TU praises new bill to implement key Klamath Basin agreement

Trout Unlimited praises new bill to implement key Klamath Basin agreement

Walden legislation “important step” in implementing KPFA


Sam Davidson/ Communications Director, California/Klamath Basin
sdavidson@tu.org / 831-235-2542

(November 10, 2017) KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. Trout Unlimited, Americas oldest and largest sportsmens organization dedicated to protecting and restoring trout and salmon and their habitats, applauded todays introduction of new legislation by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). This legislation formalizes the support of Congress for collaborative actions under the Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement (KPFA) to advance the recovery of Klamath River fisheries, uphold trust responsibilities to the tribes, and sustain the regions farming and ranching economy.

The Klamath River, historically, has been the third most productive watershed for salmon and steelhead on the West Coast, behind only the Columbia and Sacramento River systems. Restoring this river and creating durable water sharing agreements in the upper Basin that benefit people and fish and wildlife has been one of TUs highest conservation priorities.

Chrysten Lambert, Oregon Director for Trout Unlimited, said, We salute Rep. Waldens commitment to supporting solutions for the upper Klamath Basin that help both people and the Klamaths legendary salmon and steelhead runs. TU has worked hard to implement collaborative projects and agreements in the upper Basin that bolster water security for farmers and ranchers and provide more water for fish when they need it most. This bill is one important step in that on-going process.

TU is a signatory to the KPFA, and Lambert spoke today in Klamath Falls at the event to roll out the Walden legislation.

The KPFA will help Klamath Basin irrigators avoid potentially adverse financial and regulatory impacts associated with the return of anadromous (sea-run) fish to the Upper Klamath Basin, which are anticipated after dams are removed. The agreement also acknowledges that additional work is necessary to fully restore the Klamath Basin, and that much of this work will require congressional action. The agreement commits the signatories to actively cooperate with all Klamath Basin stakeholders members of Congress, tribes, farmers and others to develop additional agreements over the next year to offer comprehensive solutions to these issues.

Lambert said, Through a decades-long attempt by a broad coalition of irrigators, conservationists, and tribal interests to resolve some of this Basins most critical water issues, most of us have developed a shared vision of the future. We remain convinced that our interests are bound together. For any of us to succeed, we must all succeed together.

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