Skip to comments.WATER War continuing in Klamath Valley, OREGON
Posted on 06/27/2013 11:50:31 AM PDT by goodnesswins
Huge Rally to Save Our Klamath County Water
Klamath Falls, OR.
More than 100 cattle trucks and related haulers will drive the streets of Klamath Falls on Monday July 1st at 10:00 AM at the Klamath County Court House. We will be meeting at the fairgrounds at 9am. This rally is in support of the ranchers and farmers in the Upper Klamath Basin who have been deprived of their adjudicated water rights.
Ranchers and farmers in the Upper Klamath Basin have been notified to cease all diversions for irrigating their pastures and crops, leaving cattle without feed for late summer or winter. Since pasture options are very limited some ranchers will be forced to sell their herds.
Not only does this affect the 100,000 acres of irrigated ground, but the city and county of Klamath will be devastated because the livestock and agriculture industry is a key component in the local economy. I
This rally is in support of anyone and that includes everyone - that is involved in agriculture. Not only does it affect the upper Klamath Basin but also will set precedence for others for years to come.
We would appreciate all of your attendance and support, we all need to stick together.
they need another showdown for the ranchers and farmers.
More ‘Agenda 21’ BS at the local level to shut down agriculture? Details as to who gave the order please?
Isn’t Oregon a blue state? I believe Zero’s Sec of Interior started this fiasco.
Are the farmers and ranchers reaping what they sowed? Voting for Zero?
Farmers and ranchers did NOT vote for Obama. Neither did I. Portland and Eugene run the state.
I am a Klamath County farmer (among other things). The state just this year awarded control of the water to the Klamath indian tribe. Sure enough, one month later, the tribe declared “no water for the farmers.”
My water is under ground, so not affected. Yet.
Last time it was farmers vs govt. This time it’s cowboys and indians, and we know how that usually ends up.
Years ago, decades ago, we’d see the indians on the lower
Klamath river fishing for salmon and leaving most of the
body to rot on the ground. They thought it was funny.
SSS is coming.
Highly unlikely...most farmers are on east side...libs are in Portland and Eugene...west side
What is SSS?
Shoot, shovel, and SHUTUP. Yes, SHUTUP is the most important one of the three, that’s why I shouted it.
Their back Jim and this time they are going to remove 4 dams, 3 in California. Lots of cheap electricity will be gone plus miles of silt behind the dams will smother the lower Klamath...
From our State Representative:
A Message From Representative Whitsett
I would like to discuss the topic of Klamath County water issues.
A combination of actions taken by the Oregon Water Resources Department has resulted in denying irrigation water to much of the ranching and farming community in the Upper Klamath River Basin.
Make no mistake, the severity of the current meteorological drought would make meeting all Upper Basin irrigations needs difficult at best.
The farming and ranching communities have faced drought before but have always been able to work together to grow enough livestock and crops to survive until precipitation returned.
A series of actions taken, and not taken, by the Oregon Water Resources Department has completely changed the playing field.
Those Department decisions will result in denial of all irrigation water delivery for a large segment of the farming and ranching community and significantly curtailed water deliveries to virtually all agricultural interests in the Upper Klamath River Basin.
First, the Departments final determination in the Klamath River Adjudication was inexplicably contradictory.
To begin with, they rightfully agreed with previous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rulings and determined the Klamath Tribes own the highest priority water right dated time immemorial.
But they then incomprehensibly totally ignored the rest of that Ninth Circuit Court decision.
That further Ninth Circuit ruling limited the amount of Tribal water to the amount of water that was being used for a moderate living standard by the Tribes at the time the reservation was sold to the federal government.
In complete contradiction to that ruling, the Department determined that the Tribes were entitled to virtually all of the water in most of the tributaries to Upper Klamath Lake for the purpose of hunting, fishing and gathering, thus overturning the Ninth Circuit Courts ruling.
The Department has failed to challenge the federal Biological Opinions that has reallocated most of the water stored in Upper Klamath Lake to allegedly endangered species.
That reallocation has been carried out for years without a water right.
The Department has failed to challenge the state of Californias long standing practice of mining water from Oregon aquifers.
They deny Oregon irrigators access to groundwater while allowing their neighbors across the state line to pump water out from under Oregon land.
Moreover, they have delayed issuing many certificates for irrigation wells for at least the past four years.
Meanwhile, the Department participated in a groundwater study that determined that the regional aquifer discharges in part into the Scenic Klamath River.
Using the result of that study, the Department now plans to deny those delayed certificates and all new groundwater appropriations allegedly because they might reduce flows in that allegedly scenic river.
Further, the Department has made clear that they may revoke the certificates of many existing irrigation wells for the same specious reasons.
Look who is supporting the Oregon Water Resources Department. You will not find agricultural, forestry, or natural resources economic entities supporting the Departments budget. The groups include:
1000 Friends of Oregon
Center for Biological Diversity
Defenders of Wildlife
National Wildlife Federation
Oregon Environmental Council
Oregon League of Conservation Voters
Sierra Club Oregon Chapter
WaterWatch of Oregon
Wild Salmon Center
From their series of actions and inactions in the Upper Klamath River Basin, I can only conclude that the Oregon Water Resources Department no longer represents the interests of Oregons irrigated agriculture.
The Klamath County Assessor and various economic consultants estimate an economic loss of $500 MILLION dollars to the area in just this year alone from this water cut off. Can you imagine if the area near you sustained economic damages and loss of $500 Million in the next few months and then that much for the foreseeable future, year after year?
Certainly Klamath County and the state of Oregon cannot withstand economic devastation of this magnitude, yet it is happening right now. To further complicate this issue, it is our own Oregon Water Resources Department that ordered the administrative ruling that appears to overturn the Ninth Circuit Courts judicial ruling. It will be years before judicial branch challenges to this agencys decision can work their way through the federal court system.
It will be far too late for the farms and ranches, the families, the livestock and crops of the Klamath Basin by then. An estimated 100,000 head of cattle in the upper basin will need to be liquidated or removed this summer from the area. Cattle and dairy combined have ranked as Oregons second largest agricultural commodity. Klamath County ranks among the largest cattle producers in Oregon. Klamath County is a major contributor overall to Oregons healthy and massive agricultural sector and this administrative ruling will undoubtedly be felt throughout Oregon and our economy. We as a state cannot afford to be at the mercy of an agency with its own agenda.
Representative Gail Whitsett
House District 56