Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Back to tour Table of Contents

#6 Questions and Answers following Dunsmoor Power Point

Allen Foreman:  Okay, briefly, any questions on the presentation today, and then we can take a break and then get in the vans and go out and actually see some of this stuff in person.

Gary Wright, Project Irrigator: Question for Larry. My concern is also that you come in here with a large amount of money and do a lot of restoration work, what is in your mind on how we control or moderate this thing for the next 50 or 100 years?

Dunsmoor: How do we monitor it? Well, what makes sense to me is that somebody adopts the monitoring, and we design something up front that is thorough and that has a good spatial distribution of monitoring points throughout the watershed. We need to monitor the right things, which isnít always an easy thing to decide on you know, so I guess the bottom line is you get an adequately staffed, well-designed, dedicated monitoring effort on the ground at the beginning and you stick with it, because anything short of that you are going to end up with patchworks of information and itís going to end up just generating, in a lot of cases I think, more questions than answers, and itís just something that is a frustration to me and most people I know, because itís just terribly difficult to get funding for it. You can get funding for projects, and theyíll tell you how important monitoring is, but when you really try to get serious about monitoring, itís too expensive to get funding.

Any other questions?

Someone: Are you serious that the phosphorus is causing an algae problem?

Larry: Is the phosphorus causing algae? Yes, itís a major contributor yes.

Bill Kennedy: Youíve been using the word restoration throughout this presentation, and I like the word enhancement, and I think they are similar, except that from a geologic perspective, the word that great northwestern end of the great basin range and throughout our area, you donít have to go very far, to travel and see other basins that have done this geologic progression to where they are today, and obviously what we have done to our environment in Upper Klamath Lake has affected the timing of this geologic progression. When you say you want to restore Upper Klamath Lake, by the activities you are looking at there, Iím just curious, are we trying to change the geologic direction? Obviously Klamath Lake is hyper-eutrophic now, meaning naturally, itís suppose to be that way, and maybe with the activity that weíve taken over the last 150 years, weíve actually slowed that process down.

Dunsmoor:  Oh, letís see. Well, I think weíre probably going to disagree on this, but I think nobody, short of God, is going to change the direction of geological progression. Itís a question of rates. So, what we have done, and I think without question, we have dramatically accelerated the rate of geologic progression in terms of converting a eutrophic system to a hyper-eutrophic system. Now, your first question was, do I think we can restore it? Is restoration a better term than enhancement or vice versa? Well, I think the proof in the pudding, you know. I prefer the term restoration because my goal is to restore structural and functional elements of ecosystems that have been extremely impaired or lost, so many of them have been almost completely lost. So I do think that restore is a better term than enhancement, but if indeed we find out through experience that we canít convert Upper Klamath Lake from a hyper-eutrophic system back to a eutrophic one, well then, I mean, thatís just the way it is, right? But I think itís a mistake to think in terms of hyper-eutrophic and eutrophic because actually thereís a gradient. So, itís just a question of where weíre going to be on that. You know, maybe the line between those 2 terms is here, but if we can move from here, down to here, you know, we might still be hyper-eutrophic, but the frequency and intensity of the problems that we face in the lake will be much better, and I think that there is sufficient information to suggest that the system will respond to the decrease in phosphorus. Now, whether that will eliminate blue-green algae farms is another question. But, you know, I profoundly disagree with the thinking that the Upper Klamath Lake is naturally hyper-eutrophic. Itís just not supportable with the evidence. All the evidence indicates the contrary. The algae composition just was clearly eutrophic from the works thats been done.  So, anywayÖ

Foreman:  Any other less intense questions? Okay, well if there is nothing else, letís take about 10 minutes and we will go out and load up in the vans. Weíve got about a 2 to 2-1/2 hour drive before we get to our luncheon stop. Thank you for your patience.





Page Updated: Thursday May 26, 2011 03:18 AM  Pacific

Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2004, All Rights Reserved