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Another Brigade
July 26, 2001

Shovel Brigade members and other volunteers are
planning to help farmers in the Klamath Basin by
holding a traveling auction and constructing a
giant steel bucket for the Bucket Brigade.

"They flew over and asked us if we'd help
coordinate it," Elko attorney Grant Gerber said.

"They liked what we did at Jarbidge," he said,
and they wanted a similar campaign for their
battle against the federal government.

Gerber called the government's decision to cut
off their irrigation water "the greatest tragedy
created so far by the radical environmental
bureaucrats." He invited interested volunteers to
attend an organizational meeting Friday at 7 p.m.
at the Stockmen's Casino and Hotel.

Auction items already are starting to roll in,
including the gift of two bull calves from Dr.
Cal Lewis. Other items being sought include
horses, cattle, hay, gasoline, antiques,
tractors, cars, pickups, guns, snowmobiles,
professional services, boats, art, or anything
else of value.

Gerber said Assemblyman John Carpenter, R-Elko,
and the rest of the group "brainstormed" and came
up with the idea to build a giant bucket based on
Elko's giant shovel. Elko Blacksmith Shop owner
Jess Lopategui will again put his welding skills
to work on the project.

Gerber said Bucket Brigade organizer Joe Bair
visited Elko Tuesday with some members of his
group and said Elko was the most successful
community they knew to confront the

In return, "The Shovel Brigade has volunteered to
help with the relief effort for the farm
families, farm workers and others dependent on
the farms at Klamath," said Shovel Brigade
President Bob St. Louis.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton's announcement
this week that some water would be released to
the farmers was "way too little, too late,"
Gerber said. "You've got to commend her for
trying, though."

It was the bold actions of the Klamath protesters
cutting open the headgates that got Norton's
attention, he said. The farmers are not going to
be appeased by her gesture to release a small
amount of water this late in the growing season.

"This approach at appeasement is not going to
work," Gerber said. "They're going to get their

With no cash crops planted in their fields,
farmers still face economic hardships this year
and the prospect of no water next year. Instead,
fish species listed as "threatened" under the
Endangered Species Act have been given priority
for the water supply in Upper Klamath Lake.

Questions? Comments? Corrections? Additions?

Convoy Logistics Discussion Board:

Klamath Basin Water Crisis: