Stakeholders working on two documents
by Steve Kadel, Herald and News 1/5/08
Stakeholder groups failed Friday to reach consensus on ways to solve the Klamath Basin’s water allocation issues.
Two dozen representatives of agriculture interests, tribes, environmentalists and government organizations held a five-hour conference call, but couldn’t agree on all the details needed to release a settlement document.
“The group is at least a week away,” said Greg Addington, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association who represents on-Project irrigators at the talks. tions comes up.”
Stakeholders have been meeting for three years to reach a ground-breaking agreement over water allocation. It’s the largest such collaborative effort ever taken to tackle problems in the Klamath Basin watershed.
Copies of the draft agreement have circulated among those affected by the talks, including members of several local irrigation districts. Participants in the talks have bound themselves to secrecy concerning details of the document.
However, members of one group representing agricul-“There are some things people are fine-tuning. I do think we are close. I just can’t pull the trigger.”
There had been hopes the agreement would be released as early as Monday. But Addington said several new issues arose the closer the groups came to closure.
“Some of it is processtype stuff,” he said. “When you get to the point you’re talking about releasing it, a whole flurry of new questure spoke out about their concerns two weeks ago. Edward Bartell, who represented the Basin’s off-Project irrigators during talks, called the impending agreement “Draconian.”
“What is there now, we see as extremely negative,” he said. “I think it’s bad for everyone in the Basin.”