Water users president pulls name
Luther Horsley, president of the Klamath Water Users Association, signed a resolution Monday rescinding his signature on a letter demanding stakeholders reopen negotiations on the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.
The resolution states the association’s board of directors would support, defend and promote the agreement in its current form. It also says the association’s board would oppose any attempt to reopen settlement negotiations.
Horsley said the other letter he signed did not reflect the spirit of the discussions he had with opponents of the agreement. Another irrigator who also signed the letter said there were no hard feelings and he understands Horsley’s situation.
“He’s between a rock and a hard place,” said John Wells, an irrigator with property on and off the Klamath Reclamation Project.
The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement allocates resources in the Klamath River watershed among irrigators, tribes, conservations and fisheries. It also calls for the removal of four hydroelectric dams owned and operated by PacifiCorp, a Portland based power company.
Ten irrigators — Horsley, Wells, Bill Kennedy, Glenn Barrett, Tracey Liskey, Don Rajnus, Karl Scronce, Roger Nicholson, Andrea Rabe and Linda Long Bourdet — with land on and off the Project provided a letter to county commissioners calling for the reopened negotiations and listing issues that would need to be included in the agreement before they would sign on.
Those demands included removing financial assistance to purchase the Mazama Tree Farm for the Klamath Tribes. Instead, they proposed providing $21 million for tribal economic development. They also wanted further assurances for water and power rates for off-Project water users. Wells said the coalition is not opposed to any group prospering from the agreement, but he thinks all groups should prosper.
Horsley said he met with group members over several days more than a week ago in hopes of addressing their concerns so they would be able to support the agreement. The letter he ended up signing did not reflect the discussions of those meetings, he said.
Greg Addington, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association, said Horsley’s signature on that letter garbled the association’s position on the agreement, prompting the creation of the resolution.
“It’s under the bridge now so we’re going to move forward,” Horsley said.
The association is not trying to shut the door on any dialogue, believing further discussions can take place with regard to a section of the settlement, and Horsley was working with the coalition in that context.
“He just wants to figure out a way to have everyone get along,” Addington said