Happy 4th of July

Klamath Irrigation District wishes you and your family a fun and safe celebration of Independence Day.

Please note the K.I.D. office will be closed on 4 July.

In the Flow

3 July 2023 Update

"Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance."

--Woodrow Wilson

In this Edition:

Irrigation Season Update

7 August 2023 Special Election Ballot Measure

A Little Knowledge About Your Infrastructure

News and Political Issues Affecting the District

Upcoming Events


Klamath Irrigation District is a Special Government District. Learn more about Special Districts by downloading this file...

The mission of Klamath Irrigation District is to acquire, maintain, assure, and deliver an adequate water supply for beneficial use on qualified land with the Klamath Project. We represent our Patrons before government agencies, the legislature, Congress, and in such forms as appropriate for the perfection and protection of their water rights. 

We defend the District from actions that would diminish our effectiveness and function. 

We further promote the conservation of water, soil, and other natural resources.

Learn about the History of Klamath Irrigation District through this interactive Story Map...

LinkedIn  YouTube

2023 Irrigation Season Update

Anticipate Reclamation to Issue a 2023 Drought Plan

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Despite average precipitation and 200% snow-pack in 2023, Reclamation's policies create conditions where Reclamation must issue a drought plan to inform Districts how to manage the irrigation demand by denying water to many farmers. Since April of 2023 district managers have urged Reclamation to increase the 2023 available supply to at least the minimum amount calculated in its 2020 Interim Operations Plan. Reclamation's anticipates reducing Klamath River flows to the minimum amount established in the NMFS 2019 Biological Opinion. However, no adjustment to the available supply has been communicated to the districts.

Given that flows into Upper Klamath Lake are still well below average (See Klamath current conditions 7_3_2023.pdf), Reclamation will likely announce this week that its "B" Contractors will be eligible to receive only 0.60 acre-feet of water per acre during the 2023 irrigation season because Interiors' decision makers in D.C. wish to keep Upper Klamath Lake at unnaturally high elevations in the fall of 2023. This anticipated action by Reclamation allows for the availability of more water to be released from Upper Klamath Lake between October 2023 and May 2024 under Reclamation's Interim Operations Plan, and potentially creates conditions for flood control releases in February from UKL if WY2024 is an average or above average water year.

We anticipate an El Niño weather pattern this fall, dam removal operations to continue, and our refuges and aquifers to continue succumbing to human ignorance or dereliction of duty.

The decision to deny water to water-rights holders without scientific evidence to support the need is a dereliction of duty. This anticipated policy decision directly impacts all Warren Act contractors and our refuges. This includes over 110 individual contracts within K.I.D.'s boundaries, Enterprise Irrigation District, Pine Grove Irrigation District, Poe Valley Improvement District, Shasta View Irrigation District, Malin Irrigation District, Sunnyside Irrigation District, the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges, and others.

Klamath Irrigation District will calculate the deliveries made to these Warren Act contract lands this season upon Reclamation issuing its drought plan. When K.I.D. receives notice from Reclamation, the District will notify ditch riders and farmers when turnouts covered by a "B" contract have exceeded Reclamation's allotment as per Section 13(b) & (c) of K.I.D.'s contractual obligations specified in our 1954 contract. Once the specified amount of water is delivered by K.I.D.'s tracking system, the ditch riders will be instructed to not take any further orders, nor deliver water to these parcels or Districts. Conflicts with the K.I.D. contract with Reclamation, water delivery policy or tracking can be addressed to the K.I.D. management team.

Reclamation's Drought Plan will likely be published at this link...

Reclamation's 2023 Drought Plan - Not Available as of the date of this publication

Seasonal Forecast Update

Meteorologist Pete Parsons' Seasonal Climate Forecast has been updated. His analysis indicates we should plan for a slightly warmer and drier July and August. This is likely to increase irrigation demand and evaporation losses on open water bodies.

El Niño conditions have developed in response to the warmer-than-average tropical temperatures in the Pacific Ocean that were observed in June. NOAA expects El Niño to continue into the winter, and the odds of it becoming a strong event at its peak are at 56%. Chances of at least a moderate event are about 84%.

July-September Season Forcast

Windy.com near term forecast

Windy.com provides near-term weather radar, wind, humidity, dew point, and rain accumulation data helping inform predictions for updated daily demand for irrigation water.

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Klamath Irrigation District's Executive Director's Observation of the 2023 Operations Plan:

Reclamation's announcement of 260,000 acre-feet is no more than a political variable introduced by attorneys for poor planning without any apparent oversight nor ability to challenge the Federal government taking property from Americans. District managers have been tasked to manage Upper Klamath Lake levels far above any established biological needs in 2023 with no justification, no supporting science, and no legal nor contractual authority to comply....just an edict issued by a faceless D.C. process.

Reclamation's 2020 Interim Operations Plan (IOP), if followed, Reclamation would have set no less than 285,000 acre-feet of water available for agricultural and refuge purposes on 1 April 2023 without any jeopardy to the species listed in various biological opinions provided under the Endangered Species Act (while ignoring the needs of the Bald Eagle and other species). The IOP allows this minimum amount of water available to farmers and the refuges to increase on 1 June if the forecast and lake levels are modeled to not affect the species; the 1 June forecast and observed inflows did not trigger this action.

However, after numerous requests by district managers to have an updated supply announced to promote inter-district planning, Reclamation continues to deny answers.

In the case Yurok v. Reclamation 2019 heard last month, Judge Orrick, in the Northern District of California, asked one specific question of Reclamation, "Will Reclamation follow the IOP for the remainder of 2023?" For those that watched the hearing, it seemed clear that all the federal attorney answering this question had to say was "Yes"...but he did not; the attorney offered to the judge, who previously stated he was not inclined to grant the motion presented to him, that Reclamation would manage the lake to an elevation demanded in the plaintiff's motion.

Despite the Judge's apparent indifference to the lake level and key focus on Reclamation simply following its IOP as established under a process mirroring some minor aspects of the requirements outlined in the law. One may speculate the constraints were heavily influenced by the personal relationships between federal attorneys and plaintiffs in the case.

Many federal attorneys work under Robert Anderson, the DOI Solicitor who was responsible for hiring Dr. Thomas Hardy and promoted his work for specific purposes related to water rights claims never submitted in the Klamath River Adjudication but instead used his data to specifically and deliberately curtail water to the irrigators in 2001. Reclamation's 2023 Operations Plan further erodes western water law, property rights, the communities supported by the Klamath Reclamation Project, and National security.

Without a clear understanding of KRRC fall and winter operations for dam removal operations, irrigation district managers can only speculate how much of the stored water in UKL will be released to the ocean between October 2023 and May 2024.

Read the Klamath Water Users assessment of the 2023 Operations Plan...

7 August 2023 Special Election Ballot Measure

On August 7, 2023, the Klamath Irrigation District (K.I.D. / District) will be conducting an election on Klamath Irrigation District 2023 Ballot Measure No. 1.

K.I.D. is conducting this election in response to the Secretary of the Interior’s 5 April 2023 announcement of a funding opportunity for investment in the A Canal and the Upper C Canal to address acute issues identified in routine inspections. 

Since the available funding may only be accessed through a contract with the United States requiring repayment, ORS 545.511(a)(b) requires K.I.D. to conduct an election to determine the right of the District to enter into a repayment contract with the United States. Therefore, the K.I.D. Board has ordered an election to enable landowners to vote on this measure. 

K.I.D. encourages every patron to review the measure when they recieve it in the mail, gather information, and participate in the in-person election on 7 August 2023.

Risch Advocates for Urban Canal Repairs

Introduces bill to expand access to existing aging infrastructure funds for repairs. Extensive urban growth around irrigation canals — which once crossed through farm fields and other open areas but now often are surrounded by development — has created new challenges for water managers throughout the West along with a significant increase in costs

Read More

A Little Knowledge about Your Infrustructure

Irrigation Water Managed Wisely,

siskiyou.news | NewsBreak

Watch the video about the recirculation / efficiency abilities of the Klamath Project 

A Brief History of the Klamath Irrigation District and the Klamath Reclamation Project

Counter to Isabella Breda's claim that farmers are "sucking the river dry", here is the historical context to judge this statement. From Klamath Irrigation District's perspective, the down-river demands for water above natural conditions are destroying the local ecosystem and creating localized climate change for Klamath, Siskiyou, and Modoc Counties.

Read More

News and Political Issues Effecting your District

Recreational use advisory at Upper Klamath Lake

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has issued a recreational use advisory for the southern portion of the Upper Klamath Lake. Cyanobacteria was found between Howards Bay south and the Link River Dam.

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Farmers Conservation Alliance

On May 15, SHN Engineers & Geologists (SHN) submitted a draft of the System Improvement Plan. We performed an initial review of the document and returned it with comments to SHN. We are pleased with the product that SHN developed and are looking forward to sharing a draft with the District in the coming week.

In May, we met with the District to initiate a Supplemental Funding Request to Natural Resource Conservation Service. If approved, this amendment would extend the performance period by two years and fully fund the Watershed Plan – Environmental Assessment. We look forward to supporting the District with this effort.

Farmers Conservation Alliance has been meeting with the Bureau of Reclamation to discuss ways to support developing a modernization plan for the A Canal. These conversations are ongoing as different funding pathways and programs at Reclamation are examined.

Read the full update here

Friends of Klamath Basin Birding - July 2023 Issue

In this issue:

  • Revisiting Mary's Vision
  • Call to Brainstorm
  • Invitation to participate
  • Basin Ag (Good) News
  • New Refuge Visitor Center
  • Birding around Upper Klamath Lake - Part Two
  • Species Spotlight: Great Egret
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Freeing the Klamath: 20 years after negotiations began, the dams are coming down

By Isabella Breda

Here is the line that sets the tone of this piece...and the promotion of a narrative with misleading information

"In the West, a region plagued by drought, it’s a massive undertaking to bring back rivers’ historical flows. These freshwater highways are being sucked dry to support government-subsidized farms, cattle ranches and everything that remade the identity of these places."

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Combatting Radical Environmental Agendas

Water, Wildlife and Fisheries Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) speaks during a press conference at Ice Harbor Dam with Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), U.S. Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) and Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-Wash.)


This week the committee traveled to Pasco, Wash., to hold a field hearing highlighting how the Biden administration and environmental activists' unscientific and misguided demands to remove four dams on the Snake River would be devastating to local communities.

The trip featured a tour of the Ice Harbor Dam, part of the lower Snake River dam system, as well as a hearing in which local leaders testified. Learn more about the tour and watch the field hearing here

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Northwest at risk: the environmentalist’s effort to destroy navigation, transportation, and access to reliable power | Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries

On Monday, June 26, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. PDT, the Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries held an oversight field hearing titled “The Northwest at risk: the Environmentalist’s effort to destroy navigation, transportation, and access to reliable power.” The hearing focus' on the multipurpose benefits of the Columbia and Snake Rivers and the Federal Columbia River Power System, in particular the lower Snake River dams.

Watch the video below:

 Northwest at risk: the environmentalist’s effort to destroy...

Lawmakers question Snake River dam mediation secrecy

Republican lawmakers, during a field hearing here June 26, hammered at the secrecy of federal surrounding mediation designed to reach a solution in long-running litigation over the four lower Snake

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US Interior Secretary Haaland reflects on tenure and tradition amid policy challenges, 

June 28, 2023

By Susan Montoya 

It was never about making history for Deb Haaland, but rather making her parents proud.


She says she worked hard, putting herself through school, starting a small business to pay bills and eventually finding her way into politics — first as a campaign volunteer and later as the first Native American woman to lead a political party in New Mexico.


The rest seems like history. Haaland was sworn in as one of the first two Native American women in Congress in 2019. Two years later, she took the reins at the U.S. Interior Department — an agency whose responsibilities stretch from managing energy development to meeting the nation's treaty obligations to 574 federally recognized tribes.


Haaland, the first Native American Cabinet member in the U.S., spoke to The Associated Press about her tenure leading the 70,000-employee agency that oversees subsurface minerals and millions of acres of public land.

Read more…

Examining the President's FY 2024 Budget Request for the Department of the Interior

The Honorable Deb Haaland and Tommy Beaudreau

Secretary and Deputy Secretary

U.S. Department of the Interior

Washington, DC

Watch the video below...and note time stamp: 32:00

Examining the President's FY 2024 Budget Request for the Department of the Interior | Full Committee
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Klamath Legislature Town Hall Questions and Answers 7 June 2023 - email from Hollie Lukens

Senator Linthicum:

There were a few questions on Measure 113 and what is being called the “Walk Out”.  I send those questions to you can you speak a little on this and try to answer our constituents concerns and explain what is happening?

* I feel that Measure 113 is wholly unconstitutional....Measure 113 was written by progressives and designed to crush the Republican minority.”

Is it possible to have them arrested (or impeached) for violating their oaths of office?

The Republican Senators have always been willing to compromise on policy issues but have demanded adherence to Oregon’s Constitution, Statues and Senate Rules. However, compromise is a two-way street. 

Dam removal and water being released downstream.

OWRD has initiated illegal actions and have been found to be in contempt by a circuit court judge. They continue to release water downstream using the Federal Bureau of Reclamation to mask and hide their illegal activity. Additionally, the Director of the OWRD works at the pleasure of the Governor. OWRD will continue to violate our natural, constitutional and legal water rights until stopped by public outcry and voters at the ballot box.

Representative Reschke:

Damn removal and water being released downstream.

* My reaction is sadness. Clean, affordable, 24-7/365 renewable power is being destroyed. The silt behind the dams could create the worst ecological disaster on the west coast during the past 100 years. This not a necessary move, but still it is moving forward. I disagree with the philosophy that we must first hurt fish and adjacent landowners in order to help them. Moreover, we will lose easy-to-access reservoirs for fighting wild fires in the surrounding areas.

Congressman Bentz recently announced that Kingsley Field will host an F-35 training mission. What opportunities does that open for state investments in Kingsley, OIT, and KCC?

* The preparation for and the arrival of the F-35 to Kingsley will be a big boost to the Klamath basin’s economy. It will provide for many new job opportunities, both directly and indirectly. Knowing the base has a critical mission into the foreseeable future makes Klamath Falls & Klamath County an attractive option for new businesses, construction and more.

Why the Dr Shortage in Klamath Falls?

Why the Dr Shortage in Klamath falls? It’s difficult to attract doctors to the Klamath basin because we often pay less than the big city medical facilities can. Doctors enter the workforce with tremendous debt (hundreds of thousands of dollars), and so seek big pay checks to help them pay off that debt as quick as possible. I introduced two bills (HB 2552, HB 2602) to help rural communities recruit and retain quality medical staff by introducing and augmenting rural medical income tax credits for workers. Unfortunately the majority party blocked both bills.

As a rural Oregonian, we already feel left behind, and when we don’t feel like our concerns are heard, it’s hard to trust the process and system at work. How can we continue to/begin to work across party lines to truly work for and with the folks you represent?

* You are right, rural Oregon doesn’t have proper representation. The majority of the legislators in the house are located in the Portland Metro area, the minority of legislators are in rural areas. We talk a big game in the house about supporting rural, but yet the bills that come out of committee are mostly about metro. The numbers we need are 31,16, 1. The closer we get to these numbers the more bipartisan work we need to do. The majority will be forced to work across the aisle to pass their legislation and THIS will give the minority, rural Oregon, a voice.  

Representative McIntire:

Comments on Measure 113 and the walkout

Senate Republicans have been arguing that the Senate is operating under unconstitutional fiat and is violating legal precedent and Senate rules. However, in Oregon where the Democrat majority has long held rein, getting legal support and action from the courts is extremely difficult.

There is a current lawsuit against the direct violation of ORS 171.134- which reads that the summary of the policies made in the legislature should have a readability score of 60- which is the equivalent of an 8th grade reading level. The summaries that are being written are most often a score of 14- which is requiring a graduate level of school or beyond to comprehend what is being said. There are several bills that score a 1 or 2- which doesn’t even have a score for how smart you would need to be to decipher what is being said. The bottom line- we are a citizen’s legislature. We should ALL be able to pick up a bill and understand its reason, intent, and carry out. This should not require hours of study and consultations to figure out. HOWEVER, there is also a provision in the law that legislators can’t be detained during session- so the lawsuit is being held until after session and then it will be ligated. If found to be in violation- then the only real recourse would be that the legislative council would need to ensure that the summaries are written following the law. ONE MORE POINT- the citizens could at any point sue the state over violation of this law- as it has been in place, I think since 1975… I am not sure the outcome- but we are breaking the law with every bill…

What levels of budget expenditures for education, particularly higher education, do you favor in the next biennium and why?

* I supported the HECC budget bill. The Universities were asking for $1.05b and the Community Colleges were asking for $855m +$50 million one time investment. The state’s original budget was increased and they ended up with $1b and $800m. Due to this- all the schools will be having tuition increases as the legislature continues to require them to implement new policies with additional funding. The legislature also continue to increase benefits for part time faculty working at 30% and added in dental and vision. Some of this will be reimbursed but when that fund runs out they will be responsible for funding it. I was against any unfunded mandates and against new policy being funded before the current asks were met.

Where do the Republican’s stand on HB 2446 – the Bill to extend the CCO contract an additional 2 years. It had Bipartisan support.

* I voted no on this bill- not because it is a bad bill but because the bill’s sunset should have been extended further out. We should be letting these CCO’s have long term security in their partnerships. This was a good bill- it could have been better.

Other questions:

Do any of the panelists have concerns with the large reduction in the Community Corrections Grant in Aid funding being proposed with the LFO budget? And would the panelists be in support of the Oregon Association of Community Corrections Directors (OACCD) request for Current Service Level Funding (CSL) for the 23-25 biennium?

* Rep McIntire - This state continues to not support its law enforcement. There is a workforce shortage and people are working double overtime. I would be 100% behind supporting CSL for     OACCD.

* Rep Reschke - Yes, I am concerned. Community Corrections is an important part of our justice system. In my view underfunding it, undermines our ability to keep our promise to citizens to keep them safe.

New CEI report proposes bold reforms to restore Constitution's constraints on government power - Competitive Enterprise Institute

A new Competitive Enterprise Institute report proposes significant reforms aimed at restoring the U.S. Constitution's separation and balance of powers that are vital to safeguarding freedoms from government abuse. "In America we are experiencing a collapse of the separation of powers between the branches of the federal government, undermining crucial limits on power," said Dan [...]

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Hydropower advocate crosses swords with anti-dam activists

It's easy to believe Northwest River Partners executive director Kurt Miller, friendly and quick to smile, when he says, "I'm not a contentious person by nature."

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Dam demolition begins on Klamath River

Crews recently began demolition of Copco 2 - the smallest of the four dams - officially kicking off what has been described as the largest dam removal project in U.S.

According to the KRRC, the entire project involves demolishing 100,000 cubic yards of concrete and 2,000 tons of steel. Total cost is estimated at $450 million, including $200 million from PacifiCorp ratepayers and $250 million from a statewide water bond approved by California voters in 2014.

Klamath dams slated for removal

California, Oregon and PacifiCorp have pledged another $45 million in contingency funds, in case the project goes over budget.

Read More

Removal Of Dams On Klamath River Worry Some Local Residents | KQED

Dam Removal Causes Consternation For Residents Near Klamath River People who live around several reservoirs in Siskiyou County are facing an uncertain future. Four dams on the Klamath River will be torn down over the next two years. Now, their lakefront properties will change as reservoirs turn into a free-flowing river again.

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An 'emotional' moment: Demolition of first Klamath River dam begins

Craig Tucker opined "that flow limits now need to be made to ensure the water is shared equitably, as a 225,000-acre federally owned irrigation project is upstream of the dams. How much water comes down the river is largely a function of how much water goes to the project, he said." Although the Klamath Reclamation Project, when operated as designed, has a less than ZERO net effect on Klamath River flow volumes below the natural Keno Reef on average and actually allows for water to be released in July, August, and September from Upper Klamath Lake when pre-project conditions would routinely see no flows out of Upper Klamath Lake into the Link River for extended periods in dry years. When the opportunity to discuss "equitability" Tucker and associates should be mindful of the affects and effects of the Klamath Reclamation Project after over 20 years of study. The Klamath Reclamation Project uses less water than what naturally evaporated from the area between Keno and Link River prior to 1890...and for many years has augmented flows above natural conditions by adding flows from the Lost River sub-basin that was connected as a part of the Klamath Reclamation Project.

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Issue Alert! Importance of Snake River Dams Highlighted

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Western Republicans in Congress and the Wall Street Journal are drawing attention to the importance of dams in the Pacific Northwest and their impacts on river commerce, agriculture and energy production. Later today in Washington, D.C. the Congressional Western Caucus (Caucus) will host a hydropower forum titled, "The Importance of Hydropower for Rural Communities."

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Activist, alumna and 100 Ducks who made a difference, Amy Cordalis was the 2023 commencement speaker for the University of Oregon

Amy begins comments at 32:00

Recommend review of the National Academy of Sciences 2002, 2004, and 2008 reports and the conclusions of California's Department of Fish and Game to determine your own perspective of the commentary offered at 42:30

2002 National Academy Report

2004 National Academy Report

2004 California Dept. of Fish and Game Report

2008 National Academy Report

KWUA Summary of the NAS Reports

Biden-Harris Administration Releases Nearly $600 Million to Modernize and Advance Water Power Across America

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced nearly $600 million to modernize hydroelectric power and advance marine energy throughout America. DOE is now accepting applications for the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives, which will provide up to $554 million in incentive payments, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to maintain and enhance hydroelectric facilities. This funding will help ensure generators continue to provide clean, affordable electricity, while integrating additional renewable energy resources and reduce environmental impacts.


DOE also announced an additional $45 million funding opportunity, also funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to support a pilot demonstration site and community-led tidal and/or current energy project in the United States. Collectively, these announcements represent DOE's largest-ever investments in both hydropower and marine energy and will play a key role in achieving President Biden’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050.


“Water power, the nation’s oldest source of renewable energy, is an integral tool to fight against climate change,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “President Biden's Investing in America agenda provides historic funding that will expand and modernize water power technologies, ensuring a steady flow of reliable power to more Americans.”


Hydropower currently provides 6% of all electricity in the United States and accounts for 32% of renewable-electricity generation, as well as 93% of all utility-scale energy storage. However, the fleet is aging with many facilities in need of repair and upgrades and less than 3% of the nation’s more than 90,000 dams currently produce power. Adding generation equipment to these sites could add up to 12 gigawatts of new hydropower capacity to the U.S. electric system—enough to power 4.8 million homes.


Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives Program

The application period is now open for existing eligible hydroelectric facilities to apply for up to $553.6 million through the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives. Administered by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office, the program is designed to enhance existing hydropower and pumped storage facilities for capital improvements directly related to grid resilience, dam safety, and environmental improvements. Potential eligible capital improvements include improvements that enable the integration of variable resources, such as wind and solar; improvements for dam safety, such as spillway upgrades and erosion repair; and improvements in environmental conditions, such as fish passage, water quality and recreation.


Letters of Intent to submit full applications under the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives are due June 22, 2023, 5:00 p.m.ET. Full applications will be due October 6, 2023. To be eligible to file a full application, prospective applicants must first file a Letter of Intent through the Clean Energy Infrastructure Funding Opportunity eXCHANGE

Copco 2 Deconstruction Begins on Klamath River

California TroutDeconstruction of Copco 2, the first of four dams slated to be removed on the lower Klamath River, is officially underway. The dam will be completely removed by the end of September.

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Biden-Harris Administration Announces $50 Million To Boost Clean Energy Solutions and Cut Costs for Rural America

DOE Removes Cost-Share Requirements and Streamlines Application Process to Ensure Rural and Remote Communities Benefit from New Funding, Can Develop Community-Driven Energy Solutions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced $50 million in new grant funding made available by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for community-based energy projects located in rural and remote areas across the country. Designed to recognize and address the distinct energy challenges faced by rural communities, this funding aims to increase energy affordability and promote climate resilience in areas with fewer than 10,000 people by supporting projects with a dollar amount of $500,000 to $5 million. Today's announcement will help deliver critical energy projects tailored to benefit rural and remote communities across America and underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued commitment to ensuring no community is left behind as we build America’s clean energy future.   


“President Biden understands that for America to succeed, rural America must prosper, and he’s committed to building a clean energy economy that lifts up and benefits communities everywhere,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s announcement is a direct response to the feedback DOE heard from rural communities and underscores this Administration’s whole-of-government approach to deliver for rural and remote areas and eliminate barriers preventing access to federal funding.” 


President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient


In the United States, the nearly one in six Americans that live in rural or remote communities are faced with unique energy challenges—such as low population density and isolation from larger electric systems—that often result in higher costs and decreased reliability. Many of the communities in need of clean, reliable, and affordable energy solutions also have difficulty accessing federal funding opportunities. To be responsive to their needs and in direct response to public feedback DOE received from individuals across the country, DOE removed the cost-share requirement and streamlined the application process for projects seeking between $500,000 and $5 million in federal funding. 


This funding opportunity is managed by DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) and will support rural and remote communities as they develop and deploy sustainable energy solutions to lower energy costs, create heathier environments, and support economic development. This funding is made available through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program, which was created to improve the resilience, reliability, and affordability of energy systems in communities across the country with 10,000 or fewer people.  


Applicants are required to submit Community Benefits Plans to ensure benefits spread equitably across affected communities. These plans, now included across most DOE funding opportunities, are based on a set of four core policy priorities: investing in America's workforce; engaging communities and labor; advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and implementing the Justice40 Initiative. These key principles, when incorporated comprehensively into project proposals and executed upon, will help de-risk these projects to ensure that the transition to a clean energy economy benefits all Americans.   


Read the full funding opportunity announcement for the ERA program here. The submission deadline for pre-applications is July 13, 2023, and full applications are due by October 12, 2023.


The ERA Program also supports rural and remote American communities through technical assistance, prize competitions, grants, and cooperative agreements. Learn more about the ERA Program on the OCED website. 


To help Americans reduce energy costs and save money, DOE recently launched an easy-to-use online resource — the Energy Savings Hub — to connect consumers to historic tax credits, forthcoming rebates, and other savings tools that President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has made available. To learn how to access these enormous economic and health benefits, visit Energy.gov/Save. 

California State Fish and Wildlife answers questions submitted by the public

This week's California Fish and Wildlife questions submitted by the public include the removal of the Klamath River dams, and the CDFW commission.

Klamath River

Q: What will happen to fish in reservoirs along the Klamath River before the dams come down? Will they be relocated?

A: The Klamath Dam removal, the largest dam removal project in U.S. history, is an opportunity to restore the health of the Klamath River. The project will benefit salmon, steelhead and other native species along with local Tribes and communities within the Klamath Basin. As for the fish, the plan is to translocate Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker prior to the drawdown of Iron Gate and Copco reservoirs. Both of those fish species are listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act and California Endangered Species Act.

Aside from the listed species, there are no plans to relocate fish from the reservoirs. Many fish species in the reservoirs are non-native, including largemouth bass, yellow perch, and bluegill. These non-native fish species are typically associated with reservoir ecosystems. Once the reservoirs are drawn down, these species are likely to experience substantial population losses or be eliminated. However, the decline in non-native fish is expected to benefit native fish such as native trout. The makeup of fish species in the future is expected to be like what is currently found downstream of Iron Gate Dam, which includes steelhead, Chinook and coho salmon. CDFW plans to closely monitor fish populations following removal of the dams to understand the impacts and inform future management actions.

K.I.D. Executive Director Notes: The answer provided by CF&W is misleading. Only a very small percentage of the endangered C'Waam and Kaptu are planned to be recovered as outlined in FERC's Environmental Impact Statement available for review...look at pages lix and 2-20...in addition to an analysis of able3.6-3. There are also two entire Annexes on this topic which provides a different perspective than what is published by CF&W.

FERC's EIS clearly states:

"Short-term, significant, unavoidable, adverse effect ‒ Dam removal and conversion of the reservoir areas to a free-flowing river would likely cause mortality to the suckers residing in the project reservoirs." Page lix

"KRRC anticipates salvaging up to 300 listed suckers from J.C. Boyle Reservoir over seven days based on sampling catch efficiencies. The 300 listed suckers would equate to between 11 and 35 percent of the mean population estimates calculated for J.C. Boyle Reservoir." Page 2-20

"In addition, KRRC anticipates salvaging up to 300 listed suckers from Copco No. 1 Reservoir (also known as Copco Lake) and Iron Gate Reservoir over seven days based on sampling catch efficiencies. The 300 listed suckers would equate to between 8 and 22 percent of the mean population estimates calculated for Copco No. 1 and Iron Gate Reservoirs." Page 2-20

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Salute to the Heritage Herd of Wild Horses of the Cascade-Siskiyou Mountains

Capt. William E. Simpson II - USMM Ret.

Fellow Americans:


We all live under the banner of our Constitutional Republic, the American Flag and the promise of freedom, justice and equality for everyone.


We forget that this country and its blessings all stemmed from our American wild horses. 


Science informs that when Columbus arrived in America in 1492, there were 60-million bison and 20-million wild horses on the continent. 


It's a fact that in 1580, Sir Francis Drake documented our local heritage herd of wild horses in the Cascade-Siskiyou mountains along the Oregon-California border in the present-day counties of Curry, Josephine, Jackson and Klamath in Oregon and Siskiyou County in California.


Even after the decimation of the bison and wild horses by Europeans, 3-million wild horses managed to survive into the early 1900's.

American herds of wild horses were the source of horses used by ranchers, soldiers and calvary and farmers. They carried our police, pulled our wagons, plows and fire wagons, and served humankind for centuries.


During World War 1, America rounded-up 1-million wild horses and sent them to the European war front to support our troops and our allies.

We forget, America was built and defended off the backs of American wild horses.

This 2-minute music montage of the wild horses of our local heritage herd of wild horses is being offered as a Salute to these noble sentient beings who have served all of our forefathers faithfully. 

ild Horse Fire Brigade exists B-Cuz of hard-working volunteers

UCSC's Center for Coastal Climate Resilience awards over $4.6 million to support California coastal projects

The UCSC Center for Coastal Climate Resilience has awarded over $4.6 million in funding to 22 UC Santa Cruz research groups for pilot projects and implementation projects supporting efforts to fight climate change in coastal communities across California and beyond. Funds for these grant programs came from the California State Budget Act of 2022-23.

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Yurok Tribe Signs Historic MOU to Restore Salmon Habitat in Region

The Yurok Tribe, CalTrout and Farmers Ditch Company signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to restore salmon habitat and improve agricultural water use from the Scott River.

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Rep. McIntire & Rep. Reschke announce funding wins for Klamath County, respective districts

SALEM, OR - Today [6/25/26], Representative Emily McIntire (R-Eagle Point) and Representative E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls) announced the following joint funding wins for Klamath County:

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Reclamation has forced Klamath Project Irrigators to pump so much groundwater that Earth's axis may have shifted as supposed in a study reported by CNN

New research shows that persistent groundwater extraction over more than a decade has shifted the axis on which our planet rotates.

This is in contrast to previous reports that the Earth's core was a factor at Earth's inner core may have stopped turning and could go into reverse, study suggests | CNN

While astronomer's claim it is a change in the Earth's proximity to the sun as discussed at Is Earth getting closer to the sun, or farther away? | Live Science

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Fire Mangers increase Fire Danger to Moderate

LAKEVIEW, Ore. - Due to the forecasted hot and dry conditions beginning Friday, June 30, 2023, at 12:01 a.m., the South Central Fire Management Partnership (SCOFMP) agencies will raise the Fire Danger Level to "MODERATE."

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Idaho growers plant 12% more spud acres

Idaho potato growers planted nearly 12% more acres this year, leaving state industry officials cautiously optimistic about meeting demand.

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Rabobank BBQ Index rates last four years of food inflation as hottest since 1978

Celebrating freedom with a barbecue event will be costlier this year, a new economic analysis from Rabobank reveals.

According to the 2023 Rabobank BBQ Index (one of our nation's most crucial indexes), the average cost of a 10-person barbecue will be $97 this year. Overall, food prices have jumped 31% over the last 4 years.


The reasons are the usual suspects: input costs, transportation and energy costs, the ongoing war in Ukraine, drought, etc. 


So here's to celebrating freedom... but not toooo much freedom for everyone at the party to eat all the extras they want.

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Drought hits the Midwest, threatening crops and the world's food supply

The rain in Iowa, along with the rest of the Corn Belt states of the Midwest, has been mysteriously absent this spring, plunging the region into drought.

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USDA Unveils New Tool to Track Federally Funded Investments

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the release of two new data dashboards that allow users the unprecedented ability to access...

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Groups file motion to vacate WOTUS rule

National Cattlemen's Beef Association, along with the American Farm Bureau Federation and 16 other groups, has filed a motion in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas asking

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Senate committee holds hearing on Amazon deforestation, cattle supply chain

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) led US Senate Finance Committee during a two-year investigation of this issue and the ongoing environmental impact of multinational meat company JBS.

“Going back years, JBS has made promises that it would clean up its act when it comes to deforestation,” Wyden said. “Most recently, it said it would eliminate cattle involved in deforestation from its supply chain by 2025. The reality is, JBS is nowhere near meeting this commitment. Not even JBS’s direct suppliers are totally clean.”

Wyden added that the committee looked at this topic because of its oversight of trade legislation.

Later in the hearing, Leo McDonnell, a US Cattlemen’s Association representative and Montana Rancher, leveled several allegations about JBS and Brazilian meat companies, including forced labor. He also mentioned the investigations into alleged bribes paid to food safety inspectors and other Brazilian officials over the years.

McDonnell added that imported meat that is packaged and processed in the United States can carry the “Product of USA” label, which McDonnell feels puts American ranchers who raised and processed animals in the American supply chain at a disadvantage. The US Department of Agriculture recently announced a proposed rule on the issue.

“They get to launder their product through here to an unsuspecting consumer who thinks it’s a US product,” McDonnell said. “We’re not competing with them. They are taking our market from us.”

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USDA commits $500 million for wildlife conservation on working lands

USDA will dedicate at least $500 million over the next five years to wildlife conservation by jointly leveraging both NRCS and FSA conservation programs and public/private partnerships through its Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) effort.

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Oregon governor names LaVonne Griffin-Valade as new secretary of state after scandal

June 28, 2023

By Dirk VanderHart

Gov. Tina Kotek is naming LaVonne Griffin-Valade the next Oregon secretary of state, filling a vacancy left when former Secretary Shemia Fagan resigned under pressure in May.


Kotek made the announcement Wednesday morning, after weeks of heated speculation in Salem and beyond about who the governor would pick to fill out Fagan’s term.


The announcement caught many political observers off guard. While she spent 16 years as a government auditor — first at Multnomah County and then as Portland’s elected auditor — Griffin-Valade left government service in 2014 to pursue a career in writing. Kotek was widely expected to choose someone who currently or recently served in public office for the role.


“LaVonne Griffin-Valade has the professional background and ethical judgment to rise above politics and lead the important work of the agency forward,” Kotek said in a statement. “This role demands accountability and transparency, especially at this moment, and I am eager to see her leadership restore faith in the Secretary of State’s office.”

Read more…

Oregon’s latest climate package targets building resilience, and hefty federal dollars

June 28, 2023

By Monica Samayoa

As a record-breaking extreme heatwave broils the southern part of the country this week, Wednesday marks two years since Oregon endured its hottest days ever in a similar deadly heat dome event that claimed dozens of lives.


Now, state lawmakers hope recently passed climate package legislation will fill gaps in climate resilience and adaptation before the next heat dome strikes.


After a six-week Republican standoff held up the legislative session, lawmakers swiftly passed an ambitious climate package — a $90 million investment in climate action that could return up to $1 billion in federal funding over the next few years.


The so-called Climate Resilience Package was a compilation of more than a dozen bills with a focus on community resiliency, adaptation and reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector. The package, passed by lawmakers during the last days of the legislative session, was created as a compromise to quickly make up for lost time during a six-week Republican walkout that nearly derailed the session.

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Wyden, Merkley introduce legislation to improve water access for ag, conservation as West faces drought 

June 27, 2023

By Hood River News

U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., reintroduced the Water for Conservation and Farming Act on June 21 “to help communities in Oregon and across the West suffering from ongoing drought,” according to a press release.


The bill will improve water access for agriculture and conservation by funding projects that improve dam safety, create more resilient watersheds and benefit agricultural and urban water users.


“On this first day of summer and at a time when the nation — especially Oregon and the entire West — is suffering increased droughts, when farmers and ranchers are asked to feed more with less water, and critical habitats are drying up, more must be done to align water availability with water needs,” Wyden said. “Our bill will make needed investments in water conservation infrastructure that allows available water to better meet demand, improves biodiversity, and helps farmers and ranchers sustain their livelihoods through drought.”

Read more…

Oregon ag bills win last-minute approval in Salem

June 25, 2023 

By Mateusz Perkowski

Numerous agriculture-related bills won a last-minute approval in the Oregon Legislature this year after appearing dead when the Senate ground to a halt due to a Republican protest.


Republicans denied the chamber a quorum needed to pass bills for more than a month, but lawmakers resolved the dispute with only 10 days to go in the 2023 session.


The deal opened the floodgates to backed-up legislation that had nothing to do with the abortion and transgender care bill that precipitated the Republican protest.


The GOP walkout had been a double-edged sword for Oregon’s farm advocates, as it threatened to kill proposals they supported as well as those they opposed.

Read more…

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Help Small Farms Access Federal Support

Press Release - June 26, 2023 Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and colleagues announced today they introduced legislation to help small farms access federal conservation programs.

“Family farmers and ranchers in Oregon and nationwide play an essential role in conservation, but often face financial barriers to farming practices that improve soil health and reduce carbon emissions. Our bill has one goal — making it easier for underserved and small family farms to access federal funds to get this important work off the ground. It's a win-win-win for the climate, for family farmers and ranchers struggling to compete with the big guys, and for the American families they feed,” Wyden said.


The USDA’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program offers farmers and ranchers financial cost-share and technical assistance to implement conservation practices on working agricultural lands. Small farms and ranches often find it difficult to navigate federal conservation programs and, because payment rates are based on acreage, they face meaningful pay discrepancies compared to larger agricultural operations. Small farmers who wish to undertake soil health practices have to dedicate the same time and effort as larger farms to access the Environmental Quality Incentives Program while only receiving a fraction of the benefit.


The Small Farm Conservation Act modifies the Environmental Quality Incentives Program to create a new subprogram dedicated to helping small farmers and ranchers access and receive adequate financial and technical assistance. 

Specifically, the Small Farm Conservation Act would:


• Create a subprogram within Environmental Quality Incentives Program tailored to support small farms and ranches;

• Establish a National subprogram Coordinator and one in each State;

• Streamline the application and approval processes for small farmers and ranches;

• Create a bonus payment for farms under 50 acres employing soil health practices;

• Allow small farms to enroll on a continuous basis instead of waiting for the annual ranking period; and

• Require the Natural Resources Conservation Service to train field staff on conservation tailored for small-scale agriculture and to conduct outreach to small-scale farmers and ranchers.


The legislation was led by U.S. Senators Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Alongside Wyden, the bill was cosponsored by U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Angus King, I-Maine, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Jack Reed, D-R.I., and John Fetterman, D-Pa.


The text of the bill is here.

A summary is here.


# # #


Wyden Reintroduces Legislation to Improve Watershed Resilience and Health

Press Release - June 23, 2023, Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., this week reintroduced his bill to improve the resilience and health of the nation’s watersheds – the land leading into streams, rivers or lakes – as Oregon and the entire American West continue to suffer from severe drought. 


“Watersheds play an essential role in the health and economic livelihood of local communities, supporting safe drinking water for communities, outdoor recreation and productive fisheries. All of this is at risk because of the climate crisis,” said Wyden. “More must be done to strengthen the health and resilience of our nation’s watersheds. My Watershed Results Act creates science-driven, cost-effective tools to protect the land that touches all of our nation’s waterways and provide stability for generations to come.”


Watersheds are made up of millions of acres of rivers and streams, farms and rangeland, forests and developed towns and cities, with restoration needs often varying dramatically from acre to acre. Wyden’s Watershed Results Act – first introduced last Congress – would use the best scientific and data analysis to identify the most effective acres where watershed restoration work would generate the greatest environmental results at the best value for taxpayers. The Interior Department would coordinate to establish several watershed restoration programs across the country.


Joe Whitworth, President and CEO of The Freshwater Trust: “The dire and worsening problems impacting our rivers and streams have a direct impact on the future of freshwater in our country. The urgency of this moment is unmistakable, and a bill like this lays the foundation for much-needed change on how those working in water work on behalf of this resource. We hope others will support it.”  


Julie O’Shea, Executive Director of Farmer’s Conservation Alliance: “We commend Senator Wyden for his introduction of this legislation. In the midst of major ongoing drought, it is important that we have in place a broad array of tools that help to rapidly increase agricultural resilience and environmental benefits throughout the West. These pilot watershed efforts would allow us to better understand how we can all collaborate to secure resiliency for our watersheds.”


Dan Keppen, Executive Director of Family Farm Alliance: “Farmers play a critical role in ensuring the resiliency of our watersheds. We are supportive of this legislation because it encourages collaboration among all those funding and working with and on behalf of water. Collaboration and innovation are both desperately needed if we are going to ensure that our freshwater resources can support the future of farming.”  


Timothy Male, Executive Director of Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC): “Two of the most important ways to make national environmental programs more effective are captured in Senator Wyden’s legislation: a focus on quantified environmental outcomes, and permission for federal agencies to use pay for success contracts to buy them. The Watershed Results Act puts in place the right incentives for America’s restoration experts and scientists to do their most effective and creative work for freshwater.”


Nick Wobbrock, Co-Founder & COO of Blue Forest Conservation: “The need for investment in watershed health to effectively respond to the impacts of climate change is non-negotiable. This bill offers an innovative model that will enable federal agencies the flexibility of leveraging private investment and conservation finance to achieve watershed resilience goals through quantified and monitored outcomes. We applaud Senator Wyden for introducing the Watershed Results Act.”


Adam Kiel, Managing Director of Soil and Water Outcomes Fund and Executive Vice President of AgOutcomes: “The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund works with farmers and outcome beneficiaries across ten states, from Iowa to New York, to improve water quality and climate resiliency. The proposed Watershed Results Act of 2021 supports an outcome-based approach to water quality improvement and, if passed, would represent a transformative approach in how the Federal Government funds environmental outcomes by providing cost-effective delivery of conservation dollars to areas providing the highest benefit.”


Timothy Martin, Executive Director, Irrigation Innovation Consortium: “The Irrigation Innovation Consortium conducts research and develops grounded solutions for water management. In addition to equipping stakeholders with new knowledge and tools, we address financial, practical, and technological barriers to adopting innovative practices. By merging powerful technology, a coordinated funding approach, and streamlined delivery of funds to agricultural producers, the Watershed Results Act will demonstrate a new pathway forward to achieve beneficial economic and environmental outcomes. We support this legislation, and we encourage other organizations to do the same.”


Eric Letsinger, CEO of Quantified Ventures: “ At Quantified Ventures, we scale up investable, outcomes-based solutions for good. The WRA would help organize and streamline federal funds in a way that makes it much easier to access and use private capital to get watershed solutions to an entirely new scale. We applaud the innovation and hope others will support the bill too.”


A one-page summary of the bill can be found here.

Bill text can be found here.


# # #




Funding included in the fiscal year 2024 Senate agriculture funding bill champions family farms, rural housing, broadband, and more

Press Release - Thursday, June 22, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced today he secured major investments in Oregon agriculture, rural housing, food assistance, and rural business priorities in the FY24 Senate Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill, including more than $5 million in funding for Oregon community-initiated projects. The bill passed out of committee today with bipartisan support.


The federal funding in this legislation will support programs and projects that benefit farms, families, and rural communities throughout the state. 


“As I hold a town hall for each of Oregon’s 36 counties every year, I hear from folks in every corner of the state about what matters most to them, including ensuring our world-class agriculture sector and rural communities have the support needed to grow and thrive,” said Merkley, who previously served as the top Democrat on the Appropriations subcommittee that writes the agriculture bill. “This agriculture bill includes significant investments for family farms, rural housing, food assistance, habitat restoration, and wildfire smoke recovery. The legislation also prioritizes making Oregon’s agriculture more resilient to the impacts of climate chaos to protect the livelihoods of our farmers, ranchers, and producers. These huge investments will benefit Oregon’s farms and families for years to come, and I will keep championing them in Congress until they become law.”


Merkley is the only Oregon member of Congress from either chamber since Senator Mark Hatfield to serve on the Appropriations Committee, which is considered to be one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill. He joined the committee in 2013 so that Oregon would have a strong voice in decisions about the investments our nation should be making.


Senator Merkley, along with Senator Ron Wyden, secured investments for five Oregon community-initiated projects in the Senate’s draft agriculture funding bill:

• $3 million for the Arnold Irrigation District in Deschutes County to help complete the third phase and begin the final phase of its resiliency and modernization project. As persistent drought continues to impact the Deschutes Basin, these irrigation modernization efforts will better serve farmers and ranchers and strengthen habitat for wildlife, making the region more resilient to climate chaos.

• $2 million for the North Unit Irrigation District in Jefferson County to begin its irrigation modernization project, which will transition open ditch irrigation canals to buried pressurized piping. This infrastructure modernization project will lead to significant water savings that benefit farmers, ranchers, and wildlife.

• $250,000 for the Condon Arts Council to restore the historic Liberty Theatre in downtown Condon. The rehabilitated theatre will serve as a regional hub for performing arts events and community arts programs for Oregonians living in Gilliam County and beyond.

• $113,000 for the Grant County CyberMill Expansion project in John Day to support more equitable internet access for rural Oregonians. The federal funding will be used for distance learning, telemedicine, and broadband equipment and technology.

• $76,000 for the South Lane Mental Health Center to help modernize their existing facilities, including a new roof, a new computer server, and security upgrades. These upgrades will benefit patients and staff by providing a safer, cleaner environment.


Click HERE for quotes from community-initiated project recipients included in the draft Senate agriculture bill.


Other key funding for Oregon’s world-class agriculture that passed out of the Appropriations Committee today includes:


Water Conservation and Habitat Restoration: The bill includes $90.4 million for the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations, including $10 million set aside for Western states. In Oregon, this funding is primarily used to replace open irrigation ditches with pipes and is crucial for irrigation districts that need to improve water efficiency and conservation or otherwise improve fish and wildlife habitat. This program is providing critical funding for the collaborative processes underway across the state working to conserve water and keep Oregon’s family farms in business while improving the habitats of endangered species. 


Wine Grape Smoke Exposure Research: Recent wildfire seasons have blanketed much of Oregon with thick, hazardous smoke, which has significantly impacted the state’s wine grape harvest. To better understand and address the challenges facing Oregon’s wine growers, the bill includes level funding at $4.5 million for research into smoke-impacted grapes at Oregon State University (OSU) and other West Coast universities. 


Vineyard and Orchard Acreage Study: The bill encourages the Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to resume data collection and reporting on vineyards and orchards, so that Oregon’s grape, wine, and juice producers can use this important data to remain competitive.


Hemp Production Systems: The bill provides $4 million for Agricultural Research Services to partner with institutions conducting biotech and genomics research to improve hemp genetic research and breeding with new techniques. Hemp has quickly become one of Oregon’s leading cash crops, and indicators suggest it has the potential to bring in more than $1 billion in sales to Oregon in the coming years given a fair and consistent regulatory framework.  


Rangeland Precision Livestock Management: The bill includes $4 million to promote economically efficient and environmentally responsive livestock production systems for the Western rangeland. The bill supports precision nutrition strategies for rangeland-based livestock as well as technology-based rangeland and livestock management strategies to optimize the health and productivity of Western rangeland ecosystem. 


Oregon Agricultural Research and Facilities Investment: The Agricultural Research Service is receiving $88 million in funding for cutting-edge research to improve the productivity, sustainability, and health of the nation’s agricultural systems. In addition, funding was secured for key Oregon agriculture research programs, including funding for research on the Sudden Oak Death pathogen plaguing Oregon’s South Coast. Other research funding victories include research for alfalfa, barley, tree fruits, pear, wheat, hops, hemp, apple, shellfish, small fruits, seaweed, floriculture, nurseries, and rangeland ecology.


Rural Housing: The bill includes $1.6 billion for rental assistance and $48 million for Rural Housing Service Vouchers, which will help address the urgent affordable housing crisis facing Oregon’s rural communities.


Rural Energy Saving Program: Senator Merkley successfully protected the RESP program from drastic cuts and secured $10.7 million in appropriations for Fiscal Year 2023. The program—which provides funding to rural utilities and other companies to increase energy efficiency—was created by Senator Merkley, who prioritized getting the funding needed to kickstart the program when he was the top Democrat on the Agriculture subcommittee. The funding from this bill would be leveraged for an additional $60 million in investment.


Rural Business: The bill includes funding for a number of USDA’s Rural Development programs, including $77.7 million for business development programs. These business development programs help businesses grow as well as provide job training for rural America.


Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): The bill provides $6.3 billion for WIC which provides free food packages designed to safeguard the health of pregnant, breast-feeding, and postpartum women and infants who are at nutrition risk because of inadequate nutrition.


Now, the bill has cleared the Appropriations Committee, and it heads next to the Senate floor for a full vote before it can be conferenced with its counterpart bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. The final, merged legislation must then be passed by both chambers before it is signed into law.


# # # 



Wyden, Merkley Introduce Legislation to Improve Water Access for Agriculture and Conservation as West Continues to Face Drought

Press Release - June 21, 2023, Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., today reintroduced the Water for Conservation and Farming Act to help communities in Oregon and across the West suffering from ongoing drought. Their bill will improve water access for agriculture and conservation by funding projects that improve dam safety, create more resilient watersheds and benefit agricultural and urban water users. 

“On this first day of summer and at a time when the nation – especially Oregon and the entire West – is suffering increased droughts, when farmers and ranchers are asked to feed more with less water, and critical habitats are drying up, more must be done to align water availability with water needs,” Wyden said. “Our bill will make needed investments in water conservation infrastructure that allows available water to better meet demand, improves biodiversity, and helps farmers and ranchers sustain their livelihoods through drought.”


“As our summers continue to get hotter and drier, we have to make sure that we have reliable, resilient water infrastructure that every farmer, tribe, and community in our state can count on,” said Merkley, whose Deschutes River Conservancy Reauthorization Act is included in this bill. “Passing this bill will help ensure crucial investments for environmental protections are available and put safe water access within reach for everyone, regardless of where they live.”


States, Tribes and local communities are working diligently to upgrade antiquated and failing water infrastructure but have lacked the critical investments to make meaningful improvements for the future. The Water for Conservation and Farming Act would provide critical resources for projects that support agriculture, provide multiple water benefits and make significant steps to improve the nation’s agricultural water supply.


The Water for Conservation and Farming Act of 2023:

• Creates a Bureau of Reclamation fund of $300 million to support water recycling projects, water-use efficiency projects and dam safety projects;

• Expands the WaterSMART program to increase water supply reliability by funding infrastructure and conservation projects that conserves water, increases water use efficiency and improves the condition of natural water recharge infrastructure;

• Establishes a $3.5 million waterbird and shorebird habitat program to provide incentives to farmers to create temporary habitat for bird migration;

• Authorizes $40 million for the Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Watershed Management Program, for water and conservation projects that support disadvantaged communities and generate environmental benefits, such as benefits to fisheries, wildlife and habitats;

• Improves drought planning and preparedness by requiring federal agencies to prepare a plan to sustain the survival of critically important fisheries during eras of drought;

• Authorizes $25 million through 2029 for fish passage projects under the Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation Act to support voluntary fish screen and passage projects in Oregon, Washington, California, Montana and Idaho; and

• Reauthorizes the Deschutes River Conservancy’s (DRC) eligibility to receive federal funding for water quality and conservation projects.


The Water for Conservation and Farming Act was first introduced in 2020, with several provisions included in the spending package passed into law in December 2020, including provisions to improve drinking water quality and supply, especially for disadvantaged communities, through community watershed management; establish an aquatic ecosystem restoration program to improve the health of fisheries, wildlife or aquatic habitat; and ensure non-profit organizations, in addition to farmers and ranchers have access to increased WaterSMART funding. Additional provisions of the legislation, including for multi-benefit projects to improve watershed health, passed as part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which also included an additional $5 billion to help farmers, ranchers and communities respond to drought.

Bill text can be found here.

Increases to the CWSRF Principal Forgiveness Limits

DEQ - May 12, 2023

Clean Water State Revolving Fund

A caveat for K.I.D. is ownership of the canal. For both the CWSRF and the Community Grants program, there are prohibitions on funding work on Federally-owned facilities. So depending on what sort of legal instruments are in place regarding ownership and leasing, that could be an issue.

Klamath Irrigation District met its repayment contract responsibilities on 4 May 1965 and re-requested the title to the transfered works in June of 2021. No information has yet been provided over the past 24 months on when Reclamation will release title to the District.

Now that the proposed CWSRF rules have been adopted, the program is excited to announce there are significant changes to the amount of subsidization offered to borrowers as principal forgiveness. The supplemental funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law requires the program to increase the maximum subsidization that an eligible borrower can receive per state fiscal year from the historic cap of $500,000 to no more than $2 million or 50% of the loan amount, whichever is less.


Loans executed prior to May 14, 2022, which is the date the BIL went into effect, are not eligible to receive increased subsidization. Even under the amended rules, borrowers will still need to, and additional subsidization is subject to the availability of funds and readiness to proceed. fully executed after April 1, 2023, will be eligible for 100% forgivable planning loan up to $100,000. All loans – planning, design, and construction – that receive principal forgiveness must be eligible under the CWSRF.


Environmental Justice

The changes to the CWSRF program’s rules now allow the program to expand the definition of affordability criteria to include considerations of environmental justice. Environmental justice is ensuring the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, immigration status, income, or other identities with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies that affect the environment in which people live, work, learn, and practice culture. The environmental justice movement recognizes some communities face disproportionate environmental harms causing these communities to be exposed to additional burdens that impact their health and well-being. In Oregon, House Bill 4077 asserts that “No one group of people, including racial, ethnic or socioeconomic groups, should bear a disproportionate share of the negative consequences resulting from industrial, municipal and commercial operations or the execution of federal, state, local and tribal environmental programs and policies.” The program intends to promote and implement ways to advance environmental justice and equity.


The program will use environmental justice metrics to inform how it supports communities in Oregon. These metrics will be used to conducti outreach, provide technical assistance, score and rank loan applications, and award principal forgiveness. The environmental metrics are intended to identify communities that are economically distressed, health or pollution burdened, or face additional challenges because of their population size. “Economically distressed” communities are those with low income or high unemployment. “Health burdened” communities are defined as those elevated health risks. “Pollution burdened” communities are those located near an impaired waterbody or a facility with a compliance violation. The program also recognizes that small communities face greater administrative and economic burdens in developing and paying for water pollution control projects. By utilizing CWSRF loans, public agencies can invest in communities that have been neglected and can make a substantial impact in improving clean water infrastructure and clean water access.


How to Apply for a CWSRF Loan

Project and borrower eligibilities

·   To learn if your community and project is eligible for future funding, submit a Loan Information Request Form anytime.


Applications are accepted year-round, but projects will be reviewed, scored, and ranked after submission deadlines:

·   August 8, 2023

·   December 11, 2023


For more information, please contact the project officer for your area.

How States Shape Wildlife Conservation on Private Lands | PERC

As "laboratories of democracy," states can learn from one another's successes and challenges, ultimately driving innovation and improvement in wildlife conservation.

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Upcoming Events

356660046_646790117495376_2900183727798135369_n image

Klamath Irrigation District July Board of Directors Meeting

13 July 2023 at 1pm in the K.I.D. Board Room

This session will include and update on the D Canal System Improvement Plan from Farmers Conservation Alliance.

Learn more at our website

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8 July

Annual KBAS Picnic

Klamath Basin Audubon Society

Moore Park Marina II Pavilion

740 Lakeshore Dr.

Klamath Falls, OR 97601

11:00am - 1:00pm

More Information

RSVP by July 4th

2023 Klamath - Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources

The Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources announces an expenses-paid, six-day, seven-night Institute for up to 15 journalists that will explore the Klamath River Basin from its headwaters in southern Oregon to its mouth in northern California, and investigate how removal of four dams will impact Indigenous rights and sovereignty, hydrology, food systems, agriculture practices, river ecosystems, fisheries, wildlife migrations, the energy system, and more.

Applications due Friday, July 28 (midnight MST)

Applicants must submit a resume, one or more clips and statement of interest via Submittable.

We will select up to 15 applicants who represent diversity in geography, outlet, race, gender, experience, and journalistic medium.

Priority consideration will be given to journalists of color.

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Upcoming Webinars For Brand New Energy Program

You may have heard about PACE. USDA's newest program has already made a splash, and with funding windows about to open, now is a great time to brush up on the application process. 

PACE Webinars

·   Demo: How to Submit USDA PACE Letters of Interest June 29 at 2:00 p.m. ET 

·   RegisterWebinar

·   USDA PACE Application Webinar July 20 at 2:00 p.m. ET 

·   Register:  Webinar

·   USDA PACE Application Webinar August 1 at 2:00 p.m. ET 

·   Register: Webinar 


Powering Affordable Clean Energy PACE Program

Application Window:


Program Application Period:

Application Portal Opens on June 30, 2023

Fact Sheet

Federal Register Notice

NWRA Western Water Seminar

August 2-3, 2023 in Medora, North Dakota

Register Today – The NWRA Western Water Seminar is right around the corner. NWRA Committee, caucus and board meetings will take place throughout Wednesday, August 2nd with a welcome reception that evening. Thursday, August 3rd will feature general session programming followed by an evening reception, dinner, and entertainment. For those who can travel out a day early, the North Dakota Water Users Association is sponsoring a "North Dakota Water Tour" on Tuesday, August 1st. Only a few water tour seats remain! You can see the complete water tour and conference agenda HERE. Don’t miss out on a great lineup of speakers and the picturesque plains of Western North Dakota!! Room Block expires July 1.

oregon-department-of-environmental-quality-squarelogo-1451471824860 image

DEQ Rulemaking – Water Quality Fees 2023 – DEQ is asking for Public Comment on the Proposed Rules

DEQ is proposing rule amendments to Chapter 340 of the Oregon Administrative Rules to increase water quality fees in 2023 for fiscal year 2024 provided in ORS 468B.051. These fees apply to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits and Water Pollution Control Facility permits.

Public Comment

DEQ is seeking public comment on the proposed rules. More information on this rulemaking, including the draft rules, can be found on the Water Quality Fees Rulemaking Home Page.

How to comment: DEQ will accept comments by email, postal mail or verbally at the public hearing. Anyone can submit comments and questions about this rulemaking.

  • Email: Send comments by email to wqfeerule@deq.oregon.gov 
  • Postal mail: Oregon DEQ, Attn: Jason Simpson, 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, Oregon 97232-4100 
  • At the public hearing: 5 p.m., Monday July 17, 2023 (see below)

DEQ will only consider comments on the proposed rules that DEQ receives by 4 p.m., on July 21, 2023.

Rulemaking Hearing: DEQ will hold a public hearing, with details below:

Date: July 17, 2023

Start time: 5 p.m.

Join via Zoom

Join by Phone:

Call-in number: 888-475-4499

US Toll-free Meeting ID: 878 4641 3586

Passcode: 338979

Elmer G McDaniels Golf Tournament

October 4 – Sisters, OR

More information to come.

OWRC Water Law Seminar

October 5 – Sisters, OR

More information to come.


CURRENT OPENING: Water Resources Director - City of Bakersfield - $146,066 - $177,557 annually (5% COLA scheduled 7/3/23)

City of Bakersfield is looking for a talented professional who can lead a department with acute knowledge of water operations and water rights in the southern San Joaquin and Kern County areas.

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CURRENT OPENING: Deputy Director, Wastewater Management - City of San Jose, CA - $153,001.68 - $246,944.88

City of San Jose is seeking a Deputy Director of Wastewater Management. The Wastewater Management Division is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the San José-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Facility (RWF), the largest advanced wastewater treatment facility in California. Under administrative direction, the position performs work of considerable difficulty planning, organizing, and directing major functional areas of this department.

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Ochoco Irrigation District - Bookkeeper

Ochoco Irrigation District is actively recruiting for the position of Bookkeeper. Under general/administrative direction, the Bookkeeper will oversee the District’s financial data and compliance by maintaining accurate books on accounts payable and receivable, payroll, and daily financial entries and reconciliations. Perform daily accounting tasks such as monthly financial reporting, general ledger entries, and record payments and adjustments. Perform Customer Service: Answer phones, direct messages as appropriate; greet/assist office visitors, takes water orders, and follow up on correspondence as required.


It is OID’s mission to effectively and efficiently serve the current and future irrigation needs of our patrons by economically operating and maintaining the districts resources with honesty and integrity. Ochoco Irrigation District supplies water to 20,062 acres of irrigated land in the Prineville area. Water is stored in the Ochoco and Prineville Reservoirs, and then released into Ochoco Canal, Ochoco Creek and the Crooked River during irrigation season. The District operates numerous pumping plants and over 120 miles of canals and pipelines. OID is beginning an extensive irrigation modernization project with over $40 million dollars of grant funds to be administered over the next 5 years. We are seeking the right person to effectively manage these resources moving forward.


The District offers an excellent benefits package that includes:

• Salary starting at $30/hour

• Paid vacation, sick leave & 7 holidays

• Medical, Dental and Vision Benefits

• PERS Retirement

• Life Insurance

• Short Term Disability

• Medical Air Services Association Membership

• 4 day work week


Position is open until filled. Application and Job Description are posted on the OID Website; www.ochocoid.org, or can be picked up in person by contacting the main office at (541) 447-6449.


Klamath Water Users Association – Director of Public Relations & Marketing

The Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) is seeking a self-motivated, highly productive individual to provide lead marketing and public affairs to an established organization that serves the interests of member irrigation districts and their constituents with regard to natural resources issues, with emphasis on water resources and power costs. This is a unique opportunity to join an organization that is at the forefront of precedent-setting issues.


The Director of Public Relations and Marketing (PR Director) reports directly to the Executive Director and is responsible for the development and execution of the marketing and engagement plan to direct KWUA’s community relations. The ideal candidate is poised, well-spoken, a good writer, and has the ability to communicate concisely about complex and policy laden issues. They enjoy a fast-pace work environment and is ready, willing, and able to do a variety of public relations activities, such as media inquiries, social media strategies, content creation, strategic planning, and building relationships. It is important that the PR Director articulate and promote KWUA’s vision and objectives through direct and indirect engagement with key media outlets. This role requires someone who is a proven leader, and who is capable of communicating ideas clearly and thoughtfully. In addition, the PR Director should have the ability to identify future trends and needs and be able to collaborate with others to achieve desired publicity outcomes for the organization. The responsibilities of this position will be carried out in a highly visible and sometimes controversial and politically-charged environment.


This position requires a Bachelor’s Degree and at least 2+ years’ experience in public relations or marketing. With preference given to a Master’s Degree with 2+ years’ public relations or marketing experience. Weekend and evening work is required for special events and in response to immediate needs; travel occasionally required for conferences and meetings. Must be able to work independently.


To Be Considered

This is a confidential process and will be handled throughout the various stages of the process. References will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. Candidates should apply immediately. This position will be open until filled. However, candidates are encouraged to apply early in the process for optimal consideration. This recruitment may close at any time once a strong pool of candidates is received. To be considered, candidates must submit a:

• Compelling cover letter

• Comprehensive resume

• Salary history

• Three examples of work


Electronic versions of all submittals are encouraged. Interested candidates may apply via email, mail, or delivery of a cover letter and resume to: 

Chelsea Shearer, chelsea@kwua.org, or 2312 S. Sixth St., Suite A, Klamath Falls, OR 97601.


Full Job Description 


Tumalo Irrigation District - Ditch Rider 

Starting Wage: $22.00 to $25.00 DOE

Benefits (after 6-month probationary period): Health insurance (medical, dental, and vision), District contribution to Retirement plan, 8 paid holidays/year, 5-15 days paid vacation/year (based on tenure), 10 days paid sick leave/year, District vehicle.

Location: Bend, OR

Distributes irrigation water to the users of the District’s water rights within their assigned area in accordance with Oregon Revised Statutes, Oregon Administrative Rules, District Policies and Procedures and District management direction using information based upon decrees, partial decrees, permits, licenses and transfers. The Ditch Rider encounters and must communicate with District patrons daily. The District places tremendous value on strong relationships and timely, respectful communication with its water users. The employee works under the supervision of the District Manager and/or Field Supervisor during Irrigation Season and Maintenance Season.

This full-time position is being advertised February 2023 until filled.

Application, cover letter and resume should be submitted to the District office by email at staff@tumalo.org or you may drop all three documents off in person at our District office located at 64697 Cook Avenue. To view full job announcement visit our website at: http://www.tumalo.org



Resource Education & Agriculture Leadership (REAL Oregon) – 2023-2024 Class 7 Session Apply Now!

REAL Oregon is an annual leadership and professional development program that exposes a cross- section of individuals from Oregon’s natural resource communities to the diversity of Oregon’s geography, economy, and cultures through a series of five statewide sessions.


This is a personal and professional development program designed for leaders working in our Natural Resource industries. A dynamic curriculum is delivered over five sessions across our state – the REAL Oregon program committee aims to select a diverse group of leaders in order to bring value to discussion and networking.


Class 7 Program Dates

* Session locations may change. Confirmed locations will be announced with candidate selection.

Session 1     November 6th – 9th, 2023            Klamath Falls           3 nights

Session 2     December 12th – 14th, 2023        Roseburg                 2 nights

Session 3     January 9th – 10th, 2024              Newport                   2 nights

Session 4     February 6th – 8th, 2024              Ontario                     2 nights

Session 5     March 11th -14th, 2024                 Salem/PDX              3 nights

* Contingency Dates – set aside in the event of session cancellation due to weather

April 9th – 11th, 2024         TBD   2 nights          


REAL Oregon aims to create a stronger network of leaders across Oregon’s diverse regions and resource industries; including forests, fisheries, farmland and ranches. This program strives to bring these groups, along with others in related fields, together to provide a wide-ranging curriculum that touches on topics such as Oregon’s forest practices, land use, leading effective meetings, conflict resolution, public speaking, succession planning, and more! While the program is not intended to be a political forum, natural resource policies and issues are a central focus of most sessions.


The successful applicant is willing to learn, ask questions, and experience new things. As an example, tours may include active timber operations, onion or potato packing sheds, seafood processing plants, etc. Some tours may not seem directly connected to natural resources but offer other unique leadership experiences.


We invite you to apply now and consider taking part in REAL Oregon Class 7! The application deadline is July 31st, 2023 though we highly recommend not waiting until the last minute. If you have questions, you can contact our Program Coordinator, Lauren Lucht at lauren@downtoearthoregon.com or (503) 710-7001. More information is also available on the website or social media.