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Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement Stinks

by Steve Rapalyea, Klamath Basin 3/30/08, letter to the Klamath Commissioners


I think as it stands , the Agreement stinks:

1) The Hoopa Tribe and two major "conservation" organizations do not think it gives enough water to the salmon and will not sign on. It means they could sue using the ESA any time.

2) Removing the dams is no guarantee Salmon will return to the Upper Klamath Basin. The Spring run Chinook were totally exterminated by Copco #1 many years ago and it is very doubtful the fall run had any consistency. IE: some years no water flowed from the Upper Klamath Lake before Link River Dam was installed. Some years there is documentation of natural blockages preventing any runs from getting to the lake. 

3) NMFS and FWS reserve the right to shut off water to enforce the ESA. How is that any better than now?

4) Dam removal is a very expensive experiment for dubious returns.

5) What will replace the power generated by the dams if they are removed?

6) Who will compensate the people with water front properties on the lakes that will no longer exist?

7) Any fish reaching Upper Klamath Lake would not be usable at all for a commercial fishery as the Tribes seem to envision. They would be far too poor quality in a best case scenario.

8) Why should the US Taxpayer foot the bill to buy land to establish a separate country for the Klamath Tribes; especially when they are giving up virtually nothing? Isn't this fostering Separatism and Racism?

9) Doesn't this agreement prejudice the water adjudication against the off project irrigators?

10) Is not the Tribes wanting to negotiate with individual irrigators nothing more than "divide and conquer"?

11) If the Tribes get the "Mazama Project" and get the land put into trust it will be removed from the tax rolls. How would this be better for the people of Klamath County than the land being on the tax rolls and in it's current sustained yield management?

12) If the "Mazama Project" is placed in trust for the Tribes it can be traded for National Forest Land if it "benefits the Tribes and the Forest Service" on an agency to agency basis.  Could something as simple as the Forest Service not having to manage the forest be benefit enough to trade land that has not had major timber harvest for many years for land that has been more recently harvested; which would also benefit the Tribes?

13) Do we really want a "sovereign nation" with EPA,ESA and CWA authority in Klamath County?

14) Isn't this whole area Klamath Tribal homeland with or without a special , exclusive "reservation" and "Super Citizen" status?

15) Is Klamath tribal members hunting during fawning and calving time and fishing below Chiloquin dam for "endangered" Suckers a good example of their "conservation ethic" they tout so highly?

16) Is Commissioner John Elliot on the Tribal payroll?


Steve Rapalyea


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