The Klamath is making a lot of news lately, thanks in part to the efforts of Rep. Mike Thompson. The fishing industry is of course in a lot of trouble, as well as the ecological health of the Klamath River. Two headlines provide rays of hope for the forces of light.
The Times Standard notes that Thompson managed to finesse 2 million of the 81 million he’d been pushing for in federal aid as well as a declaration of disaster. While the money will be gone in a heartbeat, it may in fact prime the pump according to Thompson.
Lawmakers originally asked for $81 million, but settled for $2 million after a strange legislative display in which the lawmakers used procedural votes to force action on an amendment Wednesday. ”What we decided to do was pull out all the plugs,” said Thompson, D-St. Helena.
The $2 million may sound like little compared to the original amount requested, but it gets the foot in the door, said Thompson’s press secretary, Matt Gerien, and allows for the U.S. Senate to provide even more money down the legislative line.
This came on the heels of bad news that the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration was refusing to declare a disaster until possibly next February – ie. when the next congress has settled in.
Thompson went on to remind us that the problem stems from the Bush administration’s water policy – though completely absent from his statement as well as the article is any reference to the diversion of water for agricultural interests in Oregon.
Meanwhile, the ER is reporting that the Yurok Tribe has struck a deal with the the Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agencies “in river monitoring, data collection, strategic planning, land acquisition and recovery and related natural resource management efforts.”
All very nice, but will the Bureau be willing to make any recommendations regarding – I hate to keep bring it up – river water allocations?
I guess it’s too close to an election to take on farmers.