Elliott earns respect for agreement work
Herald and News letter to the editor by Steve Kandra, Klamath Basin irrigator, and Klamath Water Users Association board member, 3/6/08
Regarding support for Klamath County Commissioner John Elliott and Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement:
The negotiations for the agreement are not a comfortable or popular place to be. Many local government representatives did not take the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission settlement process seriously as a viable effort to resolve resource conflicts in the Klamath Basin. Elliott made settlement one of his priorities and continues to serve all his constituents under very contentious circumstances.
The local political restoration agreement focus should not be about dams out — it should be about affordable power, regulatory assurance, and a predictable water supply for all Klamath irrigators.
The agreement is about economic viability for farmers, ranchers and Tribes. In the settlement venue, the local irrigator interests were outnumbered 20 to one. Many times, Elliott was the lone elected official to stand up for the Klamath Reclamation Project and off-Project irrigators.
If there are issues with representation at the agreement negotiations, I would take exception with those who postured early regarding dams and did not work with and stand behind their irrigator constituents. I also take exception with political representation that continues to misrepresent statutory facts regarding the agreement and promotes conflict among constituents.
The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is for real and deserves more respect. Elliott has earned my respect and support because I have seen him work under some very difficult conditions and make some very difficult stands. Thank you, Commissioner Elliott.