Time to Take Action

Archive 189 - February 2018
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Irrigators gather in Reno to address the drought H&N 2/23/18. "Standing up among the some 200 irrigators and ag people, Hammerich said he believes water storage in the Klamath Basin is a “good deal.” But he wanted to know how storage benefits the Klamath Basin when it butts up against the Endangered Species Act and fish protection.“The water just goes downstream, so what are we gaining?” Hammerich asked."

OWRD, KWUA talk drought for Project water users, H&N 2/21/18. "Please keep in mind we have lake levels from a biological opinion that need to be met,” White added. “We have an injunction that’s been placed upon us where more water is required to go downstream as a result of litigation brought by downstream tribes last year.”...“Once the governor issues the drought declaration, then it’s after that time that people can come to the watermaster’s office here and apply for drought emergency permits,” said Kyle Gorman, of OWRD. Permits allow irrigators to use water where the primary source is unavailable, Gorman said, due to drought conditions..."

House committee approves Klamath Project water bill, H&N 2/20/18. "...HB 4016 would allow irrigators in the Klamath Project to temporarily transfer water claims between properties within the same irrigation district..."
House Bill 4016 as amended by committee 2/19/18

KWUA appeals to Tribes: Let's talk. OWRD, KWUA to talk 2018 irrigation, H&N 2/18/18. “They’ve felt meaningful, they’ve felt sincere,” White said Friday morning, of previous talks with Tribes representatives. “But then when these notices come out and we don’t get a heads-up that it’s coming out, we don’t have an opportunity to talk to them about it beforehand...It doesn’t feel like the community and the fish are in the best interest of the Tribes,” White said, "… and I hate feeling that way but that’s what it feels like. It feels like there’s something bigger than just the fish going on here."

Commissioners declare Drought emergency; dry summer could lead to $557 million loss for local ag, H&N 2/21/18.

Klamath Project 2018 Contractors Meeting with KWUA, OWRD, Klamath County Feb 20, 2018, to "bring contractors of the Klamath Reclamation Project current information about the 2018 irrigation season...current hydrology, possible options available, and the process for taking advantage of those options is important information for district and on-farm operations..."

2-14 Refuge IslandLower Klamath Refuge construction an effort to save salmon (on the Columbia River). Habitat restoration aimed at dispersing (fish eating) Caspian Tern populations, H&N 2/14/18. "...According to Beckstrand, the Caspian tern population along the Columbia River has been responsible for around 15 million to 20 million salmon smolts being eaten annually. The cormorant population growing on East Sand Island is estimated to be responsible for an additional 11 million young salmon each year..."
FWS wildlife biologist/tour guide John Beckstrand feels solution is farmer buy-out, KBC News 5/22/04

* Caspian Tern Management to reduce Predation of Juvenile Salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary - Final EIS. Refers to Warner Suckers Ch 3 - 14. January 2005
* Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge - Floating Islands Enhance Salmonid Recovery by Creating Alternative Nesting Habitat for Caspian Terns,  US Army Corp of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and NOAA Fisheries plan succeeded, with OSU and USGS,  to bring fish predators to Klamath Basin. Floating Island International 2010, posted to KBC 6/13/13. "In February 2010, FIW and Just Buckets built and launched a 40,000sq. ft. floating island at Sheepy Lake in Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge." (The fish-predator Caspian Terns population in 2010 went from 0 to 325 in 3 months on Lower Klamath.) "This innovative island has been a tremendous success, as the Sheepy Lake tern colony appears to have had the highest nesting success of any Caspian tern colony in the region during 2010."
* Restoring refuges - Wildlife refuges benefit from stimulus funds, H&N, posted 10/16/09.
RELATED ARTICLE: Stimulus funds bring Caspian tern project to Siskiyou County, Siskyou Daily News 8/12/09. "...the Tulelake reserve rock island’s cost is approximately $1.1 million, the Orems unit rock island’s cost is approximately $650,000 and the Sheepy Lake floating island’s cost is approximately $2.3 million...an estimated colony of 10,000 nesting pairs of Caspian terns on Rice Island in the Columbia River were consuming approximately 6 million to 25 million salmonid smolts per year, according to a 1999 USACE report."

For more on FWS bringing in fish-eating Caspian terns, go to our Refuge Article page, scroll to find many articles

KID chair wants to meet with Tribes, H&N 2/16/18. “There is a major problem with the sucker population,” Kliewer said. “For 25 years, the answer has been more water, more water, more water. “That’s not the right answer...”

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Legislative Review, 2/16/18. New Bill Introductions, Cannabis, Climate, Commodities, Natural Resources, Nutrition, Water, and New Appointments

2/16/18 - Oregon Rep. E. Werner Reschke’s water bill HB 4016. He serves as Vice-Chair of House Energy and Environment committee and has been working hard to get this bill passed to support water rights in the Klamath project. The bill (relating to determined claims) was passed unanimously in bi-partisan Committee on Wednesday and referred to Rules where it is expected to pass the Senate as well.
https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2018R1/Measures/Overview/HB4016

* Tribes seek higher water levels for Upper Klamath; lawsuit notice filed, possibility of extinction-level event cited, H&N 2/14/18.
* Klamath Tribes PRESS RELEASE:
Issuance of Draft 60-Day Notice to Protect C’waam and Koptu (suckers) 2/13/18
* Klamath Tribe's attorney's letter: 60-day notice of violations of Endangered Species Act 2/9/18

Linthicum drafts bill to defund dam removal, H&N 2/14/18. "...the cost for dam removal could amount to $950 million, with no specific plan yet in place to fully fund the project. He also said sediment could total 20 million cubic yards and releasing it downstream would impact long-term fish habitats..."

Tulelake Irrigation District wells water levels 2/13/18

COMMENTS DUE FEB 23 - Reclamation unveils water contracts program (for Klamath water transfer), H&N 2/11/18. "...Contracts would expire in 2022, according to BOR officials. The deadline for the submitting comments on the NEPA documents is Feb. 23.."

KID delays project irrigation season, H&N 2/11/18.

OWRD talks drought, water rights in Basin. Two (City of) Klamath Falls wells subject to call by project, H&N 2/11/18.

Water Claims & Confrontations: (Klamath) irrigators say state shows lack of support, H&N 2/8/18. "...Though 2017 saw so much water in the Basin that multiple areas were flooded, the state still validated a claim on water initiated by the Klamath Tribes...Some irrigators claim that the Tribes have been making blanket calls on water without justification..."

Klamath Falls - BOR's Mikkelsen talks drought survival, H&N 2/9/18. "...The focus of people in the Basin right now is surviving 2018...Long-term solutions are frankly a little bit on the back-burner right now...“There are a lot of urban congressmen, both parties, that do not have any desire to make substantive changes to the ESA. And so we have to follow the ESA and we will follow the ESA.”
Bureau of Reclamation Deputy Mikkelson  and KRRC on Dam Removal vs Siskiyou County, & Attorneys Buchal and Kogan, and Congressman LaMalfa at Siskiyou Water Users fund raiser Liz Writes Life, Siskiyou Daily News by Liz Bowen 10/17/17. "KRRC Vice President Lester Snow...said the decision to take down the dams is not pending, but had been made. (Hum, not by Siskiyou or Klamath Counties.)...Snow continued saying they are looking for alternative water supply for the Iron Gate Fish Hatchery and possibly even for the City of Yreka. Uh oh, they now acknowledge dam removal could affect Yreka’s city water supply? On flooding, he said their consultants have looked at the issues and long-term liability if KRRC disappears. So, KRRC is looking for liability insurance...(CA U.S. Congressman LaMalfa) was ripping angry at bureaucrat  Mikkelsen and asked us to write letters...to DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke asking him to save the four hydro-electric Klamath dams..."

KRRC's liaison visiting Basin, H&N 2/8/18. "...Meurer said he was “immediately” interested in the community liaison position, while he also knew it would be “wildly unpopular” to some opposed to dam removal. (KBC NOTE_ 80% opposed in Siskiyou County, 72% opposed in Klamath County)...Meurer met with the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors. He also listened in on a teleconference between a consultation between the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma and FERC staff."

EPA, Corps put two-year hold on 2015 WOTUS rule, Issue 2/7/18, California Farm Bureau Federation AgAlert. "The 2015 WOTUS rule developed by the Obama administration will not be applicable for the next two years, while we work through the process of providing long-term regulatory certainty across all 50 states about what waters are subject to federal regulation."

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Legislative Review 2/9/18 - New bills introduced: fire, food, taxes, natural resources
California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Legislative Review, 2/2/18 - taxes, cap and trade, pesticides, propositions

(Klamath) Commissioners predict ‘devastating’ summer for water users, H&N 2/1/18

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