Task Force Updates Members on Progress

Klam TribeASHLAND, Ore. – The Klamath Basin Task Force members are wrapping up another discussion about water rights in the basin.

A couple dozen people from different areas of interest crowded a table in a conference room on the SOU campus on Thursday to try and discuss a plan of action for an issue that’s been around for several years.

The task force is focusing on three main issues and these meetings are a chance to fill everyone in the progress to solving the issues. The members find out where the sub-groups are in terms of providing reliable, low-cost power to irrigators in the upper portion of the basin.

They also take a look at the progress of group’s mission to bring the overall cost of an agreement down so it’s more affordable to congress and finally, members got an update on potential a water settlement.

The group announced that the next meeting will be delayed from September 5th to September 19th to give the group a little more time to solve some of the issues among tribes and irrigators in the Upper Klamath.

“Other conflicts between water users in the basin have at least tentatively been settled so this is kind of the last remaining piece of bringing peace to that part of the Klamath13,” said Natural Resources Policy Director Richard Whitman.

The Natural Resources Policy Director for the governor’s office says Senator Ron Wyden would like to introduce legislation this year, so the group is trying to beat the clock to get a framework set for all three pieces so that legislation can be drafted by the end of September.