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Thumbs up to the legislators and their poll, even if flawed

May 29, 2009 Herald and News Op-Ed by Editor Steve Miller
Thumbs Up: Up front, we endorsed the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, the complex document worked concerning Klamath Basin water rights, fisheries, dams, power rates, etc. Editorially, we came to believe that it does the greatest good.

That doesnít mean we donít have other feelings about whatís happening. About KBRA opponents, including our state legislators, for instance. They get criticized for being all negative and proposing no solutions. Maybe. But we sort of admire their tenacity and public relations. Opponents show up for events, write regularly, talk to a lot of people, and educate the public to their way of thinking.

Our legislators engineered and financed a general telephone poll to prove their point that the agreement leaves a lot to be desired. We donít think much of the way the questions were posed (they remind me a lot of the question Mom used to ask: ďDo you want me to get Dadís belt?Ē), but we congratulate them on thinking to even take a survey.

(Momís asking, by the way, seemed silly in that there was never a variant to the answer: ďNo! Please, weíll be good!Ē In that, the consequence was anything but silly. The legislatorsí polling, like Momís question, was done to exhibit consensus along the lines sought by the questioners, pure and simple. It made their constituents more aware of their thinking, and gave them something to use in their presentations).

So give them the benefit of the doubt, because they at least communicated to the public. It shows that they care about public opinion. And we believe thatís very important. Even though the KBRA is a hybrid legal agreement that has to be settled largely by private parties, a corporation, boards, and agencies, there is a definite public interest ó just ask any of the federal delegates who are voted into office by the public and who will have to be involved somewhat because of the millions of taxpayer dollars involved.

We just wish proponents would treat public opinion with as much respect.


KBC says:

Steve Miller's Op-Ed is a great example of the typical blatantly biased reporting by the Herald and News regarding the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement/KBRA. They, along with Gov't agencies, several environmental groups, three tribes, and Klamath Water Users Association, support this billion dollar agreement regardless of the will of the people in Klamath and Siskiyou Counties.

Below is the public sentiment to the KBRA:

* Only 11% favor Klamath dam removal,
* 7% favor public purchase of reservation land for the Tribes ,  
5% favor the closed and confidential negotiations involved in developing the KBRA/Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the AIP/Agreement in Principle.)

KBRA Survey

KBRA Opposition:

Groups opposing the KBRA:

* 1850 petitions were signed opposing the KBRA from Karuk Tribal Members, Siskiyou County, Klamath Basin Alliance, Project irrigators and Off-Project irrigators.
* Siskiyou County, Home of 3 Klamath River dams
* Klamath Off-Project Water Users Association
* Resource Conservancy serving 125,000 Off-Project irrigated acres
* Water for Life
* Klamath Natural Resources Advisory Council
* Siskiyou County Republican Central Committee
* Klamath County Republican Central Committee
* 33 California County Granges
* 60 California Republican Women's groups
* Shasta Nation
* Oregon Cattlemen's Association
* According to Klamath County Commissioners, 90% of callers oppose dam removal, a mandate in the KBRA

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