Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Washington, D.C. – Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Congressman Greg Walden, and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber today announced the creation of a task force to make recommendations on a long-term solution to water and power issues in the Klamath River Basin. The task force is charged with developing specific recommendations that build on prior basin agreements by September 10, 2013.
In a bipartisan letter sent last week, Wyden, Merkley, Walden and Kitzhaber asked stakeholders to negotiate a long-term plan for successful farming and ranching in the Upper Basin, sustainable fisheries, and affordable power rates for on-project and off-project farming and ranching operations.
“The current crises in the Basin require the immediate attention, leadership, and constructive efforts of us all,” they wrote in the letter. “It is clear that now is the time to move for a comprehensive and lasting solution that protects the vast natural resources of the basin, while also providing the stability and certainty needed for the region’s economy to continue to thrive.”
The task force includes more than 20 members from Oregon and California representing a range of interests and is being coordinated by Richard Whitman, Governor Kitzhaber's natural resources policy advisor. Congressional staff from Oregon and California also will participate in the effort. The group plans to meet regularly over the next ten weeks.
Many of the stakeholders invited to participate in the task force appeared before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during a hearing in June to discuss the Klamath River Basin issues.
The delegation and Governor asked the task force to address the following:
- First, a settlement of water management issues in the upper Klamath Basin. It would include:
- Second, outstanding power issues for the Klamath Basin Project and the Upper Klamath Basin irrigators
- Third, reducing the overall cost to the federal government of the Klamath Basin measures
Invited members of the task force (or their representatives) include:
The letter inviting stakeholders to participate in the task force is here.
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Page Updated: Wednesday July 10, 2013 03:05 AM Pacific
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