The boat ramps at Copco and Iron Gate reservoirs are temporarily closed through June, and possibly later, due to a draw-down of water requested for use by Bureau of Reclamation for Klamath Project irrigators. … Reclamation will use the water to keep elevations up to standard at Upper Klamath Lake and to support water deliveries to Klamath Project irrigators to cover a shortfall until water deliveries to the Klamath Project take place in June.
The last time water was this scarce in the Klamath Basin, a rugged agricultural area straddling the California-Oregon border, farmers clashed with U.S. marshals and opened locked canal gates with blowtorches so they could irrigate. … Now the stage is set for another round of conflict on the Klamath River, the result of a dry winter and a court ruling by a federal judge in San Francisco.
The Department of the Interior last week distributed a one-page framework for a long-term agreement aimed at resolving water issues in the Klamath Basin. Alan Mikkelsen, senior adviser to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on water and western resources, spent Monday and Tuesday meeting with Basin stakeholders about the one-page document, including water users and Klamath Tribes on Tuesday.
“State water masters on Thursday were evaluating demands from farmers in a federal irrigation project and from the Klamath Tribes to enforce their senior water rights in drought-stricken Klamath County, the Oregon Water Resources Department said.”
“The Bureau of Reclamation announced today [June 12] that public scoping meetings are scheduled to be held jointly with the Klamath Water and Power Agency to begin preparation of a combined environmental document.
“The Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region announces the selection of Sheryl Franklin as the Area Manager for the Klamath Basin Area Office located in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Franklin is scheduled to begin her new job in mid-May.”
“The Bureau of Reclamation announced today [April 8] the release of the 2014 Operations Plan for the Klamath Project. The plan is based upon expected drier-than-normal hydrologic conditions from the April 1 Natural Resource Conservation Service inflow forecast as well as current reservoir elevations. …
“During the 2014 water year, the Klamath Basin has received 75 percent of average precipitation since October 2013.
“The Klamath Tribes, ranchers, irrigators and the state announced a comprehensive water management agreement Wednesday that will help move forward legislation to resolve water disputes in the Klamath Basin.
“The ‘Proposed Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement’ settlement was announced by Klamath Tribes leaders, irrigators and officials who have been working for more than eight months to develop a pact to balance the needs of upper Basin stakeholders and curtail years of disagreements ov
“A deal to share scarce water between ranchers and the Klamath Tribes has cleared another hurdle on its way toward becoming part of a bill in Congress to overcome a century of fighting over water in the Klamath Basin.
“Parties announced Wednesday they have finished negotiations to overcome last summer’s irrigation shut-off to cattle ranches in the upper Klamath Basin after the Klamath Tribes exercised newly awarded senior water rights to protect fish.”
“The Klamath Tribes, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, and Upper Klamath Basin irrigators announced today [March 5] that they have completed negotiations on the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement.
“A fish species given top protections by the Endangered Species Act for more than 20 years has been proposed for delisting. The Modoc sucker, Catostomus microps, was classified endangered under the ESA in California in 1985. …
“The Oregon chub, found only in the Willamette River Basin, was proposed for delisting earlier this month.
“Commissioners officially declared a state of emergency due to drought in Klamath County on Tuesday. The declaration asks Gov. John Kitzhaber to do the same, saying the ‘appropriate response is beyond the capability of Klamath County.’”
From the Eureka Times-Standard, in a commentary by Brian Johnson and Mark Hennelly:
“This December has been great for the Klamath Basin.
“First, the Klamath Tribes and ranchers reached an historic agreement in principle to share water in the upper Klamath River basin. Then, the Klamath Task Force wrapped up its work. Convened by Oregon Sens. Wyden and Merkley, Rep. Walden, and Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber earlier this year, the task force was a tremendous success. To cap it off, Sen.