Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.


Group joins water discussion
(KBC NOTE: According to Tom Mallams, president of the Off-Project Water Users, Klamath Project negotiator Steve Kandra and the Karuk, Yurok, and Klamath Tribes and some others voted to oppose Mallam's group from attending the PacifiCorp closed-door meetings because OPWU oppose dam removal and several components of the Settlement Agreement. However, settlement group allowed Hyde's new little group encompassing 200 acres to join the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement negotiations with opposition from some groups. The Off-Project Resource Conservancy encompasses 125,000 irrigated acres and hundreds of people, yet they are not allowed a seat at the table. Hyde's land is in a partnership with the Klamath Tribes, government agencies, and environmental groups.)

Upper Klamath Water Users Association will have a vote

by Ty Beaver, Herald and News April 10, 2009

Stakeholders connected to the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement voted Thursday to include another group representing irrigators off the Klamath Reclamation Project.

The group of stakeholders, which includes farmers, fishermen, tribal members and environmentalists, met in Sacramento Thursday to discuss changes to the restoration agreement, which seeks to settle water disputes in the Basin.

The Upper Klamath Water Users Association will now sit at the table with other groups, including the Off-Project Water Users, Klamath Tribes and Klamath Water Users Association and have a vote in decisions.

Those representing the Tribes and on-Project water users welcomed the new group, saying its participation should help move discussions along and ensure that off-Project water users are taken care of in the agreement.

“We feel having some new voices at the table, and voices willing to find common ground, are important at this time,” said Jeff Mitchell, Klamath Tribes council member.

Tom Mallams, president of the Off-Project Water Users, said he was disappointed the group was allowed in when not all stakeholders agreed and when other off-Project groups he’s sought to have at the table have been denied spots.

“ We’re just being denied any voice at all,” he said.

The Upper Klamath Water Users Association has only existed for a few months, has a relatively small membership and primarily serves off-Project water users. Board members include Becky Hyde, Karl Scronce, Bob Sanders and Matt Walter.

Members of the group have said they want to address the needs of off-Project water users in the agreement. They also have worked closely with the Tribes and on-Project irrigators.

“There was just some skeletal language in the KBRA for the off-Project and we’re just trying to put some meat on the bones,” Scronce said.

Mallam’s group has sought to reopen negotiations, saying there are too few assurances for off-Project water users. The group also opposes removing four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River and providing the Mazama Tree Farm to the Tribes.

Working with others

Steve Kandra, board member on the Klamath Water Users Association, said part of the reason his organization welcomed the new group was because it was willing to work with stakeholders rather than serve as a road block.

Mallams said he wouldn’t have opposed the new group’s admittance if groups he’d petitioned to have included, the Sprague River Water Users and Resource Conservancy, also were at the table.

Instead, the new off-Project group will only add one more vote of approval when it comes to controversial decisions, he said. He also lamented how stakeholders are no longer taking action as a consensus but as a majority. At least three groups opposed letting a new organization in, he said.

“The only thing it’s going to change is give them a little better public relations,” Mallams said

Home Contact


              Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2009, All Rights Reserved