On May 29, thousands of people – farm and ranch families, the local community, friends and supporters from other areas, and political leaders – participated in a peaceful demonstration and rally intended to draw attention to the plight of Klamath Basin agriculture and the need for reform of water policies. The organizers succeeded, well beyond expectations, in bringing focus to our region, the importance of agriculture, and the failures of water management policies that have hurt farm communities without benefit to fishing communities.
KWUA applauds all participants in this rally. Tremendous credit is due to the organizers who devoted countless hours to planning and executing the monumental logistical challenge of a 29-mile-long convoy of tractors, trucks, pickups, hay squeezes, and all manner of farm vehicles. Well done,
The organizers understood the need of the agricultural community and their supporters to express their frustration, anger, and fear over water policies that have harmed Klamath Basin communities in the name of protecting threatened and endangered species without any actual benefit to the species.
At the time of the rally, there was concern that an already-severe shortage announced in April would be cut even more. All in attendance should be relieved and proud that further catastrophic reductions did not actually occur. Still, irrigation supplies are very severely limited, and unacceptably low. There will be significant damage to our community and the wildlife that depend on the same water that is critical for irrigation.
The attendees heard powerful remarks from Tulelake Irrigation District Board President John Crawford, Klamath County Commissioners Kelly Minty Morris, Derrick DeGroot, and Donnie Boyd, Siskiyou County Supervisors Brandon Criss and Michael Kobseff. Other speakers included; Modoc County Supervisors Geri Byrne and Ned Coe, Oregon State Representatives E. Werner Reschke and Vikki Breese-Iverson. Timber Unity president and “Axe Man” Mike Pihl, California Assemblywoman Meghan Dahle, Bruce Ross on behalf of California State Senator Brian Dahle, Oregon Farm Bureau President Barb Iverson, California Farm Bureau President Jaime Johannson, Congressman Doug La Malfa, Oregon 2nd Congressional District Republican nominee Cliff Bentz, and Congressman Greg Walden. Master of ceremonies Scott … also gave heartfelt remarks and guidance for the program.
The rally was a beginning, not an end. The Shut Down & Fed Up rally participants have been heard and KWUA firmly believes that the Administration is committed to address and cure the legacy of regulation for regulation’s sake that it inherited.
To view all of the photos taken by KWUA staff member Chelsea Shearer, please click on the links below.
Rally and staging area: https://photos.app.goo.gl/joeha9mJAFVvomYq7