Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Use the opportunity now
H&N letter to the editor by ALC Rich McIntyre, 9/17/03
I wish to thank the Herald and News for endorsement of the Barnes Ranch water storage project. It would appear that at long last we have a water storage opportunity that can come on line quickly and begin to provide 50,000 acre-feet of relief for both farmers and fish.
While some may believe we can go a few more years without new storage, it is gratifying to see that the governor, the Klamath Tribes, the Herald and News, the city of Klamath Falls, the Klamath River Compact Commission and the Klamath County commissioners, to name but a few, feel otherwise.
Many people are puzzled by the lack of support for Barnes storage from the Klamath Water Users Association in general, and specifically in quotes attributed to Dan Keppen in the Herald and News article of Sept. 7.
While most agree that long-term storage projects such as Long Lake are well worth study and consideration, anything of that magnitude will take many years of study, to say nothing of the environmental challenges that undoubtedly will arise. The costs will be quite high, and with the country facing the largest budget deficits in our history, money will be hard to come by.
Should we look at all the storage opportunities that exist in the Basin? Certainly. The American Land Conservancy believes, for example, that Swan Lake has such potential, and studies are under way to determine project feasibility. That stated, should we put aside the storage that the combined Agency-Barnes Ranch complex can provide while we study the rest? That would seem to be what Keppen is suggesting.
Will all due respect to him and the KWUA board of directors, the farmers they represent - as well as tribes, fisheries and other users - need that storage now. That is a message the ag leadership clearly needs to hear from the community before the window of opportunity closes.
American Land Conservancy
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