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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Worded right, results on 18-80 would change     
Herald and News Letter to the Editor by Howard Paine, Chiloquin 11/9/10
   Klamath County commissioners were successful in fooling the voters on Measure 18-80 where a “yes” vote meant “no” and a “no” vote meant “yes.”
   If the measure had been correctly worded like it was in Siskiyou County, the results would have been different. Eighty percent of Siskiyou County voters said no to dam removal.
   The general consensus in Klamath County is: “No dam removal and no giving the Klamath Tribes the Mazama Tree Farm.”
   Klamath River dams provide clean renewable low-cost power for 70,000 homes. They also provide flood control and numerous other benefits downstream. Their removal is not only expensive, but would set a bad precedent. This could trigger a movement to remove dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
   We in the Northwest enjoy some of the lowest electric rates in the country because of our hydropower. Remove dams and you go to dirty fossil fuel generating plants. That means our power rates increase five times. Fellow residents, look at your last electric bill and multiply that number by five. Are you ready for that?
   Proponents argue dam removal will allow salmon to migrate to Upper Klamath Lake. It’s doubtful they were ever there. If they were, why did the Klamath Tribes eat suckers?
   Spending $21 million to buy the Mazama Tree Farm and giving it to the Klamath Tribes is wrong. Taxpayers paid the Tribes for that land over 50 years ago. Now they want it back for free. Give it to the Tribes and it’s off the county tax roll.
   The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement’s backroom secret process that bargained away our rights was an outright fraud. They allowed environmentalists and commercial fishermen at the table, but no representative of the public. Guess who will pay the $1.8 billion cost? Sure looks like “taxation without representation.”
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