Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
by Rudy Hiley, Tulelake, 4/4/19
An Environmentalist’s Vision for the Klamath Basin was the title of Andy Kerr’s July 1993 presentation to the Tulelake Rotary. It threatened a future in which the entire paradigm of agriculture in the Klamath Basin would be upset and forever changed. Basin irrigators where ridiculed, marginalized and it was foretold that in the end they would become isolated. Interestingly, four dams on the Klamath River have been defined and demeaned in much the same Saul Alinski fashion.
It was conveyed that a prejudicial if not bigoted perception already exists wherein many urban voters look upon us, if not rural people in general as intolerant, obsolete, potentially paranoid, deniers and out of step with reality. Also, that it is believed that European style farming as practiced in the Klamath Basin is environmentally unsound. Furthermore, that many of that same constituency are either ambivalent towards or see no value in the Basin agriculture community or its future; regardless of how hard they work or even what they actually provide or accomplish. Because of changing societal values the audience was left to consider that it didn’t matter if Klamath agriculture resists, surrenders or cooperates, in the end Basin agriculture would never be the same.
Shockingly and tragically those threats continue to be in large part realized and materialized. It is doubtful that Klamath irrigators would have been abandoned and left to face the ruinous restriction of irrigation water deliveries, overwhelming stress, alienation and legal expenses without the outrageously dubious underlying assertion that the naturally putrid Klamath Lake system historically and consistently remained at a near clear and full level prior to the arrival of Europeans and their agricultural practices.
So it would seem plausible that there had to have been at least some form of cooperation ongoing between private, public (federal, state and local etc. government), various organizations, sovereign nations and entities etc. Organizations and entities as such acting across state lines in order to keep dark, dubious and devastating contentions in play against U.S. citizens. The most basic honest human and scientific inquiry, thought and historical research (if allowed) should have easily refuted such assertions or at the very least reduced them rightfully to the status of wild unproven theory.
It is conceivable then that cooperation and consensus (if it in fact exists or existed) may well have had the illegal and devastating consequence of Restraining Basin Commerce. One would think that such restraint, accomplished across state lines, with negative intent while minimizing whistle blower complaints and conflicting scientific input should have invited a RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) investigation. There is also the ever present probability of pursuing civil RICO litigation. It should be noted that Civil RICO actions can carry triple damage awards. It goes without saying that the resultant injury, harm, loss and damage to United States citizens, businesses etc. and their futures could easily approach billions of dollars.
The nature of actions pointed toward the restriction of irrigation water flows have so far been purportedly (at least in part) conducted in the name of fulfilling Native American hunting and gathering rights as well as endangered or threatened species protection. If irrigation curtailment and its resultant severe harm to citizens of the U.S. were clearly, truly, honorably and with honest balance undertaken in concert with sound science while assuring the protection of constitutional rights, that would be one thing. If on the other hand a constitutional and civil rights tragedy is being perpetrated for incursive etc. reasons, that would be an entirely different matter. Especially if those involved were acting above and outside of their governmental power and authority. An internet look at Congress must consent-ratify Klamath River Dam Removal helps to nicely spell out what is being sacrificed in the Klamath Basin, by whom and by what means.
A pattern has emerged which can only be invisible if one chooses not to see it. Basin agriculture has been threatened and attacked on many fronts, most of which would appear to seek to deprive the agricultural community and those associated of those things necessary to sustain and continue in the ownership, use and enjoyment of their lives and property. All of this with negligible positive species and restoration results.
Abraham Lincoln once said: “… if destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we will live forever or die by suicide. That has turned out to be quite an intuitive prediction indeed.
There is a choice though. One can accept newest symbolic assurance of a happy, balanced, fair and water rich future which of course includes the decimation of four Klamath River dams. That may be worth considering if it wasn’t for the reality that some involved or those with abusive litigation potential most likely won’t rest until complete control of all Klamath Basin waters is wrestled away from Basin agriculture. The logging industry relief related bipartisan Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery (and Economic Stability) Act and Agreement (settlement) was ratified by congress yet it quickly fell apart. As it turned out weaponized Spotted Owl issues were involved at that time and some of those with actual decision making collaborative power in the issues simply did not want any logging to take place and so the concerned economy continued to be Restrained. The word “recovery” says it all. Some appeared to simply seek recovery from human influence.
I believe that Dave Mueller currently of the Klamath River Restoration Corporation should have been pretty well informed about the failures of that “collaborative agreement”. But maybe it is possible that he could have actually worked for Congressman Herger yet still know nothing about that. Hopefully when he worked toward dam removal with the Canadian concern AECON Corporation he was unaware that they were being absorbed by the Chinese conglomerate known as CCCI, an arm of the Chinese government. Thank God that the Canadian government was awake enough to shoot that sale down over national security concerns. Paying one of our military adversaries to take our dams out would be unique indeed.
So maybe the Klamath victims should seek another form of settlement instead, through civil RICO.
Tulelake, CA 96134
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