Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Fighting for Our Right to Irrigate Our Farms and Caretake Our Natural Resources

?? Questions ?? and myths


Fact vs flat out lies regarding Klamath dams and salmon: What a crock! Donít give in, by Mark Baird, Siskiyou Daily News, posted to KBC 6/9/11. Mark Baird of Scott Valley is vice president of Scott Valley Protect Our Water and the new owner of KSYC Radio.

Questions #12
Why was Tule Lake drained into the Klamath River?

Answer by Jerry Pyle, Tulelake Irrigation District Assistant Manager
Tule Lake has no natural outlet, Pumping Plant "D" was constructed for flood control and to supply water to the Lower Klamath Lake Refuge and irrigated lands in the Lower Klamath Lake area and return water to the Klamath River.

Question #11
Where does all the runoff into Tule Lake go?

Answer by Jerry Pyle, Tulelake Irrigation District Assistant Manage
Some water returns to ground water, some re-diverted for irrigation, some stored for future irrigation and wildlife uses and the remainder pumped to Lower Klamath. 

Question #10
Who is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States? 11/18/05

Answer #10
The Bureau of Reclamation

Question #9
How much water does the Klamath Project contribute to the entire Klamath watershed? a. 80%, b. 40%, c.3%

Answer #9

Question #8
TRUE OR FALSE--and who is the author??
"Locally, potatoes are being raised more for the government subsidies than the market."

Answer #8
FALSE  -  There are no government subsidies for potatoes in the Klamath Basin.
Quote of Andy Kerr, Senior Counselor, Oregon Natural Resources Council  before the Committee on Resources, U.S. House of Representatives in Klamath Falls, Oregon, June 16, 2001, public record.

What were the hatchery returns of fish at the Iron Gate Dam last summer, the summer of the 2002 fish die-off,  compared to the past 40 years? 

Answer #7 - d. 3rd highest

How many species of fish and wildlife were affected in the Klamath Basin by withholding water from our farmland habitat in 2001?

Answer #6 - c. 489

Question #5 - Who paid for the Klamath Project that stores water for irrigation, refuges and fish flows? a. tribes (BIA), b. fisheries (NMFS), c. refuges (USFWS), d. environmental groups  (ONRC, Audubon,  PCFFA,  Sierra Club,  Wilderness Society,  KFA),  e. irrigators

Answer #5 - e. IRRIGATORS ONLY. Paid in full. 

Question #4 - In 2002, which group did NOT cut back their use of water? They used MORE WATER than they had in the past 40 years.
a. farmers b. tribes c. refuge

Answer #4 - c. refuge

Question #3 - Before the Klamath Project was built in 1906, how much water from Clear Lake/Lost River flowed into Klamath Lake and Klamath River:

AnswerNone, except on flood years. Before the Klamath Project's diversion canals were built, ALL the water remained in Tule Lake. Tule Lake was in a closed basin.

Question #2 - How much more water is there "to go around" for fish and farms after converting 94,539 acres of irrigated ag land to wetlands in the Upper Klamath Basin?
a. 20000 acre-ft (AF)  b. 50,000 AF c. other

Answer #2 - c. other.  One acre irrigated ag land uses approximately 2 to 2Ĺ Acre Feet (AF) water. One acre wetlands uses 4 to 4Ĺ AF water. Wetlands use over 2ce as much water as ag lands. 94,539 acres converted UK farmland times 2(modest estimate) = OVER 189,078 AF MORE WATER IS TAKEN FROM THE FISH AND FARMS BY CREATING WETLANDS. (figures from Klamath Relief Fund office)


Question #1 - With the promise of more water for fish, tribes and agriculture:
#1 How much private property has been sold in Upper Klamath Basin primarily to conservancies (most of which becomes purchased by the federal government)???

Answer #1 - Lands taken out irrigated agricultural uses and converted to wetlands as the primary usage above Upper Klamath Lake Submitted by Edward Bartell
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 was 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 1989-90)
*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
* Lakeside Farms 50 Acres

Total Land changed to wetland from 94,539 Acres
Agricultural as 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


Dr. Ken  Rykbost comments on book by Dan Tarlock and Holly Doremus, Water War in the Klamath Basin, addressing some of the myths in the following article by the same authors: The Klamath Basin: The Tricky Business of Water Rights in the West, by Dan Tarlock and Holly Doremus, Center for Progressive Reform, posted to KBC 2/12/09


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