Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

30 January 2008

To: Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors
From: Concerned residents of Copco Lake & Mid-Klamath Watershed
Subject: Klamath Dam Removal (NOT)


Back in the 1800ís when the Klamath still ran wild
Not many lived along its bank; but a few homesteads were filed.
It was always a strange river; like none other around here.
Its geo-thermal field kept water warm most of the year.

In wet years it would flood the valleys down below,
And in dry years, just a trickle; in spots barely a flow.
Then came the 1900ís and new thoughts were on the rise.
If water could be harnessed, an energy source they could devise.

Electric devices were showing up in cities around the nation.
Electricity sources were in demand; it boggled the imagination.
On the Klamath it was win/win as electric lights replaced the candle.
Downstream in lower valleys, a flood control that they could handle.

So the dams were the SOLUTION to the problems of that hour.
Now thereís boating, fishing, irrigation for farms and also electric power.
In Klamath Falls a different problem the early farmers faced:
There were many marshy wetlands where the water went to waste.

Subsequently these were drained and this land became a farm.
Weíre told there are new owners who intentionally do farmers harm.
In a giant step backwards, barriers removed and wetlands filled.
So thereís again this marshy area and the land cannot be tilled.

The water lost will be significant just from sheer evaporation;
And the farmers face the return problems of water allocation.
Klamath Falls many years ago tapped into the geo-thermal field,
Piped free heat to each public building in winter, an infinite yield.

Inflow into Upper Klamath Lake with volcanic minerals oozes.
The lake is warm, only 8 feet deep, & blue-green algae it produces.
They harvest, dry and process it to supplement your diet.
Itís available in our health food store; itís toxic? Now thatís a riot!

The Tribes downstream are saying they need salmon to survive.
They could have settled near a cold river where salmon stay alive.
Planting salmon came much later & chance of success thoít very thin.

During summers that were mild, they succeeded folks to fool;
But summers with typical heat waves, salmon die-offs are the rule.
Of all the misinformation, many different versions abound.
Depending on who you talk to, many pros and cons are found.

The dams donít have the ďtalentsĒ that have boggled every mind.
They canít heat water, create algae and kill fish of every kind.
The latest crazy mindset: (now this really is a sham)
No matter what the problem is, just blame it on the dam.

Removal of the dams now would create catastrophe.
Unintended consequences are pretty plain to see:
Reduced electric power, flood control, no water during drought,
Reduced tax base, reduced revenue, social programs to do without,

Not to mention fire suppression, for Workerís Comp, the County pays.
Our firemen are off duty if this revenue they canít raise.
And where could choppers fill their buckets when a wildfire occurs
If there are no lakes or reservoirs? Here the solution blurs.

Every day we hear this nonsense in one form or another.
Weíd like to get it stopped, the negativity to smother.
These threats to our lifestyle our peace of mind deprives.
Letís get the dams relicensed so we can get on with out lives.

We canít think of one advantage to turning this river wild.
The enormous cost of removal can be understood by a child.
So just WHO PROFITS by this? And itís really not so funny.
To find the source of controversy, youíll have to FOLLOW THE MONEY!!

by Ruth Waltner, President, Copco Lake Fire Auxiliary

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