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KBRA provides real protection for irrigators
Herald and News Letter to the Editor April 17, 2012, by Greg Addington. (Addington is director of Klamath Water Users Association)
The April 12, Herald and News reported on the Candidate Roundtable for County Commissioner, Position 1. One question posed to the candidates was regarding how much property tax revenue would be lost to the county if the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) were implemented.


Candidate answers ranged from $500,000 to $1 million to “a lot.” What the candidates failed to mention was the drafters of the KBRA, including representatives of Klamath County did their homework and more than accounted for this possibility.


Section 27.3.1 of the KBRA states that the County would receive $500,000 “to undertake a study and projects for economic development associated with the restoration of the Klamath River …” and Section 27.3.2 describes how the agreement (and parties) will support and secure up to $3.2 million (as described in the KBRA Budget) for any lost property taxes.


Less obvious but far more important is the fact that the KBRA does provide a more certain and predictable water supply for family farms and ranches. The “On-Project Plan” provisions included in the KBRA, and currently being developed, seek to prevent any more involuntary curtailments of water. The economic impacts associated with that kind of improved certainty would far exceed any lost revenues to the county coffers. One must also compare the KBRA to obvious alternatives; rulings in the water rights adjudication alone could have far greater negative impacts than anything that might occur due to the KBRA, in fact the KBRA helps avoid those impacts, inside and outside of the Klamath Reclamation Project.


Lastly, the KBRA does not rely on the whims of Congress when it comes to survival with or without the Endangered Species Act. Instead, the KBRA (sections 21 and 22) provide real protection for local irrigators through the issuance of private land/district incidental take permits.



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