The Stand at Klamath Falls
Report Number Eighteen - Status/To Date Summary
By: Jeff Head, February 2006
The crisis in the Klamath Basin has abated and the farmers have prevailed…but it is not over.
Water flowed again in the Spring of 2004 and again in 2005. As of this writing, record precipitation throughout the Northwest makes it clear that the 2006 growing season will be another one where the water flows and the irrigation and farming in the Klamath Basin continues as intended.
For the last four years - and now going into the fifth - since those fateful events in 2001, the farmers have not had to resort to protest and civil disobedience to get water that they have the rights to in the first place. Such an occurrence was narrowly averted in 2003, but it could be repeated again at any time.
The 2003 event punctuated that the danger and instability to the farming way of life in the Klamath Basin remains in place, and are only averted under the status quo by the political leanings and activities of elected and appointed officials. Under a different administration, like the Clinton administration of the 1990’s or even a more liberal Republican one, it is likely that the original crisis would not have been addressed as it was, and equally likely that it would have long since raised its head again even if it had been.
For the liberty-loving, patriotic, and God-fearing farmers, there are some very critical lessons that have been learned.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) must either be wholly done away with or completely amended to its core. It has been wrought far beyond its original purpose. It has also become the root of a powerful and rabid environmental lobby with tendrils that reach to every state house in this nation, to both halls of congress, and to the White House itself. Billions of dollars have become wrapped up in an industry that has become over-burdensome, corrupt, and far too powerful. Those tendrils now boast numerous non-governmental organizations that attempt to use provisions of the ESA to implement United Nations-based and other socialistic initiatives that are the source of endless infringement and encroachment on American citizen’s property and water rights. Such a condition is un-American to its core and cannot be allowed to continue. Until this key issue is addressed, the threat of another Klamath Crisis - either in the Klamath Basin or elsewhere - will loom ever present.
The water rights and the very irrigation works themselves in the Klamath Project were meant to and ought to belong to the farmers themselves, to be administered by them. Addressing this key, long-standing issue would make it much more difficult for the provisions of the ESA to be applied to the private irrigation works of the farmers, and make them much more independent and robust in their ability to administer and control their own destiny.
Irrespective of the leanings of the major media and their bias, there exists a powerful communication medium in America through the internet, talk radio, cell phones, and word of mouth that can bring significant physical support and political pressure when the ugly specter of judicial or administrative tyranny rears its head. Such communication lines must remain in place, ready for instant use, as long as the threat of another crisis like the one that occurred in 2001 remains in place.
The willingness of a few dedicated people, using their God-given rights, their faith, their ingenuity, their dedication to principle, their courage, and their determination can spark a virtual revolution if those traits are applied wisely and with no intent or will to be the initiators of violence. If such violence is ever to be, and God forbid that it ever go that far, let it be the other side who initiates it. This faith, this determination, this dedication to principle, and this virtue can be the underlying foundation…indeed, it must be the underlying foundation upon which all the other lessons are built. If it is, then a popular saying of the day can come into play whenever the crisis looms, whenever those opposed to this traditional American way of life come out of their dark shadows. That saying is, “if you build it, they will come.”
…and they did come to the Klamath Basin.
The vast majority of those who became aware of the horrible conditions that developed there could see and they could feel the power of the commitment of these farmers to their liberty, their rights, and their way of life.
So, they came. First by the dozens, then by the hundreds, and ultimately they came by the tens of thousands. By extension, out across the nation, they came by the millions and their collective influence was exerted and has made a difference.
THE WATER FLOWS….and may it continue to flow in the Klamath Basin and all across this nation.
May the lessons learned be fully applied so we in this nation never again have to witness the specter of armed federal officers standing on an irrigation dam to keep law-abiding farmers away from the water that they have the rights to. So that farmers can spend their time farming their fields and providing food and resource to a hungry nation, rather than having to resort to civil disobedience and protests against bureaucracy and regulation gone mad to the point of totalitarian conditions. That bureaucracy foisted ridiculous, frivolous, and junk science on the rights of citizens in order to enforce such conditions in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
God grant that the experiences of the farmers in the Klamath Basin will spread as an example across the face of this nation so that others can overcome similar conditions whenever they arise. Especially, God grant that this example, that these events, will give rise to true statesmen and patriots in our state houses, in our halls of congress, in our federal agencies, and in the very White House, as opposed to mere politicians who are manipulated by polls or the blathering and screeching of those willingly perverting our American system. It is up to us as citizens to put such statesmen there, so that the conditions that created this crisis do not materialize in the first place.