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News, notes, trip reports, and the lighter side (of the wilder side) of the Oregon environmental and conservation movement.

Showing blog entries tagged as: Waters
I miss the call of the ducks and the geese in spring

I miss the call of the ducks and the geese in spring

Posted by Marielle Cowdin at Apr 12, 2014 12:00 AM |

Life-long Klamath Basin resident wrote of the loss of the waterfowl he once knew and loved.

By Wendell Wood:

The following is a poem written by life-long Klamath Basin resident John E. “Bud” Harris. The poem, along with stories of Mr. Harris's early life in Lorella (in  Klamath County’s Langell Valley east of Klamath Falls), first appeared in an article titled “Life and times on Cheese Factory Road,” and appeared on Bud Harris’ 80th birthday on April 12, 2004.

While Mr. Harris passed away eight years later in August 2012, conservationists believe he and his poem should be remembered (now 10 years later) on the 90th anniversary of his birth.
 
I miss the call of the ducks and the geese in the spring

I was born and raised in Langell Valley,

where the ducks used to rally

by the thousands in the valley in the spring.

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Preserving O&C Lands Speaks to Priorities All Oregonians Value

Preserving O&C Lands Speaks to Priorities All Oregonians Value

Moving 1.6 million acres of federal lands out of the public trust and into the hands of private industry so timber companies can log them the way they log their own lands is no bargain for the forests or citizens of Oregon.

Legislation put forward by Congressmen Peter DeFazio, Greg Walden and Kurt Schrader to put over 1.6 million acres of Oregon's public O&C lands into a private logging trust for exclusive timber industry use was, regrettably, added to an already bad public lands bill in July.

Designated HR 1526, the public lands legislation was authored by the notoriously anti-environmental House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings of Washington state. Congressman Hastings routinely scores in the single digits when it comes to organizations like the League of Conservation Voters, and even Republicans for Environmental Protection (now known as ConservAmerica) are only able to muster an eight percent rating for Congressman Hastings.

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Wild Pacific Northwest: Ecoregions of Oregon

Wild Pacific Northwest: Ecoregions of Oregon

Guest blogger, scientist, and Oregon Wild supporter Ivan Phillipsen explores the natural wonders of Washington and Oregon.

By Ivan Phillipsen

Vast expanses of coniferous forest are a distinguishing feature of Oregon's natural environment. But this state contains a remarkable diversity of ecosystems besides the dense, rain-soaked forests of the Coast Range and Cascades. There are deserts here too – as well as alpine meadows, grasslands, oak woodlands, coastal sand dunes, deep canyons, huge wetlands, and barren mountain peaks ringed by glacial ice. Oregon is truly a wonderland of geological and ecological marvels.

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Water Disaster Set to Unfold This Summer In the Klamath Basin

Water Disaster Set to Unfold This Summer In the Klamath Basin

Only a full-scale overhaul of the Klamath Project will begin to address the acute problem of too much water promised to too many entities in the basin, with native wildlife and fish paying the steepest price.

By Tommy Hough

As the Klamath Basin heads into a cataclysmic drought year with less than 33 percent of the region's normal snowpack, it is a foregone conclusion the natural marshes of the basin's National Wildlife Refuges will be left perilously high and dry in 2013.

The scope of this summer's coming toll on the Klamath Basin is hard to fathom. Water levels are so low it will even shock veterans of the 2001 and 2002 "low water" years, when 60 percent of normal snowpack resulted in chaos. Governor Kitzhaber and irrigators are already flying the drought emergency flag, though state help only goes to farmers and ranchers. In the Klamath Basin, native and migratory wildlife are on their own, even as they are robbed of water.

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Annual Water Shortages Degrade Klamath Marshes

Annual Water Shortages Degrade Klamath Marshes

Thousands of acres of National Wildlife Refuge wetlands in the Klamath Basin will go without water this year. All signs are pointing to an unprecedented disaster.

By Wendell Wood

Sadly, 2013 will see a repeat of one of the most devastating symptoms of the Klamath Basin's numerous water problems: thousands of acres of crucial National Wildlife Refuge wetlands in the Klamath will be without water.

Unfortunately, this sad state of affairs reflects the norm in the Klamath Basin, where too much water has been promised to too many interests. Even in years of abundant water flow, this annual refuge de-watering represents the continuation of a policy of favoring agribusiness interests while avoiding cost-effective, long-term solutions which would bring water demand in the basin into balance with actual supplies.

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The Best Process for Removing Klamath River Dams

The Best Process for Removing Klamath River Dams

In a strange twist, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) has become the greatest impediment to the proposed removal of Klamath River dams.

The billion-dollar KBRA isn't going anywhere, gives false hope to interests which would benefit from it, and is causing state and federal agencies to ignore worsening conditions for wildlife and endangered species in the basin for fear of upsetting the deal.

As long as there appears to be some hope for the KBRA and the money that would come with it in Congress, government agencies and stakeholders in the Klamath Basin will continue to allow PacifiCorp to continue with their fish-killing status quo. No Act of Congress is necessary to remove the dams.

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Wild Pacific Northwest: Small Streams Are A Big Deal

Wild Pacific Northwest: Small Streams Are A Big Deal

Guest blogger, scientist, and Oregon Wild supporter Ivan Phillipsen explores the natural wonders of Washington and Oregon.

While hiking Oregon's mountains, you usually can't walk very far before a small, burbling stream cuts across your path. Most of these streams are narrow enough to hop across. They are cold, clear, and often overshadowed by trees, shrubs, and ferns. They're great places to fill your water bottle on a hot summer day.

These are headwater streams. They are born as rivulets of melting snow or as springs, at the upper edges of the watershed.

Scientists have yet to agree on a single way to define a headwater stream. The issue is more complicated than you might think. To keep things simple, let's say a stream is a headwater if it is a terminal branch of the stream network. If you think of the network as having the shape of a tree, with a big river as the tree trunk and smaller streams as the branches, headwaters are like the outermost branch tips of the tree.

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Water-Starved Klamath Basin Refuges Forced to Drain Marshes

Water-Starved Klamath Basin Refuges Forced to Drain Marshes

Klamath-area National Wildlife Refuges are being forced to drain massive amounts of water, while nothing is being asked of industrial irrigators.

By Wendell Wood

It has come to our attention Lower Klamath and Tule Lake NWRs are being required to deliver 5,600 acre feet of water from the refuge to the Klamath River. The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) maintains this is being done so the agency won't have to otherwise release additional water from Upper Klamath Lake.

While the BOR claims it needs to do so to maintain Upper Klamath lake levels for endangered species purposes, it is also doing so for the principal purpose of "recharging" the lake to its maximum elevation prior to the onset of the 2013 irrigation season.

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A Lack of Clear Vision In Waldo Lake Management

A Lack of Clear Vision In Waldo Lake Management

The great-grandson of Waldo Lake's namesake expresses his concern over the Oregon Aviation Board's desire to allow seaplanes to land and take off from the pristine lake.

This letter was submitted by Bruce A. Johnson of Bend to Governor John Kitzhaber. Mr. Johnson is the great-grandson of Waldo Lake namesake and early Oregon conservationist Judge John B. Waldo.

Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

I am writing to urge you, as the elected Governor of the State of Oregon and member of the State Land Board, to lead an effort to establish a permanent and binding preservation of Waldo Lake in its pure and natural state.

This lake, of remarkable clarity with water considered among the purest in the word, and enjoyed by respectful recreationists for its solitude and natural qualities, is at risk of being gradually degraded due to the lack of a single, unified effort to protect it from detrimental activities.

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Bill's Excellent Adventures - Blair Lake’s Garden

Bill's Excellent Adventures - Blair Lake’s Garden

Hike to wildflowers and a warm springs near Oakridge.

Hidden in the hills behind Oakridge is the perfect day’s outing (from June to November) in an unprotected wilderness west of Waldo Lake. Start with a hike through one of the state’s most diverse wildflower meadows to a historic shelter with mountain views. Top off the day with a soak in a natural warm springs pool.

The day begins in Oakridge’s real downtown—not the fast food joints you see along Highway 58. At the traffic light on Highway 58, turn north 0.2 mile on a bridge across the railroad tracks. Then turn right on First Street. The old downtown here features the reasonably priced Oakridge Hostel, the Lion Mountain Bakery, and the Brewers Union Pub.

Read More…

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