Skip to comments.Court tosses Bush plan for Klamath water
Posted on 10/19/2005 10:02:38 AM PDT by FOG724
Court tosses Bush plan for Klamath water Water A federal judge says the irrigation plan for farmers doesn't help threatened fish
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out the Bush administration plan to deliver irrigation water to Klamath Basin farmers, saying it does not do enough for threatened coho salmon in the Klamath River.
The ruling probably will mean more water must be shifted from farmers to fish in the basin's emotional tug of war over the precious resource.
"This clearly could be a worse picture for us than what we had in terms of water for irrigation," said Greg Addington, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a federal government strategy to phase in higher river flows for salmon over 10 years was arbitrary and capricious because it overlooked the immediate needs of the fish under the Endangered Species Act.
"It is not enough to provide water for the coho to survive in five years, if in the meantime, the population has been weakened or destroyed by inadequate water flows," the appeals court, based in San Francisco, ruled.
The government plan pledged to provide the fish with all the water they need in the final two years of the 10-year span -- 2010 and 2011. But the fish may not have enough water to complete their lifecycles in the meantime, the judges said.
"If that happens, all the water in the world in 2010 and 2011 will not protect the coho, for there will be none to protect," they wrote.
They sent the case back to a district court to impose corrective measures, which could include more water for fish.
The case resulted from a lawsuit filed by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, the Oregon Natural Resources Council, Waterwatch of Oregon and other conservation groups. They argued that the government strategy left salmon to struggle in a low river while water flowed to farms.
The Klamath Basin entered the national spotlight in 2001 when irrigation water to farms was restricted during a severe drought so it would be available to salmon and endangered suckers in area lakes.
The Bush administration later routed more water for farms under a plan that promised eventually to increase water dedicated to fish. Government agencies argued it was their best judgement as to how to protect the fish in the face of scientific uncertainty over how much water they require.
But judges said the government did not fully explain how it would avoid harming fish in the early years of the plan.
Farmers said the ruling was evidence that the Endangered Species Act has gone too far and must be reformed. But tribes countered that it was evidence the act serves as a final line of defense for families and tribal cultures that depend on salmon.
Everybody polish your buckets.
Any guess on whether the farmers will eventually get their water?
Thanks for the heads up. I read this earlier in my home town paper on line. Aloha
You expected otherwise?...
Oh yeah, the farmer WILL get the water, even if they have to resort to violence or sabotage of the control structures to get it.
You may well be seeing the opening shots of CWII.
Who are these "tribes" of which they speak?
Whenever the Klamath people decide to retake the headgate, do remember to let the FR community know.
Advance notice might be impossible, but it will take days for me to drive out for it (bringing my bucket & shovel with me). ;-)
Lots of publicity abouit this latest steaming pile dumped on the long suffering citizens by the 9 th Circus can't hurt.
The power of the MSM over the years... the "Preble's" meadow jumping mouse, responsible for stopping growth on the front range of Colorado and Wyoming for a number of years, as developers and others have spent millions and millions of dollars to mitigate the impact of development on the habitat of the Preble's (best populations have been found in native waterways on golf courses - unreported fact) turns out that DNA has proven that the endangered Preble's is the same as any other meadow jumping mouse. As time goes on, many liberal myths will be uncovered and addressed on real terms rather than on the side of liberal agenda... ie: seperationism, the biggest of the secular myths
"A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out the Bush administration plan..."
Well, DUH!! It's Oregon, fer Pete's sake.
FReepmail me to be added or removed to the ECO-PING list!
The battle for water access is not going anywhere anytime soon. We rarely get into these kinds of issues near the largest fresh water basin in he world.
This almost resulted in armed revolt the first time they shut the water off, I think Freeper Jeff Head was there and wrote a good account about it. I will try and find a link.
I guess the Supreme Court gets this next.
Hope Harriet Miers likes property rights.
Thanks for the info. So they're contending that less water will affect their 'traditional' fishing?