The Klamath's true story

  Your article on the Klamath Basin (HCN, 10/17/05: 'Water bank' drags river basin deeper into debt), leaves out the beginning of the story.

Tule Lake once covered 100,000 acres in Northern California and southern Oregon. This natural body of water provided the tule reed that the Modoc people used for shelter, clothing, and boats for thousands of years, until they were rounded up in the mid-1870s and sent off to reservations.

The lake was pumped dry by the U.S. government to "reclaim" the fertile lake bottom for farming. Only a small part of the original lake remains. Now, the Klamath Basin water wars are waged as the Bureau of Reclamation pays $60,000 of our tax dollars per farmer for water wells, but NOT to irrigate. We dry up a natural lake and now people are fighting for water that was once plentiful.

Forget tearing down Glen Canyon Dam. It’s much easier to tear down the dikes and restore Tule Lake. Unsustainable farming should never have been established there in the first place!

Michael Aune
Lynden, Washington

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