Klamath Water Users Association
February 20, 2004
Leadership Prepares for Association’s 50th Year
Two new officers will help lead the Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) Board of Directors (Board) into the association’s fiftieth year in the Klamath Basin. Steve Kandra, a Merrill, Oregon farmer who operates on both sides of the state line, was unanimously elected as KWUA’s 2004 President during the association’s elections conducted Wednesday afternoon. Lon Baley, who also farms near Merrill, is KWUA’s new Secretary-Treasurer, replacing Mark Campbell of the Running Y Ranch, who will serve as KWUA Vice-President.
"This is an exciting time for KWUA, " said Kandra. "The organization has shown that it can put together an effective program and affect local, State, and Federal action and policy. We have the structure, capabilities, and respect to take the next steps to secure irrigated agriculture in the Klamath Basin. Our time has come, not through luck, but through hard work of the Association and the community."
Kandra replaces outgoing president Dave Solem, general manager of Klamath Irrigation District, who led KWUA for the past two years. Both Solem and outgoing vice-president Earl Danosky (Tulelake Irrigation District) will remain on the association’s 2004 board of directors.
"Dave Solem has provided steady leadership over two very turbulent years," said KWUA Executive Director Dan Keppen. "We’re all thankful for his incredible contribution to the community."
KWUA’s mission is to preserve, protect and defend the water and power rights of the landowners of the Klamath Project, while promoting wise management of ecosystem resources. The KWUA Board of Directors is a policy-making body.
2004 KWUA Committee Appointments
Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) 2004 Committee Chairs and committee voting members were established on Wednesday in elections conducted at the KWUA office in Klamath Falls.
The primary role of committees is to provide recommendations to the Board of Directors of the Association. Recommendations are provided after discussion among the appointed Committee members and other interested parties that make up the committees. While actual voting at committee meetings is limited to the three Board-appointed committee members, many of KWUA’s committees are comprised of additional members of the broader Klamath Project irrigation and business community. For example, the Water Bank and Supply Enhancement Committee in 2002 met over 35 times, often with more than twenty members in attendance. The voting members of KWUA’s standing committees for 2004 and descriptions of each committee are provided below.
Administrative Committee (Chair Lon Baley, Bob Gasser & Mark Campbell) - provides recommendations and guidance on Association administration policies, personnel policies & benefit programs.
Budget Committee (Chair Luther Horsely, Steve Kandra & Lon Baley) - prepares a budget for the fiscal year beginning the first day of January.
Water Bank and Supply Enhancement Committee (Chair Gary Wright, Bill Kennedy, Bill Heiney) - provides recommendations and guidance to the Board on technical and policy matters associated with water banking, new storage proposals, and other supply enhancement projects that impact Klamath Project operations.
Power Committee (Chair Lynn Long, John Nichols, Harold Hartman)–provides recommendations and guidance to the Board on issues associated with 2006 power rate issues, FERC relicensing, and other matters associated with Project power.
Public Relations Committee (Chair Rob Crawford,
Science Committee (Chair Dave Solem, Lon Baley, Bob Gasser) - provides recommendations and guidance to the Board on issues associated with science and technical matters. This Committee works with the Association’s consultants involved with fishery biology, water quality, hydrology, and other matters.
Legal Committee (Chair Dave Solem, Sam Henzel, Harold Hartman) -provides recommendations and guidance to the Board on issues associated with ongoing and potential litigation and general legal matters. This Committee works with the Association’s legal consultant and, as necessary, with attorney representing irrigation districts and other Project water users.
Committee meetings, unless otherwise specified by the Board of Directors or the Committee Chair, are considered to be "open" meetings, although any recommendations forwarded by the Committee to the Board must be supported by the votes of the Board-appointed committee members.
Please do not hesitate to contact KWUA if you are interested in serving on a standing committee.
KWUA to Join California Water Officials at Water Education Foundation Briefing
Klamath Project irrigators will be represented at the Water Education Foundation’s 21st Annual Executive Briefing, scheduled for March 11-12 at the Radisson Hotel in Sacramento, California. The theme of this year’s Executive Briefing is "New Directions on the Water Front". Klamath Water Users Association Executive Director Dan Keppen will join tribal, state and federal agency representatives in a panel discussion on the potential effects of changing flow regimes on the Trinity River.
The event will kick off March 11 with the vision of California water in the new administration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Administration representatives who will appear at the briefing include Mike Chrisman, Secretary for the California Resources Agency, and Terry Tamminen, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
Senator Mike Machado, Chair of the Senate Agriculture and Water Resources Committee, will give an update on water legislation during a luncheon address, and Rep. John Doolittle will open a window on California water issues as viewed from a Washington, D.C., perspective during a March 12 address.
Panel discussions during the one-and-a-half day Briefing will bring together leading experts and policy-makers, who will share their views on major issues facing California’s water community, including the latest on CALFED implementation, Trinity River flows, and prospects for lasting peace on the Colorado River. For more information, or to register for the Briefing, call 916-444-6240 or visit http://www.watereducation.org/.
Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) Director Katy Coba has announced the development of an electronic mail list to provide regular updates on a recent federal court decision that affects the use of certain pesticides in Oregon. The topic court action is often referred to as "Washington Toxics Coalition versus United States Environmental Protection Agency". Through this list, ODA will regularly provide information to assist in understanding requirements under this order.
ODA has posted some general information about the federal court decision on the Pesticides Division web site (http://oda.state.or.us/pesticide). As additional information becomes available, it will be posted to this site.
According to Coba, ODA has a long working relationship with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding pesticide issues. EPA expects to have available soon a "questions and answers" fact sheet regarding the federal court order. When this document becomes available, it will be posted to the ODA Pesticides Division web site and a notification will be emailed to those on the electronic mail list.
EPA is also working to develop an interactive web site to identify the waterways subject to "buffer zones" under the federal court order. Some time may elapse before that web site is available. ODA is therefore working with Oregon State University and other agencies to quickly develop maps identifying affected waterways. These maps become will be posted to the Pesticides Division web site. Plans to make hard copies of these maps available are also underway.
High IGD Flows + Low UKL Inflows +No "A" Canal Flows = Sucker B.O. "Bust"
The Klamath Project agricultural community has been closely monitoring the refill of Upper Klamath Lake (UKL) in recent weeks in anticipation of what may be the latest example of the flawed biological opinions that currently dictate Project operations. PacifiCorp representatives and tribal and governmental fisheries biologists last week conferred to discuss a truly amazing predicament: because of low UKL inflows and high releases from Iron Gate Dam to meet coho salmon biological opinion (BO) levels, Upper Klamath Lake was on track to miss by 0.6 feet the end-of-February lake level requirement set by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to protect sucker fish.
As of late last week, the level of UKL was below average, due to a combination of low snowmelt (although the snowpack was over 120% of normal) and high releases out of Iron Gate Dam (IGD) to meet the coho salmon BO requirements. Already, agencies have considered curtailing supplies to the national wildlife refuges to help prevent a "bust" of the USFWS lake level requirement, although a decision to cut refuge supplies has been delayed to later in the month. Meanwhile, curtailing UKL diversions to the "A" Canal cannot be viewed as a solution, (as was considered by federal agencies in June 2003), since water deliveries directly out of UKL do not occur at this time of the year.
"In essence, we have a situation where - in the absence of A Canal UKL diversions – the net combined result of the two biological opinions may lead to the curtailment of refuge supplies, and the likely "bust" of one of those biological opinions," said KWUA Executive Director Dan Keppen. "It will be interesting to see if our critics can find a way to blame this one on Project irrigators."
DEQ Water Quality Administrator Resigns Effective Today
Mike Llewelyn, who has served as the Water Quality Administrator for the
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for nearly seven years, has
resigned from the agency, citing personal reasons.
Source: ODEQ News Release
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Tuesday, February 24 – Thursday, February 26, 2004. Klamath Watershed Conference. Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004. Klamath River Compact Commission Business Meeting. 4:00 p.m. Sunset Room, Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, Oregon.
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