A reservoir shutdown pit neighbor against neighbor. One group is threatening to reopen it by force.
June 10, 2021 at 21:41
As a result, Hill and other farmers like her in the region have been cut off from water they have used for decades.
"For all of us, we've got families, employees, customers -- people we have to figure out how to take care of."
She was only able to plant in other fields that don't rely on the Klamath Project for water by using well water.
As the Klamath Basin dried up, an environmental crisis exploded into a water war this year that has pitted local farmers against Native American tribes, government agencies, and conservationists, with one group threatening to take the water back by force.
More than a century ago, the federal Klamath Project redrew the basin's landscape, draining lakes and redirecting rivers to build a farming community that today supplies horseradish, wheat, beets and even potatoes for Frito-Lay chips.
But the project has since been a source of environmental controversy, and two native fish species were listed as endangered in the 1980s.
'We're getting to the end of the rope'The shutdown has upended agricultural practices, taxed the community and added financial burden to farming families.
Now, among the posters hanging in Nielsen's Klamath Basin tent is Finicum's rallying cry: "There are things more important than your life and freedom is one of them.
These fish are also sacred to southern Oregon's Klamath Tribes, which are made up of the Klamath, Modoc and Yahookskin band of Northern Paiute Indians.
Don Gentry, the chairman of the Klamath Tribes, in Chiloquin, Oregon, where the tribal offices are located.
"We're here today because those fish were here," said Don Gentry, the chairman of the Klamath Tribes.
Gentry agrees that even the mandatory protections placed on the suckerfish under the Endangered Species Act aren't improving conditions enough.Source