Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
by David & Marganne Oxley
Quarter Circle X Ranch, Klamath Falls, OR 97603
Owners of property and water rights beware! Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement could happen to you.
To: Editor of the Capital Press 2/19/2010
Owners of property and water rights beware! What is happening to us in the Klamath Watershed Basin could happen to you next. We were recently warned of the future perils by the Capital Press’ guest contributor Bruce Colbert in his piece titled “Klamath farmers take heed of Metropolitan” (2/12/10). He wrote such an informative and articulate article. He made many extremely valid and important points which really hit home with us. We are heeding his warnings, as are many of our neighbors. However, we have a real uphill battle ahead of us due to the fact that many of our officials and organizations have decided to sign onto a flawed agreement called the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) stating “we want to be at the table and be part of this process.”
We are hay farmers in Poe Valley, Oregon which is just east of Klamath Falls. We are very disappointed and frustrated with the fact that our irrigation district, our water users association and our Klamath County Supervisors have all supported and signed the KBRA. In our opinion this agreement is not in the best interest of anyone within the Klamath Watershed Basin who owns property. Anyone that supports this flawed agreement is putting our property and water rights in severe peril. When has more and bigger government ever solved any of our problems? The KBRA will eventually allow big government to step in and take away all of our water rights…bit by bit. This decline started years ago in the Klamath basin, among other places, and will be accelerated under the KBRA. Water equals money… just “follow the money trail.”
We believe and agree with Mr. Colbert when he suggests that litigious environmental groups, tribal claims and the Endangered Species Act, along with the KBRA, all set us up for future water cutbacks. Open your eyes Klamath Watershed Basin landowners! The KBRA is asking for an additional 30,000 acre feet of water from the upper basin. The KBRA is also requesting we taxpayers give money to the tribes to purchase 90,000 acres of taxpayer owned timberland and to take it off the tax roll!
These are two of many earmark deals in the KBRA.
In 2001 Klamath Basin irrigators learned how fast we can lose money without irrigation water delivery. The “diverse groups” that have signed onto the KBRA are jeopardizing our livelihoods by dividing the communities and individuals and putting our rights at great risk. The agreement pits us against each other, makes us easy targets and allows us to be divided and conquered. We could lose the precious water rights which sustain our livelihoods, our livestock, our wildlife and our land.
David & Marganne Oxley
Page Updated: Sunday February 21, 2010 03:55 AM Pacific
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