This weekend the Yurok, Hupa, Karuk tribes and their friends celebrated the 42nd annual Klamath Salmon festival near the Klamath River estuary. The Yurok tribe hosted the event and talked about salmon life cycle in the Klamath River. Information was provided about the effects of the Pacificorp dams (Iron Gate, Copco #1 & 2) that are since pre-WW2 permanant migration barriers to the salmon's search for spawning grounds. The 2002 fish kill when over 30,000 salmon died along the Klamath after GW Bush/Norton ordered the water diversion to agribusiness also was a topic..
Salmon need the cold water of the Klamath River for survival, below 22 degrees Centigrade. Without this cold water the salmon overcrowd limited cold spots such as Blue Hole. With many salmon clustered together and warmer temps of surrounding water, less flow and lower dissolved oxygen due to diversion of water and stagnation (eutrophication) behind dams, gill rot diseases like "Ich" are easily transmitted amongst the salmon..
Both dams and lower water flow on the Klamath are proven responsible for the decreasing salmon populatiuon and fish kills. We need to look at other options so the salmon can survive and thrive once again in their Klamath River home..
Pacificorp dams only supply minimal energy needs, this unsustainable hydroblocking energy can be replaced by providing homes with solar panels and windmills. By harnessing wind and solar energy, people will become more independent from the utility giants like Pacificorp..
Agribusiness that grows monoculture crops with spray sprinklers are not the "family farmers" used by GW Bush supported commercial propaganda. Most of the high water uptake agribusiness have actually taken over many smaller family farms. Demand of high yield monoculture paved the way for agribusiness, while small time farmers were driven out of business..
The organic farm uses different heights of crops, retaining moisture and preventing the soil from drying. Per acre, more mass and variety can be grown on a biodiverse organic farm than agribusiness monoculture..
Alfalfa and potatoes are mostly grown by agribusiness in the Klamath Basin. Neither of these crops are well adapted to the naturally desert like conditions of the Klamath Basin. Other drought tolerant crops like jojoba and tepary bean (both native to hot/dry Sonoran desert) could be grown without the excessive water requirements of alfalfa and potatoe. Greenhouses may be needed in winter to protect these southern desert plants from frost..
Mt. Shasta, Medicine Lake volcanoe, Mt. Mazama and Mt. Scoott all added volcanic geomaterial to the region. The volcanic soil of the Klamath Basin percolates minerals into the headwaters of the Klamath River. The phosphate content is already higher than most rivers that originate on other mountain tops. The extra mineral content makes the Klamath closer to the point where additional fertilizer run-off from agribusiness can push the waters towards eutrophication (algae growth and death depletes oxygen) and stagnation (accumulated algae and plant mass slows water flows), suffocating the salmon and slowing their migration..
The original wetlands of the Klamath Basin (Upper and Lower Klamath and Tule Lake) supported wild edible plants like the yellow water lily, or wocus. This wetland ecosystem would attract millions of migratory birds on the Pacific flyway to rest and feast on Earth's abundance..
from "Modoc Indians" by Cheewa James;
"The seeds of the wocus, a pond lily, were ground in mortar stones make of lava, and the resulting food was one of their primary staples. Another water plant, the tule, provided material for the skillful hands of the Modoc basket weavers. "
Less than tow decades after the Modocs were driven from their home by US military and settlers to Oklahoma the dams and diversions of the Klamath began. The Modoc war represented the most recent attack of the European settlers on the California tribes. After the war against the Modocs the war against nature started as dams blocked the Klamath's water flow and wetlands were diverted..
Restoring the Klamath River and Basin to support salmon, sturgeon, lamprey, steelhead and other riparian life would take all people working together. Agribusiness monoculture and a utility corporation (Pacificorp) are the only two obstacles in the way of the people working together to restore the Klamath River. We need the US government to stop funding corporate agribusiness and instead support small organic farms by providing education (Klamath community college) and materials (drip irrigation system, solar panels, rainwater catchment, greenhouses, etc.) as requested. By learning drought tolerant native plants and low water use irrigation systems people can farm fertile soil and salmon can swim all the way up the Klamath to spawn..
Klamath Basin and Tule Lake National "potatoe refuge" info;