Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Archive 15 - March and April 2003
Walden announces legislation, Healthy Forest Restoration Act to speed up thinning process H&N 4/29/03.
Power Plant application completed, H&N 4/30/03. "The Office of Energy will receive written comments on the COB application until June 23." Get involved and support the town of Bonanza, Oregon. Read article by John Batten, Bonanza (H&N), 'Don't let them do it.' "how can we let some company from Chicago believe that it can come in and take millions of gallons of water every day of the year to make power to send to Los Angeles? Can we as landowners drill a well and take all the water we want? No, we cannot."
Montanans may follow Klamath example, Sierra Times. Their back roads are closed to protect the 'grizzley', fires decimate their communities, they are targeted for human less WILDLANDS PROJECT just like the Klamath Basin. posted 4/28/03
Reclamation postpones Trinity River flow releases, posted 2/18/03, Bureau of Reclamation by Jeff McCracken.
"Addressing the Challenges of the Klamath River Basin" Dan Keppen's speech at KWUA annual meeting. 4/26/03. NRC Committee Chair Bill) .."Lewis specifically states: "In fact, variations of weather conditions from year to year due seem to underlie variations in mass mortality of adult suckers from year to year. But there is no hint of any connection with water level." We will have to wait and see what the final report says, but comments like these appear to support what our biologists have been saying for years."
KWUA Update for April 25, 2003.
Oppose generating facility, H&N Letter by Lyn and Melyn Brock, Bonanza. 4/25/03. "There are dozens of farmers and probably hundreds of residents of Klamath County who are opposed to the siting of the Peoples Energy of Chicago's California-Oregon Border energy facility in Bonanza.....We are trying to fight this issue but we are not being heard.....The company will use it and reuse it until all that is left is sludge, which it will have to truck to a dumpsite. Wow. It is turning well water into landfill - just what we need."
White House official brings encouragement to the Klamath Basin, 4/25/04, KBC News, "We've probably acquired enough land in the West--we need to take care of what we have." David Anderson, White House CEQ. "This President is so aware if the importance of agriculture. President Bush often asks about your well being." "We assure you that decisions will be based on sound science." Dave Solem, KWUA president, spoke of many conservation projects undertaken by the irrigators and BOA, including the multimillion dollar fish screen, and described litigation by environmental groups trying to cripple agriculture, "They need to channel their efforts to help find solutions rather than fighting the irrigators."
Court delay assures water for 3 weeks, 4/24/03 H&N
Use Lost River, H&N 4/24/03
Judge right to dismiss baseless water claim, H&N 4/24/03
Power Plant approved in spite of local opposition, H&N 4/23/03
California Oregon Border power plant, it will use up to 7.7
million gallons of water a day. For farmers, this is 8,000
acre feet of water that could effect their wells and put them out of
MYTH VS. FACT: 2002 Klamath River Fish Die-Off, 4/22/03, Press Release: Fact Sheet
Dan Keppen's letter to the editor
of Mother Jones magazine, 4/21/03" link for full letter
MONEY TALKS! Bonanza irrigators can't pump the irrigation wells they had to drill, yet a Chicago power company may be pumping 7.7 million gallons of water per day! What gives!? H&N 4/20/03
Weekly KWUA Update for
April 18, 2003.
On Earth Day Remember: If Environmentalists Succeed, They Will Make Human Life Impossible, "In a nation founded on the pioneer spirit, they have made "development" an evil word. They inhibit or prohibit the development of Alaskan oil, offshore drilling, nuclear power—and every other practical form of energy. Housing, commerce, and jobs are sacrificed to spotted owls and snail darters. Medical research is sacrificed to the "rights" of mice. Logging is sacrificed to the "rights" of trees. No instance of the progress which brought man out of the cave is safe from the onslaught of those "protecting" the environment from man, whom they consider a rapist and despoiler by his very essence." posted 4/18/03.
Study Shows That Klamath River Temperatures – Not Klamath
Project Operations – Are Likely Reason for 2002 Fish Die-Off “In my opinion, the best available scientific data and information indicate
that the continued operation and maintenance of historical flows at Iron
Gate Dam will not jeopardize coho salmon. Furthermore, in my opinion the
operations of Iron Gate Dam during the summer and fall of 2002 did not cause
and could not have prevented the fish die-off in the lower Klamath River.”
Dave Vogel, March 2003
|Auction helps save family farm, H&N 4/14/03. 'The Mackens needed to clear more than $70,000 to prevent their hay farm, which has been in the family since 1919, from being lost to bankruptcy.'|
H&N photo by Lee Juillerat
ANOTHER AUCTION TODAY AND TOMORROW, APRIL 11-12. COME AND HELP JERRY MACKEN SAVE HIS FAMILY FARM (since 1919). Old farm equipment, new hope
Weekly KWUA Update for
April 10, 2003.
* White House Official to Speak at KWUA Annual Meeting
* "Takings" Hearing Rescheduled
* Reclamation Announces 2003 Project Operations
* Commissioner Keys Meets with KWUA
* Walden Re-Introduces ESA Sound Science Bill
* Study Shows Temperatures Likely Reason for 2002 Fish Die-Off
"...in my opinion the operations of Iron Gate Dam during the summer and fall of 2002 did not cause and could not have prevented the fish die-off in the lower Klamath River.” David Vogel, fisheries biologist.
DR. ROBERT TODD, NEW BIOLOGICAL OPINION: 'Diversions don't look bad', H&N letter 4/10/03. "Fish limits were raised for coho salmon. There was the third-largest return of coho salmon recorded at the hatchery last year. Coho salmon are on sale at all grocery stores. Diverting water for agriculture is killing off the coho salmon? If these are the results of diverting water for agriculture, then my biological opinion says maybe we should be diverting more water. Bob Todd, Tulelake"
Waiting on weather and a lawsuit, H&N 4/10/03. "But whether the supplies outlined in the plan actually flow or not depends on the weather and a lawsuit to be heard at the end of the month in Oakland, Calif. For Ty Kliewer, a Basin farmer, the uneasy feeling in his gut is all too familiar. 'You feel like you live with a gun pointed to your head all the time and you pray to God there is not a bullet in the chamber,' he said."
Democrat Representatives Mike Thompson, and Earl Blumenauer strike again. What the H&N did not mention is that their $20 million for communities would go toward buying out the farmers. Within 2 days of the new Project operations plan, and 2 weeks from court, the democrats again try to buy us out, and the enviros try (for the 3rd time in a year) to make the Klamath River the 2nd most endangered in the USA. Your tax dollars well spent--you farm and provide jobs, and the parasites sue to demolish one more community, with tax-exempt $$$$$$$$$$.
Water will flow, H&N 4/10/03. John Keys, commissioner of the U.S. BOR, presents the 2003 operations plan for the Klamath Project.
Congressional Delegation ponders ranch purchase, H&N 4/9/03. This does not address the illegally-high phosphorus level that would occur, any promise for more water for irrigators for taking even more land out of production, the inflated price to benefit American Land Conservancy, and how they would get this warm, shallow water into the river.
Low flow regime in draft Klamath plan, Times Standard, 4/9/03. Federal scientists told Wanger's court that between "30,000 and 70,000 acre feet from the Trinity would avert another fish kill." KBB Commentary: Click Here
Ruling ok's water release FROM TRINITY to avoid repeat of fish kill! Yes, this is from the Oregonian, saying that part of the Trinity's 90%-of-the-Klamath River-diversion will prevent a fish kill like last year, that they (USFWS, USGS, USF&G, Oregonian, Tribes, ONRC, Glen Spain) blamed on the 2% of water the Klamath Irrigators use.
Trying to Change the ESA, H&N 4/9/03. Again Congressman Walden opts for peer-reviewed science rather than biased, agenda-driven precess
The Culture Did It, H&N letter to the editor, 4/9/03. "When people tell the farmers to sell out, they reveal their ignorance of culture. It is the same as telling people to sell their right arms. Culture is not something you can sell."
Better Water Available, H&N 4/9/03. "...perfectly good water, that could have saved a lot of salmon, was not sent to the Klamath River, but was sent to California irrigators by a California judge."
Click here for Wood-Spain-Masten-Thompson-Blumenaur-ETC Endangered River scheme. 4/9/03 Every year before a court hearing, the enviros get on the 'get-rid-of-the-farmers' bandwagon, so be prepared for their usual mantra. Here it is, once again, in full force. A farmer stated today, "I pay taxes, yet these tax-exempt groups are causing over 20% of our funds to be spent for litigation. These funds used to go toward environmental and conservation practices." Another farmer stated, "These guys are parasites, fighting us with their tax-exempt funds." So now, the NRC science says that water level management does not protect fish. 2002 had a record run of chinook salmon. Trinity flows of cold water could have prevented the fish kill. They have no more justification, so they bring in the 'endangered river' scheme. Notice, they do not mention that Trinity diverts 90% of the Klamath, and the irrigators 2%. We have already retired over 92,000 acres farmland for wetlands which use more water. They don't mention that the Klamath River used to dry up on low-water years, before the Klamath Project.
|They were times of opportunity and change, H&N by Lee Juillerat. STORY CLICK HERE. Bill Ganger came to the Tulelake Basin in 1929, as the lake was being drained for farmland. They walked miles to school in the snow, milked cows, farmed, and hauled hay at a young age. "My Navy orders came on February 1st and, man was I happy to see that in the mail, cuz going to Navy boot camp was just like a vacation for me." (Excerpt from Homesteading in a Promised Land video, where Bill tells much of the 100-year story of the Tulelake Basin, including impressions of the 2001 water crisis.)|
Klamath canals fill. Consultant suggests new approach, Capitol Press
Evans said a critical piece to solving the Klamath crisis is getting a
moratorium on lawsuits. Both the upper basin’s Klamath Reclamation Project,
target of a half-dozen active suits not counting those over water
adjudication, and diversions from Trinity River – the Klamath’s largest
tributary – are under continuing scrutiny of federal judges."
GOOD NEWS, by Dan Keppen, Klamath Water Users Executive Director, 4/8/03. "Judge Wanger ruled in Fresno last week on a few very important Trinity River issues."
Wolf defenders offer theory, not science, H&N Reg LeQuieu, 4/7/03 "Each wolf kills an average of 18.36 elk, deer, moose, antelope or bighorn sheep per year. The 300 wolves in Idaho killed 5,400 elk in 2002. In Yellowstone they have reduced the elk herd from 20,000 animals to 9,500."
Bureau adds specialist in endangered species, H&N 4/7/03. "Tom Pitts, a consulting engineer in Loveland, Colo., who represents water users on the Upper Colorado, said Karas is good at getting people to understand each other. What makes Karas good is that she is honest, he said. "She puts her cards on the table." (Christine--one, just one 'honest' person could pave the way for a solution...your work is cut out for you!!!! Our prayers are with you...KBC)
Klamath Gates Spill Out Irrigation Water By Eric Bailey, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, 4/5/03. Eric Bailey joins the Oregonian in accentuating the 2002 fish kill, refusing to acknowledge that the Project uses 2% of the watershed verses 90% diverted by the Trinity, 2002 had record run of salmon, the fish killed were primarily Trinity River fish, and drug labs near the fish kill poisoning the water abound. These facts are not going to go away, no matter how much the green press repeats the 'Farmer's Fault' mantra.
Look at the other end of the river for help, H&N edititorial, 4/4.
Weekly KWUA Update for
April 4, 2003.
"'Here we are, standing on top of a new structure intended to protect
endangered fish, delivering water to a community that has voluntarily
agreed to forego the use of over 60,000 acre-feet of water to meet
Endangered Species Act conditions,' said Merrill farmer Steve Kandra at
Tuesday’s event. 'All the so-called environmentalists appear to be doing
are pointing fingers, filing lawsuits, and cranking out negative press
* New "A" Canal Gates Open: Water and Blame Flow Freely
* The "A" Canal Fish Screen: How it Works
* Oregon Weighs in on PCFFA v. USBR
* Environmentalists Warn Reclamation: "If Crisis Ensues - It's Your Fault"
* U.S. Closes NMFS Whistleblower File
* Federal Judge Schedules Status Conference in "Takings" Case
* Shasta-Scott Recovery Planning for Coho Salmon Begins in California
Prayer 4/3/03, "Father, during this time ....."
Recovering after a year without water, 4/2/03 H&N. Rodney Todd, crop production specialist for Oregon State University's Klamath County Extension Service: "The total overall value (of all crops and commodities in Klamath County) is up some $18 million dollars from 2002, and some $32 million from 2001 - and one of the significant sectors that increased was potatoes." Report available on the Internet
Oregon asks judge to recognize state's water rights jurisdiction, H&N 4/2/03. "Dan Keppen, executive director for the Klamath Water Users Association, said the group is encouraged that the state sees the importance of the case."
A Bob Hunter, Glen Spain, Jim McCarthy, and Kristen Boyles special., 4/1/03. Here we have Glen Spain of Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations--a city lawyer, claiming that the Klamath Basin's 2% of the watershed killed the Trinity fish 200 miles away, while the Trinity diverts up to 90% of the water. Then they want us to believe that we should permanently retire our 2% of the water, or we will destroy the tourism and recreation market.......? 2002 had a record run of salmon! 2001's taking of farm and refuge water for tourism and fish damaged a nurtured, fragile ecosystem in the Klamath Basin. It was only the farmers well water that kept the refuges in tact, while farms and farm wildlife went without. Evidently this fine eco-terrorist committee was not here. They did not see the famished wildlife, the tears, the auctions. We have retired 92,000 acres ag land 'for the fish and the promise of more water' already....and the feds lied about 'more water', didn't they?! Feds seek water for salmon, The Oregonian, 4/2/03. Michael Milstein--Mike chimes the same mantra.
TIME TO UNITE, By Dougles K. Whitsett, Poe Valley. "Are we soon to see potato and pear producers at war over another Marxist-created and manipulated water issue?"
Headgates open on schedule, H&N 4/1/03 Sign up for the Sunday tour!
Barnes for-profit deal, letter to the editor, H&N, 3/31/03 "We have a natural storage basin close to the lake and could store millions and millions of gallons of water in a natural reservoir at Aspen Lake on the south side of the lake. But please, please, please, check this group out".
Bureau to decide on Klamath Water, H&N 3/30/03. "Ironically, guidelines for managing the Klamath Reclamation Project give irrigators more water in a "dry" year than in a year with average water supplies. That's because the Bureau is allowed to conserve less water for fish in "dry" years."
More water for salmon, H&N. Trinity River water considered in plan to prevent fish die-off. "Reclamation officials say up to 90 percent of the Trinity River's water has been diverted to the Central Valley in some years." 3/30/03
COMING SOON TO AN AREA NEAR YOU!!! ATTENTION KLAMATH BASIN! National Grazing Buyout Program Proposal By California Rep and Enviro Coalition? by Toni Thayer Funding for the grazing elimination program is provided to the NPLGC by the Foundation for Deep Ecology, Wilfurforce Foundation and Lazar Foundation, that also fund the United Nations’ Wildlands Project of biosphere reserves with connecting wildlife corridors through various non-profits.
Salmon fishermen to enjoy higher limit this year, AP Eureka, CA 3/30/03 "Fishery experts say a strong run of Oregon coastal coho salmon is largely responsible for the looser restrictions." In 1992, it was record low water year, and record high fish. 2002 was very low water year, and record high fish. Record runs are expected this year.......they call these fish endangered. THINK ABOUT IT!!! FARMERS HAVE TO IDLE ACRES THIS YEAR AND PUMP UNTESTED AQUIFER TO PROVIDE MORE WATER TO RECORD RUNS OF FISH! KBC
Noon tomorrow, Saturday March 29, support our troops in Iraq at the Klamath Fairground at a peaceful rally!
Weekly KWUA Update
for March 28, 2003.
* Bush Administration Rolls Out Agency Work Plans
* Walden Announces 7$ million Klamath Basin Conservation Funding Package
* U.S. Justice Department Recommends Higher Trinity Flows to Avert Fish Die-Off
Regarding ONRC letter, editorial by Mike Connelly, 3/27/03 "In short, the ONRC argues that the basin’s agricultural communities have problems because they’re dependent on artificial government supports, and then proposes to solve the problems with wildly expensive, utterly unprecedented, and apparently endless artificial government supports."
Work plans for Klamath Basin on the Internet, H&N 3/28/03 "The Klamath River Basin Working Group, established by President Bush in 2002, is making available work plans for the Basin from the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce."
Farm Bill funds released to Basin irrigators, H&N 3/28/03
Governor's aide pays local visit, H&N 3/27/03
Rains fill Upper Klamath Lake, Link River, 3/26/03 H&N
Water bank should be full, H&N 3/25/03
KBC news team commentary regarding 'water bank', "JUST TELL US, DOI.......COULD THIS BE STEP ONE IN A PERMANENT DOWNSIZE IN SPITE OF THE NAS BEST-AVAILABLE-SCIENCE THAT YOU REQUESTED???? "
Lesley ready to test his wit in the Basin, H&N 3/25/03. New BOR official from Madeline, CA in Klamath Falls office. (anyone from Madaline can't be all bad!! kbc)
EXAMPLES TO CONSIDER Take a look at the following 2
stories...now think about it! Last year the Klamath River sported
the 3rd highest salmon run, the tribes and environmental groups
are claiming Klamath Project (which only provides 2% on the watershed)
are destroying their fish. They expect about the same quantity of fish
this year. The NRC committee, scientists who Secretary Gail Norton
appointed, so far see NO scientific evidence that water levels impact
fish, yet the environmental groups want to use the fish kill of Trinity
fish (Trinity river diverts 50-90% of the water), 200 miles from
our 2% of stored irrigation water, as an excuse to buy out the
farmers. Are we talking 'best available science' here, or
environmental agenda with well-funded tax-deductible backing???
Also, regarding inference to pesticides, the past manager at USFWS, Phil
Norton, repeatedly publicly stated that there have been NO WILDLIFE
DEATHS OR ILLNESS-NO ADVERSE EFFECTS from pesticide use in the refuges.
NONE. KBC 3/25/03
Fear for Klamath River growing, Mercury News
Humboldt County to press feds for promised Trinity water, The run of salmon this year is expected to be only slightly smaller than last year's." (Remember, last year's was 3rd highest run of salmon on the Klamath.)
Basin shouldn't be Owens Valley II, H&N 3/23/03, by Dan Keppen, executive director Klamath Water Users Association, "Outside interests - who wish to eliminate the Project and "return" productive farmland to an idealistic "natural" state - have infiltrated the community and have gathered a small group of financially desperate, emotionally depressed and morally discouraged farmers into their fold."
Map reveals Merrill, Malin underground, H&N Dylan Darling, "The map will serve a variety of purposes, such as helping people looking for groundwater know where to look, said Margaret Jenks, co-author of the map."
Federal judge plans hearing on Basin irrigator lawsuit, H&N 3/23/03.
Lawmakers want ranch answers by Dylan Darling, H&N 3/23/03. American Land Conservancy wants to purchase Barnes Ranch. John Keyes, commissioner of Bureau of Reclamation, is being asked many questions by Oregon's Congressional delegation, such as, on 2800 acres at a price of $9.1 million: "Is there any precedent for the conservancy getting a 7.5 percent commission, or $675,000, in the sale, in addition to a 2.5 percent commission for a real estate broker?
Feds won't probe charges, by Don Thompson, AP, 3/22/03 Klamath
Fish Kill testimony will be allowed in lawsuit.
Weekly Update for March 21, 2003.
* PCCFA vs. USBR: Overview, Plaintiff / Defense Arguments, Water User Arguments, Reliance on NMFS Whistleblower
* Takings Case Scheduled for April 29, 2003 in DC Court
* Klamath Hydro Relicensing Meeting Schedule for April
Stay out of it, H&N 3/20/03 editorial by Bob Boring, teacher at Lost River High School, "What in the world is the Oregon Natural Resources Circus (ONRC) doing sending letters to farmers?..." (ONRC letter is on bottom of column on left), KBC
Don't Give In to ONRC,
Letter to Editor, H&N, 3/18. "I don't want to read about our brave sons
and daughters going off to war to fight terrorism in a foreign country
when their land is being stolen from their families here in America."
Water from Oregon’s Wood River Valley, A Proposed Solution by the Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust. See Oregonian's news report, Klamath water deal no bargain for U.S . 03/16/03, followed by wetland report. (the last 2 reports were run by KBC two days ago also).
FFA group hears Klamath farmers, 3/7/03 By Sharon Burke , Capitol Press, "I heard them (the Klamath Basin farmers) speak at an event in Hermiston," said John Stables, advisor of the Hillsboro FFA chapter. "I think what they have to say is an important message and that the Columbia Basin could be next."
Klamath water deal no bargain for U.S.,
The Oregonian by Michaed Milstein. "On May 28, with no
public notice, Root and the U.S. government signed the new contract, which
meant the government would be paying $948,000" "It paid more than
$100,000 for water that Thomas, the California rancher, in 1991 had told the
state he would never use." "We
wanted to show that if people were interested in coming up with good ideas
that support the president's goals out there, we stood ready to give it a
try," said Sue Ellen Wooldridge, deputy chief of staff for Norton."
landowners complain the deal with Root slammed the door on their chances to
sell water at lower prices."
Check out how much ag land has been converted to wetlands in the guise of 'saving water', and how much water it has depleted.
Tulelake Meeting with Saltman & Stevens, KBC report, 3/15/03. Contact Law firm Saltman & Stevens immediately if you are interested in filing in the 'breach of contract' lawsuit, or if you have any questions.
Weekly Update for March 14, 2003.
* National Research Council Klamath Committee Chair Rebuts OSU Researchers
* Key Excerpts from Dr. Lewis' Response
* KWUA Statement on OSU Researchers' Critique of NRC Interim Report
* Three Klamath Basin Counties Join Water Users in PCFFA Litigation
Trying to find compensation, H&N Dylan Darling, "farmers seek to recover losses from 2001 water cutoff."
Attorneys Saltman and Stevens will be holding a meeting this Saturday, March 15, at 1:00 p.m. at the Tulelake Fairgrounds. The 'takings' suit claims the federal government must compensate irrigators for taking their irrigation water. According to Kehn Gibson of the Tri County Courier, "Saltman told The Courier his firm has filed 20 breach cases and won 19 of them...And that one case is on appeal, and I'm sure we'll win that one.'" ...According to the Courier, the suit may be filed without the initial $5000 fee that was proposed at the last meeting.
MUST READ!!!!!!! The NRC response in left column!!! "The committee did not rule out the possibility that relationships exist, but could say with certainty that the data, which are considerable in some instances, simply do not support the existence of relationships between water level and indicators of the abundance or welfare of fish. These conclusions were not unique to the NRC committee."
See Archive 14: Jan-Feb 2003
also see main
also see: environmental news and commentary
also see main archive page for past months
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