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Rex Cozzalio, a 3rd generation Hornbrook rancher, responds to Family Farm Alliance false claims that Klamath Dams provide no flood control or provision for irrigators, 5/11/23

FOLLOWED BY: Why support Klamath deals? Our world needs food by Family Farm Alliance Patrick O’Toole and Dan Keppen for the Capital Press

Rex Cozzalio:
"Like so many self serving special interests benefiting from this unaccountable atrocity of destruction, Mr. Keppen clings to agenda rhetoric cloaked in pretended personal ignorance to rationalize his position.  Mr. Keppen has been around long enough and seen enough to be fully aware of the effective fallacy of claiming the Klamath Dams provide no flood control or provision for irrigators.  What he was trying to sell to his donors in the Upper Basin is that the downstream dams and deep water lakes provide no 'benefit' to THEM and therefore could be sacrificed in 'negotiating' benefit, which is also a fallacy as we have described in the past.  We are already seeing the exposed 'Agreement' intended betrayals, failed promises, and overt lies resulting in massive repercussions to the Upper Basin that have only just begun.

Mr. Keppen's 'claim' is pilfered from special interest agenda canned rhetoric reciting Copco, John Boyle, and Iron Gate were not 'officially' built to provide flood control or irrigation water, but that certainly DOESN'T mean they DON'T.  Just ask those in the region like us who FOUGHT to realize and EXPERIENCED those downstream regional and environmental optimized benefits with the construction of Iron Gate, as our grandparents fought for Copco's integral support to the region, environment,  and Upper Basin Project sustainability.

Not only do the Project area salmon return statistics, regional experience, and empirical studies CONFIRM those deep water lake provided environmental benefits, the flood protection and irrigation provisions which, to support his own agenda purpose Mr. Keppen claim do not even exist, are ALSO easily proven..

Flood protection:  Mr. Keppen may choose to 'ignore' our and other multigenerationals  personally WITNESSED profound reduction of virtually yearly pre dams' downstream flood damages and their subsequent improvement to water quality, riparian stability, and contributions to downstream cold water fisheries conditions due to MANY factors we have previously discussed.  However, he CANNOT argue with the special interests' OWN acknowledged increased flood impacts who were co-signatories of his promoted exclusionary 'Agreement'.  BOTH CDWR and FERC EIS's, along with dams destruction entity KRRC have 'acknowledged' subsequent PERMANENT increased downstream flood levels and impacts to life and property.  Though their 'acknowledged' massive impacts have ALREADY been shown to be UNDERESTIMATED due to flawed engineering, even those underestimated projections nonetheless ACKNOWLEDGE impacts to EVERY Project-affected downstream property and the DIRECT LOSS of MANY resident homes that will fall within the 'new' flood plain.  Those ACKNOWLEDGED damages ALSO implement a REQUIREMENT for 'revised' FEMA Flood Maps, which will thereby ALSO impose loss of property values, options, and property use due to FEMA Map elimination of paid-for currently approved permitted ability to develop riparian properties, inability to obtain flood insurance for those that are existing or still CAN be permitted, and the increased LOSS of still TAXED property use due to future mandatory TMDL increased fenced 'setbacks' to 'new' 100 year flood lines.  If THOSE consequent impacts from Project destruction aren't PROOF of present flood protection BENEFITS, WHAT IS?

Irrigation water:  Regardless of intent, Mr. Keppen stating there is no irrigation 'benefit' provided by the Project is yet another example of convenient self-serving ignorance.  Current riparian lake and downstream diversions WILL be DIRECTLY impacted or lost entirely due to Project destruction, AS WELL AS the Shasta Valley RIGHTS to 60,000 acre feet of irrigation water available FROM Iron Gate and 120,000 acre feet upstream as part of the PROVISIONS of the Klamath Compact and Klamath Project dams.  Those rights will be severely compromised, if not rendered infeasible altogether upon Project destruction. The greatest tragedy is that those rights provide for one of the most promising already engineered identified options to massively IMPROVE Klamath downstream water quality and fisheries indirectly BENEFITTING the Upper Basin at FAR LESS expense and FAR MORE effectively than Project destruction.  Not impacting Upper Klamath Project water use, that option uses high nutrient water in the downstream lakes for sustainable irrigated production, thereby REDUCING upstream nutrient loads normally delivered downstream, and thereby allowing INCREASED releases of higher quality instream tributary habitat flows, RELIEVING pressure on Upper Basin irrigators to 'mitigate' naturally higher nutrient endemic waters.  Without that option or the deep water lakes that are PROVEN to IMPROVE the water quality of upstream naturally endemic Upper Basin nutrient loads considered economically 'un-ameliorable' by the National Research Council, the Upper Basin WILL see the escalation of ALREADY known FAILED 'rewilding' requirements in a newly imposed area of forced 'anadromy' that history and the special interests' OWN empirical study PROVES NEVER existed in any viable extent in the Upper Basin for AT LEAST 8,000 years.  NO WHERE in their 'plan' is there ANY provision whereby the forced requirement of imposed anadromy will expire, instead even mandating PERMANENT 'Truck and Haul' of already Sprague planted 'experimental' hatchery salmon AROUND Keno and upper Klamath Lake if considered 'necessary'.  As a a result, the WORSE the failed unaccountable 'claims' of Project destruction, the GREATER our region's resulting regulatory oppression and effective confiscation without compensation."


·        Why support Klamath deals? Our world needs food

Why support Klamath deals? Our world needs food

by Patrick O’Toole and Dan Keppen
For the Capital Press

 Pat O’Toole, a Wyoming cattle and sheep rancher, is president of the Family Farm Alliance. He is a former member of the Wyoming state legislature and 2014 recipient of the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award.
Dan Keppen, of Klamath Falls, Ore., has over 25 years of experience in Western water resources engineering and policy. He has served as executive director of the Family Farm Alliance for 10 years.

  • Mar 26, 2015 Updated Dec 13, 2018

    Last month, the Family Farm Alliance board of directors, by unanimous vote, formally supported the concept captured in recent Senate legislation to advance the settlement agreements developed for the Klamath River watershed.
  • The Alliance is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that represents family farmers, ranchers, agricultural water purveyors and allied industries in the 17 Western states. We have long advocated that the best solutions to the challenges faced by Western irrigators come from the ground-up, driven by local interests.
  • The three Klamath Agreements — the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, the Klamath Hydro-Electric Settlement Agreement and the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement — reflect an intensive, collaborative effort that has consumed much of the last decade.
  • Without these agreements successfully making it through Congress, local irrigators face no protection from enforcement of significant tribal water rights, no viable plan for dealing with the Endangered Species Act issues, and no identifiable path for working toward target power rates that are similar to other Western agricultural regions.
  • Our organization views the Klamath settlement agreements in a fairly straightforward way: This approach provides the best means of keeping basin family farmers and ranchers in the business of producing food and fiber for our country and the world.
  • The settlement agreements are a unique solution that advances this critical need.
  • What happens or does not happen for Klamath Basin irrigators could set a precedent, not only for all Western family farms and ranches, but other areas of the country where agricultural production is beset with environmental challenges.
  • Understandably, the idea of removing dams is a sticking point for some in the agricultural community, and the Alliance does not universally endorse the removal of dams. In fact, the Alliance is a leading proponent of creating more surface water storage in the West. Alliance representatives have been invited to testify before congressional committees several times to offer up ideas intended to streamline existing daunting and expensive permitting processes. In 2014, the Alliance released a white paper on the need for new, appropriate storage projects, which was intended to support related legislative efforts pushed in Congress.
  • Thus, the potential impacts and precedents of removing any dam are concerns to us as advocates for irrigated agriculture.
  • The Alliance endorses advancing the Klamath Agreements in Congress because, overall, they are good for irrigated agriculture in the Klamath Basin. We see the agreements as unique to the Klamath Basin and its issues and their dam-removal components have no bearing on other agricultural regions’ decision-making. Moreover, no irrigation dams or flood control dams are removed as part of these settlements. In this instance, agricultural producers stand to gain increased water supply reliability in exchange for the expected fish passage benefits associated with removal of these dams, a measure supported by the dams’ owners, PacifiCorp.
  • Our job is to advocate for approaches that keep farmers and ranchers in business so they can continue to feed and clothe the world. Reliable water is an essential component to this approach in the West.
  • To date, the local irrigators who have actually experienced a threat to their livelihood and way of life with water shut-offs, paying for litigation and Endangered Species Act pressures want these agreements in place. We support their belief that they provide the most cost-effective, timely and politically viable solution.
  • We are proud to join other organizations like the Klamath County and Oregon Cattlemen’s Associations and Farm Bureaus, three Native American tribes, dozens of conservation and recreational groups, the Oregon Water Resources Congress, the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Klamath Falls, who took similar care in making their informed decisions that support legislation to advance the Klamath Settlement Agreements.




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