KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — A task force formed by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden met at Oregon Institute of Technology on Tuesday to finalize a plan for resolving water issues in the Klamath Basin.
The task force has been working for the past year to find common ground after this summer’s drought led to a cutoff of irrigation water for many farmers and ranchers.
The agreement being drafted will be used by Wyden to support legislation he is proposing for sharing the basin’s sometimes short water supply. Klamath County Commissioner Tom Malllams, a long-time critic of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, thinks this could work.
“None of the parties are real happy, and that’s a good thing. That means everybody is giving. So I think that’s a positive result, showing that they are going forward,” said Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams.
Mallams calls it a TNB agreement, meaning “hold your Tongue”, “hold your Nose” and “hold your Breath” because he says it’s a process that needs to move forward. Mallams says he’s encouraged there seems to be no call for Klamath River dam removal, which county leaders on both sides of the border have called a non-starter.