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.


A coot's perspective

 Anders Tomlinson, April 2004,
Geese bordering Kandra field

The annual barrage from the radical environmental horde has begun - "Refuges in Peril" and "Refuges Wither" are the headlines of the day. From an old coot's perspective these articles not only ignore the wildlife benefits of Klamath Basin agriculture, they also put my migrating feathered brethren at risk.  
Myth No. 1: Refuges are the only place that provide for wildlife. The journey north to Canadian and Alaskan nesting grounds requires a lot of energy. Much of that energy is in the grain and row crop residues from last fall, and the early spring flush of pasture and alfalfa sprouts.

 Anders Tomlinson, April 2004, local farmhouse
and geese near Tulelake Refuge


Cooperative farming on the refuges provides this source of energy along with the hundreds of thousands of acres of private lands that are utilized by migrating fowl. The critters recognize no refuge boundary and the farm and ranch lands provide.

Myth No. 2: Irrigated agriculture takes habitat away from wildlife. For those critters that stay to reproduce in the Klamath Basin, the irrigation systems provide hundreds of miles of seasonal waterways and thousands of acres of seasonal wetlands.

  Jacqui Krizo
Soon the calls of the curlews and ibises will flow across the irrigated pastures as they forage through the cow pies. If it wasn't for water storage created by agriculture the habitat needed for hundreds of species would disappear. Just look at the negative effect that dewatering the Klamath Project had on wildlife in 2001. Agriculture didn't take the water; short-sighted environmentalism and a misinformed public did.

This boisterous spring day an old coot sits on the leeward side of the levee watching thousands of geese hopping back and forth from man-made refuge channel to private alfalfa field. It's spectacular, it's beneficial and it's the truth.

Steve Kandra

Merrill farmer

President of Klamath Water Users Board of Directors

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