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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Blame elicits no progress in ongoing water debate
  By BECKY HYDE, for Herald and News opinion of 2014 priorities, 12/29/14

HERE for KBC News Becky Hyde Page

     Surface water shut-offs persisted most of the summer on family ranches and farms above Upper Klamath Lake as decades of attempted settlement and litigation reached the circuit court phase in the Klamath Adjudication. The water master began shutting off irrigation to junior users in my community in early June, eventually shutting off most of the surface water rights in the tributaries above Klamath Lake.

   Blame does nothing but rob a community of its wealth and its soul. In this spirit for the last seven months, a broad group of irrigators whose livelihoods are at stake have met with leaders in the Klamath Tribes in an attempt to bring hope and prosperity back to our community.   These meetings resulted in the development of an Agreement in Principle signed by the irrigators in the room as well as Tribal leadership. The agreement lays out a path that would help with economic certainty for both the irrigation community and the Klamath Tribes. Currently, we are sharing that agreement with affected irrigators and Tribal members. The effort to create durability and catch up with already developed agreements in our basin is under way. If we do the heavy work and continue to engage the people whose future is affected, both irrigators above the lake and Tribal members, our children and grandchildren will be given the gift of a community that has the ability to thrive and live by its deepest principles. I thank the larger Klamath Basin community in advance for considering this possible outcome.  




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