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 Water settlement deadline missed


Herald and News 2/14/14 by Lacey Jarrell


Another tentative deadline for a stakeholder water settlement above Upper Klamath Lake was missed Friday.

The committee, which consists of the Klamath Tribes, upper Basin irrigators, environmental groups and other stakeholders, has been working to finalize an “agreement in principle” (AIP) announced in December.


If approved by the Klamath Tribal Council and a host of irrigators, the AIP will become one component of the proposed legislation that will cover the upper Basin; the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) including Klamath Reclamation Project irrigators and the Klamath Hydro Settlement Agreement with PacifiCorp, which may involve removing four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River.


The Friday goal was set after the stakeholder group missed its first self-imposed deadline, Jan. 17.


The group had been meeting weekly in Klamath Falls as the Jan. 17 deadline approached; once it passed the group began meeting more frequently, finally meeting daily this week.


“We made a lot of progress this week,” said Richard Whitman, Gov. John Kitzhaber’s natural resource adviser. “We’re making solid progress.”


Whitman declined to offer a new tentative completion date, but did say once a settlement has been reached, a 30-day review and comment period will be offered before stakeholders sign off on the agreement.


The group is a subcommittee of the Klamath Basin Task Force. The task force’s objective is to create an all-inclusive piece of legislation that addresses power delivery to on- and off-project irrigators, resolves water issues above Upper Klamath Lake and reduces the federal budget for the projects.




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