Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Klamath Water Users Association
Klamath Falls, Oregon 97603
October 3, 2003
Mr. Don Koch
Re: Draft Report "September 2002 Klamath River Fish Kill: Final Analysis"
Dear Mr. Koch:
Steve Turek from your office contacted me last week and noted that California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) will not be able to grant our request for a 60-day extension to the comment period on the above subject document. I mentioned to Steve that we would not be able to provide substantial comments on your modified draft report at this time for the following reasons:
We were initially told that we had approximately two weeks to submit formal comments, a deadline which we could not meet. Last week, Steve notified us that an additional ten days or so would be provided for comments. Unfortunately, our understanding was that our opportunity to provide comments had already passed, and Mr. Vogelís other commitments precluded his ability to immediately address this topic.
We appreciate your willingness to open up the review process to our association. However, given the quick turnaround you are looking for, we cannot at this time provide you with the sound, constructive and thorough comments that your draft report deserves. We do intend to prepare a comprehensive review of the report and believe all parties would be best served by allowing more time to consider such comments. In our view, the unexplained urgency for completion does not foster good science.
With that said, for the purposes of meeting your current time constraints, I would refer you to the handouts (attached) provided to CDFG Director Robert Hight by David Vogel on June 11, 2003. Also, we would ask that you consider the discussion that occurred later in the summer at your office in Redding when Mr. Vogel and Dave Solem (KWUA President), met with your staff and again discussed Mr. Vogelís handouts. Copies of the handouts are included as an attachment. Finally, I have attached hereto a copy of Dave Vogelís statement that was submitted in PCFFA et al v. USBR et al, which directly pertains to issues of concern we had with the draft report that was released last January. In summary, our key concerns raised with the January 2003 draft CDFG report are as follows:
In summary, we believe the available data suggests that the most plausible true reasons for the fish die-off are twofold:
These circumstances were ideal for a disease outbreak among crowded numbers of salmon.
Thank you for your consideration of our comments. If you have any questions or concerns about this letter, please do not hesitate to call me at 541-883-6100.
Very Truly Yours,
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