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(Klamath) County delays water decision
Commissioners vote to postpone recommendation on agreement

By TY BEAVER, Herald and News 4/16/08

   The Klamath County Board of Commissioners postponed a decision Tuesday on whether to support or oppose the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.
   The commissioners cited a lack of a recommendation f rom the county’s natural resources advisory committee, a desire to see where discussions with PacifiCorp end up and the possibility of a new draft of the agreement.
Waiting on dam move
   “I would certainly like to know what’s going to happen with the dams,” said Commissioner Al Switzer.
   Twenty-six stakeholders representing agricultural, environmental, tribal, fishing and government interests spent twoand-a-half years crafting the 256-page agreement in closed-door meetings.
   T hey released the document Jan. 15 to the general public. It calls for a variety of projects and actions to allocate water between Basin communities, including dam removal, money to help pay for private land for the Klamath Tribes and establishment of a stable power rate for irrigators.
   Klamath County is the only stakeholder that hasn’t taken a stand on the agreement.
   The county’s advisory council voted to postpone a recommendation after two council members argued that more time was needed to allow discussion among opponents and proponents.
   Delay ing a recommendation also would create more opportunity for PacifiCorp to arrive at a decision concerning removal of its four dams, they said.
   Council to meet
   Commissioner Bill Brown said the advisory council is expected to revisit the issue May 15, though it may come up sooner if another meeting date is established.
   Postponing a decision also leaves the possibility that irrigators on and off the Klamath Reclamation Project and the Klamath Tribes could meet in a facilitated meeting to work out conflicts regarding the document.
   “I still think that offer is open,” Switzer said.
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