Posted by Mary on July 13, 2001 at 09:44:12:
Because of the article "the bell tolls" I feel I need to say a few words.
I lived in Klamath Falls for 6 years before moving here. I feel for the farmers there but like more news there is a LOT being left out.
Klamath Fall, Oregon is a area that grows crops that require large amount of water. I mean lot of water. Alfalfa being one of them. Irrigation is almost done year round. Other crops are sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, beans Some farmers flood irrigate but most use large cannons to shoot the water. Best way for me to explain. In the winter the water freeze from these sprinklers and makes a pretty picture.
I have moved my share of hand lines (as they are called ) for the sprinklers. They are large enough for ground squirrels to hide in. We would often have to check them before setting up the lines.
Also these rivers have been dammed to raise the water levels. The water would then run into the man made irrigation ditches and canals. These canals and ditches were made by the core or engineers back in the 30's-40's I believe. I never say a single dam there that had a fish gate.
Salmon use to run the Lost River but no longer because of the lack of fish gates. The Lost River is just one of the rivers that run into the Klamath Lake. The Lost River was a beautiful drive to take from my little town out side of the city to Klamath Falls.
It is along the migration path of many birds. We would see pelicans, eagles, mocking birds, geese, cranes, egrets, California gold finches, ducks of every sort the varieties of birds was amazing.
I never realized robins migrated together until moving there and seeing the fields covered with thousands of them.
We had a joke about the Lost River. The river was so lost that not even the fish could find it.
I have seen pictures in the local museums of wagons backed into the Lost River when the sucker fish ran so thick pitch forks could be used to scoop the fish out of the water and into the backs of the wagons.
Sucker fish were and still are considered a garbage fish, only used for grease for wagon's axles and the such. Local tribes would eat the fish. Often drying them in the sun.
Another problem there besides the large amount of water used and the lack of fish gates at the dams is the amount of pesticides and fertilizers used. There is a ground squirrel problem there one can not imagine. Poisons are used in abidance. It is a past time for many people to go out the farms and ranches and shoot the squirrels. In the town of Bonanza where I lived spraying for mosquitoes with trucks is done almost every night during the summer. Almost all of the private wells in the town that run along the river in Bonanza are now contaminated. When I left there was a move by the city to get local residence to connect to city water because of this. Our well was one of the few that was deeper than the rest and came back as good. Most of the well were very shallow. Some only 30 feet deep. So any run off of pesticides and fertilizers would seep into the wells.
The State came in and did a extensive study that took almost 2 years on the pollution problem. My point being if the well's along the river were contaminated so was the river.
In the late summer when the water ran low sign's were posted at the spring at the city's small park warning people to stay out of the spring and the water fountain there that was from a near by well shut off.
All this can be confirmed by contacting Bonanza city hall. Betty Tyree was the Mayor then. (7 years) and may still be.
There is also the local Indians who are pushing to get their water right's back that was stolen from them. They are using the problems of the sucker fish to win this fight. I had a good neighbor who was a descendant of the original Chief ( Phillip Jackson) that was killed during the last Indian uprising only a 100 years or so ago. I remember how 6 years ago or so he came to my how and told me how they (meaning the tribe ) we going to take all our ( meaning the non Indians ) water away. Their untimate goal is to get their land back. The water is just the stepping stone to do this. One must look at it from their point of view to be fair. Oregon is a young state. Mostly unsettled up until the last 150 years or so. Lost of interesting history. The lava beds I always suggested to visitors and Crater Lake.
Jesus is coming, and boy is he MAD
For the slackers, Jesus is coming, everyone look busy
It was faith that made Noah hear Gods warnings about things in the future that he could not see.