From the August 2001 Idaho Observer:
Sierra Times captures essence of K-Falls sucker controversy
SierraTimes.com editor and quintessential pro-American property rights activist J.J. Johnson captured the essence of what is really happening in the Klamath Basin in a three-part series of articles entitled, Klamath Falls: Ecoterrorism at its Worst.
Sierra Times' combination of photos, quotes from the our countrymen who have been denied access to one of the most basic elements of survival, combined with the editor's indomitable pro-American spirit and knowledge of the news behind the news has put the entire injustice into proper perspective for the American people.
Following are excerpts from those articles. Sierra Times learned from talking to residents of the area that there seemed to be a unanimous consensus from urban to rural, farmers, ranchers, waitresses, even hotel clerks and some local law enforcement that the whole issue is not about sucker fish.
"This is nothing but a big land grab."
"We have the Arkansas River Shiner on the Pecos in Kansas, Texas, and New Mexico. It's everywhere. Then we have Multi-species Conservation plans for areas like the Lower Colorado River," Thomas summarizes.
"I think that anywhere there is water, you will find one or more endangered species. And remember it is not only the site of the species, the frog or whatever, the rules then usually apply to the whole watershed."
"You get the picture. If there is water, the greens want to control it."
"It used to be so nice to see the pelicans swooping down into the canals to get fish. Now you see then looking down, only to come up with nothing and fly away. Some of them are dying in the dry ditches."
".As waterfowl are forced to crowd onto what little wetland habitat may remain, there will likely be significant die-offs due to the increased risk of avian botulism, and cholera.
We don't just raise potatoes, horseradish and onions. We also grow kids," Molder told the committee Saturday.
The political and social goal in this matter is to "save a sucker fish" - a bottom feeder that can even survive in mud.
"In my opinion, the future local efforts are all in danger of collapsing because of the current heavy handed management practices of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Forestry Service (USFS) , and the National Marine Fisheries Service. West stated that current management practices of these agencies "have created a huge breach of trust."
"Many of the students' recent writings and actions indicate even more significant, adverse impacts on the school community. Based on my years of experience in education I recognize and understand the emotional and behavioral impacts of stress on the school population. Our recent 4th quarter grade reports show a significant increase in D's and F's.
Jim Gibbons (R-NV) agreed that "if a bad economy was radioactive, this would be the equivalent of a nuclear bomb hitting this area."
"And for the beer drinkers of America, here's your barley!" she says gleefully but with an oblivious hint of sadness in her voice (looking over her bare fields).
To translate what a top banking officer in the Klamath area is pleading to Congress: "Please help us, or this entire area will die."
"We don't need government assistance. We just need water."
Empty canals lead to empty irrigation ditches, to empty fields, to empty wallets, to empty stomachs, to empty dreams. All this because of "empty promises" from the Federal Government. But these are Westerners. These are Americans - a special breed of mankind woven into the fabric of Americana. Eighty years of the blood, sweat and tears they've pumped into this land make them - part of the landscape itself.
Terrorism is defined as: "The use (or threatened use) of force by a group or individual, to achieve political or social goals." The force in this case is a small dam on the north end of Klamath Falls, Oregon holding up 6 inches of water, or 10 percent of the water supply from two counties - two states in need. According to Dave Solem of the Klamath Irrigation District, this amount (and more) sits dormant in the Klamath Reservoir. The political and social goal: to remove the soul of America from the Klamath Basin.
Go to www.sierratimes.com to get the full report. It is required reading. ~(DWH)
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