The Bucket Stands
 
 
 
March 16, 2006
 
 
By Bill Ransom, Chairman
 
Klamath Bucket Brigade, Inc.
 
P.O. Box 5252
 
Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601
 
541-850-9495
 
 
 
 
The Klamath Bucket at the government building in Klamath Falls, Oregon, August 2001. Photo: Julie Kay Smithson.
 
 
What does the Bucket stand for? It represents the efforts and charity of thousands of concerned citizens and so much more. It stands on the sidewalk in front of the Klamath County Government Building , showing that this community came together in support of our family farms and businesses.
 
In 2001, the Bucket Brigade was thousands of people coming together from all over this great nation. Farmers and ranchers, elected officials, business owners, Native Americans, and many other concerned individuals and groups objecting to a flawed decision. A decision, based on fatally flawed science, brought great harm to not only the citizens of the Klamath Basin , but also threatened all America .  We were “Ground Zero” in the war for western water. A California newspaper article rightly states that the Klamath Basin cannot lose this battle, or we all lose.
 
The Bucket was made and donated to the Klamath Basin by people that were profoundly shocked, then galvanized by the water cut off. They and many others from across America donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in relief and aid to the Basin. 
 
The Bucket was never used to pursue a conflict with the Tribes. 
 
The fight is with the Endangered Species Act, bad science and those who would use both to take away private property rights.
 
The Bucket was welcomed by thousands as it traveled from the Klamath Basin to Homestead , Florida, a symbol of hope and unity.  It was welcomed by citizens of every community through which it traveled, as a hope for a solution to the similar problems that were encountered in every state.
 
The Bucket stands for freedom – not so much for “our” side against “their” side, but for us, for all of us, in the name of long-standing liberty and freedom. 
 
It stands for the unity that thousands of American’s felt when such an oblivious injustice was done to our farming and business community.  
 
It stands for the generosity and support of thousands of Americans who came to the aid of this basin. 
 
It stands for the God-given, American right to stand up and fight for what the majority believes to be right.
 
In addition, it also stands to remind us all that the 2001 Water Crisis is not over. The Klamath Project farmers and ranchers are still not guaranteed their water due to continuing litigation, biased and incomplete scientific studies, and special interest groups that place groundless accusations against the Klamath Project for all the woes of the Klamath River and salmon recovery.
 
The Bucket must continue to stand to show those who are determined to sacrifice us and our way of life for some other future, to reconsider what the past has shown and what the present means to us all. We are not going away.
 
The Bucket belongs where it was dedicated until the battle is over.
 
 
The Ohio Bucket: "From Ohio For Freedom: Long Live Klamath Farmers" August 2001. Photo: Julie Kay Smithson.