TULELAKE, Calif. — The Siskiyou and Modoc County’s Board of Supervisors and Klamath County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to send a letter to 10 lawmakers that represent their regions and a letter to President Biden to bring attention to the water crisis impacting Southern Oregon and Northern California.
The letter begins stating that the area is at the “beginning of a disastrous water year where the Bureau of Reclamation has announced 33-thousand acre-feet of available irrigation supply from Upper Klamath Lake,” explaining that is less than 10% than what’s needed for farmers.
According to statements in the letters, this lack of water will impact crops, which will impact food and fiber throughout the world, thousands of farm and ranch workers will be without employment, businesses that rely on farming will lose revenue and local national wildlife refuges will also suffer, specifically impacting the Pacific Flyway.
The letter to congress men and women requests a minimum of $45 dollars for funding programs of the Klamath Project Drought Response Agency (DRA). Right now, there is $15 million available, leaving a shortfall of $30 million in funding.
The letter to state senators and representatives also addresses concerns surrounding politics and politicians using the water crisis to further their own agendas, rather than working together to find better solutions for all those who need water.
The letter approved today to be sent to President Biden’s office specifically addresses the April 16th letter from local tribes and fishermen, requesting federal disaster relief that can serve as a down payment towards long-term solutions.
The supervisors and commissioners stated in today’s letter that they have concerns over items outlined in the April letter, one specific concern being funding requests that appear to target the permanent retirement of agricultural land and water, according to the letter approved for the President today.
The counties stating that they cannot support discussions and efforts that center around permanent retirement of family farms and ranches, stating, “not only are these family operations a rich part of the basin’s history, but they provide the foundation for our economies.”
The letter urges President Biden from extinguishing the agricultural community in order to promote the fishing…