grows for water deliveries
irrigation start date for Klamath Irrigation District
patrons hangs in the balance after no action was taken in a
hearing Wednesday overseen by U.S. Federal Court Judge
William H. Orrick in San Francisco.
hearing, held in the Ninth U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, stems from the case Hoopa
Valley Tribe and Yurok Tribe v. Bureau of Reclamation.
Wednesday Orrick heard arguments by the Klamath Water Users
Association and four other irrigation districts why a March
2017 injunction should be lifted or altered.
injunction requires the Bureau of Reclamation to keep an
extra 50,000 acre feet in Upper Klamath Lake to shield
juvenile threatened Coho salmon from C. Shasta.
provides irrigation water for Klamath Project irrigators
through an agreement with Reclamation’s Klamath Basin Area
Office. But with the drought and ongoing pending litigation,
KID officials are concerned there may be little to no water
allocation this summer.
BOR has yet to confirmed water deliveries for the summer,
pending a decision by the San Francisco court.
that — and potential litigation by the Klamath Tribes
against Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and
National Marine Fisheries Services for alleged Endangered
Species Act violations — KID President Ty Kliewer said
Thursday the Project could be in a “very, very bad spot.”
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.”
Klamath Tribes filed an 60-day notice of intent on Feb. 9,
but has since made no formal move to file the lawsuit,
according to Klamath Tribes Chairman Don Gentry as of
irrigation district had previously planned to start charging
canals on April 23, but after the court’s inaction on
Wednesday, no water is flowing.
this point, about every domino that could have fallen has
done so,” Kliewer said.
Kliewer, knowing what to do next for his own family’s hay
operation also hangs in the balance, as well as a dream of
carrying on the farming tradition in his family since age
have all these beautiful new baby calves and how in the hell
am I going to feed them this summer?” Kliewer asked.
Hypothetically, without water until June or July, Kliewer
said it’s going to cost him $7,000 a month to feed his
calves hay when they should be eating grass.
“You’ve got a pretty catastrophic situation that’s going to
screw you up for years,” Kliewer said.
2001, Kliewer said at least there was federal assistance
that showed up later that year to help farmers and ranchers
struggling to make it.
is pretty much no hope for anything like that this year,”
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?”
manager John Wolf echoed Kliewer’s sentiments.
all up in the air now, we don’t have a clue,” Wolf said.
Wolf said many patrons are “sick to their stomachs” about
the lack of a start date. “This could break a lot of them,”
is a financial hardship, and we’re coming off of a year that
commodity prices haven’t been all that shiny anyways.”
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
section 107, any copyrighted material
herein is distributed without profit or
payment to those who have expressed a
prior interest in receiving this
information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only. For more
information go to: