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.

From Brandan Topham, Flying T Ranch 7/8/13

Hi Friends,

A big thanks to all of you who showed up or otherwise helped support us at
the water rally on July 1st. Maybe I have listened to too many Shell gas
station tapes from the 1980s and 1990s where they romanticized large
trucks. Whatever the cause I started tearing up as I drove up to the
fairgrounds and saw all of those semi trucks parked in rows getting ready
for the rally.

After attaching a few dozen signs to stock trailers, I went to the court
house to watch the parade.  The very start of it was extremely impressive
and near as I can tell none of the press got any good photos of it. The
big bucket from the fairgrounds lead the parade on a flatbed trailer. It
was followed directly by a Semi cattle truck, a potato truck and a log
truck. Those four were followed by hundreds of other vehicles: pickups,
pickups pulling stock trailers, big rigs, a few swathers, hay squeezes,
tractors with balers, etc. A particular thanks to all of the local
businesses who sent vehicles with their names through with the parade. I
now have some new places to support when I buy stuff in town.

The parade was a lot like a fireworks show. Most of the time there was
something to see, then once in a while there was something extremely

Most memorably for me is when:
 6-8 semi cattle trucks and a few log trucks got grouped up. The cattle
trucks had flashing caution lights on top and the horns were as loud as a
train horn. When all of those trucks started blowing their horns at once
the ground shook. I doubt anyone in the court house could have ignored
them :)
A fertilizer spreader and large tractor with a baler side by side going
down the street. (The announcer figured that those three things, a BIG
tractor, a BIG baler, and a BIG fertilizer spreader cost about half a
million dollars.)
A few teenage kids walked through with a banner displaying part of the
Paul Harvey quote So God Made a Farmer. To read the text go to

To see some pictures of the rally look at the ranch facebook page
and for the latest information look at

The day after the rally we were in district court in front of Judge Wogan,
asking for a stay so that we can resume irrigating while this is fought in
court. It was a bit demoralizing when a person goes into the courtroom and
there are 3 lawyers trying to help agriculture and there are 16 lawyers
from the tribes and government fighting very hard to keep the water turned
off. Even more demoralizing when I stop and realize that you and I with
our taxes are paying for every lawyer that is fighting to keep the water
off, except for one that is paid for by the Klamath Project.  On the other
hand it was real fun to hear every one of those 16 lawyers who are against
us tell the judge to disregard the rally that happened the day before. At
the end of Wednesday the arguments were concluded and the Judge said that
he had to think about it. That was July 3rd. Since then he has not decided
if we get a stay or not. While he sits on his thumbs, our fall pastures
are starting to dry up.

It really is sad. This is not a drought. In fact in our rain gauge we have
two more inches of precipitation than last year at this time. Last year
even with less water in the rivers than this year, no one complained. Then
this year the government and tribes would not even allow us to water our
cattle in the fields where they turned off the water (the governor passed a
special law allowing us to water our livestock the same day we did the
rally, it will only last for 6 months though).

In other news we started making hay in our hayfields which are irrigated
from wells. So for the next month we will be busy making hay and hopefully
I will get a chance to talk about that in another newsletter in the near

I hope all is well for you and yours,


If you would like to be removed from this email list please tell us and
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P.S. If you Emailed me asking questions, I have not forgotten you. I have
just been too busy to reply. As I have time over the next few days I will
try and get a reply out to everyone that I have not replied to yet.


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