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No Water for Klamath Oregon Wildlife?

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Originally Posted: April 2, 2013

No Water for Klamath Oregon Wildlife?

FROM Oregon Wild

ACTION

Please contact Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and urge them to support wildlife by directing the Bureau of Reclamation to provide enough water to maintain vital wetlands in the National Wildlife Refuges.

Please take action now before the spring migration season gets underway, and the current Klamath crisis goes from being a critical situation to a disaster for wildlife.

Sign an online petition (copy/paste URL into your browser):
http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1780/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12678

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Jeff Merkley
US Senate
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20510
phone DC (202) 224-3753
fax DC (202) 228-3997
phone Oregon (503)274-4439
campaign@jeffmerkley.com 
online contact form: http://www.merkley.senate.gov/contact/ 

Ron Wyden
U.S. Senate
221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C., 20510
phone DC (202) 224-5244
fax DC (202) 228-2717
phone Oregon (503) 326-7525 
online contact form: http://www.wyden.senate.gov/contact

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

Wildlife in the Klamath Basin are in trouble again, this time because the Bureau of Reclamation is once again imposing a man-made drought on Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges.

Forecasters are predicting a low water year this summer, but rather than asking agribusiness in the massive Klamath Irrigation Project to conserve, the Bureau is cutting water for wetlands and the wildlife which depend on them.

Please contact Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and urge them to support wildlife by directing the Bureau of Reclamation to provide enough water to maintain vital wetlands in the National Wildlife Refuges.

Migratory birds and waterfowl have been using Oregon's Klamath Basin for thousands of years, and have always relied upon an abundant supply of water in the area's marshes to rest, recharge, and nest. As a key component of the Pacific Flyway, our region is fortunate to have this amazing natural treasure within its borders.

Unfortunately, the Klamath is facing another in a series of needless crises and drought-related emergencies, as the Bureau of Reclamation is once again slashing water flows to the Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges in order to maintain an unsustainable level of pumping to support commercial agribusiness in the massive Klamath Irrigation Project.

Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley, please contact the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Obama administration, and urge them to provide life-giving water for Klamath Basin wildlife in 2013. They should not impose another man-made drought on wildlife this year. A number of mechanisms exist to help with this, from the Water Bank program which currently exists to help private irrigation in the basin, to starting a voluntary program where farmers can forgo their water rights to help wildlife.

In the long term, we need to recognize too much water has been promised to too many different interests in the Klamath Basin, and there is simply not enough to meet all of the demands. I urge you to start work immediately on legislation to create a program to allow responsible landowners to voluntarily sell their water rights at fair market value, so more of this life-giving resource can be made available for wildlife, salmon, and other irrigators.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!


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