KlamBlog became curious because several of the parties listed as “Related to the Klamath Reclamation Project” are obviously not farms or ranches…they are not even related to agriculture. So we took a closer look. Here’s what we found:
- One of the non-ag, non-irrigator parties is Collins Products LLC which operates a state-of-the-art particle board mill along Highway 66 near Klamath Falls. Collins is noted as a producer of FSC certified sustainable wood products; the company has a certified forest in nearby Lakewood. It is likely that a first-in-line water rights would be a valuable asset which the company could lease to the highest bidder or use to produce particle board.
- Modoc Lumber Company operated a lumber mill on the shores of Lake Ewana in Klamath Falls. That mill closed down some years back and the equipment was sold off. The mill site is listed as for sale and is considered prime development property. A first right to water cemented in federal legislation would increased the value of the property. The property – which is adjacent to the Klamath Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant - contains about 120 acres and is listed by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality as a brownfield. Here’s a link to a photo of the site.
- Reams Golf and Country Club is located along Lake Ewana (Keno Reservoir) just South of Klamath Falls. It is an 18-hole course with a large clubhouse which it rents out for banquets. Here’s how it describes itself on its website: “Reames Golf and Country Club is a beautiful eighteen hole facility situated on over 200 acres just outside of the city limits of Klamath Falls, Oregon, The City of Sunshine." And here's a photo image:
- The Winema Hunting Lodge is a favorite for those who like to shoot ducks on Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges. It is open to the general public; they even let birdwatchers stay there!. Here’s what it looks like:
Contact information for these four “parties” as listed in the KBRA can be found at the end of this post. The information is provided in order to make it easier for journalists and interested citizens to investigate the extent of non-agricultural water use within the Bureau of Reclamation’s Klamath Reclamation Project. How much of the 300,000 to 400,000 acre feet of water that would be guaranteed to irrigators if the Deal gets through Congress is actually used to grow food? The public deserves to know; journalists covering the Klamath should do the investigation and disclose the results.
If the KBRA is enshrined in federal legislation these non-agricultural enterprises - a lumber mill, brownfield, golf course and hunting lodge - will get water BEFORE salmon. It means these developments will be among the last ones agencies, tribes, fishing and environmental organizations which sign the KBRA will be able to go to if fish need more water to prevent extinction….that is unless they bring cash to lease that water.
It is likely that there are many more non-irrigation entities which will receive water ahead of salmon if the KBRA is enshrined in federal legislation. For example, among dozens of irrigation districts listed as KBRA “parties” is the Enterprise Irrigation District (EID) which is located adjacent to the City of Klamath Falls. The Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) describes this district as serving "suburban customers in the Klamath Falls area." As that city has expanded, the Enterprise Irrigation District has become home to housing developments and shopping centers. KWUA documents also reveal that Klamath Community College, founded in 1996, is one of EID's "suburban" customers. It is likely that Klamath River water received by the community college is uses primarily to keep its lawns green in the high dessert of Eastern Oregon.
How many of those non-agricultural developments will receive water ahead of salmon if the KBRA become the law of the land? That information is not readily available and so far no one in the press or the environmental community has pushed the Bureau of Reclamation to come clean with the answer.
But one thing you can count on: if legislation is introduced into Congress to lock in the KBRA’s water allocation scheme, expect to see large blow-up photos of these non-agricultural developments displayed in Congress. Promoters will attempt to sell the KBRA as a way to secure a peaceful future for farms and fish; blow up photos of the golf course, lumber mill, hunting lodge, brownfield, suburban housing and shopping developments will be used to discredit that argument.
Non-Agricultural Parties listed in the KBRA as “Related to Klamath Reclamation Project”
Collins Products, LLC:
P.O. Box 16
6410 Hwy 66
Klamath Falls, OR,
Klamath Falls, OR 97601
Tel: (541) 885-4850
Modoc Lumber Company:
Thomas M. Shaw
P.O. Box 257
Klamath Falls, OR 97601
Tel: (541) 884-3177
Reames Golf and Country Club:
Laine Wortman, General Manager
4201 Highway 97 South
Klamath Falls, OR 97603
Tel: (541) 884-7205
Winema Hunting Lodge, Inc.:
R. David Bolls, III
43445 Business Park Drive, Suite 103
Temecula, CA 92590
Tel: (951) 699-6991 ext. 450