Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Basin bucks budget trend
The request is an 8.4 percent increase from the
current fiscal year's budget, which Interior
spokesmen say shows Bush's commitment to finding
long-term solutions to Basin water issues.
Vickery said the $62.9 million request, if approved,
will help Interior work with state and local
interests "to address the long-term water quality
and water supply challenges in the Basin, while
enhancing fish populations, addressing the water
needs of national wildlife refuges and the interests
of tribes, and providing irrigation water to
think it follows back to the administration's
commitment to resolve water issues," said Steve
Kandra, president of the Klamath Water Users
Association, which represents Basin irrigators.
addition, Bush's proposed Agriculture Department
budget seeks more than $25 million to support Basin
farmers and ranchers.
Rep. Greg Walden, whose congressional district
includes the Upper Klamath Basin, also praised Bush.
Walden has pressed for items such as the Chiloquin
Dam removal. He also cited further screening work on
the A Canal, $50 million in water conservation funds
and money for "refunding operations and maintenance
fees to farmers and ranchers that paid for something
they didn't get."
"Good, good," Kandra said. "That is where I think
the work needs to be done."
Under the proposed budget, the Bureau of Reclamation
would finance studies and initiatives to improve
water supplies for irrigation, wildlife refuges and
Tribal trust obligations; continue a water bank; and
coordinate its Conservation Implementation Program.
don't see tribes mentioned in it," he said, claiming
farmers have received large amounts of money in
recent years. "Where's the balance? Where's the
lower Basin? Where's salmon?"
"Congress is the one that makes the decisions on what get approved," he said. "It's really in their hands."
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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