Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

How the Klamath's polluted

(Note by KBC: Jim McCarthy is from environmental group ONRC which does not contribute to or perform any conservation projects on the Klamath or in the Klamath Basin. They perform lawsuits.
Regarding Addington, his opinions are facts. According to FWS massive data, no pesticides or fertilizers have been found to cause any death or illness in wildlife. The pesticide usage is the most stringent in the State of California.
Regarding the refuges,
Fish and Wildlife refuges contain more than 112,000 acres of marshland and open water. Water is sent FROM farmland into the refuges. Contact Ron Cole with Tulelake Fish and  Wildlife refuges for information on Walking Wetlands, where wetlands and farmland are rotated, enhancing the wetlands and the farmland which house 489 species of wildlife. Water is not diverted from the river...the Klamath River historically went dry before the Klamath Project was built, and now it is kept at artificially high levels. The year the refuges dried up was in 2001, when all the water went from farms and refuges into the Klamath River to supposedly benefit 3 species of wildlife while decimating 489. That year, while fields were dry, the farmers drilled wells and sent their well water to the refuges to save the wildlife. And according to the National Academy of Science peer review, Klamath irrigation did not cause fish to die in 2002)

Opinion- Sacramento Bee, by Jim McCarthy, Ashland Oregon, ONRC

Re "Water use on Klamath not so simple," Another view, Aug. 27: Greg Addington is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. His astonishing claim "that the many pesticides, fertilizers and animal wastes flowing from the Klamath Project's 220,000 acres of farmland into the Klamath River have no impact on water quality" is simply not credible. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency has listed the Klamath River's 250 miles from the project to the Pacific as "water quality impaired."

However, polluted runoff isn't the only way irrigation has degraded Klamath water quality. Irrigation development destroyed most of the area's natural pollution filters: its vast wetlands. Even remnant marshes -- including national wildlife refuges on Upper and Lower Klamath lakes -- are often left dry for months due to runaway water demand. Dry marshes not only cannot filter water pollution, but release polluting nutrients that otherwise would remain locked in wet peat soils. Irrigation diversions also significantly reduce river flows, creating a better environment for algae growth and spurring salmon-killing river conditions.

As this summer's devastating Klamath River-driven commercial salmon fishery closure has made clear, we must address the river's environmental problems now. To succeed, we need to be honest about the challenges we face. But misleading the public helps no one.

- Jim McCarthy, Ashland, Ore.

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