Klamath

Groundwater Levels Dropping In Klamath Basin

Aug 12, 2015
Jes Burns / Earthfix

Groundwater levels in Oregon’s Klamath Basin have dropped as much as 25-feet in the past fifteen years. A new report shows there is a relationship between the declines and pumping by farmers in the region.

Devan Schwartz / Earthfix

Much of the West is entering a second straight summer of drought. In Southern Oregon’s Klamath Basin, ranchers are once again watching their pastureland go dry for a lack of water. That has them preparing to sell their livestock earlier – and for lower prices – than they’d like.

Those ranchers are part of an unlikely alliance that could lead to a historic solution to the region’s long-standing water wars.

Watermaster Scott White has a difficult job. He’s the one who tells ranchers to turn off the water they use for cattle and crops.

Devan Schwartz / Earthfix

A prolonged drought is putting pressure on water supplies for the Klamath Basin’s wildlife refuges. EarthFix’s Devan Schwartz reports on how the nation’s original waterfowl refuge may be too dry this summer to provide a stopover for millions of migratory birds. It's part two in our series, Refuges in Trouble.
 

In 1908, Teddy Roosevelt designated the Lower Klamath Lake refuge to protect millions of migrating birds.

Oregon Department of Forestry

The Gilchrist State Forest south of Bend is adding nearly 29,000 acres. The Board of Forestry approved completion of the multi-year acquisition Wednesday.

Legislators first approved the purchase in 2010. The State acquired 43,000 acres that became the first new Oregon State Forest in 60 years. At the same time, The Conservation Fund bought about 25,000 acres directly adjacent with the intention of eventually selling it to the Oregon Department of Forestry. ODF spokesman John Pellissier says they aren't usually in the habit selling or purchasing land.

Agreement Could Mean End To Klamath Water Wars

Dec 5, 2013
flickr

For decades, farmers and ranchers have engaged in a bitter tug-of-war with fishermen and Indian tribes over scarce water supplies in the Klamath Basin. Now, government officials and stakeholders have announced the broad outlines of an agreement they say could finally bring peace to the region.

At the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Governor John Kitzhaber, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and an array of state and federal officials met with Klamath water users. They came to unveil what they called an historic agreement. Senator Wyden …

Klamath Tribes and Ranchers Strike Water Sharing Deal

Dec 3, 2013
flickr

In Oregon’s Klamath basin, tribes say they have reached a major breakthrough in negotiations over sharing water with local ranchers.

They have the outline of a deal that could end 38 years of lawsuits and pave the way for removing four dams.

The conflict came to a head this summer when the Klamath Tribes used their senior rights to protect fish by shutting off the water to nearby ranches.

Those shutoffs sparked new negotiations. Don Gentry, Chairman of the Klamath Tribes, says the two sides have reached an agreement in principle.