Reclamation Announces Third Draft For Klamath Basin's Conservation Implementation Program

The Bureau of Reclamation announced on Feb. 9 the availability of the third draft of the multi-participant, basin-wide Conservation Implementation Program (CIP) for the Klamath Basin (California and Oregon).

The document is the result of input by many interested parties and has been discussed in six public meetings held in Chiloquin, Klamath Falls, Yreka, Arcata, Klamath and Weaverville. In addition to seeking confirmation that the current program in the CIP reflects the needs of the interested parties, Reclamation worked with the basin's residents to identify consensus activities that were immediately activated.

Typical activities implemented in 2005 included funding half of the cost of a water master for Shasta/Scott rivers for two years, continuation of the Salmon River gauge, support of the five-year sucker review and completion of the natural flow study, as well as other activities.

The purpose of the CIP is to: restore the Klamath River ecosystem; further the fulfillment of the federal government's tribal trust responsibilities as they relate to natural resources from the Klamath River ecosystem; sustain agricultural, municipal and industrial water use while reducing water demand throughout the Klamath River Basin; and foster a lasting partnership between government and private interests of the Klamath Basin to advance the goals of the CIP.

Natural resource conflicts, such as irrigators versus imperiled fish, in the Klamath Basin have highlighted the need for a basin-wide forum to identify and implement solutions, officials said. Moreover, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries issued biological opinions on Klamath Project operations calling for the formulation of a program to achieve or contribute to the recovery of several threatened and endangered species.

In spring 2006, Reclamation will hold a public meeting facilitated by an organization development expert to discuss and determine a workable governance structure. Reclamation will again seek participation by all interested parties. As soon as a date is set, details will be announced.

The document is available at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao or by calling (541) 883-6935.

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