Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Final work on Reclamation Klamath Plan
With the help of a consultant, the U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation hopes to tie down
the organization of a stakeholder group
that will oversee restoration of the
Invitations went out last week for a Dec.
6 and 7 working session at the Red Lion
Inn in Medford, aimed at settling what's
been an elusive organizational structure.
Reclamation calls its effort at basinwide
restoration the Klamath River Basin
Conservation Implementation Plan.
Christine Karas, the deputy area manager
for the Klamath Reclamation Project, has
headed the project since she arrived in
2003. She was part of a similar
multi-state cooperative agreement on the
upper Colorado River.
Reclamation operates a 200,000-acre
irrigation project in the main stem
Klamath's upper basin, and ships large
quantities of water from the Trinity River
- largest tributary in the system - to the
Central Valley Project in California.
When Karas launched consultations along
the river, she said Klamath issues are
such that stakeholders can't wait five
years to settle on a plan. Since that time
both a federal cabinet-level working
group, and a pact made between California
and Oregon, failed to produce results, and
the 20-year-old law appropriating money
for Klamath fish restoration expired Sept.
The governors of both states and Rep. Greg
Walden, R-Ore., are pressing for a summit
to shake out multiple Klamath issues.
Drafts of the CIP say it will provide the
vehicle for coordination of conservation
and restoration in the 10 million-acre
drainage and become the vehicle for
technical advice and funding to get the
ECCO Resource Group, a Washington state
consultant, is assisting Reclamation in
getting the organization sorted out. It
will probably take intergovernmental
agreements involving local, state and
federal agencies or special legislation to
give the CIP organization standing in
what's been a decades-old controversy.
- Tam Moore
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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