In the Flow

Photo Source: Klamath County Museum

1 September 2023 Update

In This Edition:

  • Upcoming Events
  • 2023 Irrigation Season Update
  • A New Proposed Action for the Klamath Reclamation Project
  • Other News and Political Issues Impacting the District
  • Opportunities

Upcoming Events

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Hildebrand Threshing Bee - Discover Klamath

The annual Hildebrand Threshing Bee will be held this Labor Day weekend, September 2nd & 3rd, 2023 from 9-4 both days. It is a FREE EVENT showcasing antique farm equipment including harvesters, tractors and stationary engines. Two large steam traction engines, the predecessors of modern tractors will be running and driving.

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Klamath Fall Gospel Mission Thrift Store – FIRESALE

Every Friday and Saturday in September from 9AM to 4PM.

On May 10 an arsonist set fire to the Thrift Store building causing damage to the building and it's contents. All Thrift Store contents need to be cleared to allow for repairs.

Fire Sale - $5 p/ bag (stuffed as full as you can get it) plus discounted furniture and houseware.

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Klamath Art Gallery's September Show

Read More About the Art Show
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Klamath Basin Audobon Society

12 September 2023 @ 7pm


Program Talk on The Klamath River Dam Removal

Favell Museum

125 W Main St.

Klamath Falls

Email for more information

Visit the KBAS website

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Klamath Water Users Association

13 September 2023 - Board of Directors Meeting. @2pm at KWUA Board Room.

Visit the KWUA website

Read the latest KWUA newsletter

Visit the KWUA Facebook Page

Statement from the KWUA on the current irrigation season status

Klamath Irrigation District

14 September 2023 Board Meeting

Text Link

Oregon Water Resources Congress

Tri-State Meeting

September 22 - Boise, ID

Contact office for more information or to RSVP


Elmer G McDaniels Golf Tournament

October 4 – Sisters, OR

Registration Available


OWRC Water Law Seminar

October 5 – Sisters, OR

DRAFT Agenda Available

Registration Available

Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Room Block Expires 9/4 - Make your reservation Today!


OWRC Board Meeting

October 6 – Sisters, OR

Contact office for more information or to RSVP


National Water Resources Association (NWRA)

2023 Annual Conference & Leadership Forum

November 8-10 in San Antonio, TX

Registration Available

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Klamath Bird Observatory

22 September @6pm

Great Grey Owl Talk by Harry Fuller

Klamath Bird Observatory

2425 Siskiyou Blvd.

Ashland, OR

Also available via Zoom

Register Here

Visit the Klamath Bird Observatory website

Klamath Basin Oktober Fest 23 September 2023

Hosted by Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA) each September alongside the German tradition, the Klamath Basin Oktoberfest is an affordable, family-friendly event that brings together Southern Oregon's very best in brewers, food vendors, entertainment, and outdoor fun. Click on the event for more info.

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Board Member Relations, Expectations, and Ethics

Please note the Klamath Falls, Astoria, and Salem locations are currently full. To be added to a waitlist, please contact member services, or you may register for a virtual option on September 27th.

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Meet in the Meadows

Scott River Watershed Council

 A Special Event Invitation

  Meadows Workshop September 26-29, 2023

Please join the Scott River Watershed Council this fall for our Meadows Restoration Workshop! We will have speakers discussing historical restoration practices, beaver habitat, carbon sequestration, and more. There will also be a day of field tours and 2 days of hands-on restoration work at several sites in the Scott watershed.

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2023 Irrigation Season Update

Weather Seasonal Climate Forecast for September - November 2023

For more information about the Oregon Department of Forestry, please visit

2023 Irrigation Season "Shortfall" to Reclamation's Operations and Drought Plans

Federal Agencies believe the “shortfall” to the Klamath Reclamation Project is 20,000 acre-feet less than the amount announced in April of 2023 to maintain Upper Klamath Lake at an elevation above 4,139.2 (utilizing the USBR datum).  

Department of Interior's approach to mitigating the shortfall includes maximizing the opportunity to utilize pre-drawdown releases from the downstream reservoirs (approximately 10,000 acre-feet); reduced UKL / Keno releases during pre-demolition work at J.C. Boyle (5,000-7,000, maybe up to 10,000 acre-feet); and an agreement with Klamath Drainage District to pump its return flows from fall-winter irrigation back to the Klamath River (potentially up to 10,000 acre-feet). The agencies are currently confirming this approach prior to issuing official notice to the District that additional curtailments are not imminent.

K.I.D. continues to tighten operations to minimize spills and other losses.

Read what we knew yesterday as last updated in the latest Basin Ag News

Pine Grove Irrigation District asks K.I.D. for justification to curtail deliveries.

In response to Reclamation's 2023 Operations Plan, K.I.D.'s Executive Director issued over 100 curtailment letters to Warren Act contractors in August 2023 in direct conflict with his contractual obligations. One of these letters was issued to Pine Grove Irrigation District, serving 904 acres of farmlands from the East Branch (B) Canal. Pine Grove's contract with Reclamation is I1r-195 dated 6 November 1922, and is included in K.I.D.'s contractual obligations for irrigation water deliveries. Pine Grove further holds the trust to a portion of the KA1000 water rights claim in the Klamath River Basin Adjudication.

Read Reclamation's 2023 Drought Plan 
Read K.I.D.'s Curtailment Letter to Pine Grove Irrigation District

On 9 August 2023, Pine Grove Irrigation District responded to K.I.D. with the following request:

"Please provide a written response and facts regarding this issue so we can attempt to explain what an unlawful breach of contract to our patrons is." Pine Grove Irrigation District points out their legal water right outlined in Oregon Water law under the Amended and Corrected Findings of Fact of Determination (ACFFOD) issued in 2014, the observation of adequate amounts of water being observed at the K.I.D. points of diversion, and the fact that no calls are currently in effect which impacts the Pine Grove patrons' water right.

"The Pine Grove Irrigation District would like to know what legal precedence you used to curtail our water deliveries."

Read Pine Grove Irrigation District's Full Letter to K.I.D.
Read the 1918 Pine Grove Irrigation District Contract with Reclamation

Klamath Irrigation District does not have answers to the questions presented by Pine Grove Irrigation District. Our 1954 contract states that the District shall deliver water to Reclamation's contractors unless notified by the Secretary of the Interior for non-payment of reimbursement expense or other reasons identified by the Secretary of the Interior. Documents exchanged between attorneys in the negotiations in K.I.D.'s 1954 contract indicated that Reclamation removed itself from all water-delivery-related issues for its contractors served by K.I.D.

However, as Reclamation issued its 2023 Drought Plan without any supporting documentation, K.I.D. was compelled to pass the Pine Grove letter to Reclamation to be answered on 10 August 2023 as K.I.D.'s legal standing to issue such curtailment letters without an order by the Secretary of the Interior is in question.

As of the publishing of this newsletter, K.I.D. does not have a copy of the response to Pine Grove Irrigation District's Board of Directors.

Read K.I.D.'s 1954 Contract with Reclamation

A New Proposed Action for the Klamath Reclamation Project

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On 17 July 2023, the Bureau of Reclamation announced another reconsultation of the Klamath Reclamation Project as the Interim Operations Plan expired on 30 September 2022 and the Department of Interior's Senior Solicitor allowed the IOP to be extended into the 2023 season with significant failures. Several meetings have occurred since this announcement.

Reclamation has chosen (or been directed) to rewrite a proposed action by the end of September 2023 for assessment by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) with the expectation of these agencies producing biological opinion before beginning 2024 irrigation operations. It is unclear if Reclamation has been expressly directed to write a non-jeopardy proposed action by the Secretary of the Interior as seen in past practice. The approach of writing a non-jeopardy proposed action through negotiation is outside the approach suggested in the USFWS ESA consultation handbook.

Currently, Reclamation is facilitating meetings for two groups:

  • a management/policy group with input from Agencies, Tribes, and Water Users.
  • a technical group with discussion input from Agencies, Tribes, and Water Users.

The management group is relying on the technical group to provide expert recommendations on the technical aspects of operating the Klamath Reclamation Project. The management team expects the technical team to suggest water flow rates over Keno Dam as a result of operating the Klamath Reclamation Project.

The management group asked the technical group to answer these questions:

Question 1: In your evaluation of the IOP, what are the most significant shortcomings that could be addressed in the Proposed Action from a technical perspective?

Question 2: What recommendations or suggestions do you have for the Proposed Action to address the technical shortcomings you identified?

Question 3: In your evaluation of the Environmental Baseline (EB), what are the most significant shortcomings from a technical perspective that could be addressed in the current consultation?

Question 4: What recommendations or suggestions do you have for the Proposed Action to address the technical shortcomings you identified?

Question 5: In your evaluation of flexible or alternative flow and storage options to benefit listed salmon and suckers, what are the most significant shortcomings from a technical perspective that could be addressed in the current consultation?

Question 6: What recommendations or suggestions do you have to address the technical shortcomings you identified?

The technical team is asking the management team for policy guidance on what rules should be included in a flow model. Policy decisions asked for include the inclusion of the Agency-Barnes restoration project and continued use of coho habitat modeling in the biased and flawed Hardy Phase II flow model.

An in-person management meeting is scheduled for 20 September 2023 in Ashland.

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Klamath Water Users Association provided feedback to Reclamation's approach.


KWUA Recommendations and Requests for Reconsultation

The following requests are rooted in legal requirements and are separate from the

technical work that operations experts are developing to inform the proposed action.

A. Reclamation Must Complete an EIS for any Significant Effects of Water Shortage,

and the No Action Alternative Should Represent Historical Operations for

Irrigation If an operation would result in significant adverse effects due to water shortage, Reclamation must complete a full EIS.

B. Reclamation Should Model a “Without Project Operation” Scenario To inform the environmental baseline, Reclamation should model a “without Project operations” scenario and define the non-discretionary aspects of Project operations that can be

attributed to the environmental baseline. This analysis is required by contemporary ESA regulations.

C. Next Steps

KWUA remains committed to the stakeholder process for the Reconsultation and appreciates Reclamation’s and other federal agencies’ dedication of time and resources. We understand the timeline and expect that these requests can be incorporated as we move forward with developing and modeling a proposed action.

Read the full KWUA memo to Reclamation (122 pages with historical references and content).

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When Congressman Cliff Bentz visited Klamath Falls on 22 August 2023, Klamath Irrigation District provided the Congressman and his staff with our perception of Reclamation's approach.

As per K.I.D.'s understanding of the ESA, Reclamation should be doing the following:

1. Reclamation should establish and define the Environmental Baseline to evaluate the Proposed Action. (The Environmental Baseline is not yet clear…we argue that the Environmental Baseline for the Klamath Project is as the environment existed on the day before the Klamath Reclamation Project was authorized in 1905 (this understanding has been a subject of debate and disagreement by NOAA, NMFS, and Reclamation)

2. Reclamation should set the “No Action Alternative” as representative of Historical Operations for Irrigation (K.I.D. argues this date should be the day prior to the first conceived ESA operation plan for the Klamath Reclamation Project)

3. Reclamation Must Complete an EIS for any Significant Effects of Water Shortage to the Former Lakes and Marshlands (this includes the farming community health, impact to farms, on wildlife refuges, on irrigation infrastructure, on groundwater, on wildlife, on dust hazards to transportation and health, and as part of the social and economic fabric of their communities – A finding of no significant impact by denying water to the former lakes and marshlands is not acceptable and is clearly not the fact)

4. Evaluating and describing to what extent Reclamation is able to exercise discretion (such as determining how much water to store vs. release as live flow, flood control releases) as to eliminate items Reclamation does not have discretion from the consultation process (this is required in the “but for” analysis which is not currently being evaluated)

Facts to be aware of:

1. Reclamation is scrambling to get a new Proposed Action to submit to the services due 30 September 2023. 

2. The approach Reclamation's regional office has taken to bring Tribes, Agencies, and KWUA into a room to discuss ESA consultation in less than 4 weeks is aggressive and ignores the basic tenets of ESA consultation outlined in the USFWS consultation handbook.

  • Reclamation indicates it intends to promote and keep the current plan (which was initially developed under negotiation and not the ESA process…and was almost immediately challenged). This plan has failed; adding more constraints will not resolve the conflict, nor the fact the plan was developed outside the scope provided in the ESA consultation process. 

4. Reclamation’s initiation of the formal process seems to have ignored specific requirements.  

  • K.I.D. has seen no documentation related to the initiation of formal consultation under 50 CFR 402.14(c) and (d). I have asked for it and have been told they are looking for it.  
  • Nor has K.I.D. seen any analysis performed under Section 7(a)1
  • Reclamation appears to be resistant to isolating focus on the “affects” of the Klamath Reclamation Project as described in the ESA…and seems to be focused more on the “effects” of items that are outside the scope of the Klamath Reclamation Project “affects”
  • Reclamation appears to be ignoring the “but for” test.  

The Federal Register, Volume 84, No 166, published on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, establishes Rules and Regulations about 50 CFR Part 402. Page 44977 addresses the requirements to apply the “but for” test as to the determination of the effects of a proposed Federal action. Reclamation is required to apply the “but for” test where Federal action resulting in “consequences” MUST be reasonably certain to occur.  

There are several relevant considerations where the proposed action is not the “but for” cause of another activity (not included in the proposed action) because the other activity would proceed in the absence of the proposed action…if the agency fails to take the proposed action and the activity would still occur, there is no “but for” causation. In that event, the activity would not be considered an effect of the action under consultation.”

Irrigation was occurring before the Klamath Reclamation Project was approved…this amount of irrigation is an example of the required “but for” analysis that is being ignored.

5. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Klamath Branch Supervisor Jim Simondet and his subordinates continue to expect Reclamation to continue operating under the current Reclamation rules as NMFS presented in the FERC EIS that flow rates and flushing flow requirements would continue for the duration of dam removal and restoration activities - which is currently destroying the ecosystem in the Klamath Basin above Keno.

  • This is an impossible task for Reclamation as the compliance point must move, and the time of adjustments needed to be made to continue this operation is impossible with the assets and resources Reclamation currently has available.

  • This approach also unnaturally evacuates more water over Keno Dam than what would naturally be available.

6. Prior to this meeting with the Congressman, NMFS Klamath Team also indicated resistance to establishing the environmental baseline as the conditions as they existed on the day before the Klamath Reclamation Project was authorized. NMFS approach to the environmental baseline ignore the “but for” test.

Klamath Irrigation District anticipates submitting a Biological Assessment of the Klamath Reclamation Proejct to the Secretary of the Interior and Reclamation in the immediate future.

In Title 16 (Conservation) of the United States Code (U.S.C.), Chapter 35 (Endangered Species), the United States Congress declares that the Secretary of the Interior, in coordination with the Secretaries of Commerce and Agriculture, “SHALL (emphasis added) make determinations…solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.”  Section (§) 1536(c)(2) allows any person to apply for exemption by conducting a biological assessment during the consultation process.

Other News and Political Issues Impacting the District

Suicide prevention hotline for farmers, ranchers introduced in Oregon

August 31, 2023

By George Plaven

A 24/7 suicide prevention hotline geared specifically for agricultural workers is now available in Oregon.


State lawmakers passed Senate Bill 955 earlier this year, providing $300,000 in an endowment to Oregon State University to implement the AgriStress Helpline. Gov. Tina Kotek signed the bill into law at a ceremony on July 20 in Prairie City.


The number for the helpline is 833-897-2474. Those needing help can call or text the number to connect with a crisis support specialist. Calls are free and confidential.


The AgriStress Helpline was created by AgriSafe, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and safety of agricultural workers living in rural communities.

Read more…ses like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining"!

The KAGO News Director Christopher German sits down to discuss the arrival of the F35s to Kingsley Field in Klamath County, the advent of the Klamath County Food Hub, and the homelessness issue here in Klamath County with Board of Commissioners Vice Chair Kelley Minty. Big thanks to Ms. Minty for joining the KAGO news team for a lively discussion about the issues.



A Dissertation in Rural Sociology and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment by Hannah T. Whitley © 2023 Hannah T. Whitley 

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Friends of Klamath Basin Birding

September 2023 Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Water is What We All Need
  • More Stories of Interest
  • Opportunity to Help the LKNWR
  • Keep the Feedback Coming
  • Birding Moore Park
  • Species Spotlight: Virginia Rail
  • Event Calendar
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Family Farm Alliance September "Monthly Briefing" Now Available!

The Family Farm Alliance 2023 Farmer Lobbyists will descend on Washington, D.C. later this month, just as Congress will be scrambling to reach agreement on Fiscal Year 2024 federal spending and avoid a government shutdown.

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Press Release - August 24, 2023

Senators: “Reclamation should consider all options to address ongoing drought conditions in Oregon”

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden are urging the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to prioritize the Klamath, Deschutes, and Rogue River Basins in upcoming federal funding decisions for drought and climate resiliency projects.


Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees Reclamation, announced up to $195 million in funding opportunities to develop a more resilient water supply, support cooperative watershed management, and safeguard aquatic ecosystems. A large portion of this latest round of funding comes from the Inflation Reduction Act, which is investing $4 billion over five years to address the historic drought in western Reclamation States and territories, with priority given to areas experiencing “long-term drought.”


In their letter to Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton, the Senators detailed how prolonged drought in the Klamath, Deschutes, and Rogue River Basins especially threatens the many communities and wildlife that rely on them, and why these critical Oregon basins must be prioritized for continued investments that build drought resiliency and a more sustainable future.


“The Klamath, Deschutes, and Rogue River Basins are diverse and ecologically significant regions with significant cultural and economic importance to various Tribes and rural communities,” the Senators wrote. “However, these rich ecological landscapes, like much of the West, have faced unprecedented challenges due to persistent drought and limited water supply which cannot meet all the in-stream and out-of-stream demands.”


The Senators continued, “Reclamation should consider all options to address ongoing drought conditions in Oregon and throughout the West, including by providing support for projects that conserve water in-stream to benefit endangered or threatened species, increase irrigation efficiency or reduce consumptive water use, restore ecosystems or enhance wildlife habitat, ensure sustainable water deliveries. Each of these basins either has completed or is undertaking a comprehensive watershed planning process to identify key, priority projects that would generate multiple benefits to the landscape, community, and economy.”


Full text of the letter can be found here 

Stay extension gives Snake River dam mediation another 60 days

Agricultural and electrical stakeholders say they're losing faith in the process as the White House extends federal mediation in long-running litigation over the Snake River dams for another 60 days. The new deadline is Oct. 31.

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Dry farm researchers' new mapping project will give Oregon growers a resource

As growing seasons become hotter and drier across the region, farmers are increasingly challenged to grow and sustain their crops.

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Slow and steady: Dry farming on the rise

Dry farmers plant crops that grow deep roots that can take in water and nutrients from the soil deeper than plants that are irrigated from the surface and have shorter

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9th Circ. Won't Rehear Ore. Monument Case

By Ali Sullivan

The Ninth Circuit won't reconsider its ruling that former President Barack Obama acted within his authority under the Antiquities Act when he included timber-producing land in his 2017 expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, rejecting a plea from timber companies who sought a full court rehearing of the case. 

Judge sides with environmental groups in 'Eastside Screens' case

A federal judge has determined the U.S. Forest Service broke the law when it removed a ban on harvesting trees 21 inches or larger in diameter in six national forests

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Forest Service Should Redo Tree Protections, Judge Says

By Peter McGuire

The U.S. Forest Service violated multiple environmental laws when it approved logging large-diameter trees in the Pacific Northwest and the new timber standards should be set aside until the agency completes a thorough effects analysis, an Oregon federal magistrate judge recommended Thursday


Private property owners are successfully managing 1-hr. Class wildfire fuels using horses!

Reduction & management of 1-hr. Class #Wildfire Fuels is the #1 weapon to reduce catastrophic wildfires & toxic smoke

#WildHorses #Wildfires

Central Oregon irrigation piping projects prevail in court

Controversial irrigation piping projects in Central Oregon have racked up a couple of court victories recently, with a federal judge rejecting legal arguments against replacing open canals.

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Aug 15, 2023

The Three Sisters Irrigation District On-Farm and Renewable Energy project is funded through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). This partnership project brings together NRCS Oregon, Three Sisters Irrigation District, Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District, Deschutes River Conservancy, private landowners and numerous other partners to conserve water and reduce energy demands. Learn more about the project and apply for funding here:

Drought is top of mind for producers located in Central Oregon. The Three Sisters Irrigation District, located in Sisters, Ore., spans 7,600 acres across the high desert land. Historically, water was diverted through open ditch canals pulling water from Whychus Creek and carrying it to lower elevations for use on farm. Water users previously used flood irrigation, which spread water from these open canals across crop fields. Flood irrigation is incredibly uneven and requires nearly twice as much water to adequately irrigate.

About 55 percent of water moving through the open canal system was lost in transport, either through seepage or evaporation. This water loss was the catalyst to begin modernization efforts across Three Sisters Irrigation District.

To modernize the district, pipes were installed in open canals, conserving water previously lose to seepage and evaporation. Gravity pressurized water delivered through pipeline traveling from high to lower elevation allows irrigators to eliminate pumps, reducing energy use and related costs. The surplus water now in the water system can be used to produce hydropower or returns to Whychus Creek to support anadromous fish habitat and recreation. Before the modernization project, Whychus Creek used to run dry two out of every three summers. Since the project's completion, the creek flows all summer long.

Lazy Z Ranch, a regenerative bee farm owned and operated by John Herman, was once flood irrigated. Operating during a persistent drought encouraged John to work with NRCS Oregon and Three Sisters to install pivot sprinkler systems and hook up to the main irrigation pipeline. John significantly reduced the manual labor required previously to move big gun sprinklers around his property every few hours, and is now able to control his pivots from his phone while he enjoys his coffee from the porch.

"We were in the middle of a drought, so we only had so much water we could use - and we were using it," John said. "Now that we've got the underground main line and these pivots, we can really be targeted irrigating so much more of our property with so much less water."

The Three Sisters Irrigation District has essentially achieved drought and climate resilience through this project and the modernization effort. The project serves as a shining example helping pave the way for other irrigation districts in the West battling drought and climate change impacts.

"We could not have done this on our own. This [project] was a ton a people coming together to do this with and for us," John said. "It changes the way we farm. It has changed our lives."

EPA Unveils New Water Rule With Reduced Wetlands Power

By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

The Biden administration on Tuesday completed emergency surgery on its rule defining the scope of the federal government's jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, an authority that was narrowed by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. 

Ag groups: Amended WOTUS rule falls short

A final rule amending the definition of "Waters of the U.S." to conform with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling doesn't go far enough to limit regulatory overreach, according to

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Lawsuit challenges 10-year Oregon vegetation plan

An environmental lawsuit claims the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has unlawfully approved vegetation management plans that will impact protected species and recreation in Southwestern Oregon.

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Northwest analysts: Low wheat prices mean 'dangerous market'

Wheat prices have lowered to a "very dangerous area," Northwest market analysts say, pointing to low export demand. USDA projections have next year's crop insurance price at or below the cost of production.

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PERC Launches New Conservation Innovation Lab | PERC

Conservationist Travis Brammer to lead new home for groundbreaking field projects that prototype creative solutions to protect land, water, and wildlife.

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Vilsack: Climate-smart agriculture can help farmers compete against big business

As the USDA announces grants supporting rural renewable energy projects, the secretary said the agency is focused on helping farmers implement greener production practices and access new markets.

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Washington farmers losing payments for providing fish habitat

The USDA will end income-replacement payments to some Whatcom County, Wash., farmers who voluntarily took land out of production to provide habitat for wildlife and fish.

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USDA awards $72.9M to specialty crop producers

More than $1 billion has been distributed so far through the agency's program to support fruit, vegetable and tree nut growers.

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Researchers paint eyes on cows’ rumps to ward off predators

August 31, 2023

By Sierra Dawn McClain

In Botswana, Africa, researchers have painted eyes on the rumps of cattle to prevent lions and other predators from attacking.


Early trials were effective. According to a paper the researchers published in the journal Communications Biology, “cattle painted with eyespots were significantly more likely to survive” than unmarked cattle or cattle with other markings, despite all groups being exposed to the same predation risk.


Researchers say the technique may be transferrable to protect livestock from other predators that use ambush methods, such as cougars. Ambush predators rely on stalking their prey and then overtaking them with the element of surprise.

Read more…


C.O. Irrigation District launches ‘Make Every Drop Count’ campaign to encourage responsible water use, conservation

August 30, 2023

By KTVZ News

The Central Oregon Irrigation District has unveiled a campaign focused on increasing awareness about responsible irrigation practices and encouraging efficient water usage. It says the initiative complements COID's ongoing efforts to enhance on-farm efficiencies, ensuring water reliability and conservation.


The campaign, Make Every Drop Count, targets COID water right holders, providing insights into Oregon water law, responsibilities, and the importance of safeguarding Central Oregon's water resources. Amidst the challenges of multi-year drought conditions, this initiative is a new way to equip irrigation water right holders with knowledge to encourage efficient and responsible water usage.


"This campaign is a significant step towards continuing to foster a culture of responsible water use, conservation, and collaboration between COID and water right holders," said Craig Horrell, Central Oregon Irrigation District Manager.

Read more…


Western Innovator: Research focuses on soil moisture

August 31, 2023

By Brad Carlson

As Oregon State University researcher Udayakumar Sekaran sees it, soil-moisture sensors help farmers irrigate more efficiently but are limited by the wires to which they are attached.


Limited reach and the need for a power source are among those limitations. And farmers who use wired sensors have to visit fields frequently to check on them.


Sekaran is getting rid of the wires. “We are using wireless technology to measure soil moisture,” said Sekaran, an irrigation and soil fertility specialist at the OSU Malheur Experiment Station south of Ontario.

Read more…


Pear crop expected to be slightly bigger than 2022

August 30, 2023

This year’s pear crop should be slightly bigger than last year, but still average compared to historical production, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


This 2023 harvest is forecast at 645,000 tons, up from 644,000 tons in 2022, the agency reported in mid-August.


Jim Morris, marketing and communications manager for Pear Bureau Northwest, said the USDA analysis was “pretty accurate, at least until we get some real numbers.”


The fresh pear industry, represented by Pear Bureau Northwest, will release its forecast in the coming weeks.


“It’s not a bumper crop by any means, but it’s a stronger crop than last year,” Morris said.

Read more…

OPINION EXCHANGE | Women are the future of agriculture

If not for women entering the farming profession, the next farming crisis might be called "Who will grow our food?"

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Oregon taxpayers are getting a record kicker refund

Oregon loves to go its own way, doesn't it? Until recently, we refused self-serve gasoline. We are the only state with a two-sided state flag. And, Oregon is the only

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Republican senators, state attorneys seek Oregon Supreme Court review of anti-walkout law

Five Republican senators and attorneys representing the state are seeking a quick resolution from the Oregon Supreme Court on the senators' challenge to a voter-approved state law intended to block

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Worth Reading?

Take your heart pills before opening these links...  


Why American farms often get a free pass on critical environmental and labor laws


A 2023 “Climate Action Plan”

America’s Future Cities – A Case for Decentralization

Environmental Policies To Watch In The Second Half Of 2023

By Madeline Lyskawa

Bulldozing forward with its lofty climate agenda, the Biden administration shows no sign of slowing down in promulgating new environmental policies in the second half of 2023, from finalizing its replacement of a controversial Trump-era Clean Air Act rule to continuing to phase out superpollutants. 

America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There's No Tomorrow

Unchecked overuse is draining and damaging aquifers nationwide, a data investigation by the New York Times revealed, threatening millions of people and America's status as a food superpower.

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Klamath Tribes raise concerns for public health near toxic algae bloom

August 29, 2023

By Taylar Ansures

Officials with the Klamath Tribes are concerned about the Upper Klamath Lake, in more ways than one.


“This isn’t something we can bury our heads in the sand and just ignore,” said Dr. Alex Gonyaw, senior fisheries biologist for the Klamath Tribes.


The Oregon Health Authority has issued a recreational use advisory for the lake due to a toxic level of cyanobacteria in the water.


“The Upper Klamath Lake has been disturbed for many decades by agricultural activity which has resulted in toxic cyanobacterial blooms,” said Dr. Gonyaw.

Read more…

Censorship: A Tool For Dominating Citizens And Stonewalling Democratic Process - Siskiyou News

Silence is not golden when it is used to suppress the voice of the People. In communist countries, we see censorship used to silence the voice of the people in those counties, allowing tyrannical rule and total control over natural resources. It's hard to believe that here in America, and even [...]

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The Oregon Agricultural Heritage Commission is recruiting for a Commission seat to represent farmer and rancher interests.

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board sent this bulletin at 08/22/2023 02:37 PM PDT

The Oregon Agricultural Heritage Commission is recruiting for a Commission seat to represent farmer and rancher interests. Commissioners will serve as volunteers for a 4-year term and will be appointed by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB).


The State Legislature established the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program (OAHP)–a working lands program–in 2017 to provide voluntary incentives to farmers and ranchers to support practices that maintain or enhance both agriculture and natural resources such as fish and wildlife on agricultural and working lands.


OWEB administers the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program and appoints the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Commission members.


The term for the seat is January 2024 through January 2028; commissioners are eligible to serve two consecutive terms. An application form is available on the OAHP website. The application will be open until October 20, 2023.


Applications may be emailed to Nicole Bettinardi, or sent by mail. Mailed applications must be postmarked by October 15, 2023 in order to be considered for a position. Prospective candidates are encouraged to review the OAHP website and to contact Taylor Larson,, 971-701-3248 for further information.

Governor Kotek Calls on Oregonians to Serve on New Boards and Commissions 

Governor Tina Kotek announced that the state is accepting applications for positions on the state boards and commissions that were created in the 2023 legislative session and called upon Oregonians to consider stepping up to serve. The list of opportunities can be found below. 

“Today I’m echoing the call to action I made when I was sworn in, and invite all Oregonians to help build the Oregon you want to live in. The people who serve on our state’s boards and commissions develop policies that guide a broad range of issues that impact Oregonians’ lives every day,” Governor Kotek said. “True progress will require each and every one of us to be engaged – and I hope Oregonians with an interest in these issues will consider stepping up to serve..”

New boards and commissions seeking appointments include: 

  • Joint Task Force on Hospital Discharge Challenges
  • Jurisdictional Transfer Advisory Committee
  • Juvenile Justice Policy Commission
  • LGBTQIA2S+ Subcommittee of the Governor's Commission on Senior Services
  • Oregon Cybersecurity Advisory Council
  • Oregon Youth Works Advisory Board
  • State Board of Sign Language Interpreters
  • Task Force on Alcohol Pricing and Addiction Services
  • Task Force on Modernizing Grant Funding and Contracting
  • Task Force on Tribal Consultation
  • Universal Health Plan Governance Board

Interested candidates can find position postings here

More information on Oregon’s board and commissions and resources for interested applicants can be found here. Application deadlines vary by board or commission. 

The Governor makes appointments to over 265 Boards and Commissions representing a broad range of areas and issues. This includes most major state agencies and departments headed by policy-making boards. There are additional application opportunities within existing boards and commissions. 

The Governor is committed to ensuring that all Boards and Commissions represent the growing age, racial, gender and geographic diversity of the state. This is an amazing opportunity to pool our collective viewpoints, visions, and hopes for Oregon — and all residents are welcome and encouraged to serve.

Note: You must be an Oregon resident and taxpayer to participate unless otherwise noted


Resource Education & Agriculture Leadership (REAL Oregon) – 2023-2024 Class 7 Session – Application Deadline extended to September 1, 2023

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 September 1, 2023 though we highly recommend not waiting until the last minute. If you have questions, you can contact our Program Coordinator, Lauren Lucht at or (503) 710-7001. More information is also available on the website or social media.

FSA Guaranteed Farm Operating & Ownership Loans Nationwide - West Town Bank

Learn about FSA operating and ownership loan programs available for farmers and ranchers across the country.

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