240 words in body of letter

A new endangered species in the Klamath Basin (tell me that I'm wrong)

January 5, 2003

By Julie Kay Smithson


Last year's events at the "A" Canal Headgates are now a memory. Klamath Falls is still recognizable to people across America as the place where farmers 'stood down' in order to get water for their crops and for the economic health of their region.

But the Headgates are no more. They have not been preserved as a priceless tribute to those who gave so much to defend them. They have, instead, been converted to rubble, scooped up and carried away so that all that is left of this hallowed place in American History is a construction zone.

It is this very construction zone that raises a Red Flag. All reassurances from politicians cannot abate the growing concern that something is amiss.

The construction going on at the location of the former A Canal Headgates is proceeding steadily. The workmen know their trade and are doing it well.

When the work in completed, what will the face of production agriculture in the Klamath Basin likely look like?

The deal has been cut. The "A" Canal will function as a source of water to the wildlife refuge.

There will no longer be a canal system, an irrigation district delivering water to the farmers in this part of Oregon. The water will flow to the wildlife refuge, Tule Lake and then on to the Klamath River. That makes the farmers the newest endangered species in the Klamath Basin, one that faces extinction.


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