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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Klamath Summit
Notes by Senator Doug Whitsett, Oregon District 28, 10/20/06 (retyped by KBC). He spoke from these notes at the October 20th meeting with farmers and fishermen in Merrill Oregon.

"Governors Schwartzenneger and Kulongoski are to be commended for their efforts to convene a Klamath River Summit to address both real and perceived problems with water availability.

What is disturbing about the Governors' actions is their lack of effort to identify and to understand what needs to be fixed.

A couple of weeks ago Kulongoski's natural resource advisor, Suzanne Knapp, announced the intended summit to the Upper Klamath Basin Working Group.

When pressed to describe the expected outcome of the Summit she explained patiently 'to fix all the problems.'

She demonstrated virtually no knowledge of what has already been done. She articulated no suggestions for workable solutions.

Following that meeting, I made an appointment to discuss the Summit with Suzanne Knapp. The day before our scheduled conference she changed the meeting site to include Peter Cogswell in the Governor's conference room. That same afternoon she postponed the conference indefinitely via a telephone call from a temporary secretary. My call to request an explanation and to reschedule the meeting remains unanswered. To my knowledge neither Governor has recognized the critical need for additional water storage.

To my knowledge neither governor has recognized that inappropriate and unworkable Biological Opinions are the cause, not the solution, to the problem.

To my knowledge, neither Governor has attempted to contact the resource users that have managed the use of our water for decades. Organizations like the Off Project Water Users, Klamath Water Users Association, the Resources Conservancy, Water for Life, and the many irrigation districts within the Klamath Basin possess a wealth of knowledge and practical experience regarding local water requirements and water usage.

To my knowledge neither Governor has attempted to identify the many restoration projects that are working on the ground today. These local organizations have acquired a wealth of experience from the thousands of restoration projects that they have already completed. They have on the ground knowledge of what works, what does not work, and why.

To my knowledge, neither Governor has attempted to contact the fishermen (save Glen Spain) to obtain their perspectives of the cause of the salmon decline."
 

(KBC NOTE: Glen Spain, Eugene Attorney affiliated with Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen, claims to represent coastal fishermen. The Oregon trollers adamantly state that Spain does not represent them or any Oregon fishermen that they know of.  PCFFA has constantly files lawsuits against Klamath Basin irrigators, and has written letters to the fishermen to sever their relationship with the farmers.)

 

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