Klamath more than mere 'moment'
September 29, 2006
By Julie Kay Smithson, property rights researcher propertyrights@earthlink.net
The piece of work -- "Timidity will ruin Klamath moment" http://www.dailyastorian.info/main.asp?SectionID=23&SubSectionID=392&ArticleID=36618&TM=67776.9 September 28, 2006 -- in the Daily Astorian is rooted in the clouds, with few facts.
* The Endangered Species Act (ESA), in whose name resource providing in America is being extinguished, expired on October 1, 1992. http://www.fws.gov/budget/2007/FY%202007%20GB/21.00%20stwg.pdf
* Congress continues to illegally resuscitate the ESA as though it were still alive. http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/archives/108/testimony/2004/jeffharvard.htm
* Various "poster species" -- from large predators like the "Florida panther" [transplanted from Texas, where, known as a cougar, it earned official varmint status http://www.nps.gov/archive/cave/pdfdocs/C&C7.pdf, Page 1, ninth paragraph], "red wolf" [arguably a coyote], Canadian gray wolf, Mexican wolf [a subspecies of gray wolf http://www.fws.gov/ifw2es/mexicanwolf/], and the suckerfish/salmon tug-of-war in the Klamath, to the imported-from-Russia black-footed ferret in the high plains to the "Indiana" bat -- are being used to decimate America's sustainable, independent, property rights and middle class.
* Wild species helped by the Klamath Project -- from migratory birds and waterfowl to the wildlife in the federal refuges downstream from the Project -- would be indelibly harmed by dam removal and the cessation of farming planned by some. http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/archives/108/testimony/2004/billgaines.pdf
Nature is a fickle, ever-changing thing. Those seeking to put nature in formaldehyde dabble in false idolatry, thinking they can stop natural ebb and flow and natural extinction by "preserving" the "environment."
The Klamath Project is the best thing to ever happen to the Klamath Basin since it's creation.
I once wondered if our founding fathers were keenly aware of their opportunities and the times in which they lived, and longed to have been part of the creation of our Christian Republic. Now I have a special opportunity, not unlike those I for which I once yearned. That opportunity is to tell the truth about America's backbone -- her resource providers -- and stand firmly grounded in truth.
304 words.
Smithson's extensive website is http://www.PropertyRightsResearch.org
"Take the easy way out" ought to be adopted as the official motto for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other federal agencies that operate at the political intersection between dams and salmon.

Dealing earlier this week with dams on the Klamath River, federal energy regulators said that pulling out two dams would make a big difference for troubled salmon runs. But they are recommending a different set of actions anyway.

The health of Klamath salmon runs has coastwide significance. Plagued by willful negligence and a process that favors politically connected irrigators, Klamath salmon must be avoided by fishermen. A resulting population collapse led to complete closure of the Pacific Ocean to salmon fishing this year off most of Oregon and Northern California at a cost of many millions of dollars.

Now, FERC is considering PacifiCorp's proposal to operate the Klamath dams for the next 50 years. Instead of taking a serious look at restoring natural flow conditions on crucial portions of the river system, regulators are proposing much the same Band-Aid approach that has kept Columbia salmon hobbling along, neither extinct nor self-sustaining.

These steps, including artificially transporting migrating salmon around dams and engineering fixes that would cool and oxygenate the water, are more than token efforts but less than what may be required. At a total of $200 million or more, that may be considerably more expensive than simply removing the Iron Gate and Copco I dams.

FERC is behaving with predictably timidity in managing a once-in-a-lifetime chance to comprehensively restore much of the functionality of what was once one of the West Coast's great salmon watersheds.

For its part, PacifiCorp risks appearing to be acting out of selfish financial interests, when it has a golden opportunity to demonstrate strong leadership and constructive corporate citizenship. As colorfully said by a spokesman for the California Coastal Conservancy, "It's like the Western world is trying to restore Klamath salmon, and all that FERC and PacifiCorp can come up with is a Jacuzzi and a spruced-up campground."

The Klamath makes the poor old Columbia look like a poster child for habitat restoration. It's time for all interested parties to quit diddling around and waiting for extinction to make salmon recovery a moot issue.
Copyright 2006, Daily Astorian.