Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
groups join Klamath talks?
by Tom Mallams,
President, Klamath Off-Project Water Users Association, Beatty,
Once again the
corrupt process overpowers logic, common sense and equitable
participation. A small non-representative group being added to the
Klamath Settlement Group is another example of how corrupt the dam
removal and Klamath Basin Restoration Group process continues to
Upper Klamath Water Users Association was added in the so-called
consensus-driven meeting even with the opposition of at least
three of the groups. Their addition to the main group is just
another "rubber stamp" of the federal government, tribal and
I guess consensus doesn't always mean consensus in this flawed
process. It is like being sort of pregnant - you are or you are
not. You can't have it both ways.
We have been promised that this process would always be a
consensus-driven group. At the same time "another" formal request
was made to add one or two truly representative irrigation groups
in the upper basin. The Sprague River Water Users and/or Resource
Conservancy, which represents a very substantial group of
irrigators comprising approximately 125,000 irrigated acres. This
request was turned down again and instead the small group
representing approximately 2,000 irrigated acres was added to the
The obvious intention is to exclude any group that is not in
complete agreement, to force the public, without due process, into
dam removal, a tribal land gift and the so-called "promise" of
water guarantee for the Klamath Project, under the guise of
"saving the river."
There is still no credible science that states dam removal will
even help the river or support fish survival if the dams are
removed. There is equal logic that concludes that dam removal
would actually worsen conditions with no sustained late-season
flows. Actual dam removal costs are shown by two federal
government studies to be in the billions of dollars. Fish ladders
and structure upgrades certainly seem to be the best option at a
cost estimated to be approximately $350 million.
We are still committed to a basin-wide settlement, but it has to
be equitable and it is not even close to that as it is written
today. This is evidenced by more participants in the Klamath
Settlement Group formally dropping out of further talks, because
of similar concerns we have been raising.
Our numerous attempts to introduce beneficial amendments in the
Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement to address Off-Project Water
Users' concerns is being portrayed as a roadblock by some. We are
still trying to work with the settlement process, in spite of
continually being excluded and ignored in our requests for changes
in the agreement.
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM Pacific
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