Sunday, July 09, 2006

Who says fish need water?

Politics are killing salmon in the Klamath River, when politicans let farmers take too much water for their fields, and there's not enough water left for salmon.

This has trickle-down effects, the commercial salmon fishing season was nearly closed because there are too few fish and out-of-work fishermen are seeking state and federal aid. The struggle to save the Klamath salmon has a long and difficult history, and the political connections seem to go all the way to the White House.

It's a tough issue, a federal irrigation project built many years ago has built wealth and jobs, but it's now a culprit in fish deaths. The farmers make poor villians, they're just making a living using water that they believe belongs to them.

If we can't resolve crises like this, then we can see who loses the most (picture above right).

1 comment:

TC said...

As a resident of Siskiyou County (just south of the Klamath), it's been interesting to watch the battles up close.

Essentially, there are too many groups and too little water, and it seems like the real villans are those who want to paint this not as an issue of overpromised resources, but in the tired old "war on the West" terms that is guaranteed to generate some political traction.

Though it's obviously a huge hardship for the fishermen, the restrictive salmon closures are a blessing in one sense -- it blows apart the "jobs vs. fish" argument.

Fish are jobs...