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A reservoir shutdown pit neighbor against neighbor. One group is threatening to reopen it by force.

June 10, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22.6%. 1 min read.

Amid historic, climate change-driven drought, the federal government shut down the water supply from the Upper Klamath Basin on the California-Oregon border.

Amid historic, climate change-driven drought, the federal government in May shut down the water supply from the Upper Klamath Basin on the California-Oregon border to protect native fish species on the verge of extinction.

As the Klamath Basin dried up, an environmental crisis exploded into a water war this year that has pitted local farmers against Native American tribes, government agencies, and conservationists, with one group threatening to take the water back by force.

Since then, federal water officials have sought to strike what some say is an impossible balance between providing water to local farmers and leaving enough to protect the fish that are central to the cultural practices of native Klamath Tribes.

In 2001 during a previous water standoff with the federal government, enraged farmers -- including Nielsen and Knoll -- breached a chain-link fence and forced open the headgates of the main canal with saws, crowbars and blowtorches until the US Marshals were called in to put an end to it.

But biologists and the tribal communities around the Upper Klamath Lake say that warming temperatures and environmental degradation have caused water levels to drop to the bare minimum needed to keep the fish alive.

"We're here today because those fish were here," said Don Gentry, the chairman of the Klamath Tribes.

"All we're trying to do is protect the very same thing that other people in the basin are, trying to protect our homeland, our culture, and our traditional economy -- hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering," said Gentry.

by summa-bot

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