Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
October 2010 Tule Lake
Wildlife Refuge photos (10/9/10) and text by KBC
Link to our Klamath Basin refuge page HERE.
The center photo is driving down the Tule Lake
The left photo above is Tule Lake Refuge with a boat of bird hunters
The right photo above is a boat launch for Tule Lake refuge hunters
‘It’s a tough situation. There’s not enough water to go around’
By SARA HOTTMAN, Herald and News September 5, 2010
Dave Mauser, wildlife biologist for the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges complex, is watching the Lower Klamath refuge dry up, but there’s little he can do to get water for the nearly one million wetland birds that are beginning to migrate there.
“I’ve sent in a request to the Bureau of Reclamation for water delivery this fall to Lower Klamath. I’m not real optimistic,” he said. “But you have to ask.”
Fall birds will migrate until the beginning of November. With no water, the birds will have to go someplace else.
“California has lost over 90 percent of its historic wetlands. We’re running out of places for birds to go,” Mauser said.
The refuges are last in line for water from Upper Klamath Lake. Endangered species and tribal trust obligations come first, then farmers, and then what’s left over goes to the refuges. This year, Basin farmers only received about 40 percent of the water they needed, so the refuges have gone without.
Mauser said in July that by late summer, the refuges will be “a pretty dry place.”
“We have about half that water from July at this point,” Mauser said.
The Tule Lake refuge, which houses protected species such as American bald eagles, is full, Mauser said, but the other refuges are partially filled or dry.
The refuge is using what little water is available from wells, “but that’s like an eyedropper of water,” he said.
“We’re also projecting that the marshes on Upper Klamath will be dry. Water is coming out of the marshes with the falling lake levels. It’s a tough situation. There’s not enough water to go around.”
Page Updated: Saturday November 06, 2010 01:07 AM Pacific
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