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Klamath News Clips - Archive

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Recreation on public lands is a major and growing contributor to Oregon's economy.
The Klamath Basin Task Force has arrived at a tentative deal on water, but the natural marshes of the Klamath National Wildlife Refuges are once again left high and dry.
Before the memory of this painfully dry summer fades, it's worth taking stock of where irrigators, tribes, wildlife advocates, fishermen and others with a stake in the debate over water are.
A board member of Cal-Ore Wetlands and the Waterfowl Council who has recreated in the Klamath National Wildlife Refuges since 1968 says "I've never seen Lower Klamath [Lake] this dry."
Thousands of ducks are dying from avian botulism on the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge due to overcrowded marshes and only a sliver of polluted water remaining on the marsh, exacerbating the spread of disease.
As a result of unprecedented drought and being at the end of a lengthy cycle of use aggravated by poor water management, waterfowl in Tule Lake are dying by the thousands from avian botulism.
As the DeFazio-Schrader-Walden "timber trust" legislation moves forward, the affected BLM-managed backyard forests of Oregon's O&C lands lead the list of the state's 10 Most Endangered Places.
Whatever water the Klamath Basin's National Wildlife Refuges would ordinarily receive this year is almost certain to instead go into the Klamath River to support threatened coho salmon.
Over the objection of water districts in California's Central Valley, the Bureau of Reclamation plans to release Trinity River water into the Klamath to aid the annual return of salmon.
According to the president of the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, "bought out" farmlands would become "vacant, wind-blown, dusty parcels."
"In the Klamath it is not possible to farm potatoes and alfalfa, drive thirsty cattle, safeguard threatened fish and protect refuges in a hard drought."
Gov. Kitzhaber has announced the creation of a task force to work on long-term water solutions in the Klamath Basin. We hope this includes needed water for the area's natural marshes.
The manager of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Klamath-area National Wildlife Refuges laments the refuge's natural marshes and habitat, dry since April, are "going to be collateral damage" during this summer's drought and water wars.
The water crisis facing the Klamath Bain today could have been less severe had Sen. Wyden's 2002 legislation addressing the root cause of too much water promised to too many interests been seriously considered by the House of Representatives.
Excellent piece from Scott Learn on the water conflicts in the Klamath Basin; the first of two pieces on the ongoing drought.
Even with current drought conditions in the Klamath Basin reaching a critical level, the area's natural marshes are already the last to receive any water in the basin's water management scheme.
Senator Wyden's pronouncement could be the final straw for the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, or KBRA, an $800 million settlement and restoration plan for the region.
A national coalition of conservation groups highlight the plight of Klamath National Wildlife Refuges; urge Wyden to re-introduce 2002 Klamath reform legislation.
With the worst drought on record at hand for Klamath Basin wildlife, man-made conditions continue to exacerbate already critical water shortages and increase the risk of disease outbreaks.
State watermasters in the Klamath are traveling in pairs and notifying the sheriff's office wherever they go.
 

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