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Special interests stop Basin water progress
Herald and News Letter to the Editor March 2, 2011 by Alice Kilham
KBC note: Kilham, residing in Ashland, Oregon, was a member of the Hatfield Working Group, Klamath Basin Ecosystem Foundation and Klamath River Compact. She formed the Chadwick meetings that focused on goals of removing 5 dams, partnering farmers with tribes, environmental groups and government agencies to achieve these goals.

HERE for Alice's 2005 letter to Chadwick stakeholders about  the Chadwick goals. You may recognize some of the participants.......

HERE for the Chadwick table of contents

People from diverse communities within the Klamath River Basin, upper and lower, have been sitting in meetings, in coffee shops, at workshops and at negotiating tables for the past 30 years, trying to find ways to restore and maintain resources while creating economic stability for all interests.
It was believed that if the disparate interests could come together and formulate a plan that could meet the essential needs of all parties and, with a united front, present that plan to politicians of both parties the pendulum swing of political policymaking could be broken and progress made.

Unfortunately the Republican leadership in Washington, listening to the strident bullying of special interests and blindly following extreme political ideology, have stopped the next step in the Klamath River Basin process; a process that could help this river basin restore and sustain a healthy ecosystem and healthy economies now and for future generations.

How sad to miss such a leadership opportunity.

Alice Kilham


A few of the readers comments:

Your right Joe the KBRA is withering away and the tribe is going to have to find a different way to have the government give them 90,000 acres and the dams look to stay and create a little power. Dang I was so hoping to see those silvery salmon swimming through Klamath Lake or at least walking on top of the algae.


Yes, many have been working on finding a solution to the water issues in the Klamath Basin. But you have to understand one major point, the dam removal and KBRA do not represent any kind of a solution. If anything, it represents a surrender by irrigators and the general public. The TRUE LEADERSHIP recognizes that dam removal and the KBRA do not deliver what it promises.

I guess the "strident, bullying special interests" that Alice references must be the actual citizens in the Klamath Basin, screaming with their voices and their votes, NO DAM REMOVAL AND NO KBRA!

Wake up Alice, dam removal and the KBRA are dying as we speak. It is time to move on to a real solution!!!


Oh Alice, balderdash!

The KBRA was a private, closed door deal between federal agencies, state agencies, the tribes, some questionable out of Basin enviro groups and a few on project farmers. The public has never been on board, despite the best attempts of the very questionable commissioners at the time trying to wrangle a backward worded measure. Walden (who has extremely close ties to the Water Users) even voted to defund the studies. Many DC Republicans voted for funding it, so that belies your observation that -The Republican Leadership in Washington was buckling under strident bullying tactics by special interest groups.

Boehner never even voted- what are you talking about!!

If you compared the dollars spent by the KWUA to promote the KBRA compared to anyone else on the opposite side, you would find overwhelmingly the KWUA, the tribes and the government agencies has out spent the opposition by an order of magnitude.

Don't be a whiner about this and wise up - the people don't like dam removal and the KBRA.



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