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Irrigators to hold Two Public Meetings Regarding Proposed Agreement
NEWS ADVISORY  January 21, 2008, Klamath Water Users Association

Contacts:         Greg Addington, Klamath Water Users Association – (541) 883-6100
                        Dave Solem, Klamath Irrigation District –                    (541) 882-6661

Klamath Irrigation District (KID) and the Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) announced today that they will each hold public meetings regarding the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA). KID will hold it’s meeting on Friday, January 25 at the Merrill Civic Center located at 365 West Front Street, Merrill, Oregon. The meeting will start at 6:30pm and is open to the public.

“Our focus and responsibility is to the patrons of KID. We hope our irrigators will take the time to come learn more about what this agreement does and what it doesn’t do”, said Klamath Irrigation District Board President, Dave Cacka. “This meeting will focus on details and the elements of the agreement that affect Klamath Project irrigators, including our patrons,” added KID Manager, Dave Solem, “There is a lot of misinformation out there.  It is important that folks understand what the document actually says.”

Members from other Irrigation Districts and the public are welcome to attend, however, the meeting and follow-up time for questions will be focused on KID patrons.

A second meeting, hosted by KWUA will occur on Saturday afternoon, January 26 at the same location, the Merrill Civic Center, 365 West Front Street in Merrill. Starting time is set for 1:30pm. This meeting, also open to the public, will allow the community to hear from other KBRA participants throughout the Basin who have pledged to support the agreement as well as some of the federal and state agency personnel who participated in the talks.

Invited to attend the Saturday meeting are representatives from the Karuk and Yurok Tribe on the lower Klamath River; the Klamath Tribes; conservation organizations; the Oregon and California Departments of Fish and Wildlife; the Klamath Basin Refuge Complex; in addition to other federal agency representatives from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

“These groups, whether public or private, all play a role in water management in the Klamath Basin, particularly with respect to the operation of the Klamath Project, said KWUA Executive Director, Greg Addington, “we think it’s important for Project irrigators and the general public to hear directly from them.”  KWUA Board President, Luther Horsley added, “These are all busy people, we appreciate their willingness to come to our community and talk about their perspectives regarding what this agreement means”.

The KBRA, released publically last week was over two and a half years in the making.  It has come under fire by some and is complex enough that many others in the community are sure to have legitimate questions and concerns. The agreement has implications for communities throughout the 10,000 square mile Klamath River Watershed.

“We have nothing to hide with respect to this document”, said Addington, “it is the product of an intense negotiation between diverse parties, we want irrigators and the public to have an opportunity to learn more and hear from the people who helped create it.”

REMINDER - These are two separate meetings, the first on Friday, January 25th at 6:30pm, is hosted by KID and is designed to focus more on the content of the document with specific emphasis on implications to KID and Project irrigators. 

The second meeting, Saturday January 26th at 1:30pm, is hosted by KWUA and is intended to be a broad overview of the settlement with emphasis on hearing from other supporting parties from around the watershed as well as hearing from federal and state agency representatives.

NOTE:           These meetings are in addition to two other public meetings being arranged by Klamath County.  Commissioners will hold meetings on January 28 at 7pm and on February 4 at 7pm both of these meetings will be at the Klamath County Government Center in the Commissioners Hearing Room.

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