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Water deal the topic of panel talk 

by Ty Beaver, Herald and News 10/25/09

     A panel discussion about the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement will be one of the key events at the 2009 Watershed Council Gathering at Running Y Ranch this coming week.
 
   More than 200 people from watershed organizations across the state, all part of the Network of Oregon Watershed Councils, are expected to attend the conference during its four days of discussions, workshops and field trips.
 
   A unique watershed
 
   An official with the network said holding the event in the Klamath Basin will allow those from around the state to experience another unique watershed.   Terry Morton, a facilitator who formerly headed up the Klamath Watershed Partnership, said the gathering would be a chance to highlight work done on the KBRA, a settlement agreement that allocates water among Klamath River stakeholders, including the tribes, irrigators, fisheries and conservationists.
 
   ďIím feeling very proud of what the KBRA has accomplished and looking forward to sharing that with other watershed councils,Ē she said.
 
   The gathering, which occurs every two years, starts Tuesday with comments from Klamath County Commissioner John Elliott and U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore, who will appear by live video feed from Washington, D.C.  
 
   Most of the eventís workshops and other featured speakers will be Wednesday and Thursday. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit the Sprague River area and a fish hatchery near Upper Klamath Lake.
 
   The KBRA panel discussion will include up to eight people representing irrigators on and off the Klamath Reclamation Project, the Klamath Tribes, environmentalists and fishermen.   
 
   John Moriarty, executive director of the network, said the gathering provides a combination of opportunities in education, networking and hands-on experience of watershed activities in the Basin.
 
   Morton said those from Klamath and Lake counties began pushing to have the gathering in the Basin a year ago because of the KBRA and other watershed restoration activities going on in the region.
 
   While the KBRA is not yet complete and some groups, such as off-Project irrigators, still have concerns, the process the document resulted from is a model for other watersheds to look to when resolving conflicts between the needs of communities and the environment, she said.
 
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