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Web version of the KBRA is sparking speculation

 Some criticize confidential nature of ongoing talks and negotiations
 By Lee Juillerat, Herald and News 6/4/09
     Release of a working version of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement on a Web site has sparked speculation on whether a final agreement is nearly ready to be made public.

   Klamath Basin Crisis, which has a Web site that covers a wide range of information and points of views on Klamath Basin water-related issues, recently posted what it says is a May 6 update of Draft 11 of the water agreement.

   Felice Pace, who posts information and opinions about water-related issues at K lamBlog.blogspot. com, speculates the draft could be Draft 12.

   The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, released in January 2008, addresses water issues in the Basin. Among its conditions is helping the Klamath Tribes acquire the Mazama Tree Farm and helping irrigators have stable water supply and affordable power rates. The agreement also calls for removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River to restore fish passage.


   The ongoing KBRA talks and negotiations are private and confidential, a process that has been criticized.

   Greg Addington, the Klamath Basin Water Users Association executive director, said he believes the May 6 draft is a working draft that reflects ongoing wording changes as the agreement is hammered out.

   “It’s probably not current right now because there are ongoing changes,” he said, noting that while the KBRA, which was originally released in January 2008, is basically the same document with administrative and other changes. “The cornerstone elements are still in place.”

   New deadlines

   The wording better clarifies the role of California and Oregon agencies, and other changes such as setting new deadlines to accommodate ongoing negotiations.

   Jacqui Krizo, who oversees the Klamath Basin Crisis Web site, said she believes the posted draft is an updated version of Draft 11.

   She received the draft, which is marked “Confidential and Privileged Settlement Communication,” from an anonymous source but put it on the Web site because, “I think people need a voice. Any information we can get on what’s possibly going to happen to us is something we should know.”


   Krizo, who said she opposes the concept of closed negotiations, said she receives anonymous information from people she believes are afraid to be named. She said debates and disagreements about water issues are causing tension between people for and against the agreement.

   Adding ton said his group believes the agreement is tied to the Agreement in Principle signed by representatives for PacifiCorp, the federal Department of the Interior and the states of Oregon and California earlier this year that sets a time schedule for removing four Klamath River dams.

   Acceptance of the KBRA is based on dam removal. When the Agreement in Principle was announced, a self-imposed deadline of June 30, 2009, was set for finalizing the agreement.  

   More information on the Web  

   The Klamath Basin Crisis Web site at www.klamathbasincrisis.org  calls itself the voice of Klamath Basin farmers, ranchers, miners, loggers, tribal members and fishermen.

   The site has a page about the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, including comments from groups favoring and opposing the agreement along with the May 6 version of Draft 11 of the KBRA.

   Felice Pace’s Klam-Blog is at  http://klamblog.blogspot.com/

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              Page Updated: Friday June 05, 2009 03:02 AM  Pacific

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