Reams Golf and Country Club just South of Klamath Falls, Oregon.
Under the KBRA Water Deal keeping fairways green is a higher
water priority than keeping Klamath Salmon alive and healthy
The situation is similar to conditions in August 2002 when over 60,000 adult salmon perished in the Lower Klamath River due to a disease epidemic caused by overcrowding, low flows and poor water quality.
The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is preparing an environmental assessment for release of water from Trinity Dam and Reservoir in order to help prevent another adult salmon fish kill in the Lower Klamath River. However, BOR refuses to even consider releasing more water down the Klamath mainstem where adult migrating salmon will also be at risk when the upriver migration begins in August.
Management for the 1%
The refusal to do anything to prevent a fish kill on the Klamath side reflects the dominance of federal management in the Upper Klamath River Basin by the Klamath Irrigation Elite - the group of eight very large growers (not the folks themselves but their ag operations) who lease lots of public and private land at ridiculously low prices and who dominate the Klamath Water Users Association.
These wealthy and powerful growers refuse to allow downsizing of the BOR's Klamath Irrigation Project in order to balance supply of and demand for Klamath River water. The Irrigation Elite refuse to allow downsizing because that might raise the price they pay to lease land and therefore reduce their profit margins. Higher lease prices would help small farmers in the Upper Klamath River Basin; many of them must lease their land because they can not make a profit on the small acreage they own. Many farmers in that situation are senior citizens; their situation is exploited by the Irrigation Elite.
Telling the BOR to do more