Sunday, November 18, 2012

Klamath Dealmakers come to Humboldt County

It will come as no news to readers of KlamBlog that we do not like the Klamath Dam and Water Deals - the KHSA and KBRA.  We don't like these deals because they favor the 1%. The Dam Deal lets PacifiCorp's shareholders escape responsibility for removing a non-performing asset - the Klamath River Dams - from the Klamath River; The KBRA sacrifices the Klamath Wildlife Refuges and Klamath Salmon Recovery in order to maximize irrigation water deliveries to the Basin's Irrigation Elite, especially the eight very big growers who control most of the prime land within the BOR's Klamath Irrigation Project. The KBRA also puts management of the People's Klamath River - and its Public Trust water - into the hands of bureaucrats making decisions behind closed doors. KlamBlog thinks that is just wrong.
On Wednesday November 14th those governments and organizations which have signed onto these deals will  meet in Eureka in a public show meeting at which they will pass amendments to the KBRA. The meeting will be a show because the decision to approve the amendments (which make a bad deal worse) has already been made behind closed doors.
 Proposed KBRA Water Deal Amendments will facilitated dewatering key Upper Klamath 
River Basin National Wildlife Refuges in order to maximize irrigation water delivery

On Tuesday November 13th the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors - which has signed onto the deals - will consider whether to approve the amendments. The supervisors were forced to do that in public by crusading citizens - including Northcoast fisheries biologist and Humboldt Bay Commissioner Pat Higgins and citizen activist and rabblerouser Syvia De Rooy. Below is Sylvia's Call Out to the events. 

KlamBlog calls out too. We call on all Humboldt County citizens who don't like sweetheart deals for the 1% - and for those who think water for salmon should have a higher priority than water for irrigation - to come out and jam these meetings. Bring big signs telling the Humboldt County Supervisors and other dealmakers that they are on the wrong side. Come out for the Salmon and for open and democratic management of the People's Klamath River.
KlamBlog will be there and we'll be looking for you!
Urgent Call Out from Sylvia De Rooy
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 13th and 14th, we need to make our presence felt. On Tuesday the Board of Sups need to hear us tell them to dump the KBRA. Consideration of the KBRA Water Deal is scheduled for 1:30 PM at the Humboldt County Courthouse in Eureka. 
The KBRA is scheduled to die on December 31. The KBCC (whose members are the signers of the KBRA) have decided they can’t let that happen, they have irrigator interests to protect. So, on Wednesday they will be holding a meeting at the Aquatic Center in Eureka to announce a 2 year extension for the KBRA. If even one signer says "no" to that it can’t be done.That meeting begins at 9 AM

On Tuesday the Board of Supervisors has agreed to put the KBRA on their agenda. They are holding firmly to their commitment to the KBRA.  They have hired Jill Duffy to be their representative and to report to them on all technical/scientific aspects of the KBRA as well as to provide technical assistance to working committees and to review the EIS/EIR and other plans and reports. She has absolutely no qualifications for that position but is getting $25,000 in grant money for that job. When she represented the county as a supervisor, she attended a total of ONE KBRA meeting in 18 months. The county signed on to the KBRA and KHSA at her recommendation. 
At least one supervisor seems to believe that if the county drops out they will lose “clout”. That this "clout" appear non-existent and that Humboldt County has made no attempt to use whatever "clout" they may have gained does not seem to matter. The bottom line is that there is no reason to believe that a single one of the supervisors has an in depth understanding of the KBRA although they have had ample opportunity to be informed on the issues by those who have that knowledge and understanding. 
There have been a number of activities tied into the KBRA that have been less than legal. Although a number of these illegalities have been pointed out to them, the Humboldt County supervisors continuing connection with the KBRA leaves the County vulnerable. The Supervisors seem to be oblivious to that. 
 Under the KBRA Water Deal decisions on the management and allocation 
of Klamath River water are made undemocratically and in secret.
It is critical right now to hold their feet to the fire. If the KBRA gets a two year extension either it will finally get Congressional approval, which would mean that nothing will happen to the dams until 2020, or it will not get approval and the players will keep pushing for extensions. Either way we will have lost another two years during which other solutions could have been worked for such as the FERC path to dam removal. 
On Tuesday there needs to be a huge turn out at the Bd of Sups with prepared statements asking them to justify the hiring of Jill Duffy, asking them to justify their stand on the KBRA, asking them to justify their qualifications to make the decisions they have been making by demonstrating an in depth knowledge of the issues. 
On Wednesday there needs to be an equally large turn out at the Aquatic Center. The KBCC has no governmental authority and has a track record of secret meetings. They need to see and hear that eyes and ears are upon them.
Let’s try for standing room only.

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