November 13, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Trout Unlimited commends Senate committee for passing Klamath River legislation, urges quick action by both houses of Congress
S. 2379 will resolve long-standing water issues, ease drought impacts, and restore 400 miles of habitat in the third most productive salmon fishery on the West Coast
EMERYVILLE, Calif.Trout Unlimited today applauded the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for passing the Klamath Basin Water Recovery and Economic Restoration Act, and called for rapid action by Congress to pass the bill into law before the end of the year.
Brian Johnson, California Director for Trout Unlimited, hailed the Committees approval of the legislation. The Committees action gives this important legislation good momentum, he said. Residents, businesses, and the fish and wildlife of the Klamath Basin are suffering from extreme drought and will suffer further next year if Congress fails to act now.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and co-sponsored by Senators Merkley (OR), Feinstein (CA) and Boxer (CA) will implement key elements of three landmark agreements between tribes, farmers and ranchers, fisheries advocates, federal and state resource agencies, and the utility company PacifiCorp that resolve water sharing and management issues in the Klamath River basin.
Johnson noted that other recent developments — including the passage of Proposition 1 in California underscore the bipartisan support and urgent need for S. 2379. Proposition 1 provides funding for the State of Californias obligations under the Klamath Basin agreements.
The Klamath River, historically, has been the third most productive river for salmon on the West Coast, and its steelhead runs are legendary among sport anglers. The bill will restore access for fish to more than 400 miles of spawning and rearing habitat, and will revitalize the recreational and commercial fisheries dependent on the Klamath River watershed, Johnson said.
There are no easy answers to our water supply challenges, said Johnson, but the Klamath agreements and S.2379 reflect the right way to get people — and fish — enough water, especially in hard times like these.
Trout Unlimited is the nations oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North Americas trout and salmon and their watersheds. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and visit us online at www.tu.org.