A Common Sense Perspective
The KBRA is an odd document. First we don't know who wrote it.1 For something that is being used as the baseline to craft legislation by Senator Merkley, shouldn't we know who actually wrote the darn thing? It's as if from the heavens this document descended on its own (no need for a Moses to carry it down) and different groups all said in unison "This is good. Let's make it law."
Second, the groups that are in support of the KBRA are really a minority in this community. They are well funded (thanks to public grant money — our tax dollars at work) and they make lots of noise in the paper, but they are the minority. The KBRA supporters would have you believe that if you add up the tribes, the farmers, the environmentalists and the fishermen you get a majority opinion. Really all you get are several special interest groups wanting the same thing — a leftist agenda. Even that isn't necessarily true. On the whole farmers do not support this document, but since the Klamath Water Users Association is pro-KBRA, you are to believe a majority of farmers are for it as well.
Finally (and this is the biggie), what in the world does the purchase of the Mazama Tree Farm and then gifting it to the Klamath Tribes have anything to do about fish restoration in the Klamath river? (As a side note, calling 90,000 acres a "farm" is like calling a Ferrari a commuter car.) Stop for a moment and think about this. How do you connect purchasing 90,000 plus acres of private timber land, then giving it to the Klamath Tribes to help restore fish habitat 50-250 miles away? The quick answer is you can't.
The Mazama Tree Farm purchase and give-away is better known to the common man as a bribe. Here's the (warped) logic. If the greedy, bad white people give the noble, nature-loving Klamath Tribes something of value for free, then they will drop the threat of law suits over water rights. I'm understanding better why this deal was done behind closed doors. This is like giving your peksy younger sister $20 to quit interrupting your phone calls with your friends. It may seem like a good and quick solution, but it's a false truce. Once your sister learns bothering you can earn her money, guess what? You've just trained your pesky sister to become peskier.
The plain fact of the matter is, the Mazma Tree "Farm" portion of the KBRA has nothing to do with fish restoration or dam removal. Even though we're told that fish restoration is the main goal of the agreement we have this side deal/bribe just to make everyone happy. It's a poor attempt to passify the Klamath Tribes. Just as other parts of the KBRA, this part of the document stinks. If that's the way we run things around here, I also promise not to bring law suits against the farmers. However, I'd prefer my 90,000 acres to be next to Runny-Y Ranch.
1- It might sound like a funny question for anonymous bloggers to ask who wrote the KBRA. However, none of our comments are being considered as national law.
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