Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
KBRA heads to ballot
County commissioners agree to have advisory vote in NovemberShould Klamath County continue to support the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement? Voters will be asked to answer this question in November.
The Klamath County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved a resolution putting an advisory measure in the Nov. 2 general election. The advisory measure will poll public opinion and is not legally binding.Commissioners in February voted to sign onto the KBRA and its related dam removal settlement so they could continue to participate in discussions.
The restoration agreement allocates water rights among stakeholders in the Klamath River Basin. It also advocates removal of four hydroelectric dams to improve fish passage and aims to establish affordable power rates for irrigators.County commissioners said they would consider removing the county from KBRA discussions if that’s what voters want.
“I will act on what the majority says,” said County Commissioner Cheryl Hukill, adding that Klamath County’s official stance on the KBRA would not affect the implementation of the agreement.“The KBRA will go on with or without us,” she said.
Klamath County is one of more than 50 organizations involved in the creation of the KBRA.Commissioner Al Switzer said he would probably support the voters’ decision regarding the county’s involvement in KBRA discussions.
“It would be hard to go against the will of the people,” he said.Commissioner John Elliott, who lost the Republican primary in May, would not say if he would support removing the county from KBRA discussions, but he said he believes it’s important for the county to be involved in the process.
“I believe the county needs to be at the table,” he said. “Good, bad or indifferent, there is a role for the county in water discussions.”Wording unknown
The exact wording of the question as it will appear on the ballot is not yet known.The commissioners will refer the initiative to Klamath County District Attorney Ed Caleb, who has five days to write the advisory question for the ballot. The commissioners can choose to write ballot initiatives themselves or refer them to the district attorney.
“One of the reasons we didn’t write it was because we knew people would accuse us of being biased,” Switzer said.The commissioners on Tuesday heard comments about the advisory question from 20 residents. Most who spoke focused not on the actual advisory question, but argued for or against the KBRA and dam removal.
Page Updated: Thursday September 02, 2010 12:58 AM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2010, All Rights Reserved