Farmers & Ranchers

Advocating for

​​Letter of Concern

March 16, 2018

Dear KWUA Board of Directors,

Please distribute among your membership and the general public.

2018 feels like a repeat of 2001. Our current watershed conditions are similar to 2015, but we have no allocation, no start date, and no tools to develop a water bank. I read in today's Herald and News that the Bureau is once again not going to release a start date at their next public meeting. This is unprecedented and unacceptable.

Click here to read the whole letter. 

News Release
Funding available to help Klamath County farmers reduce wind erosion during drought
Apply to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service by April 25
[NEWS_RELEASE_HEADER-UPDATED] Release No. 2018-03-031
David Ferguson, District Conservationist
(541) 887-3503,

Tracy Robillard, Public Affairs Officer

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - (Mar. 21, 2018) - With the recent drought declaration issued for Klamath County, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering financial assistance to Klamath County agricultural producers to help them mitigate wind erosion impacts on highly-erodible soils.

Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to submit an application for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to the NRCS office in Klamath Falls by April 25.

The funding is only available to producers with highly-erodible soils and fields that are subject to excessive wind erosion. During a drought, a lack of irrigation water has the potential to increase wind erosion. Funding for this program may change depending on irrigation water supply availability in the coming months.

“This funding is intended to assist growers in planting a small grain cover crop to reduce the risk of wind erosion that can damage adjacent crops, impact traffic visibility, and cause other problems.” said David Ferguson, District Conservationist. “This funding is a very short-term solution, but should be considered as a beginning to soil quality maintenance that incorporates a cover crop following intensive fall tillage.”

NRCS will give higher priority to applications with fields that have the greatest risk of wind erosion. These eligible field conditions must meet the following: 1) must already have less than 20 percent residue, and 2) have not been recently tilled at the time of application.

Applications will be prioritized for funding based on the soil type, erodibility, proximity to roads, and residue conditions at the time of application. Seeding will be reimbursed at $41.90 per acre. Cover crops are to be planted in erodible fields to provide adequate soil protection and public safety, such as along roads and highways.

Additional forms are required in addition to the EQIP application form. For more information about EQIP and to download the application form, visit the Oregon EQIP webpage. For more information about this funding opportunity in Klamath County, contact David Ferguson, NRCS District Conservationist in Klamath Falls, at 541-887-3503.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provides financial and technical assistance to voluntary farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to implement conservation practices on private lands. By working collectively with partners and stakeholders, NRCS helps maintain healthy and productive working landscapes, benefitting both environmental and agricultural needs. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


News Release . . .

United States Congress
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            
March 22, 2018
Contact: Sara Hottman (Merkley) – 503-326-3386
Hank Stern (Wyden) – 503-326-7539
Justin Discigil (Walden) – 202-226-7338

Merkley, Wyden, Walden Deliver Resources to Address Klamath Water Crisis

The funding will help with persistent water resource challenges in the region

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, with Representative Greg Walden (R-OR 2), today announced that resources for Klamath-area irrigators and tribes are included in the 2018 spending bill, providing some resources to help communities cope with imminent drought and ongoing water challenges.

“As we look ahead to a difficult summer of drought, I know that the Klamath community is doing the hard work on the ground to build a better future,” Merkley said. “The resources in this bill will help Klamath families through the summer, as well as support long-term planning and habitat restoration . I greatly appreciate the tremendous work Congressman Walden did on the House side to achieve this result. I will continue to do everything I can to assist the Klamath community through these challenging times.”

“I heard a clear commitment at my recent Klamath County town hall and in conversations throughout the Klamath Basin from the tribes, ranchers, farmers, small businesses, fishing families and conservationists to developing water solutions that help everybody,” Wyden said. “A big part of building on that urgent need for common ground in the face of a dire drought forecast is ensuring these short-term and long-term resources are available. This is an important continuation of an ongoing effort to bring certainty to the Basin.”
“This plan will provide immediate drought relief for irrigators in the Klamath Basin, helping our farmers survive this challenging water year,” Walden said. “I have been working with my Oregon colleagues in the Senate, as well as the Trump Administration, to secure this vital funding and ensure it will be available to help with groundwater pumping and other priorities for water users in the Basin. This addition to funding will ensure the Bureau of Reclamation has the ability to implement these measures as they navigate the current water year. While this short-term help is important and needed, we still need a long term solution that provides certainty for farmers, ranchers, tribes and fish in the Basin. I look forward to continue working with the local community, my Oregon colleagues in Congress, and the Administration to accomplish that.”

 The 2018 spending bill released yesterday includes a reauthorization of the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act, which is expected to give the Bureau of Reclamation the flexibility this summer to help water users within the Klamath Reclamation Project.

 Oregon’s delegation has been working behind the scenes in a bipartisan, bicameral effort to lobby Minority Leader Schumer and Speaker Ryan to secure additional funding in the omnibus bill to help the Klamath Basin this summer. In addition, Merkley and Walden have weighed in directly with Bureau of Reclamation leadership and with Speaker Ryan and Leader Schumer to ensure funding reaches the Klamath Basin to cope with drought this summer.

The delegation also successfully preserved $3 million to continue advancing habitat restoration in the Upper Basin. The funding supports U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s fisheries restoration efforts and the Klamath Tribes’ technical capacity for planning for conservation and habitat restoration.