KWUA / Klamath Water Users Association "Weekly Update"
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Department Responds to Klamath Congressional Delegation
office of the Secretary of Department of the Interior last week formally
letter notes that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) will continue
collaboration with all fishery interests in the
that end, FWS believes that a number of the recommendations identified
by the Klamath Water Users Association have merit,” she wrote. “The
FWS has begun to address or implement several of the recommendations
that pertain to its areas of expertise and will carry out additional
recommendations in the future as funding and staff allow.”
the sucker fish recommendations proposed by the Klamath Water Users
Association (KWUA) in the past decade is one that relates to the issue
of fish passage at Chiloquin Dam. In the past year, local collaborators
reached consensus and agreed to support the dam removal alternative as
the preferred solution to improving fish passage conditions at Chiloquin
Dam. Congress earmarked $1,000,000 for the Bureau of Indian Affairs to
prepare during fiscal year 2004 for removal of Chiloquin Dam. This money
will be used for planning, engineering, and compliance activities for
removing Chiloquin Dam and providing an alternate water supply for the
Modoc Point Irrigation District. President Bush’s fiscal year 2005
budget includes $2,100,000 for actual removal of the dam and
construction of the alternate water supply.
letter also focuses on two high-profile water storage projects promoted
by various interests in the Upper Basin – Long Lake reservoir and the
noted that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is reviewing its 1987
assessment of Long Lake Reservoir, which questioned the feasibility of
this project because of potential seepage losses out of the reservoir
floor. Klamath County commissioners and Klamath Project water users have
questioned a recent updated cost estimate prepared by [the Bureau of]
Interior Department letter also addresses the department’s efforts
related to another proposed storage project – Barnes Ranch. The
2,670-acre Barnes Ranch is privately owned pasture land. The fiscal year
2005 budget includes funding to acquire the property as part of the
Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge.
the property as wetland and lake habitat in conjunction with the
existing national wildlife refuge and the adjacent Agency Lake Ranch of
the Bureau of Reclamation would provide valuable larval and nursery
habitat for the endangered suckers of Upper Klamath Lake, as well as
reduce nutrient loading to the lake,” wrote Wooldridge.
has advocated that both Long Lake and Barnes be further assessed under
the authority provided by 2000 congressional legislation.
Administration Klamath Funding Spans Agencies and Watershed
enacted and requested Bush Administration funding in the Klamath River
watershed for fiscal years 2003-2005 exceeds $260 million dollars,
according to a federal government summary.
Nine federal agencies have escalated attention throughout the
watershed as spending has risen from $75.9 million in FY 2002 to the
$103.6 million recently requested by President Bush for FY 2005. The
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the Natural Resource
Conservation Service (NRCS) have been the primary recipients of this
funding. The total actual, enacted and requested funding levels for all
nine agencies for FY 2003-05 are:
Bureau of Reclamation $93.8
Fish and Wildlife Service
$ 5.9 million
of Indian Affairs
$ 1.1 million
of Land Management
Resource Conservation Service $76.5
Forest Service $13.5
Reclamation expenditures in the past few years have supported
construction of the “A” Canal fish screen and other Endangered
Species Act actions, and the Klamath Project and off-Project water bank
program. The NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
funding accounts for nearly half of the FY 2003-05 NRCS budget.
Currently, over 700 Klamath Basin EQIP applications to improve on-farm
water use efficiency have been received by NRCS.
of Indian Affairs funding in the Klamath Basin is directed to addressing
natural resources issues involving the Klamath, Karuk, Hoopa Valley and
Respond as WaterWatch Drops Support for Long Lake
Two Klamath County
Commissioners have sent letters to U.S. Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) in
response to formal statements made by WaterWatch, an Oregon
environmental advocacy group. Commissioners John Elliot and Al Switzer
each responded to a recent WaterWatch letter to Senator Smith in which
the activist organization withdrew support for Long Lake, a storage
proposal endorsed by the Klamath County Commission.
“According to the
WaterWatch letter, they now oppose even studying the Long Lake storage
proposal that our Commission endorsed last year,” Commissioner Elliot
wrote Senator Smith. “While I certainly respect WaterWatch’s right
to take whatever position it chooses, their letter unfortunately
contains several statements that I believe must be clarified as you
consider the merits of the Long Lake proposal.”
The letters sent by
Elliot and Switzer, while focusing primarily on cost estimates
associated with Long Lake, also question statements made by WaterWatch
regarding other issues:
Storage Through Wetlands Restoration
Restoration in Lower Klamath and Tule Lakes
“I am encouraged by WaterWatch’s commitment to work with your offices to develop solutions in the Klamath Basin, although I may have different ideas of what those solutions may be.” Switzer wrote Smith.
“However, it is far
too early to dismiss Long Lake as a potential viable option that may
provide real water to meet the needs of the watershed.”
Welcomes Julie Borga
The Klamath Water Users
Association (KWUA) has added a new staff member to the association’s
office in Klamath Falls. Julie Borga, the association’s new
administrative assistant, started work at KWUA on February 5th 2004.
considerable accounting and office management experience to KWUA. Prior
to moving to Klamath Falls last year, she worked for private sector
firms in southern California and Las Vegas.
At KWUA, the
administrative assistant provides vital administrative support to staff
and serves as an information link to members, legislative staff,
business associates and the general public. Julie will coordinate
meetings with agency officials, legislators and staff, prepare
information for KWUA’s Board of Directors, Executive Directors and
members, process all accounts receivables, and assist in the procurement
of fixed assets.
“We are pleased to
add Julie to the KWUA team,” said KWUA Executive Director Dan Keppen.
“She was ultimately selected from a pool of 45 applicants, where her
experience and poise set her apart from others. She provides a great fit
to our association.”
February 18, 2004 – KWUA Executive Committee Meeting and 2004
Elections. 2:00 p.m. KWUA Office, 2455 Patterson Street, Suite 3,
Klamath Falls, Oregon.
February 18, 2004 – California Potato Research Advisory Council
Research Meeting. The Honker Community Center, Tulelake,
February 24 – Thursday, February 26, 2004. Klamath Watershed
Conference. Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls,
Tuesday, February 24, 2004. Klamath River Compact Commission Business Meeting. 4:00 p.m. Sunset Room, Oregon Institute of Technology, Klamath Falls, Oregon.