Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Modoc County supports pact; Supervisors vote to support Klamath water agreements
A standing room only audience of farmers and others from the Tulelake Basin made statements and presented letters of support for the agreements at the supervisors’ Tuesday meeting in Alturas.“My constituents came to me and asked me to put it on the agenda,” said Supervisor Geri Bryne of Newell, whose district includes the Modoc County portion of the Tulelake Basin. She noted more than 20 farmers, including some with the sons and daughters, attended with several speaking in favor of Senate Bill 133, which was introduced earlier this year to Congress.
The bill would enact the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Agreement. The most contentious part of the agreements calls for the removal of four Klamath River dams. Because of the dam issue, Klamath County commissioners and Siskiyou County supervisors have refused to support the agreements or legislation.“As many of the speakers so eloquently explained, it’s not about dams, it’s about putting water in ditches,” Byrne said. “We need to look to the future. Agriculture is the most important economic factor in Modoc County. I think most of the farm community in the Tulelake Basin supports the agreements.” Building support
Although the issue has sparked disagreements in the Tulelake Basin, she said support for the agreements has been building. She also notes the privately owned dams are on private property and that PacifiCorp, which owns the dams, favors their removal over installing fish ladders and making other costly improvements.The agreements are intended to resolve conflicts over water rights, provide water reliability to farmers and ranchers, restore fisheries and provide a land base for the Klamath Tribes.
A series of speakers, including Tulelake farmer Marshall Staunton, Klamath Water Users Association Executive Director Greg Addington, Family Farm Alliance Executive Director Dan Keppen and others, spoke in favor of the agreement.Supporters for the agreement include the Modoc County Farm Bureau, Tulelake Irrigation District, California Waterfowl Association, Cal-Ore Wetlands and Waterfowl Council, Karuk Tribe, Yurok Tribe, Klamath Tribes, Sacramento Bee, Eureka Times-Standard, Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Farm Bureau, Klamath Water Users Association, Oregon Potato Commission, along with dozens of other agriculture, business and community, sportsman/ conservation, commercial and sport fishing industry groups.
Letter of supportThe letter will be sent to Rep. Doug LaMalfa, whose far northern California congressional district includes Modoc and Siskiyou counties. It says in part, “Without these agreements successfully making it through Congress, our irrigators face no protection from significant or potentially significant tribal water rights, no predictable plan for dealing with endangered species issues and no identifiable path for working toward economic and community stability.
“If legislation implementing the agreements is not passed, the years of difficult negotiations that brought these agreements together will be for naught because the agreements will expire and this region will be left with further conflict and litigation.”SB 133 was introduced in January by Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and California Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. It is currently in the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resource committee and a similar bill is expected to be introduced soon in the House of Representatives.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
Page Updated: Saturday April 25, 2015 04:01 PM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2001 - 2015, All Rights Reserved