Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.


State lawmakers confer in three-day session  (Gail Whitsett, Greg Walden, Don Gentry)

November 22, 2013 by Lacey Jarrell, Herald and News

Gail Whitsett in favor of independent OIT board

State Rep. Gail Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, is in Salem this week for three days of legislative informational hearings.

The session is for house members to hear from committees and state departments about statewide issues. Whitsett is a member of four house committees: agriculture and natural resources, energy and environment, human services and housing, and university governing and special operations.

She heard testimony from the university governance committee about whether Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) and other public Oregon universities should have their own governing boards.
“Being a technical university, OIT is different than other universities in the state. I’m in favor of them having their own governing board,” Whitsett said.
In the energy and environment sessions, Whitsett heard from the Oregon Department of Agriculture about bee health and pesticide use. Presentations were also given about coastal multi-species conservation and management plans and regulations for boat check laws on invasive aquatic species from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State Marine Board.
No votes are made during this session.
Water quality rules
U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., met with Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and members of the Food and Drug Administration last week to discuss what he calls “common-sense rules” for agricultural water quality standards.
“Common-sense rules will make sure our food is safe without driving Oregon farmers out of business,” Walden said in a press release. “We are pleased the FDA seems willing to work with us and the growers who have expressed concerns.”
Under a new draft for the Food Safety Modernization Act, Northwest farmers face the possibility of more than 200 crops being grouped into one category. According to Andrew Malcolm, press secretary to Walden, the draft would require water for growing onions to be as clean as recreational water used for activities such as swimming.
“If we can even get the water that clean, it could put (farmers) out of business,” Malcolm said.
The more restrictive water quality standards are a result of the FDA focusing on improving food safety by reducing risk of disease, according to Malcolm. At the meeting, Walden presented findings from the Oregon State University Malheur County Experiment Station showing dry bulb onions grown in Eastern Oregon pose no risk of E. coli contamination.
The FDA has agreed to review the water quality draft.
Gentry visits the White House
Klamath Tribes chairman Don Gentry traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with President Barack Obama and others for the fifth annual White House Tribal Nations Conference.
The conference provided an opportunity for representatives from 566 tribes to meet with the administration to discuss tribal needs and social and economic development. Gentry represents the Klamath, Modoc and Yahooskin tribes.
He said the conference was an affirmation of the administration’s commitment to tribes.
“President Obama has committed to following through with obligations to tribes and to honor treaties,” Gentry said.
During the conference, Gentry spoke about the Mazama Forest acquisition at an economic tribal development breakout session. He said the session was an opportunity to open a dialogue about generating support and finding administrative consultants for the 90,000-acre acquisition, which is part of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement signed in 2010.
“It’s been identified as an important economic area for the tribes for some time now,” he said.




In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

Home Contact


              Page Updated: Sunday November 24, 2013 12:38 AM  Pacific

             Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2001 - 2013, All Rights Reserved