This West Is OUR West

Farmers, ranchers are 'endangered species'

 Klamath Falls, Oregon

 

Letter to the editor | Oct 25, 2018

Sixteen years ago, I purchased property in the Modoc Point Irrigation District.

Modoc Point has an 1864 water right, which has been adjudicated. At the time, I assumed my water could never be taken away. However, through political and environmental means, my water was taken away.

Suckerfish and salmon became a popular, even though unfounded, issue to go after the water.

Our irrigation district has been fighting the Klamath Tribes for years. The big difference is we have to use our own money to pay attorneys and the Tribes use our tax dollars in the form of government grants to pay theirs.

I think if the Tribes had to put up their own money to pay for their own attorneys, this water issue would never have gotten to the point it is today.

Does anyone know how much money the Tribes have received for attorney fees over the years to fight us for our water?

Ranchers and farmers are becoming the "Endangered Species" and we now are going to have to fight back to keep our water.

I feel the general public does not realize what the government and Tribes are doing to the Klamath Basin by shutting off stock water and irrigation water to the ranches and farms that are entitled to it.

The ranches are losing profits on pasture for grazing their cattle, farmers for their crops, ponds on ranches have dried up losing all their inhabitants, the aquifer is not being replenished, property value of our land will be lost and the economy will be damaged. Not a pretty picture for this area nor the people who feed you.

This ranch is my livelihood. The government, Tribes and their special interest groups do not have the right to destroy me or anyone else here in this district. They sold the right to the land and water some years back. Their vindictiveness and underhanded ways are going to cause a very serious situation here, not only to the economy, but to the environment in the Klamath Basin.

Their blindness to do what is right is lost!

Bill Boyd

Chiloquin rancher