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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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by Frank Goodson, Klamath Falls, presented at the public hearing session regarding the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and dam removal agreement 11/10/09. Goodson is Vice Chairman of the Klamath County Republican Central Committee 


Senator Whitsett and Representatives Garrard and Gilman please accept my sincere thank you for providing this opportunity for the public to speak on this important issue.  My name is Frank Goodson. I am a local businessman residing in the County for 20 years.  I am also Vice Chairman of the Klamath County Republican Central Committee and past chairman of the same organization.  My address is PO Box 427, Fort Klamath, OR 97626.


After some thought I have finally decided to admit, I feel offended by what has and is still happening.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that the Klamath Basin Water Users Association accepted my personal and political support at the water brigade in 2001 but turned against the principals of that day and structured an agreement, the KBRA (Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement), that strengthens our opponents on water and environmental issues and weakens and divides our community.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that the Klamath Water Users Association, the Klamath Tribes, Klamath County Commissioner John Elliott, the US Department of Interior, various environmental groups and others met in secret sessions for about 2 years to create a plan, the KBRA, and those who contrived the plan do not have to pay for it, but we, the taxpayers, do.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that the group, above, never let us, the public, speak or participate in the meetings and even today opposes input from the general public, even though they expect us to pay for their KBRA.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that the officials of the Klamath Water Users Association, the Klamath Tribes and others have chosen not to be here today.  They have chosen to not hear what the general public has to say.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that the KBRA requires the removal of the existing major dams on the Klamath River.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that the KBRA fails to require development of new  water storage reservoirs in the Klamath Basin.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that the plan requires 92,000 acres of Klamath County land near Crater Lake National Park be given to the Klamath County Tribe at tax payers expense.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that the Tribe could eventually use the 92,000 acre block of land as the basis for a new "Nation" within our county, a Nation that would have the right to use the land as they see fit, rather than having to follow the same Oregon and Klamath County development laws and regulations as the rest of us.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that Commissioner John Elliott, who is supposed to represent all voters of the County, instead took an early position to help structure the KBRA for the benefit of special nearby neighbors, the most rich farmers of Merrill, Oregon and Tulelake, California.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that the those same rich farmers could eventually end up selling Klamath Basin water to Southern California via the Pit River drainage and Shasta Lake.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that the Klamath County Commissioners are not here today to hear what the general public has to say… when in the past they participated in quasi-closed-to-the-public meetings with principals of the KBRA.


I FEEL OFFENDED…that our local newspaper, the Klamath Herald and News, has taken a prejudiced position in support of the KBRA to the point of providing embarrassingly preferential news coverage for that position.


BUT I FEEL OPTOMISTIC, too, that there are hundreds of things required to be done over the next several years many of which could trip-up progress of the KBRA, including requirement of passage of a billion dollar bond in California and dam removal studies and environmental impact evaluations required of federal agencies.   And of course, there will be new local, state(s) and federal elections.  Eighty nine percent (89%) of registered voters in Klamath County oppose the dam removal and the KBRA.


I FEEL OPTOMISTIC, that Congressman Walden has not taken a position yet. Hopefully he is listening to his voters.


I FEEL OPTOMISTIC, that Commissioners Switzer and Hukill have not taken a position yet.  They are not here today but hopefully they are listening.


I FEEL OPTOMISTIC, that the owners of the Klamath Herald and News and it's Publisher, Heidi Wright, will recognize that the majority of voters are the same people that buy and keep the newspaper economically viable.


AND FINALLY I FEEL OPTOMISTIC, that Senator Doug Whitsett and Representatives Bill Garrard and George Gillman will stay the course and continue to oppose the dams removal and the KBRA.  I thank them again for doing such great jobs personally and for collectively presenting this opportunity for all of us to speak today and I ask that they forward our comments to all other elected officials and the news media.  Thank you again for your time.  

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