Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Comment of Channel 12's "reporting on the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement/KBRA
by Katherine Lehman, immediate past president People for the USA Grange 835
I watched Channel 12's "reporting" on the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) last night. You did a great disservice to your listeners, presenting a very slanted view with little resemblance to the truth.
You stated last night you were going to present different "views;" I would prefer, and your listeners deserve, that you instead, or at least also, present the truth.....which would take a little investigation into the facts, rather than just videotaped opinions and pretty pictures.
If you had read the KBRA you would know THERE IS NO GUARANTEE OF ANY WATER TO ANY IRRIGATOR. The KBRA does, though, guarantee irrigators will lose water, and not just in the upper Klamath Basin. I am a Rogue Valley irrigator, subscribed to the Talent Irrigation District, which will lose its 30,000 acre foot diversion if the KBRA is approved. The proposal would have us find an "alternative" source of water . Coincidentally (?) many of the KBRA "stakeholders" suggest we humans use "treated" sewage wastewater for our animals and crops; apparently only fish now deserve fresh water. If you want to check this for yourself, visit the WISE (I'm not kidding!) Project (www.wiseproject.org/) website.
There is so much information you did not include in your story last night, even under the Karuk perspective. You failed to mention the Karuk tribe has no treaty fishing right..........not on any river, anywhere, let alone either below or above the Klamath River Hydropower dams. You did not mention the Karuk stole the Shasta's treaty. You did not mention the numerous Karuk tribal members who have protested removal of these dams, in writing and otherwise.
You did not mention these dams are in Shasta aboriginal grounds.
You did not mention the Shasta tribe was not consulted about dam removal, nor allowed at the "settlement" talks.
You did not mention the KBRA takes Shasta fishing grounds and gives them to the Klamath Tribes.
You did not mention the Shasta's advisement that Chinook salmon ARE NOT INDIGENOUS to the Klamath River; that they were introduced back in the early 1900s.
You did not mention these introduced Chinook rarely, if ever, crossed the border into Oregon (and the Upper Basin), as they were unable to get through the 14-mile stretch of rocky riffles at the border.
You did not mention the FACT that removing all the Klamath River dams CANNOT "clean" the water, as the water is polluted (under Clean Water Act standards) at its source,
from studied and proven natural causes that cannot be mitigated away.
You did not mention the FACT, backed up by NOAA and USFWS studies, that the vast majority of salmon hatched in the Klamath Watershed never returned to spawn, anywhere, because they died in the ocean, apparently mostly from starvation, but also due to excessive predation by a protected species - sea lions, and foreign fishing pressure.
You didn't mention historical accounts of Klamath tribal members obtaining salmon mostly by trading with Shasta and other downriver indians, as salmon that did actually reach the Upper Basin were of such poor quality (being near death) as to be inedible.
You did not mention the FACT that the 2002 fish kill has never been proven to have been caused by agriculture.
You did not metion the FACT that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission estimates dam removal costs could be as high as $4.5 BILLION, unless toxins are found in the sediment behind the dams (which TWO studies have already proven to be the case), in which case the costs will be much higher.
You did not mention the FACT that fish ladders could be added to the 3 dams in California, and upgraded at J C Boyle dam in Oregon, at a much lower cost of upwards of $350 million.
This is a very complex issue. If Channel 12 is going to wade in, you owe your listeners much, much more than the feel-good, look pretty, fluff piece of reporting you presented last evening.
I hope to hear at least some of the truth on this evening's broadcast.
Immediate Past President
People for the USA! Grange #835
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM Pacific
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