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CONTACT: Julianne Dittman or Irene Clements, (559) 237-0263


EVENT: Rally in support of Klamath farmers' water crisis

DATE: Friday August 17

TIME: Noon

PLACE: Fresno County Farm Bureau, 1274 West Hedges, Fresno

Fresno County Farm Bureau to hold rally in support of
Klamath farmers Similar regulatory threats to agriculture's
water supply exist here

The Fresno County Farm Bureau will hold a rally in support
of Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers and to draw attention
to the regulatory threats facing agricultural water supplies
on Friday, Aug. 17 at noon at the Farm Bureau's parking lot,
1274 West Hedges Ave., near Olive and West avenues.

The FCFB rally is one of several rallies scheduled for the
week held in conjunction with the Klamath Relief Fund's
convoys leaving several western cities to converge in
Klamath Falls on Aug. 20. Klamath area farmers were hard hit
this year when agricultural water deliveries were eliminated
to protect Endangered Species Act-protected fish. Because of
the ESA-listed sucker fish and Coho salmon, the Klamath
Project received no water allocation from the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation, leaving almost one-quarter million acres of
farmland, ranches, wildlife refuges and habitat without a
water source.

"This cutoff of water deliveries to Klamath farmers is an
example of what can happen throughout the West with the
enforcement of environmental policies, regardless of the
cost," said Phil Larson, FCFB Director and organizer of the

"Economic considerations should be a part of listing species
under the Endangered Species Act, but they're not and the
human and social effects are far-reaching. The Endangered
Species Act must be amended," said Larson, a FCFB
past-president and Kerman area farmer.

Scheduled to speak at the Fresno rally are Larson, and west
side farmers Mark Borba, of Riverdale, and Ted Sheely, or

The dramatic water crisis in Klamath is similar to the
chronic water shortages facing farmers and farm communities
on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, which has had
reduced water supplies since 1992. The major difference is
that the Klamath farmers received no water this year during
the planting and critical growing seasons for most crops.
Only recently, was a meager amount of water released for
limited agricultural use.

Nonetheless, the economic and environmental impacts from the
Klamath area's loss of water have been significant, with an
estimated $300-to-$400 million in economic loss. The lost
farm revenue resulted in a loss of jobs, and funding for
schools, county and city governments and businesses. Also,
property values have plummeted.

Likewise, environmental impacts have been far-reaching. The
largest concentration of bald eagles in the lower 48 states
and habitat have been compromised, erosion of prime topsoil
has occurred, and almost 45,000 acres in national wildlife
refuges have dried up, leaving migratory fowl without
habitat or food.

A similar rally organized by the Tulare County Farm Bureau
is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 16 at the Tulare
Agri-Center. Additional information about the rallies can be
obtained from the FCFB at (559) 237-0263 and TCFB at (559)

Questions? Comments? Corrections? Additions?

Convoy Logistics Discussion Board:

Klamath Basin Water Crisis: