is an editorial advisor to the Herald and News. See extended KBC NOTE in the above article link.

November 19, 2014 - Board of County Commissioners, Press  Release/Public Meeting Notice
The Klamath County Board of Commissioners will have a Special Meeting on Friday, November 21st, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. at the Government Center 305 Main Street, Klamath Falls, OR - 2nd floor, hearing room 219. Objectives for this meeting will include discussion on their opposition to SB 2379, the Klamath Water Recovery and Economic Restoration Act.
What’s wrong in Siskiyou County? by Capt. William E. Simpson, USMM, My Outdoor Buddy 11/20/14.
(Klamath County) Commission opposes Klamath water pact; House must approve bill before it reaches Obama, H&N 11/16/14. "commissioner Dennis Linthicum: “...our counties don’t support Senate Bill 2379..."
Klamath bills pass Senate. Water pact, forestry act take a step forward, H&N 11/14/14. "Sen. Ron Wyden is trying to move a long-stalled bill through the lame duck session of Congress that would implement agreements to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River to help salmon."  Oregon Wyden's forestry bill would "create 87,000 acres of new wilderness and 252 miles of new wild and scenic rivers."  It is "...expected to..." more than double current timber harvests (KBC NOTE: which are a fraction of historic harvests.)
Regarding Wyden's claim that the KBRA that destroying 4 hydroelectric dams (that provide flood control, power for 70,000 households, and millions of hatchery salmon) will "help salmon", a speech by Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett offers some perspective:
Senator Doug Whitsett speech regarding the KBRA and Klamath dam destruction at Yreka's public listening session put on by Department of Interior on 10/20/11. "The Draft Environmental Impact Statement does not appear to mitigate that 20 million cubic yards of sediment. The Department apparently proposes to simply blow the dams and let nature take its course, washing all that sediment downriver. They appear to consider this option as a “grand experiment” to see what actually happens. That amount of sediment is equivalent to about 2 million ten yard dump truck loads of silt, sediment and organic muck. To put that amount into perspective, lined up head to tail, 2 million dump truck loads of river muck would stretch about 12,500 miles…..about half way around the planet."
Klamath pact supporters press bill’s passage, Capital Press, 11/14/14. More water security for Basin irrigators, new corporation aims to solidify terms of the settlement pact, H&N 11/8/14
Provisions in the controversial KBRA / Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement for giving land to the Klamath Tribes could hamper completion of improvements on the dangerous Highway 97; ODOT (and the public) was not included in the negotiations, Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett's Newsletter 11/12/14

Relation between rivers, groundwater under scrutiny. New committee to draft upper Basin groundwater regulations,  followed by Open house aims to answer public’s questions on water H&N, posted to KBC 10/27/14 "The draft rules are being prepared to reinforce groundwater regulation guidelines outlined in the recently signed Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement (UKBCA)."

Getting to ‘yes’ in the Klamath Basin. Water issues prove divisive, both locally and on a national level, Congressman Greg Walden for H&N 9/28/14. "The public — the hardworking families of the Klamath Basin — is too often left out of this debate, hampering progress towards the goal...Any effort to build public support must recognize that removing all four dams is a non-starter. Most people in the Basin oppose such a plan, as do key folks in Congress..."
(Klamath) Project irrigators in limbo over power costs, H&N 8/7/14. "Gary Derry, who is a member of the KWAPA and Shasta View Irrigation District boards, pointed out Shasta View’s power budget has increased from $36,000 in 2005 to $532,080 in 2014. This year’s figure is more than a half a million dollars despite at least $500,000 in energy improvements that have been made within the last five years, he said.... 'It’s absolutely outrageous.' Derry told the KWAPA board he has always believed the federal energy deliveries would be secured through political action. But from a KWAPA standpoint, Derry said, he thinks the board has hit a brick wall."
Dam distraction delays real water solutions; Klamath County has rescinded its 2010 approval, by Siskiyou County Supervisors, H&N 8/17/14 6/24+25 meetings Klamath On Project plan. Comments due July 15
Plan stalls: PacifiCorp fee halts talks. Power transition for local irrigators at standstill, H&N, posted to KBC 7/3/14.
* "
I think you guys are taking a windfall off the irrigators’ backs,” said board member Gary Wright."
* "
The fee could mean a 2- to 3-cent per kilowatt increase for Basin farmers, according to Dean Brockbank, vice president and general counsel of PacifiCorp." "
* "
Cannon (KWAPA director) said he estimates that for every penny the power rate goes up, PacifiCorp collects an additional $1.3 million. Since 2006, PacifiCorp has taken an extra $13 million per year out of the Basin, he said."
* " 'It’s a giant crapshoot. I think a lot more of this information should have been brought forward in good faith a long, long time ago,' (Matt) Walter (Upper Klamath Water Users Association leader)said."
* "The federal power program is part of the 2010 Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Basin Hydroelectric Settlement. The agreements seek to establish reliable water supplies and affordable power rates for irrigators, restore fish habitat, help the Klamath Tribes acquire the 92,000-acre Mazama Tree Farm and remove four dams on the Klamath River.
Letter from disillusioned Upper Klamath Water Users Association leader and KBRA/KHSA proponent regarding PacifiCorp and KBRA, posted to KBC 7/1/14. "I do not believe PC has bargained in good faith as implied in the KHSA. We have been working on the federal power delivery concept (Interconnect Study) for more then 4 years. We have spent 1000's of man hours and 100k"s of tax payer dollars to get to where we are today. The conclusion of 3/4 to 1 cent benefit which in the words of the consultant "is in the margin of error" is a poor result for all the work...."
PacifiCorp responds to KWAPA/Klamath Water and Power questions regarding KBRA-promised power rates, transitioning to federal power, consequences if people leave PacifiCorp, posted to KBC 7/1/14. "...Responses to specific KWAPA questions: 1. What is the cost for an irrigator to leave PAC energy? Answer: PacifiCorp does not intend to propose an exit fee for an irrigator to leave PAC energy.  However, the OPUC and other customers will be concerned about shifting costs to other Oregon customers as a result of irrigators moving to federal power.  As discussed above, the OPUC may impose a transition charge on irrigator loads switching to federal power.  This transition charge could be as high as 6-8 cents/kwh...."

Water shutoffs begin in the Basin; Klamath Tribes expected to make its ‘call’ this week, H&N 6/10/14

Wyden, Merkley Feinstein, Boxer Introduce Klamath Basin Legislation, posted to KBC 5/23/14. * Meeting of Klamath County Commissioners and Siskiyou County Supervisors, all eight elected officials oppose the Klamath water agreements, commentary on KFLS 14.50 radio station by Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett, posted to KBC 5/23/14.
* LETTER TO: "Congressman McClintock: You have been most helpful and steadfast if helping the ranchers and farmers in the Klamath River Basin in our on going battle to save the hydro-electric facilities and water allocations to ranchers and farmers in Siskiyou, Modoc and Klamath counties. Attached  are two documents that a joint unofficial task force, known as the Cal-Ore Bi-State Alliance have put together and presented at a joint meeting of the Siskiyou County Supervisors and the Klamath County, Ore. Commissioners.  These alternatives to dam removal suggestions are far less expensive, and more doable than taking out the dams, destroying the hydro-electric facilities and allocating limited water resources. As in the past, your continued support for maintaining these facilities, that were developed on sound science and common sense, is sincerely appreciated. Respectfully, Frank Tallerico (board member of Siskiyou County Water Users Association and participant in the Bi-State Alliance). Subject: Bi-State Alliance Handouts at the 5/5/14 Klamath Co./Siskiyou Co. mtg."
* Cal-OR Bi-State Alliance ALTERNATIVES to the KBRA and KHSA (Klamath dam-removal agreements), May 2014. (Both agreements mandate Klamath River Hydro-electric Dam removals) * Saving the Klamath River Dams, the best alternative for Siskiyou and Klamath Counties, May 2014, Cal-Or Bi-State Alliance
The Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement, by Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett, posted to KBC 5/16/14: "Many farm and ranch owners... were advised that most who refused to sign would no longer be allowed to use either their surface or groundwater rights in most years. Many of those water rights date to 1864 priority. They were further advised that those who refused to participate would likely be subject to severe restrictions on the use of their land due to the “potential listing” of new endangered species...."
Threats (by Klamath tribal members) delay tribal meeting, H&N 5/16/14. "...some Klamath Tribes members have been campaigning to organize a hostile takeover of the meeting. Threats included chaining and padlocking doors to force the Tribal Council and meeting attendees to remove Gentry from the council and to overturn the results of a recent referendum vote. The referendum vote under attack was certified by the Klamath Tribes election board as in-favor of a water settlement, known as the Proposed Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement, between the Tribes and upper Basin irrigators." KBC NOTE: Upper Basin irrigators were not allowed a vote; they were only blackmailed as explained in Senator Doug Whitsett's newsletter.
Klamath Tribes of Oregon PRESS RELEASE: Threats against Klamath Tribal Council by Klamath Tribal membership,  5/16/14 (regarding Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement.) Congressman Walden: (Klamath) Water legislation may be altered in House, H&N 5/10/14
<KBC News photo
Joint county groups decry water pact; Mallams calls it ‘blackmail,’ H&N  5/7/14. "Collectively, the supervisors and commissioners agreed to send letters to federal and state legislators opposing planned legislation by Wyden to fund the newly signed agreement. At last month’s ceremonies, Wyden said he will introduce legislation this month to make the agreement law. The (Siskiyou County) supervisors/(Klamath County) commissioners draft letter says the agreement’s “fatal flaw” is its tie to the KBRA and KHSA. According to the letter, “this irrational stubbornness cannot outweigh the exorbitant costs, environmental risks and losses of water supply, flood control, and clean energy that would accompany dam removal... the KBRA and KHSA have been strongly opposed by voters in both Siskiyou and Klamath counties.”
KWAPA agrees to fund project. Data from agencies monitoring Klamath Project groundwater wells put into one online database, H&N 5/7/14. "Cannon explained that implementing a groundwater monitoring system to ensure sustainable use also is a condition of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. 'If the KBRA were to be approved today, we would be behind schedule because we need this information in place,' he said."  
KBC NOTE: From the 2012 Tulelake Irrigation District groundwater management plan fact sheet, "The Plan is not a requirement of, and is not being developed for, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) or the "on-Project Plan" of the KBRA...this groundwater management plan will not regulate groundwater within the plan area..."
Upper and lower basin representatives continued their cooperative efforts Monday in Dorris as Klamath County commissioners met with the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors to discuss agreements on the Klamath River, Siskiyou Daily News, posted to KBC 5/7/14

California drought may prompt policy changes, Western Livestock Journal, posted to KBC 5/4/14. "When asked about a recent “agreement” signed on the Upper Klamath Basin on the California-Oregon border, forcing water reductions for hundreds of ranchers in the name of “protecting the fish,” (California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) President Paul) Wenger was incredulous about plans to remove four dams. 'Those dams could be being used to help salmonid survival, but instead [proponents of dam removal] are showing their true colors. It’s about control, not restoring salmon runs,' he said."

Trout Unlimited Run by Wall Street Banks & Energy Giants, and Klamath Basin Crisis: Farmers Know Trout Unlimited All Too Well, byToni Thayer April 29, 2014, Watching-the-Watchers.com. "One day you're farming, minding your own business, and life's good. The next day, and for the following nine years, you're fighting thieves who want your property and your livelihood. Using junk science and lots of propaganda, the thieves band together in meetings to hammer out the details of stealing your property and divvying it up amongst themselves. And you, the lawful property owner, are only one against the massive den of thieves."
Klamath Falls visit, Walden hears of ‘over-reaching’ government , H&N 4/27/14. "On the topic of the water agreement signed by the Klamath Tribes and the Upper Basin irrigators, Walden said he’ll support the bill in Congress, but “I still have great reservations for removing all four dams (on the Klamath River). “It is good that the Upper Basin folks came together and I supported that. But the issue is that the agreement was reached with parties themselves, but not the public. The public still matters in this debate. The public has not yet supported some element to this plan.” To that end, Walden suggested that a Senate bill may not make it through the House as one single piece of legislation — as has been proposed — but divided into sections that may pass."
A step forward - State and local dignitaries come together Friday at Collier Memorial State Park to sign the much-debated Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement, H&N 4/19/14.  KBC NOTE: This "agreement" is part of the controversial KBRA, which destroys 4 Klamath River hydro dams providing power to 70,000 households, gives $45 million to the Klamath Tribes plus land, permanently downsizes agriculture, controls groundwater, plants endangered species in the Klamath Basin........ Protesters interrupt ceremony, Not all in agreement with new water pact, and Two groups weigh in against accord, H&N 4/19/14. KBC NOTE: Siskiyou County supervisors, home of 3 hydro dams planned for destruction, oppose the KBRA/dam removal agreements, Siskiyou citizens voted against the agreements, and Klamath County voted in 3 county commissioners, the state senator and state representative who all oppose the agreements.
Historic pact to be signed Friday, H&N 4/17/14.   

Protesting the vote; Klamath Tribal members demand a new vote, H&N, posted to KBC 4/15/14.

Klamath Tribes approve water pact, H&N, posted to KBC 4/15/14. "A $40 million economic development package for the Tribes...the Tribes also would receive $1 million a year for five years from DOI to care for tribal transition needs this year." 
(Klamath) WATER PACT - Complexity frustrates some Tribe members, vote due by Wednesday, H&N 4/8/14. "As part of the agreement, the Klamath Tribes will receive a $40 million economic development package, including $1 million a year for five years from the Department of Interior to address tribal transition needs beginning this year. The development package could help the Tribes acquire the 92,000-acre Mazama Forest and fund a timber mill and related industries."
Calif. drought has migrating salmon hitching truck rides, H&N 3/26/14. "California began hauling 30 million young Chinook salmon hundreds of miles toward the Pacific Ocean in tanker trucks to save the fishing industry after a record drought left rivers too low for migration... The hatchery fish that typically migrate through the Sacramento River Delta to the sea are key to the state’s $1.5 billion commercial and recreational fishing industry, according to the Nature Conservancy" KBC NOTE: In Klamath, the Dept of Interior wants the Klamath hydroelectric dams destroyed which provide water for 70,000 homes, water storage, and fish hatcheries. They refuse to haul the fish. Here for their KBRA / Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. The DOI fired the Bureau of Reclamation's top ethics scientist Dr. Houser because he was a whistleblower, stating that the science does not support dam and hatchery destruction
Senator meets with residents to discuss the issues at hand. Merkley talks about drought, security, environmental concerns, H&N 2/16/14. Discusses drought, NSA, BOs, spotted owls, renewable energy subsidies, Klamath task force and KBRA (which destroys hydro dams - renewable power), Lawmakers hear (Klamath) water pact update, Rep. McLane reviews Cover Oregon, LaMalfa votes against omnibus bill, H&N 1/24/14. "If approved by the Klamath Tribal Council and a host of irrigators, the AIP will become one component of proposed legislation that will cover the upper Basin, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) including on-project irrigators, and the Klamath Hydro Settlement Agreement with PacifiCorp, which may involve removing four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River..."(Rep. Whitsett) said OWRD has listed more than 200 groundwater irrigation wells that may be shut off if the Tribes, which have time immemorial rights, make a call on the water."

Upper Basin water pact deadline this Friday. Groups near final agreement; next step is bill for Congress, H&N 1/14/14. "Some landowner participation is expected through reduction of agricultural water use by 30,000 acre feet. The reduction will be in the form of permanent buyouts, or “retirement,” of some upper Basin irrigators’ water rights along the Williamson, Wood and Sprague rivers...the tribes said they will reduce the minimum level of water they require in rivers above the lake to protect fisheries in return for participation by landowners in riparian area restoration. "

Final California Water Action Plan, by Cal EPA, CDFA/Calif. Dept of Food and Drug, and California Natural Resources Agency, 1/14/14. Page 11: "The administration will work with Congress to secure the necessary federal authorizations for the agreements and secure the necessary funding for removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River and funding for the necessary basin restoration."
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