The Klamath Tribe’s call on water, confirmed by the Oregon Water Resources Department, demonstrates a sad reality we face: We the people—in the greatest nation on God’s green earth—have been restricted from access and usage of the natural resource which flows in abundance, especially this wet year — water. The West was founded, and rural America still depends on, the basic premise of access to this essential and natural resource. Water is required to raise animals, to grow crops and to maintain streams for fish.
We must not let bitterness and frustration from the past enslave us so we can not do what’s necessary to secure a bright future. Unfortunately, the tendency of many when faced with such a crisis is to blame someone else for the mess we find ourselves in. While blaming others may make us feel better, in reality it solves nothing. Blame creates angst and animosity between people that must come together to find a solution. We can move forward together, beyond the KBRA history, for a brighter future.
Water should not be used as an object for revenge, nor the tool that divides. For far too long water has become the weapon of choice in Klamath County. It’s become the hammer of fear. In a wet year when there is more than enough water, users should be granted easy access and work together to find ways to store this abundance for future years when there is less.
To that end, I am working with local, State and Federal officials to find a way that works for all parties involved — to solve the immediate need but also for long-term solutions that will ensure farmers and fish, tribal members and ranchers have an agreement that works for all and lasts for generations to come.
I ask in the upcoming days, weeks and months ahead that you do not fall prey to the schemes of anger and division. This only helps the special interest groups. Instead, look for opportunities to join with one another. In order for a solution to work, we must work together to solve theses water resource issues once and for all.
Please feel free to contact my office by phone or email, if you have specific comments or concerns. For updates, see my Oregon Legislature website below.
Yours Liberty First,
E. Werner Reschke
The views expressed by authors are their own and not necessarily the views of Wallowa Valley Online
Representative E. Werner Reschke
Republican – District 56 – Klamath Falls