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Bucket a reminder, should stay put

Herald and News Letter to the Editor February 3, 2012 by Chris Moudry, Merrill

I have concerns about Darrel Samuels’ guest commentary in reference to the large metal bucket in front of the Klamath County government building. Mr. Samuels seems to feel that the traveling Bucket Brigade bucket “has served its purpose” and “a more appropriate place for it is at the county museum.”


Mr. Samuels claims to have educated himself on the 2001 irrigation water shutoff and “the time has come to move on.” If he indeed has educated himself, he should know that nothing has changed since 2001 that would forestall another irrigation shutoff and a resulting economic calamity in 2012 or the future.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service still maintains excessive lake levels in upper Klamath Lake to protect sucker despite flooding large tracts of farmland on Upper Klamath Lake in the name of remediation. The U.S. Marine Fisheries Service still requires excessive flows of stored water down Klamath River to support salmon. Both unjustly rob Upper Klamath Lake of the stored irrigation water held behind Link River Dam for agricultural lands and the economic stability of Klamath County that the water generates.


Despite these flows and lake levels, the Project farms are still being held hostage by the ESA. Until the Project farmlands are appropriately allocated the irrigation water promised by the government, the bucket should stay where it is.


This bucket is a reminder to all how unjust a government bureaucracy can be; a reminder that people’s livelihoods are at stake; a reminder to local, state and federal bureaucrats that their job is to protect their citizens’ property, not compromise it.


I thank Mr. Samuels for bringing the Bucket Brigade bucket and the unfinished work it symbolizes to the citizens of Klamath County again. But no, the bucket must stay where it is for now.



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