Of nearly 150,000 acres above Upper Klamath Lake ag land previously
irrigated by surface water,
there are now only 50,000 acres left. The tribes, U.S. government, and
environmental groups want it all.
The U.S. Government and The Nature Conservancy have
taken nearly 100,000 acres of private farms and ranches, and converted
them into wetlands. One ranch at a time, Government agencies and TNC
promised that these farm and ranch acquisitions would save water, improve
water quality, benefit fish, and store water for the rest of the
irrigators and put more water into the Klamath River. The opposite is
true. Scroll to bottom of
page for science refuting those claims.
Go here for audio of Barnes Ranch
snow job. Go HERE for
Bureau and Interior letter advocating for the snow job.
"The average consumptive use for the crop mix in the
project is just about 2.0 Acre Feet/acre. Wetlands probably use about 3.0
to 3.5 AF/acre or maybe a little more for permanently flooded wetlands
with cattails and tules. So it's a little less than twice but certainly
well above the use for crops." Dr. Ken Rykbost.
HERE for biography.
Evaporation documentation go
HERE for Desert
Report from Dr Rykbost, which used NOAA data, although they only measured
May-Sept pan Evaporation.
The following was submitted to KBC by Edward Bartell,
Upper Klamath Basin rancher:
The following is a list of lands, which have been removed from
agricultural production as the primary land management, above
Upper Klamath Lake.
Cattle production peeked in the Upper Basin in 1960, the start
of the major decline was when the Tribal Grazing lands at
Klamath Marsh were converted to wetlands under the Management of
US Fish and Wildlife in 1960.
The most dramatic increase in lands taken out of agricultural
production and converted to wetlands has been past 1980.
*TNC Tulana Farms East (ADJ Claim 91) 4,600 Acres (TNC
properties 1980s forward)
*TNC Goose Bay Farms (ADJ Claim 81) - 2,187 Acres
*TNC Sycan Marsh (ADJ Claim 34) - 9,790 Acres
*TNC Brattain Ranch Inc. (ADJ Claim 23) 3,098 Acres
*TNC Sycan Marsh (ADJ Claim 36) 8,255 Acres
*NWR Klamath Marsh 38,766 Acres (1960 major additions in
*NWR Upper Klamath Lake 14,440 Acres (1928)
* Trout Creek Ranch 1,200 Acres
* Private WRP (NRCS) 1,480 Acres
* Wood River Ranch 3,000 Acres (1994)
* Agency Lake Ranch 7,123 Acres
* Runny Y Wetlands 550 Acres
* Barnes Ranch 2671 Acres (2006)
Total Land changed to
wetland from 97,160 Acres
was primary water usage (above Klamath Lake)
"*TNC (The Nature Conservancy) land estimates are from the
Klamath Adjudication process, TNC may have more irrigated lands
that are not in the adjudication. The extent of agricultural use
prior to Upper Klamath Lake NWR is unknown, the rest of the
lands had extensive agricultural use prior to conversion. Agency
Lake Ranch, Wood River Ranch, Lakeside Farms, and Running Y
acres come from 2002 FWS draft Sucker BO. Trout Creek Ranch
acres comes from the National Archives, not all in wetlands. WRP
acres were provided by NRCS." Edward Bartell
The phosphorus level has
increased, not decreased, as a result of these actions.
Nutrient loading in the Klamath
Basin: Agriculture and Natural Sources, Special Report
1023, , by K.A. Rykbost and B.A. Charlton, Oregon State
University/Klamath Experiment Station. Posted 1/10/07
Nutrient loading of surface waters in the Upper Klamath
Basin: agricultural and natural sources, Rykbost and Charlton.
Project irrigators unlikely to
be able to start over on water
pact; off-Project irrigators in
for changes with or without it,
DR. KENNETH A. RYKBOST,
Guest Writer, H&N, posted to KBC
breaching in 2009 is planned
that will reconnect 10,000 acres
of Agency Lake and Barnes Ranch
properties to the lake and add
them to the wildlife refuge.
While these actions are being
promoted as beneficial by
increasing lake storage, they
will result in evaporation
losses exceeding consumption by
crops and pastures under
agricultural management of these
properties and no increase in
net available stored water will
From Senator Whitsett, posted
and farming activities do not, and could
not, cause these elevated phosphorous
concentrations, and that steps to reduce
fertilizer use or cattle grazing would
have little or no impact on improving
water quality in the Upper Klamath
***Go here for
Barnes Ranch snow job,
complete with audio, of American Land Conservancy Rich McIntyre on
a tour of Barnes Ranch, promising irrigation water storage and water
quality. Once acquired, contrary to the wishes of the community and
elected officials, it was
converted into a wildlife refuge, with no ag water storage.
Research Council Chairman Dr William Lewis Jr., University of
Colorado, spoke regarding the NRC conclusions on suckers....Lewis
explained that the suckers were listed since 1988 because of over
harvest. They stopped fishing in '87 but they did not
recover. The lake has gone from 3' range under natural conditions to
experiencing 6' deep in current dry years.
|With charts and graphs he showed
the habitat and water quality, algae and
chlorophyll. He said that the committee looked
extensively at water levels, and they find 'no hint
of a relationship'. He also said that there was no
relationship between lower water levels and extreme
ph levels. And "the committee cannot support the
idea that water levels effect algae growth.' "It can
not be achieved by lake levels." '92 was the lowest
water year, and they expected it to be the least
favorable for fish. 'The lowest water year produced
the same amount of larvae as other years."...
He said that fish kill information does not support that fish are
dying by changing water level...
He cautioned how much faith we should put into
wetlands regarding the suppression of algae...
He added that we should not count on retiring
agricultural land land for saving suckers...
Lewis responded that the water is always ph loaded,
"the increase doesn't matter if it's always been saturated."...
When asked if it would work to control the
significant part of the ph load, Lewis responded that the lake is
140 square miles...that is not feasible to change....
Tribal biologist Larry Dunsmuir felt
like lake level management was necessary for
emergent vegetation, and Lewis responded that Clear
Lake has no emergent vegetation yet production of
larvae is not shut off in Clear Lake.