Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Fort Jones, California
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Vol. 33, No. 12
Page A1, column 1
Water quality questioned on Klamath
the expectations be attained?
Pioneer Press Assistant Editor, Fort Jones, California
California – The Klamath River is up next for the
creation of a plan that will be expected to improve
federally-decided “impairments” in the water
quality. Controversy looms over the process being
used to develop improvement plans.
A meeting to
obtain information and comments from the public will
be held at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center in
downtown Yreka on Thursday, Feb. 16. Time is 6 p.m.
The public, landowners and the county are encouraged
to attend and address the topics involved. Tribal
and environmental groups will be stating their
comments at the meeting.
Water Quality Control Board is in charge of the
action plan, which directs the North Coast Regional
Water Quality Control Board and staff to do the
development of the plan.
federal Clean Water Act, the federal Environmental
Protection Agency directed the State of California
to address the “impairments” of the Klamath River.
Back in the 1990s, the Klamath River was identified for problems regarding water temperature, nutrients and dissolved oxygen concentrations.
Water Quality Board’s employees (staff) will hold
public meetings. These meetings are expected to
identify and discuss the scope of potential
environmental impacts that will be proposed through
the Total Maximum Daily Load, called TMDL, plan of
River TMDL plan was recently deemed completed and
accepted by the Regional Board, although timber,
agriculture and landowners claimed that incorrect
and flawed data had been used to establish potential
Board’s staff estimated that 50 percent of the Scott
River should be covered by shade to help lower the
temperatures in the summer. But landowners told the
Board during its December 2005 meeting that in many
areas additional trees would not survive due to high
winter flows and floods.
since the 1940s, landowners and the Resource
Conservation District have worked to establish trees
and solidify banks. But during a wet winter such as
the one Siskiyou County is receiving this year, the
high water flows attack fast and furious taking
banks and old growth trees out.
Too warm of
temperatures and sediment were the “impairments”
listed for the Scott River.
is also in the process of a TMDL action plan that
will address impairments of warm temperature and
plan will then be used by the Regional Board to
amend the Basin Plan, which governs water quality in
the Klamath Basin.
The Basin Plan
amendment will describe the approach that will be
expected to achieve a reduction in nutrient
discharges, improve water temperatures and increase
oxygen concentrations. State regulations will be
established to reach the plan’s goals.
It is claimed
by the governments that the “impairments” in the
Klamath and other rivers are impacting several
beneficial uses, including cold water salmon and
steelhead fishery. The TMDL plan will establish the
“load” capacity that the river can handle and still
meet water quality standards.
scoping meeting for the Klamath River TMDL plan will
be held at the coast in Eureka on March 1 at the Red
Lion Inn. Time is 6 p.m.
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