My Official Public Comments on what is misnamed "Klamath Restoration Draft EIS/EIR"
November 15, 2011
Julie Kay Smithson, property rights and natural resources researcher, 213 Thorn Locust Lane, London, Ohio 43140. firstname.lastname@example.org
It is said here: http://klamathrestoration.gov/home that "This is the official website of the Department of the Interior, and other federal and state agencies that are involved in carrying out obligations set forth in the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, including the Secretarial Determination on Klamath River dams. Use this website to stay up to date on issues surrounding the Secretarial Determination and the environmental analysis that will be conducted pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)."
Instructions for submitting "feedback" (one can only believe that "feedback" is synonymous with "comments") are located here: http://klamathrestoration.gov/Draft-EIS-EIR/feedback
Any schemes to remove any of the four dams on the Klamath River -- in Oregon and/or California -- are just that: schemes. If there were any validity to claims touted by those involved in CLOSED DOOR 'negotiations' regarding the Klamath Basin and its four dams, those claims were rendered null and void by the few years of secretive and selective clique of "interested parties" involved. The very fact that -- in order to "have a seat at the table" and be included in these highly suspect "negotiations" -- one had to agree "in principle" to the scheme, makes it more rotten than Denmark! While those living and working in the Klamath Basin may, by virtue of their proximity to the "forest," not be able to see it for the "trees," I am in Ohio and can clearly see the intent of these schemes, and the power behind them, pushing the Trojan horse at the gates of economic independence as though the power brokers were merely arriving for an afternoon tea!
Nothing that seeks to destroy the entire economy and culture of the Klamath Basin for the past hundred years, can be called an "agreement" or "agreements." Both the "Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement" (208 pages) and the "Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement" (378 pages) are nothing more than stalking-horses: decoys. Neither settles anything other than which fox gets to dine in the hen house first! Even the number of people originally adamantly against any such things as would steal their ability to do one or more of the following: own and utilize private property as they have done so in the past; have a home, job and future in the Klamath Basin that is of their own accord; raise their families and contribute to a vibrant place in the Pacific Northwest through the fruits of their endeavors; rest and die in peace, knowing that their families, friends and co-workers will have a place, too, in their beloved Klamath Basin; grow and harvest food and fiber in the Klamath Basin, whether it be the plethora of food crops, fish, timber, minerals, livestock, or hunting/fishing opportunities that abound -- have been ground into the dust of the Basin by the forces aligned against their very existence.
Rocket science is not needed to know that the people of the Klamath Basin -- living and working in this area of northern California and southern Oregon -- are good people with multigenerational experience and expertise. No one coming from distant Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, or Sacramento, California, governmental locations, has any right to erase promises made to good people, war veterans and their families. No one anywhere has the right to sway people by the mirage of promises made, knowing that the intent is to rid the Basin of its very lifeblood. NO ONE. The Klamath Basin is a wonderful place to live, work, farm, ranch, hunt, fish, etc. -- not in spite of its inhabitants and private property owners, but BECAUSE OF THEM!
I look askance at people who have been downtrodden by this sham, which purports to somehow be a good thing for anyone or anything in the Klamath Basin. From the farmers and their families to the livestock, animals, wildlife and waterfowl of the Klamath Basin, these "agreements" bode ill for the entire Klamath Basin. An ill wind blows upon the Klamath Basin, and the thought that one "secretary" of a federal agency -- who obediently does the bidding of his bosses and lets people think of him as a "rancher" -- plans to make a "secretarial determination" about the four dams that have been part of the underpinning of the Klamath Basin's economic independence and freedom for almost a hundred years, makes my stomach turn. Ken Salazar is not an expert on the Klamath Basin, its dams, people, water, flora, fauna, and economy!
My gut feeling -- which stood me in good stead for the twenty-seven years during which I drove semi-trucks safely on America's highways -- is that these schemes are the death knell of the Klamath Basin as those that love this special, blessed place now know it.
Rather than allow themselves to be litigated into extinction or cowed by such a wooden decoy with a bellyful of armed forces, I pray for those in the cross hairs of these "agreements" to realize what is happening in time to stop it. How? Stop it the same way you would stop any trespasser trying to steamroller what rightfully belongs to you.
Would you allow someone to steal your home? Children? Car? Bank account? Family history? Future? How is this scheme any different? It is all of these things, and more.
I may not live or work in the Klamath Basin, but its potatoes, horseradish, and other crops contribute to my health and well-being. Its people are my friends. Its history is part of my country's history. I depend on its economic and cultural health as I depend on my nearby neighbors' efforts to grow, harvest and market what may look to some like items on store shelves, but that, to me, look like freedom and heritage! Stop the destruction of the Klamath Basin via the very real reason that Ken Salazar and his “interested parties” have no right to steal your -- or my -- future! Tell him so! You would not venture into the part of Colorado owned by him and his kith and kin and tell them that you were going to make a “determination” that would put them immediately out of reach of the property rights, past, present and future that they'd built!