Aside from the precedent this would set – weakening the California ESA on behalf of a water deal – it has not been clear why such an exemption would be needed to implement the proposed Klamath Agreement. Now – as a result of briefing materials on the Agreement’s impacts on Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuges provided by Water Watch of Oregon - one reason has become clear.
Let's focus on just one species - the iconic Bald eagle.
Because in drought years it will not supply enough water to support the waterfowl base on Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge needed by the approximately 1,000 Bald eagles which winter in the Basin, it is likely that Bald eagles will be "taken" if the proposed Agreement becomes law. Here’s how it works:
A previous biological opinion which “covered” Bald eagles in the
It is ironic that tribes which use Bald eagle feathers in their traditional dances and ceremonies would agree to allow these birds to be taken by starvation. It also makes one wonder whether - if they knew about this impact - the traditional and ceremonial leaders of these tribes would allow the political leaders to support an Agreement which provides for starving Bald eagles.
The 1,000 or so Bald eagles which winter in the
There are many contradictions in the proposed Klamath Water Deal; this may be one of the most bizarre.
You can read Water Watch of Oregon’s analysis of impacts the proposed Klamath Agreement would have on the world class Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuges at: http://www.waterwatch.org/programs/restoring-the-klamath/WW_Refuges_KSA_V2.pdf/view?searchterm=klamath