2001. We all remember it well. Klamath irrigators were cut off in the heart of the growing season. Potato farmers lost their crops, some grain farmers made it, others didn't and pastures for livestock went dry. Green quickly tuned to brown as the water was shut off.
The KBRA was written in reaction to this calamity. The KBRA is supposed to "bring people together" and solve the problem at the local community level. Well that is the propaganda drivel proponents often spew. I have no problem with the local community fixing its own problems. But that's not what is happening. According to the KBRA, in order for the local community to fix those problems, the Federal Government must fund the buy back of Tribal lands, must fund dam removal on the Klamath and set aside a fund to help farmers survive when Klamath enters a low water year. If you ask me, there is nothing local about that at all. It is mostly Federal. The only "local" part is who receives funding.
That said, the KBRA is really built on a false premise — and that premise is that in 2001 Upper Klamath Lake did not have enough water to meet the needs of biological opinions for fish in the lake, fish in the river and irrigators in the basin. So a judge cut the irrigators off — based on faulty science. That's right, later it was found the data used by the judge was incorrect. Had the judge been given accurate data the water to irrigators would have flowed as it has every year since the projects began.
Therefore the KBRA is an agreement by certain local groups who are on a money grab from the Federal Government (who is broke by the way and goes $1 Trillion further in debt each year). The KBRA is to be this end-all agreement to solve all water issues going forward, but is based on the Federal Government funding farmers during "low water years" when farmers will be told (according to the agreement) that they can not use all of their farms that year. This is the problem: there hasn't been a low water year where there isn't enough water for all! There have been dry years but again 2001 is a myth. 2001 was a mistake by man, not by nature. A bad decision based on poor science was what cut off water to farmers — not the fact that there wasn't enough water. There was plenty of water for farmers. And yet the KBRA puts all authority into hands of the same people who think they know best and want to run our lives (and eliminate farming as we know it in the Klamath Basin).
Wake up Klamath. The Federal Government killed the timber industry in the Basin and now they are after agriculture. The KBRA is a bad, bad deal, based on borrowed money that continues to put our country in jeopardy of default. When that happens, there will be no "local agreement" to solve that financial melt-down.