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Task Force back
resumes operation with government; next meeting date not yet
With the federal government up and running again, so is the Klamath Basin Task Force.
Keith Chu, press secretary for Sen. Ron Wyden’s energy and natural resources committee, said Thursday Wyden’s people are coordinating with agencies and members of the task force, but no date for a final meeting has been set yet.Calls to Richard Whitman, Gov. John Kitzhaber’s natural resources policy director, went unanswered Thursday.
The final meeting of the Klamath Basin Task Force was originally scheduled for Oct. 10. When the federal government shut down Oct. 1, the meeting was postponed. Then Whitman said federal participants were needed to complete the work. At the time he also said it may take two weeks after the government starts up again before a meeting could take place.Greg Addington, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association, said getting the federal government and the task force going again was good news.
“We have to get to a resolution here as a community on these water issues,” he said. “Not just off-project and not just on-project.”The task force has been working since its first meeting July 11 to find long-term solutions to basin-wide water management issues. Wyden convened the group to tackle problems such as the need to include everyone in settlements (the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement), the high federal costs of those settlements and the need for equitable power for pumping water. The final meeting, expected to take place in Klamath Falls, was meant to finalize recommendations for Wyden to propose in the current legislative session.
Even with the delay, Addington did not think any momentum had been lost in the task force’s efforts.“I think we can get it back pretty quickly,” he said. “I don’t anticipate losing ground.”
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Page Updated: Saturday October 19, 2013 01:49 AM Pacific
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