Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Fighting for Our Right to Irrigate Our Farms and Caretake Our Natural Resources

Western Land Use Conference in Klamath Falls, Oregon, exposes U.N. Wildlands Projects motives behind ‘ESA’ and other ‘Environmental’ Scams, KBC news team February 23, 2003

The conference was February 22 and 23 at Klamath Community College, with ‘freedom’ the focus of the event—freedom to own and protect our land and natural resources. Several speakers from around the country explained the motives behind the Endangered Species Act and many 'conservation' facades.  It was most educational. Quotes from 'environmentalists' helped explain the stage of what and who we rural producers are dealing with: 

"The only hope of the Earth is to withdraw huge areas as inviolate natural sanctuaries from the depredations of modern industry and technology. Move out the people and cars. Reclaim the roads and the plowed lands. Dave Foreman, http:www.wildlandsprojectrevelaed.org

"Conservation Easements are the key to the Corridors. Once the Easements are legally in place, we can impose habitat restrictions for wildlife thus ending grazing and other agricultural practices. If the landowner refuses, the easement management loophole will allow us to sue the landowner and impose those restrictions." New Mexico Wilderness Alliance meeting, 5/99

Andy Kerr, ONRC senior counselor, outlines the ESA and wildlands plans most eloquently: http://www.andykerr.net/ConservPolitics/BigWild.html

Ric Frost, M.S. Agricultural Economics, from New Mexico State University, spoke regarding the intent of the ESA: ESA 1973 Sec.4(b)(2) Basis for Determinations: "...The Secretary shall designate critical habitat, and make revisions thereto, under subsection (a)(3) and after taking into consideration the economic impact...  He went on to describe examples "of how not conducting a human dimension study can negatively impact rural communities and the health of the environment".  Due to Mexican Spotted Owl restrictions, logging in New Mexico has virtually ceased. 1.5 billion board feet of timber build up in NM occurred (the subsequent fire burned up thousands of acres of habitat for the owl).

"...Congress created the National Environmental Policy  Act of 1969 (NEPA)....to create a structured evaluation system where federal projects could be evaluated for environmental integrity and provide a means whereby the citizens of the US could participate in providing direction of the outcome.....The purposed of this Act are: '....to declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment, to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man:, ...."

Recent 'studies' have tried to portray the Klamath River Basin as supporting more recreation than agriculture financial gain.  In Oregon, $11.4 billion comes from agriculture, with 152,748 jobs (in 2000). $794 million comes from recreation, 7%. Source: Statistical abstract of the US, 1993, NWI, 1995, Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2000. In his outline of dealing with federal agents and those trying to take your land and your rights, document everything!  Mail all documents using certified mail.  Record all activities and interactions.  And whatever happens, "DON'T EVER GIVE UP!"

John Williams,    laid out how local people on the county level cal make and implement environmental plans for wildlife and resource management with people who will serve the environment as well as the community stability.

Mark Vande Pol of Santa Cruz delivered an emotional presentation federal environmental destruction in his area.  He showed photographs of how he and local landowners have care taken their land and plants.  Photos were shown of lands taken by conservancies which were not chemically treated for noxious weeds.  The results are hundreds of acres of hemlock, which have crowded out entire areas of threatened plant life, "Exotic species are the single greatest threat to native habitat, greater even than development...."Many weeds are more toxic than the herbicides used to treat them... Weeds rob streams of critical late season water..."

The general theme of the conference was that, unless local and private land ownership/management is regained, our environment will continue to be destroyed by conservancies and governmental agencies whose sole purpose is to get the rural folks off their lands.  There were several court cases of examples and processes of private citizens and counties prevailing in defending their rights and caretaking their environment and resources.




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