OVER 60 YEARS OF REPRESENTING FARMERS AND
RANCHERS OF THE KLAMATH PROJECT

WaterWorks

December 2019, Issue 10

Stranger Than Fiction: Consultant Discovers Error After Taking New Job, and Litigation Results

Last month, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) announced that it would re-initiate the process of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation for the Klamath Project.  The most recent ESA consultation produced an operations plan in April of this year that was expected to last for five years.  But in its letter to wildlife agencies kicking off the new process, Reclamation vaguely stated it had learned that an “outside source” had provided “erroneous data” to the government for use in that ESA consultation, and that therefore the government needs to conduct a new analysis using the correct data.

Based on court filings on December 11, the outside source included Dr. Thomas Hardy, a consultant who assisted the government in the ESA consultation but discovered the error subsequently (in August) while working for the Yurok Tribe.  In other words, the federal government’s consultant discovered his error while working as a consultant for another party.  “I would laugh at this scene, but I have a farm and a community on the line,” said KWUA Board member Ryan Kliewer. The error that Hardy discovered is a basis for a lawsuit by the Yurok Tribe and Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations against the federal government, claiming that the April ESA consultation does not include adequate flows for fish.

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Several years ago, Dr. Hardy was retained by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to conduct flow studies on the Klamath River in support of positions of tribes.  In subsequent years, other federal agencies contributed payments for the studies, ultimately leading to “Phase I” and a Phase II” Report.  These and related work have been used by Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to determine flow needs for coho salmon in the Klamath River.  For the most recent ESA consultation, Hardy was involved and, according to the NMFS, confirmed that “weighted usable area” (WUA) curves used in the process were correct.  Apparently sometime later, the Yurok Tribe hired Dr. Hardy to review the agencies’ analysis.  In an October court filing on behalf of the Yurok Tribe and PCFFA, Hardy states that the wrong WUA curves were used.  Federal agencies agree they should use the correct curves, but stated in a sworn declaration that Hardy played a key role in providing the wrong WUA curves. 

“The fact that agricultural communities may be the losers from this mistake is bad enough,” said Kliewer.  “But it is a bigger problem still that these curves are treated as gospel.”  Ten years ago, the National Research Council (NRC), National Academy of Sciences, completed a review of the Phase II report.  The neutral, highly qualified NRC panel pointed out that the Phase II report assumes that physical habitat in the mainstem Klamath River is a limiting factor for coho populations, which is almost certainly not true.  The NRC also found: “the usefulness of study for evaluating coho salmon and steelhead management options is severely limited” and “there are sufficient uncertainties and flaws associated with the study to show that it cannot be used as a specific guide to specific flows with much confidence.”

My real question is this,” said Kliewer.  “Why did the federal government go to the trouble of bringing in the NRC, the gold standard for science, and not use their work?” 

KWUA understands that the Yurok Tribe hired outside in order to inform itself, but has deep concerns with the apparent circumstance of a consultant supporting a lawsuit against the government based on his own error while working as a contractor for the government.  We hope to gain a more complete understanding of how this came to pass.

From The Ferguson Group, KWUA’s Washington representative.

In the executive branch, President Trump has signed two new executive orders aimed at federal agencies’ use of regulatory guidance in implementing laws, including the Clean Water Act. The first executive order, titled “Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents,” is intended to ensure adherence to laws that let the public provide feedback on new government rules.  A second executive order, “Promoting the Rule of Law Through Transparency and Fairness in Civil Administrative Enforcement and Adjudication,” would limit the use of regulatory guidance that has not gone through public review processes, to protect the public from potentially unlawful interpretations or unfair penalties.

 IN THE KNOW

 KWUA offers notary services. Chelsea Shearer is a certified Notary Public and KWUA offers her notary services free to all members and patrons of member districts. To schedule an appointment with Chelsea, call the office at 541-883-6100. 

KWUA has copies of all contracts between the Bureau of Reclamation and districts and individuals.  These contracts, of which there are hundreds, date to as early as 1909.  Copies are available to our members without charge, and to others at our cost.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) Announced: The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is now accepting proposals for project ideas for the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). This unique opportunity is open to agriculture industry associations, producer groups, processors, commodity commissions, non-profits, for profits, and local government agencies to apply projects that support specialty crops. The Mid-Valley Regional Vision and Priorities are aligned with the program’s goals. Several workshops are scheduled to help applicants with the applicant.
 

“ODA and the advisory committee are looking for innovative two and a half year proposals with a suggested funding range of $25,000 to $175,000, and encourage interested parties to work regionally to submit collaborative project proposals that benefit Oregon growers and processors as well as partners in other states that share common specialty crops. Those who have received specialty crop grant funds in the past are also encouraged to apply, whether they are interested in building on an existing project or if they are proposing a new project. Proposals should be submitted online and must be received by Tuesday, January 31, 2020 at 12:00 noon Pacific Standard Time.”

Court Denies Farmers’ and Ranchers’ Just Compensation Claims in Water Takings Case

SNOW ALERT

EXPECTING: Zero (0) to 85 inches of snow in the Basin. STARTING: Saturday or Sunday or Monday maybe, but probably not happening at all. RECOMMENDATIONS: Stock up on all necessities immediately and prepared for a snowpocalypse or a beautiful weekend, either one is possible.

KWUA Files Petition for Reconsideration of Temperature TMDL

On November 19, KWUA, joined by several Klamath Project districts, filed a petition for reconsideration of the total maximum daily load (TMDL) for temperature and implementation plan for Upper Klamath and Lost River Subbasins adopted by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  KWUA hopes the reconsideration will afford time and opportunity for DEQ to address and resolve issues of far-reaching significance for Klamath Project water users and districts, farmers and ranchers, and agriculture in Oregon generally.

TMDLs are a requirement of section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA).  States are required to prepare lists of waters where water quality standards are not being achieved (known as the “impaired waters” lists) and prepare a TMDL identifying the maximum level of pollutant loading that can be allowed if the standards are to be met.  The TMDLs include “waste load allocations” for so-called point sources and “load allocations” for other sources including irrigation drainage and stormwater run-off from irrigated lands.  If the state fails to list, or prepare TMDLs for, impaired waters, EPA is obliged to do so.  Across the country, there have been many lawsuits by environmental groups claiming that EPA has failed to comply with section 303(d), and these cases have resulted in numerous court orders (usually developed as settlements) that provide deadlines for EPA to either adopt TMDLs for state waters or approve a state-adopted TMDL.  This has occurred in the Klamath Basin, resulting in court deadlines for EPA completion or approval of various TMDLs.

In waters of the Upper Klamath and Lost River Subbasins, water quality standards for temperature are not met at various locations at various times.  As a result, among other things, the draft temperature TMDL specifies wasteload allocations and load allocations for discharges of heat (heat is a pollutant under the CWA).  The CWA itself does not require implementation of load allocations, but state law and regulations followed by both DEQ and the Oregon Department of Agriculture provide implementation authorities.

KWUA commented on a draft of the temperature TMDL, but found that its comments were not addressed sufficiently in the final document, and therefore is pursuing further review.  One major concern is “flow surrogates,” which would bypass or release water below certain diversion dams in order to mitigate water temperature conditions.  KWUA believes this excursion into water allocation is outside DEQ’s authority and conflicts with the role of the Oregon Water Resources Department.  KWUA also takes issue with the feasibility of accomplishing many load allocations, which are driven by standards that appear not to have taken into account the cost or feasibility of compliance.  KWUA is also concerned about the assignment of responsibilities to districts as “responsible parties,” a term that is not identified in the law or regulations.

DEQ must decide whether to reconsider the issues raised by KWUA or not, and the timing for any reconsideration is not fixed.  KWUA believes DEQ was seriously constrained by a court deadline in preparing this TMDL, and will seek to address the areas of greatest concern collaboratively to the extent possible.

 Western Water Law challenged in the process (From Prior KWUA Press Release)

On November 14, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of the United States in the long-running lawsuit titled Baley v. United States, commonly known as the Klamath Project water “Takings Case.”  The plaintiff water users sought just compensation for taking of their water rights in 2001 when the United States re-allocated irrigation water to threatened and endangered species under the ESA.  Federal Circuit Judge Alvin A. Schall wrote the opinion, which upheld the 2017 ruling of trial court judge Marion Horne of the United States Court of Federal Claims.  The appellate decision, issued November 14, states, “We therefore see no error in the court’s holding that the Bureau of Reclamation’s (Reclamation) action in temporarily halting deliveries of Klamath Project water in 2001 did not constitute a taking of appellants’ property.”

If the court had ruled in favor of the appellant water users, the government would have been ordered to compensate water users for a “physical takings” of their property. “It was never about the money,” said Gary Wright, former President of the Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA).  “It has always been about the future of our families and our community.”

KWUA Executive Director Paul Simmons said that the lower court had acknowledged that many landowners within the Klamath Project have a property interest in the water that is protectable under the Fifth Amendment, and it recognized the seriousness of the impacts to the irrigation community from the events of 2001.  However, the appellate court upheld the lower court’s holding that found that because three tribes in the Basin (Klamath, Yurok, and Hoopa Valley Tribes) have senior, instream rights to water for fisheries, and those rights must be for at least as much water as the ESA required, Reclamation’s actions were not a taking under the Constitution.  The appellate court found that Reclamation’s actions to comply with the ESA and to protect tribal water resources were “one and the same.”

“It is extremely disappointing,” said Nathan Ratliff, the Klamath Falls attorney coordinating local efforts on the case.“ There are fundamental principles of western water law and water rights adjudication and administration that we just do not believe sunk in with the court.  And the idea that federal agencies can make administrative determinations of water rights that bind some people and not others raises serious due process questions.”

The plaintiffs in the case were represented by Marzulla Law of Washington, DC.  Simmons said that the water users who filed the case will make any decisions about whether to appeal the court ruling.  “The alternatives for any further review consist of filing a petition for reconsideration with the same court or asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.  The plaintiffs will no doubt evaluate the decision more carefully and consider their options.”

What has KWUA been working on…

To subscribe to this monthly newsletter, please email Chelsea at  Chelsea@kwua.org  or subscribe on our website  www.kwua.org

KWUA’s Board of Directors strives to keep member districts and their patrons, and other interested parties, informed.  Board members help with the dissemination of information received at our monthly Board meetings, and staff produces a monthly newsletter.

The KWUA Board meets monthly or as need arises.  Below is a recap of ongoing activities.  If you would like more in-depth information, we encourage you to contact your respective district board members.

Operations Committee Report

Klamath Irrigation District (KID) shut down the A Canal on October 15.  Tulelake Irrigation District continued to deliver some amounts of water into November.  Klamath Drainage District (KDD) has been providing water to Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge via Ady Canal since late summer.  Total diversion for irrigation on the westside of the Project were approximately 346 thousand acre-feet (TAF), including 288 TAF of Project Supply.  Lower Klamath Refuge received approximately 43 TAF from all sources, including over 32 TAF of Project Supply.  Over 75 TAF of Lost River water from the Lost River Diversion Channel and return flow Straits Drain went to Klamath River with no credit to the Project.  KDD made “winter” deliveries in November consistent with biological opinion assumptions.  Gates in Link River Dam that Reclamation is responsible for have been inspected and are in good condition.  KID is also having discussions with Natural Resources Conservation Service about a watershed plan as part of its modernization work.

Executive Director’s Report

There has been considerable activity in litigation in the recent past.

Litigation in the Federal District Court of Oregon (Consolidated KID and KWUA et al. cases):

Two consolidated lawsuits pending in federal district court for the District of Oregon (one filed by KWUA and other districts, and one filed by Klamath Irrigation District) raise important legal issues regarding the Bureau of Reclamation’s obligations and authorities, the resolution of which could have significant consequences.  The Hoopa Valley Tribe and Klamath Tribes have been allowed to intervene in the cases for the limited purposes of filing motions to dismiss.  The tribes contend that, because their interests are implicated, they are “indispensable” under federal court rules and must be joined as parties in order for the cases to go forward, but, because they have sovereign immunity which they have not waived, the cases must be dismissed.  In light of the federal agencies’ announcement that they will re-initiate ESA consultation, and intend to complete the process by March 31, and other factors, the parties entered into a stipulation: KWUA and the district plaintiffs will, by January 17, either file a response to the motions to dismiss or amend their current complaints.  Counsel for KWUA and Project districts are in communication with one another and their clients about the next steps.

Litigation in the District Court for the Northern District of California (Yurok and PCFFA):

On July 31, the Yurok Tribe and Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations filed litigation against both Reclamation and the NMFS, in the

federal district court for the Northern District of California.  They filed an amended complaint on September 30.  This case alleges violations of the ESA and National Environmental Policy Act and is assigned to Judge William Orrick.  (See Related Story on Page 1: “Stranger Than Fiction.”)

The plaintiffs have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction.  The relief that they request as a preliminary injunction (which would be in effect until the case is completed) is, generally, an order requiring operation of the Project consistent with the 2013 proposed action / biological opinions, and requiring surface flushing flows, opportunistic deep flushing flows, and a 50,000 acre-foot reserve for dilution flows that would be required if certain spore or infection triggers are met.  In other words, the requested injunction would largely put back in place the operations required as a result of the permanent injunction issued in 2017 that was in effect until the new ESA consultation was completed this past April. The hearing on the motion is scheduled for February 5, 2020, in San Francisco.

On December 11, 2019, federal agencies as well as KWUA, as an intervenor, filed an opposition to the motion for a preliminary injunction.  KWUA contends that the preliminary injunction is not proper because plaintiffs are not likely to prevail on the merits of the case and will not suffer irreparable harm if the motion is not granted, and the injunction poses a threat of severe damage to the irrigation community.  Read KWUA’s opposition papers here:  https://somachlaw.sharefile.com/d-sbf5d6dfadb247558

Litigation Concerning Comprehensive Conservation Plan (Lease Land Farming and Grazing on Refuges): 

On November 19, United States Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke in Medford issued his “findings and recommendation” (F&R) in four lawsuits that were filed in early 2017 concerning agricultural activities on National Wildlife Refuge lands; specifically, lease land farming on Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges, and grazing on Clear Lake Refuge.  The F&R are subject to objections that must be filed with a federal district court judge by January 17, after which there will be final decisions by a federal district court judge.  The F&R propose ruling in favor of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in all four cases.  This is a positive outcome for agriculture in three of the four cases, and a negative outcome in the fourth.  On balance, the F&R would essentially preserve the status quo approach to refuge management in regard to agricultural practices.

The occasion for all of the cases was FWS’s adoption, in January 2017, of a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for all refuges in the Klamath Basin refuge complex.  CCPs are required by statute, for all refuges nationwide.  In general, a CCP specifies the management plan for each refuge for the upcoming decade and typically includes the approval or disapproval, or approval with conditions, of “uses” of the refuges that are activities other than the authorized purpose of the given refuge.  In this case, FWS authorized the continuation of lease land farming, and grazing on Clear Lake Refuge, with stipulations or conditions intended to maintain compatibility with the refuges’ purposes.  In the four lawsuits: Audubon Society of Portland, WaterWatch of Oregon, and Oregon Wild took issue with approval of lease land farming generally, including issues pertaining to water use and water quality; Western Watersheds Project took issue with allowance, or the (allegedly insufficient) conditions of continued allowance, of grazing on Clear Lake Refuge; the Center for Biological Diversity took issue with pesticide use under the lease land program; and Tule Lake Irrigation District, et al. (including KWUA) took the position that under applicable law, agricultural activities are a “purpose” of the relevant refuges, not a “use,” such that many constraints on farming imposed under compatibility determinations are not authorized.

The Board has approved the Executive Committee’s recommended budget and recommendation to set 2020 assessments at $7.00 per acre.  Letters have gone to all members.  The increase is a direct function of litigation costs (attorneys, experts).  Also, as directed at the January 2019 planning session, the Executive Committee has completed an “aspirational” budget for the future.  No action has been taken but the aspirational budget will be a basis for discussion among KWUA board and member districts during 2020 and as we look to the future.

As stated above, the F&R propose ruling in favor of FWS in all the cases.  Thus, challenges by environmental groups in three cases are proposed to be denied.  As to the fourth case (TID, et al. case), there has been a longstanding issue of whether agriculture is a “purpose” or a “use” under federal law.  For the most part, past management practices or conditions on farming have not been so burdensome that agriculture has seen the need to seek judicial interpretation.  However, the plaintiffs sought a ruling on this issue at this time.  The Magistrate Judge recommends that deference be given to FWS’s interpretation, which is contrary to the agricultural parties’.  This will likely be a subject of the objections to the F&R filed by TID, et al.

Water Bank Funding

Reclamation is currently operating under a continuing resolution (CR) that runs through December 20.  Current expectations are for another CR, although there has been activity directed toward passage of the fiscal year 2020 appropriations for at least some agencies by then.  KWUA will continue to work with the congressional delegation and others to identify and exploit every possible opportunity related to authorizations and funding for a 2020 water bank program.  Some of the overall challenges related to Congress and the state of affairs in Washington, D.C., have implications for the ability to succeed in reaching these goals.

Science Committee Report

Klamath River Fish Health Workshop

The naturally-occurring parasite Ceratanova shasta (C. shasta) has received a great deal of research attention during the past several years.  C. shasta can infect juvenile salmon, which can result in disease and mortality.  The risk tends to arise in mid-May, and often after most fish have outrmigrated, but it is a significant concern.  These issues are of great interest to KWUA, both because of the potential consequences to salmon and because of some parties’ advocacy for use of Project water to mitigate disease or disease risk.

In November, Board member Jerry Enman and Mark Johnson attended the Klamath Fish Health Workshop in Ashland.  The pupose of this meeting was to present the data from the

2019 disease monitoring that occurred on the Klamath River and identify additional research needs.  In addition to the data updates, there were presentations on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Salmon Reintroduction Plan, Stream Salmonid Simulator (S3) model overview, and assessing brood stock fitness of C. shasta infected Chinook under simulated Klamath River outmigration.  With the high degree of recent focus on C. shasta and some parties’ advocacy for use of Project water to mitigate those conditions,

Overall, the C. shasta disease severity for 2019 was categorized as “moderate” by the Oregon State and California-Nevada Fish Health Center researchers.  Oregon State University (OSU) researcher Julie Alexander mentioned that infected polychaetes (an intermediate host of the parasite) tend to be consistently found in the same areas year after year.  These areas tend to be in depths of 1-3 meters.

Leah Mellinger, from UC Davis, gave an interesting presentation regarding her project on assessing the brood stock fitness of C. shasta-infected Chinook under simulated outmigration.  This study may provide insight into the ability of juvenile Chinook to recover from these infections.

Scott Foott and Sascha Hallett gave a presentation on proposed myxospore monitoring during the fall-winter of 2020-2021 in spawning tributaries on the Klamath River.  This sampling is due to the proposed idea of gutting spawned-out salmon that was brought forth a few months ago by Jerry Enman and KWUA.  OSU and FWS California/Nevada Fish Health Center will collaborate on this study. 

Klamath Sucker Technical Symposium

Also in November, Deputy Director Mark Johnson attended the Klamath Sucker Technical Symposium held at the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT.  The meeting, facilitated by the Klamath Falls Fish and Wildlife Office, provided updates on the endangered sucker research conducted in the Klamath Basin.  Presenters from the FWS, United States Geological Survey, Reclamation, Klamath Tribes, various consultants, and others summarized their current research and future research needs.  There were many interesting topics covered during the day-long event, including; genetics, prey quality/quantity, the status of Upper Klamath Lake and tributary spawning populations, the Clear Lake radio telemetry project, bird predation, and the two rearing programs conducted by the FWS and Klamath Tribes.  Overall, the status of the endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers in Upper Klamath Lake is fairly bleak, especially shortnose suckers as most remaining adults are at the top end of their life expectancy.  The Lost River sucker populations are slightly better as they are more robust and are not as close to their life expectancy as the shortnose suckers.  In the meantime, the FWS and the Klamath Tribes are busy working on rearing suckers to release into the population to offset the decline while continued research will hopefully shed some light on the lack of sucker recruitment. 

OIT Hydrotechnology Workgroup

Deputy Director Mark Johnson and KWUA board member Ry Kliewer recently attended the Hydrotechnology Workgroup facilitated by Erin Cox, principal investigator for the Oregon Institute of Technology Water Assessment for Drought Resilience and Sustainability (WADRS) program.  The scope of this workgroup is to assess the measurement needs for on-field utilization, coordinate as a hydrologic community to reduce data duplication, and provide access to low-cost measurement devices.  Contact Mark Johnson if you would like additional information.  

Power Committee Report

In mid-November, Reclamation released for public comment a draft of a report required by Congress in 2018’s America’s Water Infrastructure Act.  Congress directed Reclamation to study and report on: (1) the cost paid for power at other irrigation projects in the Pacific Northwest, in order to develop a “power cost benchmark” for Klamath Project and other Upper Basin irrigators; and (2) a plan to bring about power costs consistent with the power cost benchmark.  The draft report identifies a benchmark of approximately 7 cents per kilowatt hour, roughly one-half of the cost currently paid by Project and other Upper Basin irrigators overall.  It also specifies a number of actions and projects that can be undertaken to lower power costs.  KWUA’s comments on the draft report emphasized the need for identifying concrete next steps to carry forward the momentum of the report.  KWUA also expressed its appreciation for the quality of the work and transparency afforded by Reclamation and the consultant team headed by Kleinschmidt.  A final report is expected sometime in January.  https://kwua.org/press-releases-newsletters/

Just a Day in the Life… Congratulations Photo by: Lela Marshall, MBS Farms 1st Industrial Hemp Harvest November’s harvest contest winner. Her photo can be seen on the front page of this newsletter. Have an awesome farm photo? Submit it in our monthly photo contest! KWUA photo challenge for January will start Jan. 6, 2020.  Happy photo snapping  

HYDRO Report

Want to stay updated on current conditions?

Visit www.kwua.org and click on CURRENT WATER DATA

Snotel Update Reports

ACCESSIBLE REPORTS

  • Upper Klamath Lake Levels
  • Klamath Tea Cup– Major Storage Reservoirs in the Klamath River
  • Iron Gate Dam Releases
  • Link River Dam Releases
  • Local River Flows
  • Snotel Update Reports
  • USGS UKB Ground Water Monitoring
  • OWR Status– District 17
  • USDA Oregon Snowpack Summary Maps & Graphs
Klamath Tea Cup– Major Storage Reservoirs in the Klamath River
USDA Oregon Snowpack Summary Maps & Graphs

KWUA Board Member Spotlight, Position 8

Curt Mullis

Board member Curt Mullis serves as the Primary for KWUA Board of Directors Position 8, representing the Pioneer District Improvement Company.  Curt has been on the board since 2010, serving in multiple capacities over the years, including Vice President.  Curt also serves as the Vice President for the Pioneer District Improvement Company.  He has served on Pioneer’s Board of Directors since 1998.  Curt has worked closely with Basin agriculture and endangered species issues since 1994. 

Curt previously worked in the Klamath Falls Environmental Restoration Office / Fish and Wildlife Service field office.  He was the Restoration Program Supervisor for about ten years, and finished his career as a Field Office Supervisor for the FWS office.  Curt became involved in KWUA because he had a desire to continue to work towards the resolution of current issues and problems he saw in FWS, while supporting the agricultural industry.

In 1997, Curt and his wife Cindy started a small 35-acre farm where they grow hay, alfalfa, and grain.  Together they have two grown children.  When not working the farm or participating in his director’s duties, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

When asked why Curt stays involved in KWUA, he stated that, “the actions and efforts of KWUA are critical to the support and protection of irrigated ag in the Basin.  Working with the association is the best way I can support the ag industry.”

Jason Flowers

Jason is on a variety of agricultural boards in the state.  He is very active in the Farm Bureau at the county, state, and national levels.  He also serves as the President for the Klamath Drainage District and serves on advisory committees for the Henley FFA and local Experiment Station.  He is also a participant in class 3 of REAL Oregon.

Jason is a 4th generation farmer in the Lower Klamath Lake area.  His family has a Century Farm near the discharge of the Klamath Straights Drain.  Although working the family farm his entire life, he started his own operation at age 14 with 20 heifers, and at the age of 18 he had his first grain crop.  Jason and his mother, Christie, are partners in the family farm operation.  Jason is married to Victoria, who is getting more involved in the operation when she not traveling for the Oregon Farm Bureau.  The Flowers family operation grows 1,500-2,500 acres of oats, barley, wheat, and peas.  They also grow 400-800 acres of hay.  Jason is helping the 5th generation of Flowers learn the ropes of the family business.

In Jason’s free time he enjoys snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, and kayaking with the family.  He also enjoys competing in Destruction Derbies.

FROM YOUR DISTRICTS: Up Coming Meetings

  • Klamath Irrigation District will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on January 9 @ 10 am
  • Tulelake Irrigation District will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on January 13 @ 10 am
  • Klamath Project Drought Response Agency will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on January  8 @10 am in the KWUA boardroom
  • KWUA will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting/ Annual Planning meeting on January 15
  • Klamath Drainage District will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on Jan 21 @ 1:30 pm
Merry Christmas, a very SNOWY New Year. From, Paul, Mark, and Chelsea.
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