Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
November 20, 2012
To: Klamath County Board of Commissioners
From: Tom Mallams, Klamath County Commissioner elect
Re: Public Comments on KBRA proposed amendments
While the KBRA by its self began as a possible solution to a number of issues in the Klamath basin, the current direction of the KHSA and the KBRA simply do not deliver what is needed or promised.
From the very beginning, success for our entire agricultural community was to be measured by attaining three achievable goals:
1. Protection from the endangered Species act and Biological Opinions.
2. Guaranteed delivery of irrigation water.
3. Affordable power for irrigators.
Within the KHSA and KBRA documents consider the following:
1. There is absolutely no protection from the Endangered Species Act or Biological Opinions.
2. There is absolutely no guarantee of irrigation water deliveries.
3. There is absolutely no affordable power rate for irrigators.
Other goals were sought after but success was not to be found there as well. All other possible options have been completely ignored. In respect to Klamath Dam Removal, this was the one and only option we were ever allowed to consider in the KBRA closed door meetings. All other verbal or written viable alternatives have continually been systematically dismissed.
The citizens of Klamath County have spoken out again and again opposing Klamath Dam removal and the Klamath Basin Restoration agreement. The very citizens the Klamath County Board of Commissioners work for have said no to this direction, most recently in the 2010 and 2012 election cycle. Even the poorly written Ballot Measure 18-80 voted on in 2010, showed the lack of community support for dam removal and the KBRA. This Ballot Measure required voters to say yes to say no to dam removal. Many voters simply thought no actually meant no to dam removal.
An agreement of this proportion should be bringing our community together, not dividing us.
Our County Government having a seat at the table has not produced required benefits. No viable concessions or compromises on water rights, no Highway 97 right of ways and the list goes on and on. Again, the current direction has failed.
Today, an opportunity exists to begin bringing back some of the lost trust and confidence in county government.
I am asking the Klamath county Board of Commissioners to not approve the proposed amendments to the KBRA. As one of the incoming members of the Klamath County Board of Commissioners, my position is very well known. I believe in a true settlement, not a surrender agreement. It is time to represent the citizens you work for. Until the current proposals are “off the table”, none of the alternatives that have been completely dismissed in the past, will have any chance of success in the future. Klamath County needs to go in a direction that will have the local support required and a true chance of success.
Thank you for your consideration,
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Page Updated: Tuesday November 20, 2012 10:03 PM Pacific
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