Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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"Foreigners" in "Armed Boats" Kill Klamath Fish
Outside Magazine - August 2003
By Barry R. Clausen – February 2004
© With Permission
American farmers, ranchers, miners and property rights advocates are forever continuing to fight for their very existence. The impact on their families, their way of life and the lifestyle they wish to share, and ultimately leave to future generations, has more than one common enemy. Most believe it is environmentalism, but without liberal left wing media, where would these radical earth worshippers be?
The liberal press has, and will continue to not succeed in dealing with real property rights issues. They constantly close their eyes and fail to tell the truth and persistently spin the issues to the point of absurdity. As a result, they are helping radical extremists towards their goal of destroying rural American beliefs and American farming and ranching families.
As one of many examples of inaccuracy, bias and left wing media extremism, there is the case of an article in Outside magazine written by New York Journalist, Patrick Symmes, a Contributing Editor for the magazine and the author of the story.
The August 2003 edition of the magazine does a huge injustice not only to the Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers, but to all those that feed America.
The article is a result of a huge fish kill when an estimated 33,000 salmon out of about 100,000 died and were discovered within the first twenty miles of the Lower Klamath River in Northern California on September 19, 2002. Many radical environmentalists, along with their Native American supporters blamed the Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers.
With numerous left-wing publications blaming the farmers and ranchers, Outside has dramatically disgraced itself over this story and has now admitted it - publicly. During the beating process of the Klamath farmers and ranchers, Outside and Symmes proceed to beat on me. Symmes quotes an article I wrote for the Siskiyou Daily News in February of 2003, about drug traffickers. In that story I wrote, "A law enforcement official from the Del Norte Sheriff Department stated, "There have been armed boats traveling up and down the river [Klamath], but we have not been able to determine why."
The following quote from Outside is another example of omitting the topic, forgetting to tell the truth and spinning the issues to the point of absurdity. The article states, "The fish kill brought out some of Jefferson States wiggier citizens, including Barry Clausen, a self-styled crusader against ecoterrorism who lives in nearby Redding. Clausen told the Siskiyou Daily News that the salmon were killed not by low water but by "foreigners" in "armed boats" traveling up and down the Klamath…."
Another omission by Symmes was the fact that the U.S. Government, Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is and has been diverting as much as 90% of the nearby Trinity River water to the Sacramento River. This water would usually flow into the Klamath at Weitchpec, California but instead, is being diverted and utilized in the Central Basin of California. The fish kill was between Weitchpec and the river mouth. Had it not been for the BOR there would have been an ample supply of water for the salmon.
According to Tom Patton a hydraulic engineer for the BOR, the percentage of water being released from the Trinity Reservoir and diverted to the Sacramento was 73% during the fish kill. It was also promised by Government officials to the Hoppa Tribe that the amount of water released would not exceed 50%. Many members of the Hoppa and numerous others believe that amount would ensure the spawning Chinook and Coho salmon would receive enough cooler water to survive.
One person concerned about the Trinity River water usage is U.S. Forest Service Wildlife Biologist Tony Hocking from Orleans, California. While expressing his views, he was critical of the large amount of water the government drains from Trinity Lake into the Sacramento. Hocking stated, "The water pumped from the Trinity never gets talked about."
There were many, who, without factual information praised the article, including Lauren Ward of American Land Conservancy, David L. Morris II, Natural Resources Manager, City of Newport News, Virginia and Michael Gritzuk, Water Services Director, City of Phoenix, Arizona.
There are also many others angry about the article and the untruthful spin put on the story. In a letter to the editor of Outside Dan Keppen, of Klamath Falls stated, "‘Although I am hesitant to resurrect still more of the ‘agonizing minutiae’ that Patrick Symmes seams to loathe, his article unfortunately mischaracterizes comments I made earlier this year as executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association. Symmes incorrectly writes that I ‘stretched facts a bit’…" Upon calling Keppen he also stated, "It made us look so bad, it is unfortunate that when most read this story they will believe what is said. It [the story] is so inaccurate."
Northern California’s, Siskiyou County Supervisor, Marsha Armstrong said that after reading the Outside story, "It’s a total misrepresentation of conditions here, and to what these conditions are really attributable to."
Rob Crawford a Tulelake Farmer and member of the Klamath Water Users Association stated, "‘River Impossible’ is not true. It is a river system with more solutions than problems. If extreme environmentalists would quit playing the blame game and look at the system with a broad watershed wide approach, they would come to the conclusion that a safe domestic food supply should be part of the algebraic equation. Wildlife, farms, fish, refuges, and national parks are what make the Klamath Basin a beautiful part of the Klamath system. Balances were getting close and the data backs it up."
In a letter to the editor of Outside about Symmes story, Bob Thompson of Burbank, California wrote, "Symmes suggests that if only the evil Klamath farmers could be bought out, all of the regions water problems would vanish. Buying farmland is not the only options, but it is the only options environmentalists accept. If this solution were imposed on the Klamath Basin, it could be impose along the Colorado River and in every farming community in America. Then who would grow our food? Those with an economic interest are the best stewards of the land."
After contacting Outside Editor Hal Espen, an agreement was reached between Espen and myself. The magazine apologized to me in the November 2003 edition. "’River Impossible,’ an August 2003 feature story by Patrick Symmes, incorrectly reported on a newspaper article by author and investigator Barry R. Clausen. The article, which ran in the Yreka, California-based Siskiyou Daily News in February, was written by Mr. Clausen; it wrongly implied in ‘River Impossible’ that Mr. Clausen was an interview subject in the newspaper article rather than it’s author. In fact, Mr. Clausen was quoting former and current law enforcement officers who asserted that ‘foreigners’ and ‘armed boats’ had been observed along the Klamath River. Although Mr. Clausen’s article argued that toxic pollution from clandestine methamphetamine labs and marijuana fields may have contributed to a September 2002 salmon kill, Mr. Clausen did not claim that this was the cause of the die-off. Outside regrets the errors and apologizes to Mr. Clausen for inaccurately characterizing his views."
The Rest of the Story
There is, interestingly enough, much more to this story. As most who read this would realize – the damage is done. Outside subscribers worldwide have now read the Symmes story, but how many read the apology and how many believe what the magazine said?
And one should not forget to response to the advertisers in Outside. They include, Nissan, Nike, Cannon, American Express, Chrysler, BFGoodrich, Buck Knives, Pacific Trail, Toyota, Timex, Snickers, Bose, Tangueray, Saab, Olympus Cameras, Jeep, Honda, Buick, Hertz, Moosehead, Canon, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR) in conjunction with Outdoor Life Network (OLN) and Ford, who has lost millions in sales to rural Americas as a result of contributions to environmental extremist groups.
According to FrontPage Magazine, "A very partial list of Ford Foundation grants made in the past few years includes the following: $225,000 to the Wilderness Society, $200,000 to Friends of the Earth, $2 million to the Nature Conservancy, $48,000 to the World Resources Institute, $75,000 to the NRDC, $24,000 to the World Resources Institute, $250,000 to the Environmental Law Institute, $225,000 to the Environmental Working Group, $50,000 to the National Environmental Trust, and $300,000 to the National Wildlife Federation. According to the Capital Research Center (CRC), which was established in 1984 to study non-profit organizations, all of the aforementioned organizations are politically far-left. Other recent Ford grants include: $150,000 to the American Land Institute, $500,000 to the Rainforest Alliance, $96,000 to the Center for Marine Conservation, $32,000 to the Conservation Fund, $150,000 to American Rivers, $100,000 to Northwest Environment Watch, and $400,000 to the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development."
When contacted, Sean Gleason of Professional Bull Riders was unaware of the ad and obviously upset, he stated, "We did not place the ad, it was done by Outdoor Life Network. We are supportive of American farmers and ranchers. This is where most of us come from." Upon contacting OLN, I also received an unwelcome response and was told that they had talked with Outside Magazine about my call and there would be "no comment." Outside Editor Hal Espen, Chairman/Editor-in-Chief Laurence J. Burke, and Buick did not return phone calls for this story.
Those that praise Outside and Symmes are probably not aware of what I perceive as blatant unethical ideologies by Laurence J. Burke the Chairman/Editor-in-Chief of Outside. As a result of his conduct he has infuriated many of his neighbors. According to those residing near Burke his actions have result in the closure of a century old road across Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. This closure has kept several landowners from their property while Burke enjoys the use of the 200 acres he purchased.
The ten-year battle over a road closure has forced several ranchers in the Northwest Corner of Santa Fe County of New Mexico to form the El Monte Association to fight both BLM and Burke. One of those property owners is Zannie Garcia and her family who has been cut off from 480 acres of their land. "BLM agreed to rule, but the studies have been for 10 years – this is a mess. As a result of Burke, we are cut off from our property." The costs to the ranchers is staggering. One of the costs is $93,000 of their own money for and Environmental Assessment (EA), which was required by the BLM.
When referring to Burke and the BLM, another resident who is worried about retaliation if her name was used stated, "They have no morals, no integrity, and they don’t care about us." The overwhelming conclusion by residents is that Burke has so much money and power that he is buying favoritism from BLM, politicians and others to further his social and political agenda.
This incident is reminiscent of a statement given during road closures in California’s King Range. Charlotte Hawks, land acquisition specialist, BLM stated to land owners, "The government does recognize deeded right-of-way, but they deem what right-of-way is, and if they deem you shall crawl on your knees then you shall crawl on your knees."
Outside Chairman/Editor-in-Chief Laurence J. Burke or Editor Hal Espen can be reached at 400 Market Street Santa Fe, NM 87501. (505) 989 7100 or www.outsideonline.com
Editors note: Barry R. "Wiggie" Clausen has been a contributing writer for numerous publications. He has been a journalistic consultant for FOX News and has written two books on ecoterrorism. As a result of his personal involvement in the Unabomber case he has been featured on many television shows. He has testified before the U.S. Congress on domestic terrorism and has been featured in hundreds of news articles.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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