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To: Klamath County Citizens and Elected Officials From: Bill Brown, Past Klamath County Commissioner

Date: January 24, 2010 Subject: Non-Support of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement

As one of the sitting Klamath County Commissioners when the work began on the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) in 2007, I had hopes that an agreement could be hammered out , supported by factions up and down the Klamath River Basin, that would offer real solutions to our future power needs and sustainable water deliveries to our farms and ranches. Many solutions have been discussed prior and should have been included in the KBRA proposal including but not limited to: a) supporting additional water storage (Long Lake, Boundary Dam Proposals and/or other natural alternatives) in order to deliver water to agriculture and down-stream when deemed necessary. b) supporting amendment of the Endangered Species Act which has paralyzed the entire Klamath Basin through poor decisions based on unproven science and history, c) re-establishing the hatcheries to maximum instead of minimum capacities for a variety of fish species, d) establishing an aggressive plan to control the number of predators which we know are a large part of the problem related to fish numbers up the Klamath River, and e) additional controls being established for the large commercial fishing vessels that lay off our coast and contribute greatly to sustainable fish runs. These are but a few of the many parts of a total solution that I expected to see in the KBRA proposal along with other solutions that have not been thought of or addressed.

Because of the confidentiality agreement approved when the KBRA work began, stakeholders could not openly discuss the proposed KBRA. Once I had the January 2008 KBRA Draft Proposal in my hands and the confidentiality agreement was fulfilled I expressed, after careful thought and investigation, my disappointment in the KBRA proposal publically. While there were a couple parts of the proposal that I thought could be beneficial, those were widely over-ridden by the four dams to be removed at taxpayer and rate-payer expense, purchase of a 90,000 acre tribal forest by taxpayers, idling of 18,000 acres in upper Klamath donating nearly 30,000 more acre feet of water to a political cause that has already cost our county dearly. Along with this was the fact that I witnessed very few real solutions identified above.

Following is a summary of major concerns that formed my decision, as a Klamath County Commissioner and now a private citizen, to not support the KBRA proposal as presented:

1. The KBRA does not have the support of the Klamath County Natural Resources Advisory Council, agriculture related organizations and a large majority of our citizens as proved by recent surveys and discussions with citizens. Citizens do not have a clue as how this will effect adjudication and cost in taxes, electrical rates, etc.

2. Taking out dams will not provide a salmon run under past or current conditions due to the historical fact that the salmon were dead or dying at the location of the Irongate Dam which is why it was placed at that location along with geological reasons. For the fish to climb another 2000 plus feet in elevation and swim approximately another 80 miles when they are dead or dying at the Irongate location creates a reality of why there is no evidence of salmon runs this far up the river. That is also why the engineers and scientists placed the fish hatchery at the Irongate Dam also. In other words, science and history teach us that we will have salmon runs in Klamath County "When Salmon Fly". The cost of dam removal, estimated between $400 million and four billion, seems estimator's could come a bit closer, far exceeds the cost of developing additional water storage and implementing other real solutions. "Follow the Money" related to this KBRA proposal.

3. Over 100,000 acres of productive farm/ranch lands have been idled in Klamath County not counting conservation easements purchased by agencies with taxpayer funds. Using a conservative average of $300 net income per acre of productive ground, this totals a net loss to our local economy of $30 million dollars per year. Why would anyone need or want to negatively affect our gross income from agriculture further by taking another 18,000 acres out of production? This does not include losses to farm implement dealerships, veterinary services, ag suppliers, restaurants and all types of other retail shops.

4. The KBRA is an agreement with no legal basis. Klamath County Legal Councils (former and present), wrote opinions that this is only an agreement and is not legally binding. So, my question is why are we relying on an agreement that can and probably will change given new leadership locally, statewide and nationally? Seems like a perfect storm for future generations.

5. Purchasing tribal land under this agreement was one of those "Oh, By the Way" additions asked for by the Klamath Tribes a week or two before the draft was presented in January 2008. In my opinion, it has no place in this agreement. My stated opinion of purchasing tribal land is that the tribes have every right to purchase land with their own funds but the taxpayers have no obligation to assist or be responsible for said purchases.

6. I personally observed a great deal of deceptions, manipulations and outright misinformation that occurred during the development of this KBRA proposal. Ugly politics, attempts to discredit those that oppose the KBRA proposal, illegal meetings and non-objective/balanced reporting by the Herald and News, especially after the Herald and News came out very early in favor of the KBRA proposal, was and is the norm. This type of behavior and game-playing has no place in such an important issue that will affect all Klamath Basin communities and citizens now and in the future. We all deserve better in order to fight future battles united.

In conclusion, I urge the current Klamath County Commissioners to vote NO on the KBRA as presented. While the current KBRA blew an excellent opportunity to bring forward real solutions, the reality is that this KBRA has caused division among our citizens for the benefit of the few. The solution is to not give in to small special interests rather work towards real solutions that are recognized as being supported by the majority with integrity in the process.

Sincerely, Bill Brown

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