Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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July 25, 2007 from KBC News
In response to 'Gimme a Break" from KBC to Craig Tucker, Karuk Tribe spokesman
Dear Craig, (Craig Tucker bio)
I appreciate your determination and communication attempts.
Yes, that was so kind of the Karuk, Yurok and Klamath Tribes to write supporting a phase-in of rates in February 2006 that will cost us irrigators a 2400% increase. That will surely help put off the demise of several farm operations here for a couple years.
You state, "its not fair to imply on your website that I, and the rest of the downriver stakeholders, are the reason your power rates went up. It not only breeds ill will, it’s not true. PacifiCorp is to blame for acting in bad faith with the irrigation community not us."
Perhaps I am mistaken, but this court document states that the "Hoopas, Yuroks, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen, Water Watch, PacifiCorp, and ONRC" petitioned against us getting an affordable power rate in the first place in November 2005: "The idea is that higher power prices will make it too expensive to irrigate tens of thousands of acres of marginal farmland," according to those "downriver stakeholders." In addition to those tribes and ONRC, it continues that "PCFFA ...has thrown its support behind PacifiCorp."
So I take issue in your calling me a liar in that regard.
You are correct saying you personally did not cause our rate hike. I believe at that time you were crusading in Scotland, representing national dam removal organization Friends of the River at the time, along with the tribes, and helping with the film, Salmon of Backs of Buffalo, which the Karuk's and Klamath Forest Alliance made with the tribes. It portrayed us family farmers as big industrial polluters and included songs like, "they'll burn your house down," statements about genocide, fertilizers and agricultural diversions killing the salmon and ruining health of the tribes because we force them to eat unhealthy food commodities.
You said, "Help us remove (dams) and in the process we are willing to throw our political weight behind support for your communities’ needs."
I guess it's like kidnapping a child, rather, your allies kidnapped her, then all at once, for a ransom, you will give her back, all in love and good will.
You said, "I fail to appreciate why you, or anyone in Tulelake, has any attachment to the dams at this point."
* I don't believe destroying the American infrastructure by dam removal is acceptable given power needs and shortages.
* These dams provide
power for 70,000 households annually.
* It will destroy the communities on the reservoirs near the dams. No, not me personally, but real people with real jobs and real families who pay taxes and enjoy the river as much as Indians do.
* As you know, 2002 was one of the highest salmon runs in history, even with the dams in. So, I don't believe dams killed the fish, nor do I believe irrigators killed the fish in 2002. You mentioned compromises, and I think fish screens are fair, or trucking. No not natural, but neither are you or I or the tribes 'natural' anymore.
* I could go on about historic water quality in the Klamath, show photos of dry Link River before the Klamath Project was built, but when people have an agenda, science seems to be an inconvenient detail.
You said, "By taking out the dams, salmon runs will improve and therefore less pressure on your community to deal with salmon." Have you proof that runs will improve? Proven science that says the millions of tons of silt after dam removal wont harm the fish and habitat? And, with rumored plans of adding more endangered species to our area, and since you signed a petition below saying we must "have full compliance" to the ESA, and with no alternative power in place, and knowing dam removal will decimate mining and Klamath River communities, I'm not sure we will have "less pressure."
A question for you. When you say you support us irrigators (if we support dam removal), why have you recently signed onto the following petition? It blames irrigators, calls for no water diversions, no water development projects, Endangered Species demands, 30% increase in migratory fish runs annually (regardless of predators, ocean conditions, ...), etc?
of this petition signed on by Karuks and PCFFA:
You state: "If the Tribes and Fishermen and farmers are going to be successfully in forging a bi-partisan solution, we will need your support too."
If you were me and I were you, you farmed and I was a social justice activist working for the Karuks, and you said we were friends and weren't going to blame anymore, yet at the same time I signed the above petition and wouldn't allow you to know what was being negotiated, and I'd made films accusing you of killing my people from irrigating because I destroyed their health by farming, if I had helped form a coalition with all the groups suing you, and these groups had endless press releases and websites filled with lies and myths to destroy you, then if I came to you and said, hey, I'm your friend now, so, trust me to take good care of you because I, and all the enemies of irrigated agriculture that want you to disappear, are looking out for you. You must sign on without reading even the large print...we know what's best for you.
Would you support this?
Fortunately our communities will eventually have the opportunity to see what your secret negotiations have produced and be allowed input. Without seeing what I'm supposed to support, how can I support it?
On another note, you said Klamath Riverkeeper (who you are currently joined with in a lawsuit against PacifiCorp) was not affiliated with Klamath Forest Alliance. Recently Felice Pace (a founder of KFA) informed me that information is incorrect, and that Klamath Riverkeeper is legally part of KFA.
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