Time to Take Action

Archive 191 - April 2018
also  see main archive page


 * Letter from engineer Stephen Koshy, regarding Klamath dams catastrophic collapse, to our KBC News readers 4/27/18.

"...Interveners’ argument mainly rests on the effects of the Klamath River Project on the family farms and ranches in the Project’s irrigation districts...I am not free to favor economic or other interests over potential harm to endangered species..."
   "...the injunctions prioritizes first and foremost the wellbeing of the endangered species (both the Coho salmon and the sucker fish to the extent that they are affected), then the federally-protected rights of the tribes, and finally the rights of the irrigation districts. Federal defendants have not shown that so-called partial implementation cannot meet the objectives of the injunctions, nor that even some lesser amount of Reserve Water would provide no benefits...."
   "...Because the injunctions demand partial compliance in the event that full compliance is not possible, federal defendants’ proposal of releasing water to the Project is clearly inconsistent with their duties. Under the injunctions, they are not permitted to release any water to the irrigation districts that could be instead used to implement Measure 4, even if only partially..."

Letter from Ann SeCoy, Beatty, Oregon to Klamath County Commissioners, Oregon State and Federal Representatives & Senators regarding 140 Upper Klamath ag wells shut off, and responses from Senator Linthicum and Rep. Reschke, posted to KBC 4/30/18.
At the "Open House" with ORWD tonight at the Sprague River Community Center, all I heard repeatedly was:
1) how their hydrology science is fact, but
2) it isn't perfect, so therefore it is their best estimate
3) how the Klamath Tribes have no need to demonstrate the water they are claiming is being put to good use (unlike the similar demands made of the ranchers, who have 5 years to demonstrate productivity with their well water use or their loose their rights)
4) the law is the law, and it doesn't matter that it isn't equally applied, it MUST be enforced.
   We are all in a horrific position of what on earth we are going to do with the proper management of our fields, pastures, and livestock.  Do we sell our herd of cows in a bad market?  Do we put them out to graze on what is our hay crop that is just coming up?  Do we have to get rid of our children's 4H sheep breeding program?
   All these questions that we would not have to deal with if our well was simply ONE FOOT farther than one mile from the tributary that feeds into the Sprague River..."

KID talks water, efficiency with Tribes, H&N 4/30/18

KID (Klamath Irrigation District) seeks state control over water distribution, H&N,  4/29/18.
KID letter to the state, H&N, 4/24/18

Wolf-livestock update set for Wednesday, H&N 4/29/18

Farm to School program pilot project. Local beef makes 4,200 hamburgers for Klamath County students, H&N 4/29/18 "The 700 pounds of meat to make those burgers came from Flying T Ranch in Sprague River, where Topham has been raising specialized Salers cattle for more than 40 years...Connecting students with their food and where their food comes from is the goal of the Farm to School program."

* Letter from engineer Stephen Koshy, regarding Klamath dams catastrophic collapse, to our KBC News readers 4/27/18.

(Japanese) Balloon Bomb Exhibit At Klamath County Museum May 3rd, Klamath Falls News 4/27/18. "A new exhibit on the Japanese balloon bomb that killed six people near Bly in 1945 will open next week at the Klamath County Museum."

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Legislative Review 4/27/18. Animal welfare, pot, commodities, energy, forestry, labor, land use, nutrition, crime.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BEFORE THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION, Siskiyou County Water Users Association / SCWUA, Motion to Dismiss 4/24/18: "Siskiyou County Water Users Association (“SCWUA”), hereby moves to dismiss the application for transfer filed by PacifiCorp and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (“KRRC”), on the ground that Congress has not consented to the transfer, and that an arguable mechanism of the expression of such consent, the Klamath River Compact (the “Compact”), has not been invoked. Absent Congressional consent, the KRRC is not qualified to receive the license. Put another way, it would be unconstitutional and a violation of federal law for FERC..."

3 Open houses for OWRD plans to shut off off project irrigation water:
Sprague River: April 30th (somewhere)
May 1 Chiloquin 10-1
May 1 Klamath County Fairgrounds 3-6
OWRD to regulate groundwater wells in upper Basin, H&N 4/22/18. "We will be regulating surface water and groundwater at the same time," he said, noting water users can expect to receive notices to shut off water use for both surface and groundwater..." (said Matt Anderson, OWRD).

Tensions rise at KID (Klamath Irrigation District); Irrigators allege water mismanagement, H&N 4/24/18. "KID members claim PacifiCorp is sending excess water down the Klamath River and that the BOR is not managing their water effectively. “That water is basically getting stolen from us,” Kliewer said. “The Project has the superior water right in the Basin. PacifiCorp has a junior water right to us, and right now, and the way PacifiCorp has operated, basically whatever way they want, they just take it … We are a big body of water that’s really easy to steal.” "(Klamath Project irrigators are awaiting a) ruling from Judge William H. Orrick regarding water delivery for the Project."

Irrigators await Federal court ruling, H&N 4/24/18. "...The local irrigation districts claim that the prevalence of infection of fish are “misleading” and have asked that the court stay the injunction. The delay is holding up much needed spring water for irrigators in the Basin, as water supply canals low and inactive..."

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Legislative Review 4/20/18. Antibiotics, budget, commodities, energy, labor, land use, nutrition, pot, water, wildlife

Irrigators may get their water as judge mulls altering injunction, H&N 4/20/18.

Republican lawmakers are upset with a federal judge's order to spill water that could be saved for other uses from four Snake River dams to help speed migrating salmon to the Pacific Ocean, US News 4/15/18. "The four dams, built in the 1960s and 1970s, provide hydropower, flood control, navigation, irrigation and recreation benefits, supporters say. But the giant dams are also blamed for killing wild salmon, an iconic species in the Northwest."
Species battle pits protected sea lions against fragile fish 3/23/18. " the mammals’ numbers dropped dramatically but have rebounded from 30,000 in the late 1960s to about 300,000 today due to the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act...Last winter, a record-low 512 wild winter steelhead completed the journey, said Shaun Clements, the state wildlife agency’s senior policy adviser. Less than 30 years ago, that number was more than 15,000...Of all the adults that are returning to the falls here, a quarter of them are getting eaten.”

Mikkelsen speaks to long-term water solutions. Hundreds attend KWUA annual water meeting, H&N 4/15/18. "Alan Mikkelsen, senior advisor to Sec. Ryan Zinke on water and western resources, is working with a team of congressional and state leaders on what he calls a “skeletal framework” for a long-term solution to the ongoing water conflicts in the Klamath Basin...“The skeleton is under review of everybody on my team,” Mikkelsen said. “We developed this within my office to start with.” "...Mikkelsen was mum about the details of the “skeleton” framework...I think that will begin to bring people together in a way that they, the people in this Basin, all the way from the Ocean to here..."

Guest opinion: Klamath issues, by Richard Marshall, President, Siskiyou County Water Users Association, Fort Jones 4/13/18. "...(KRRC is) in the “mix” for one reason only, that is by agreement with the states of Oregon and California and PacifiCorp and numerous environmental and tribal groups to destroy the dams and “remove the liability of the “parties” to the amended KHSA of any potential monetary damages resulting from the destruction of the mighty Klamath River and the aquatic life within and along the river...That corporation (KRRC) which has only two employees by last count, entered into an agreement with a Canadian corporation, AECON, which is about to be acquired by a Chinese conglomerate known as CCCI, an arm of the Chinese government..."

Uncertainty grows for water deliveries, H&N 4/13/18. “The April 23 start date hangs in the balance of what happened (in San Francisco),” Kliewer said. “And I don’t know if ... we don’t have any water till July or if we don’t have any water this year....The farmgate value of commodities out of Klamath County is $292 million, and the Oregon State University economic multiplier after that gets spent in our community, that’s over $500 million. And how can this community live without that?”

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Legislative Review 4/13/18. Ag, energy and utilities, depredation, forestry, taxation, nutrition, pot, land use, water

'A lot on the line' in water hearing. Irrigators wait on Klamath River court decision, H&N 4/12/18 KBC NOTE/short update: Presently the Bureau of Reclamation will not allow Klamath irrigators to even put water in the ditches to prepare for spring irrigation until they get direction from District Judge William Orrick. We can not plan to borrow money to plant fields, or not to plant. Will we keep or lose contracts from buyers who purchase grain, onions, potatoes, mint... , keep or lose fields, keep or lose those renting our fields. One judge can determine the fate of our entire farm community,  when or if he will allow us to irrigate, thus farm, this year. Will our perennial crops that took years and tens of thousands of $ to establish, live or die? Our stored irrigation water is being sent down the Klamath River, with not a drop on our farms.

Water Resources Dept. has only itself to blame for its high legal costs, by Randall Kizer, guest writer for H&N 4/8/18. "...OWRD has control over whether it follows the law or not in regulating water users in the Klamath Basin. And irrigators in the Upper Klamath Basin are tired of the agency not carrying out its regulatory responsibilities..."

Drought 2018: Estimated losses no small potatoes for Malin packing shed, H&N 4/8/18

PRESS RELEASE - Reclamation to increase water releases to Klamath River today to address fish health concerns. Increased flows to begin this afternoon and continue through Monday; Public urged to take safety precautions on or near the river while flows are high, BOR 4/6/18

Klamath water users to attend pivotal court hearing, Capital Press 4/6/18. "The Yurok Tribe, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Institute for Fisheries Resources, Klamath Riverkeeper and the Hoopa Valley Tribe sought the injunction to protect juvenile coho after several years of deadly C. shasta outbreak.

Sucker fish success requires cooperation, H&N by Tracy Liskey 4/3/18. "In the past all we have done is keep the water levels higher and the fish population has done nothing but continue to decrease and the basin economy decrease because of water restrictions..." KBC NOTE: It's been stated at meetings for more than 15 years that the fish die-offs happen when water managers mandate historically high lake levels for the fish. The Klamath Science Workshop Feb. 3, 2004: Dr William Lewis Jr of the National Resources Committee "explained that the suckers were listed since 1988 because of over harvest.  They stopped fishing in '87 but they did not recover. The lake has gone from 3' range under natural conditions to experiencing 6' deep in current dry years. With charts and graphs he showed the habitat and water quality, algae and chlorophyll. He said that the committee looked extensively at water levels, and they find 'no hint of a relationship'. He also said that there was no relationship between lower water levels and extreme ph levels. And "the committee cannot support the idea that water levels effect algae growth.' "It can not be achieved by lake levels." '92 was the lowest water year, and they expected it to be the least favorable for fish. 'The lowest water year produced the same amount of larvae as other years. He said that fish kill information does not support that fish are dying by changing water level. 'We need to look at other locations.' "

Klamath Tribe complaints regarding ranchers being allowed drinking water and water for livestock. 4/2/18. Watering crops and pasture on Upper Klamath private land is presently forbidden by Klamath Tribes.
Upper Basin ranchers get reprieve to water cattle, H&N 3/15/18. "Ranchers in the Upper Basin of Klamath County — and the town of Chiloquin — received an emergency exemption from the call on water Friday allowing them to use water for their stock cattle and for human consumption...The Klamath Tribes has the first rights to the water, which it uses to protect endangered short-nosed sucker and Lost River sucker."

4/1/18 - Powerpoint: Position on water for tribes by Alan Mikkelson, Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Chair of the Working Group on Indian Water Rights Settlements.


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