(Information from: Herald and News, http://www.heraldandnews.com)
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — Irrigators in the Upper Klamath Basin are deeply concerned about a recent call on water by the Klamath Tribes.
The call alerts secondary water users that the Tribes will use its water allocation in the Williamson, Sprague and possibly the Wood rivers for the benefit of fish habitat over irrigation for farming and cattle operations.
Rancher Becky Hyde tells the Herald and News the call is potentially devastating for irrigators, and puts a strain on their relationship with the Tribes.
Area ranchers spent years hammering out an Upper Basin agreement over water use with the Tribes. The agreement remains on the books, but has no funding behind it and is moot.
The agreement would retire some 18,000 acres of land from use to put water back into the streams. In turn, there would be water security for ranchers.
Tribal Chairman Don Gentry says he understands the agricultural concerns, but there must also be concern for the fisheries.