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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Scott Valley POW / Protect our Water, in Siskiyou County.

                       Craig Tucker, Myth Buster or Myth Maker?

followed by Craig Tucker letter

Author Mark Baird is a rancher, Vice President of Scott Valley Protect Our Water, and believes the truth, based upon the Constitution of the United States of America, will prevail. 

Mr. Craig Tucker, coordinator for the Karuk, took great exception to a recent letter I wrote in opposition to dam removal.  The Environmental Socialists are well schooled in the Saul Alinsky method of activism.  In fact Mr. Tucker is not a fisheries scientist.  Mr. Tucker is an environmental activist and “trained community organizer”.  One part of the Saul Alinsky manifesto of “activism and community organizing,” is to make personal attacks upon the people who oppose their socialist agenda.

Mr. Tucker tries to belittle his opposition instead of looking for the truth.  Most of the supporters of the KBRA/KHSA use personal attacks as a method of debate.  I do not like nor dislike any of these people.  I do not know them. I do not wish to know them.  I do know their agenda to be the biggest environmental swindle of this century.       

Yes, I am guilty of unintentional use of the word entropic as opposed to  the word eutropic. Since my field is Aviation, where fluid sciences including entropy are widely employed, it does not surprise me that I “grasped” the wrong word, nor did I notice until I had already hit “send”.  Although Mr. Tucker, would have readers believe this to be a serious character flaw, he and everyone else, knew what I intended to say.

 I have never claimed to be a scientific expert.  My desire was to live my life as the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights allows.   My area of expertise is that of CITIZEN.  A citizen, being conned, in the environmental swindle of the century.  That fact, alone, has caused a lot of the CITIZENS of Siskiyou County (nearly 80%) to become researchers as well as readers of biologic, water quality, and fisheries data. 

 As an expert in my field, (aviation), I have a question for Mr. Tucker.  Let us imagine that I were to open the airplane door at ten thousand feet:  If I were to explain to Craig Tucker, using my expertise, using all of the science I could Google, that the “entropic” conditions were in equilibrium, and no parachute would be required to break his fall, would he jump?  Or would he form his own conclusion?

 I do not claim to be an expert on dam removal, but Mr. Tucker does! It is not enough that Craig Tucker says dam removal is a good idea.  The research of a lot of very dedicated people, people who stand to gain nothing from this fight, shows Dam removal, to be, the environmental swindle of the century. PERIOD!


 If Dam Removal were such a good idea, why were the meetings conducted in secret?  Why is the support of Dam Removal a “precondition” of support for the KBRA? The water users of the upper basin are free to put their water under the control of special interest groups without throwing our Constitutional Rights under the bus.  Why the coercion tactics?  Why has the State of California failed to do CEQA if this is so environmentally sound?   Why does Mark Stopher, who represents The California Department of Fish and Game in Dam Removal, admit that no one knows the impact the toxic sediment will have on the river, the people or the fish?    


Follow the money!  Mr Tucker and his associates, whom we will refer to as the “stakeholders”, are chasing the Billions of Dollars which will come with Dam Removal.  These so called “stakeholders” are fishing for our water and our tax money.  Notice that the only clean energy facilities NOT slated for demolition are the ones that send electricity to the “stakeholders” of the upper basin.  Hydro electric power is the cheapest and cleanest energy on earth.  Why are these self styled environmentalists so intent upon this project?  Why is the Karuk tribe so bent on the destruction of the dams?  What does Mr. Tucker and the people he supposedly speaks for, have to gain in this environmental swindle?  Is Tucker really trying to save the environment?  I sincerely doubt it!  Look up Mr. Hillman, Director of Natural Resources, of the Karuk Tribe.  He once beat his significant other, with a beer bottle, and left her for dead.  He was arrested at the Medford Airport later for Meth possession.  This is all public record, investigate for yourselves!  Is this who you want to have “saving the environment?  The Karuk people may want this type of representation, but the vast majority of voters in Siskiyou County, do not.

Myth number 1.   Tucker’s piece claims that the dams add phosphorous, add nitrogen to the river.  That is not what Pacific Corp says in its report in 2006 (ferc project 2082).  Sections;  Section and the Conclusions section on page 53 absolutely contradict Tucker.  Pacific Corp’s report says that concentrations of TIN, TN, PO4, and TP are lower in the release water than water that enters the reservoirs. Pacific Corp concludes that Copco and Irongate reservoirs placed, in series, have an important effect in reducing toxics in the release water.  Once again the Upper Basin is naturally polluted and has been so for millions of years.  Dams do not contribute to natural soils problems of the Upper Klamath.  Dams help to reduce these problems.   


Myth number 2  Tucker says “the Keno Reef is not a natural barrier to salmon”.  The Evening Herald in an article in 1908 describes the natural barrier which very few salmon were able to surmount.  Those fish able to overcome the reef were so beaten up as to be useless.  Mr. Tucker describes pictures of people holding fish as proof that salmon were in great numbers above Keno.  Could he be referring to the picture on the cover of the Klamath Restoration Salmon article?  That picture is grainy, has no caption or date.  It seems problematic, to determine fish species from that picture. The Foster report describes in detail two species of Salmon in the Klamath River, neither of which are Coho. The fish in that picture look like trout.  The Klamath Restoration/Salmon story Mr. Tucker refers to is the “Constructivist Learning” guide to the Klamath.  Look up “Constructivist Learning theory” in your search engine. Constructivist learning is an interesting, socialist, method of instruction where reality is created along the way, and not necessarily based upon fact or truth. 

Myth number three.  Tucker says,” According to Dept. of Interior modeling, dam removal would release 5.4-8.6 million yards of “non toxic sediment. Other figures I have seen are closer to twenty million plus yards.  All agree, in the months, years and decades, following dam removal this would have a negative impact on fish.  Tucker goes on to say, “that the river can bear the sediment load out to the ocean”.  I must say, that all of the above, are understatements of the highest order.  Mark Stopher, CDFG, says no one knows the impact of the toxic sediment.

 Let us suppose that Mr. Tucker is right about the amount of sediment.  How does ALMOST TEN MILLION OR MORE, CUBIC YARDS OF TOXIC SEDIMENT, WHICH THE RIVER, MOST CERTAINLY WILL, CARRY TOWARD THE OCEAN, FOR AN UNSPECIFIED PERIOD OF YEARS, OR PERHAPS DECADES, SOUND TO YOU!  Craig Tucker says the sediment is not toxic to humans.  This is true! It is further proof that Agriculture is doing a responsible job of water use.  The sediment is however, toxic to the fish.  It is nutrient rich, extremely fine sediment which enhance disease vectors in fish.  Dr John Menke has made some very astute observations regarding the certainty of erosion of these toxins, and the problems of re planting the affected areas. Dr Menke IS an expert in this field.  I cannot imagine Mr. Tucker knows the extent of the damage this sediment will cause.  NO ONE DOES!    

Myth number four.  My comment was that Ocean Conditions drive returning spawners.  How can agriculture be blamed when fish, after three or four YEARS in the ocean, either cannot or will not return to any given river.  Craig Tucker did not address this issue.  Instead he begins to use a brand new term, “Salmon success”.  Mr Tucker says that juvenile escapement is the largest factor in “salmon success”. The so called scientists of the KBRA/KHSA have consistently and publicly refused to look at Ocean conditions.  This is a violation of NEPA and CEQA.  What is it they are afraid to learn?

 Dr. Ye Chao of NASA’s JPL has done some excellent studies which show that Madden-Julien Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Cycle drive ocean conditions.  Dr Chao is an expert in this field!  It is also a fact that cold water fish will migrate in search of colder water.  The commercial catch of Salmon is 400 percent of what it was ten years ago.  The fish are simply being caught in colder waters.  Just because the fish are not here does not mean that they do not exist.

 If there were a juvenile escapement problem, it could be laid at the feet of mismanagement and the malfeasance of NOAA and the California Department of Fish and Game.   Unregulated tribal fishing and high mortality rates caused by poor practices of the CDFG are also a large impact on “Salmon Success”.  Predation by seals plays a part in this as well. Water use by the human beings of this ecosystem does not.   

Myth number five.  Mr. Tucker says. “We cannot just rely on hatchery fish.  When habitat is degraded, just dumping more fish in won’t solve the problem”.  Tucker, is again, intentionally missing the point.  My point was, the hatcheries are capable of producing enough fish to help populations rise to whatever level we need or desire them to be.  Tucker and his associates have tried to convince us that hatchery fish are somehow different from “wild fish”.  Mr. Tucker also failed to address this in his rebuttal.  There is no real evidence to show that hatcheries produce Salmon which are in some way, not Salmon.  The Dams and the hatcheries are a valuable resource which should be used in conjunction with other resources to enhance the fish and the “human habitat”.

Myth number six.  Tucker claims that I said the voters can elect to keep the dams. This is another of Tuckers deliberate misrepresentations.  What I said was, “ We the people of Siskiyou County have voted and almost 80% of us WANT OUR dams to stay”.  We know the vote was a demonstration and not a fact.  The vote, however, does demonstrate the will of the people. We know the dams are the property of Pacific Corp.  We also know that Pacific Corp would be happy to continue to operate these perfectly good dams, were it not for the environmental extortion of groups like Mr. Tuckers.  Mr. Tucker, your associates claim to be interested in the good of all, why was the voice of the vast majority of the people affected, not as important as your, so called, Stakeholders?  Come to mention it, I have never seen the word “stakeholder”, in the Constitution of the United States. 

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the people, a Republican form of government.  We, the people, will not submit to a socialist board, of self appointed members, with no accountability, and a fifty year contract.  We vote for our representatives in the United States of America, and we demand no less on this issue.

Myth number seven.  Mr. Tucker says that “the KBRA is connected to dam removal and that dam removal through the KBRA will provide more water for fish, farmers and will help flood control”. This is brand new!  I have never heard the claim that dam removal will magically enhance flood control.  We would all love to see those numbers.  I cannot help but wonder, how removing dams on the mid Klamath River could possibly HELP flood control.

 I cannot imagine how 86,000 acre feet of active storage in the Upper Klamath Basin will protect bridges in and around the mid and lower Klamath during an extreme, high water event.  This is the first we have heard of flood control being an objective of the KBRA.    I do not believe it!  I do not believe any of it!

Mr Tucker closes by adding that there are many more myths to debunk.

That we can agree upon!  Contact the Siskiyou County Water Users Association for the information required to debunk more of Mr. Tuckers myths. 


Rebuttal to Mark Baird: Klamath myths undermine issue
By Craig Tucker, Siskiyou Daily News Letter to the Editor June 13, 2011


Most recently, Mark Baird wrote a column that appeared in the Siskiyou Daily as well as on several websites. Since this piece perpetuates many of the myths contrived by dam huggers, it serves as an excellent starting point for setting the record straight.

Myth No. 1: Baird’s piece states that the “dams did not create the entropic conditions. The Klamath basin is a naturally warm-water, high-phosphorus tule marsh.”

First off, I think the term Baird is grasping for is “eutrophic,” not “entropic.” Entropy has to do with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Eutrophic refers to the concentration of nutrients in the reservoirs. So much for scientific credibility!

Indeed the Klamath is a eutrophic system due in large part to the geology of the upper basin, but that does not mean that dams serve as a cleaning system. In fact, the dams and reservoirs degrade water quality by creating ideal conditions for massive blooms of toxic algae in the summer. When the algae die, the material settles to the bottom of the reservoirs, which are oxygen-deprived. This results in the breakdown of algae and the release of concentrated nutrients in the summer and fall, increasing total nitrogen and phosphorous in the river.

Myth No. 2: The Keno reef, a natural geographic barrier, prevented the migration of salmon to the upper basin, not the dams.

Not so. In fact there are photos of people holding salmon that they fished out of Link River near Klamath Falls! The writings of early naturalists in the area describe Chinook runs above Upper Klamath Lake in the Williamson, Sprague and Wood rivers. For a peer-reviewed analysis of the historic range of salmon in the Klamath Basin (and pictures) see: www.klamathriverrestoration.org/images/stories/pdfs/AFS_Kamath_Salmon_article.pdf.

Myth No. 3: There are 100 million cubic yards of naturally polluted, high-phosphorus, high-nitrogen sediment trapped behind the dams … which, if released by dam removal, will kill the fisheries for decades if not permanently.

According to sediment modeling by the Department of Interior, dam removal would release 5.4-8.6 million cubic yards of non-toxic sediment. All agree that in the months following dam removal, this release of sediment would have a negative impact on fish. However, in the long term, models show that the river can bear the sediment load out to sea and there would be no long-term negative effects.

Myth No. 4: Ocean conditions drive “returning spawners,” and not dams … the Pacific decadal cycle drives the ocean conditions that send cold-water fish north to the Gulf of Alaska …

It’s true that salmon success is driven in part by ocean conditions and in part by river conditions. However, data suggests that the greatest factor affecting returns is escapement of juveniles out to the sea. In the Klamath, degraded habitat conditions, poor water quality caused by dams, and the fish-disease hot zone below Iron Gate dams conspire to kill up to 80 percent of our juvenile fish before they reach the ocean.

Myth No. 5: We can just rely on hatchery fish. When habitat is degraded and limited, just dumping in more fish won’t solve the problem. Baird quips that, “I would love to see the genetic data demonstrating that the egg from a wild mother becomes something else when it is hatched artificially.” OK, try this for starters: Genetic changes from artificial propagation of Pacific salmon affect the productivity and viability of supplemented populations, Reisenbichler et al. http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/56/4/459.short). About 30 seconds on Google will lead you to much more.

Myth No. 6: The voters can elect to keep the dams. Baird states that “We the people of Siskiyou County have voted and almost 80 percent of us want OUR dams to stay.”

Turns out, they’re not “OUR” dams – they’re PacifiCorp’s. They’re what most Americans call private property and it will be up to the owners of that private property to decide what to do about them. PacifiCorp has decided that it’s cheaper to remove them than relicense them. In other words, they made a business decision that is no business of Mr. Baird’s.

Myth No. 7: Dam removal will remove flood control from the Lower Klamath River. Actually the dam removal agreement is connected to the KBRA, which contains plans to increase water storage in the basin by enlarging Upper Klamath Lake. In fact, after these agreements are implemented, we will have over 86,000 acre feet MORE ACTIVE WATER STORAGE in the Klamath Basin than we do today, which will help meet the water needs of agriculture and fish as well as increase flood control.

There are more myths to debunk that these. For more information, explore www.klamathrestoration.org.

– Craig Tucker is the Klamath Coordinator for the Karuk Tribe. He represented the Karuk Tribe in negotiations which led to the Klamath Restoration Agreements. He has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Vanderbilt University Medical School.



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