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US farmers ready to stand up to the feds in drought-induced irrigation crisis

by RT.com

Excerpts:

Angry farmers threatened to disrupt a federal order to stop irrigation water flowing from a lake in the midst of a severe drought in the US state of Oregon.

Farmers are protesting because they have the water in Upper Klamath Lake, farmer Dan Nielsen told RT’s Ruptly video.

He stood outside an American flag-colored tent set up next to the gates of the canal that controls the flow of irrigation water from the lake.

“It’s ours and the federal government actually just stole it. No due process, no compensation” Nielsen said, adding that federal officials have violated local residents’ property rights guaranteed by the US Constitution.

Protesters brought signs saying “Water for Farms” And the “Open the gates. No water. No food. No life.”

They talked about releasing the water themselves if the government did not back down. “If they don’t budge…I think we’ll take it eventually,” Nielsen said. “It’s the only way the government understands.”

In order to avoid confrontation, he said, officials should allow farmers to use water for their crops or buy land from farmers.

The US Bureau of Reclamation closed the canal last month, saying that because of the severe drought, there was not enough water left to function properly. The bureau also said the release of the water would threaten the endangered salmon species that live in the lake.

The fish has agricultural and spiritual significance to the Native American tribes who live upstream.

According to local media, thousands of farmers on the Oregon-California border were left without a steady water supply after the canal closed. Klamath Rai District Chief Ty Klewer said so “The impacts on our family farms and these rural communities will be out of scale.”

An angry Nielsen and another farmer, Grant Knoll, purchased a vacant lot near the Federal Waterway, where they set up a tent they called the Water Crisis Information Center.

Protesters told Jefferson Public Radio (JPR) that they cooperated with the People’s Rights Group, a group founded by well-known conservative militia leader Ammon Bundy.

They showed JPR a text chat with Bundy and said the militiamen would get an alert when the farmers made their move. “I plan to get DC’s attention,” Knoll told JPR this month. “We will turn on the water and face the confrontation.”

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The Bundy family first became famous for their 2014 armed confrontation with the US government in a dispute over herding fees. Two years later, Ammon Bundy led a group of militiamen that took over the Malherr National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon.

The occupation ended with a hunt for FBI agents during which a militiaman was killed and Ammon Bundy’s brother Ryan Bundy was wounded. The two brothers were later acquitted in the case that arose from the Asylum Office takeover.

Ben Duval, ranch owner and president of the Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA), told Ruptly that the situation on the ground is getting tense because water shortages are hurting not only farmers but businesses in the city of Klamath Falls. “Farmers like me are looking at basically no irrigation water this year.”

So were the protesters, Duval said “Doing a good job of bringing some enthusiasm and some awareness to this issue.” At the same time, he stressed that the protest must remain peaceful. “I don’t want anything to happen at the doors that will reflect badly on our society.”

The KWUA earlier issued a statement condemning the decision to halt the release of water from Upper Klamath Lake, with DuVal describing it as “The failed experiment that yielded no benefit for [fish]. “

The chief of the Klamath tribes, Don Gentry, admitted that a severe drought had occurred ‘We are at odds’ with the farming community. “Cultivation people… are often referred to as [the lake] as a “reservoir for our sons”, which is rather strange because it has been here forever; They use it like a tank,” He said.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who declared the Klamath Basin a drought emergency zone in April, urged everyone to remain peaceful while the state government “We do everything we can” To help those affected by severe weather.

its source Health Impact News


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