Klamath Basin News, Monday, 5/10 – Federal Judge Denies Klamath Tribes’ Efforts To Reduce Bureau of Reclamation Water Flows on the Klamath River & Upper Klamath Lake

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Monday, May 10, 2021

Klamath Basin Weather

Today Sunny, with a high near 71. Overnight mostly clear, with a low around 39.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 76. Overnight with a low around 45.
Wednesday Sunny, with a high near 83. C
Thursday Sunny, with a high near 82.
Friday Night Partly cloudy,
Saturday Sunny, with a high near 73.

Today’s Headlines

There are two new COVID-19 related deaths in Oregon, raising the state’s death toll to 2,530. Oregon Health Authority reported 610 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 as of  yesterday, bringing the state total to 191,405.

The new confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases reported today are in the following counties: Benton (13), Clackamas (78), Columbia (10), Coos (3), Crook (8), Curry (1), Deschutes (35), Douglas (5), Harney (1), Hood River (2), Jackson (16), Jefferson (3), Josephine (6), KIamath (22), Lane (40), Lincoln (1), Linn (31), Malheur (6), Marion (76), Morrow (1), Multnomah (144), Polk (10), Tillamook (4), Washington (81) and Yamhill (13).

As of today, there are 1,968,933 people who have had at least one dose of a vaccine. A total of 1,340,794 have received a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

The seven-day running average is now 33,133 doses per day. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across Oregon is 318, which is 11 fewer than yesterday. 

There are 76 COVID-19 patients in intensive care unit (ICU) beds, which is eight fewer than yesterday. According to OHA statistics, 4,330 Klamath County residents have tested positive since the pandemic began.  Percentage wise, 8.9% of total people tested came back positive.

May 5th marked 76 years since a pregnant Elsie Mitchell and five children from a Sunday school class were killed by the explosion of a Japanese balloon bomb near Bly, Oregon.

The tragedy holds a unique place in history as it was the only instance in which Americans were killed as the result of enemy action during World War II in the continental United States. Even more tragedy followed for former Bly pastor Archie Mitchell, the one person present that day who survived.  

Family members still talk about the balloon bomb explosion sometimes, but also acknowledge that it was been many years since the incident, and the tragedy is simply one event in the family’s long history. It does not define them.

At a rare joint meeting between all three of their leadership boards, Klamath, Siskiyou and Modoc Counties discussed ways to support agricultural communities during the Klamath Basin’s historic drought this year.

Farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Project will receive 33,000 acre-feet of water, less than 10% of their normal allocation, more than a month later than normal. Irrigators on tributaries to the Lower Klamath River, like the Scott River, are also expecting water deliveries to be curtailed during the summer.

Though organizations representing irrigators are engaged in litigation against what they see as a mismanagement of the Endangered Species Act causing recent decades’ water shortages, the primary purpose of the meeting was to request more immediate federal funding for drought relief this summer.

The Klamath Project Drought Response Agency is currently anticipating about $15 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Interior, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made an additional $10 million available based on the drought in 2018.

The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, Modoc County Board of Supervisors and Klamath County Board of Commissioners met in Tulelake Friday morning to hear testimony from Klamath Water Users Association leadership and Klamath Project producers, who detailed the dire conditions facing the Basin’s agriculture and wildlife refuges.

A federal judge denied the Klamath Tribes’ efforts on Thursday to have the Bureau of Reclamation reduce flows on the Klamath River and keep Upper Klamath Lake’s elevation more suitable for spring sucker spawning.

“Here, the Defendant Bureau, in coordination with expert agencies and all competing interests, is better equipped to serve the public interest than a judge with a law degree,” wrote United States District Judge Michael McShane.

The Tribes sued the Bureau earlier this year on Endangered Species Act grounds, arguing that the agency violated Sections 7 and 9 of the law by allowing Upper Klamath Lake to dip below 4,142 feet in elevation during April and May in two consecutive years: 2020 and 2021. Those levels were established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2020 biological opinion, based on research showing that low lake levels in the spring result in reduced spawning activity among C’waam and Koptu.

The BiOp had stated that failing to meet those conditions would put the Bureau in violation of the incidental take statement and thus in violation of the ESA, the Tribes argued.

Youth Rising, a private nonprofit social services agency, is reopening its “Drop-in Center” in Klamath Falls.

Teens and young adults, ages 14 to 21, will once again have a place to go to find a community. An open house is scheduled for today (Monday) from 3-6 p.m. at the center, 823 Walnut Avenue (formerly the Gospel Mission homeless shelter at Walnut Avenue and Ninth Street).

After the center’s grand reopening, drop-ins will find a gathering place where they can hang out with their friends and meet new ones, including trained peer support staff and volunteers.

Duncan Wyse, president of Oregon Business Council, and Carol Dahl, executive director of the Lemelson Foundation, will serve as keynote speakers for the Oregon Institute of Technology virtual commencement ceremony June 12.

Wyse has been president of the Oregon Business Council since 1995. OBC is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose members are principally chief executives at some of Oregon’s largest enterprises. Wyse also serves as the executive director of the Oregon Business Council Charitable Institute.

Carol Dahl is the executive director of the Lemelson Foundation and leads the foundation’s work to use the power of invention to improve lives. The foundation inspires and enables the next generation of inventors and invention-based enterprises to promote economic growth and address critical challenges in the U.S., and to help solve social and economic problems for the poorest populations in low- and middle-income countries.

After 67 years of putting shoes on the feet of Klamath Falls residents, the House of Shoes on So 6th Street is closing its doors.

But not before it sells everything inside. Sandi House, who has been involved with the business for decades, called the closure “devastating,” but said it was something she had to do because of mismanagement. House said the decision to close hurt a lot and made for sleepless nights.

The business was her livelihood since the 1970s, she said. She said she “would like to thank all of the wonderful customers and the friends that she has made over these many years.” The store closure sale continues until everything inside, including the fixtures and furniture, is sold.

Friends of the Children of the Klamath Basin invites the community to its annual fundraising program and auction, called Friend Raiser, Thursday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Dine-in and takeout meals are available for order through May 20 at the “No Matter What” event site. Also available this year are tickets for a $1,000 prize value, a $1,250 Holliday Jewelry gift certificate and $25 party packs of wine, gifts and valuable coupons. Bidding for silent auction items begins online May 20 at 5 p.m.

Bidding for live auction items begins online May 27 at noon. Auction items range from unique handcrafted items to themed dining experiences and stays at Lake of the Woods and the Oregon coast.

Around the state of Oregon

Douglas County Sheriff’s officers continued their search on Sunday for a Roseburg man who has been missing in the area of Twin Lakes since Friday.

Police say that 69 year-old Harry Burleigh was reported missing at 10:15 pm on Friday, May 7, 2021 after he failed to return home from a camping trip in the Toketee area. Burleigh was originally due to arrive home on Thursday, May 6, 2021, but failed to do so.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue was dispatched to begin searching for Burleigh. On Saturday morning, Burleigh’s vehicle was located at the lower trailhead to Forest Service trail 1500, which leads into Twin Lakes. Police say that Burleigh, a fisherman, is believed to have attempted to walk into the lakes to fish before going home.

Police say that Burleigh is described as a white male adult, 6’2” tall, weighing at 175lbs with dark brown graying hair and blue eyes. His clothing description is unknown, but he may be carrying a day pack and collapsible fishing pole.

Governor Kate Brown has approved new guidance for indoor recreation and indoor entertainment facilities.  In Moderate Risk counties, they can have 20-percent occupancy or 100 people, whichever is larger.  In High Risk counties, they can have ten-percent occupancy or a maximum of 50 people.  The new rules took effect on Wednesday.

Back to BasinLife.com

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