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FrontPage 4.0"> Endangered Species Act Sparks Battle
Endangered Species Act Sparks Battle
(Note: What Klamath Tribes' Allan Foreman calls 'balance' means NO FARMERS and NO FARMING in the entire Klamath Basin. Bottom line: no matter what the legislation, until all farming in the Basin has become a page in a history book, The Wildlands Project implementers -- using the ESA, "critical habitat", "fish kills", "toxic effluent", etc. -- have an agenda. It should be painfully clear, when the press fails to report on the meth labs dumping REAL toxic waste into streams and rivers -- and massive fish kills immediately follow -- that farmers are NOT the bad guys that Foreman and his ilk claim.)
August 14, 2004
By William LaJeunesse
To submit a Letter to the Editor:
Klamath Falls, Oregon - The Endangered Species Act has left Native Americans and environmentalists pitted against farmers and ranch families thirty years after it was passed.

Nowhere is that conflict more apparent than in Klamath Falls, Oregon, where in 2001 federal officials shut off irrigation water to protect endangered fish.

"How did 2001 affect me? My farm, how do you say, went 'bye bye,'" said former farmer Venacio Hernandez.

Environmentalists consider the act a success because it protected threatened species by stopping development and saving habitat. The act was passed to protect 100 species but it now protects more than 1,300, sealing off millions of acres from development.

"There has to be balance. If we continue down this road -- doing away with the ESA to solve this problem -- we are deceiving ourselves," said Allen Foreman of Klamath Tribes.

While screens have saved thousands of fish from being sucked into canals and irrigators have become more efficient, the problem is far from solved because there is still too much demand and not enough water. 

A more comprehensive solution, like knocking down dams, requires more money and less animosity. As for the ESA, while many agree it is broken, Congress can't agree on how to fix it, especially in an election year.

Copyright 2004,

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