Commissioners in Klamath County vote to continue discussion on a proposed water agreement...though others believe the 'Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement' is a lost cause.
Klamath Tribal Vice-Chairman Don Gentry notes that the key question before the commissioners was whether or not to extend the deadline on the KBRA by two years...
"Currently, without the amendment, the agreement expires December 31st, 2012."
Commissioners Cheryl Hukill and Al Switzer were in favor of the extension...
"I think that this is the only agreement on the table." Noted Hukill. "I think that the opposing team, if they want, they need to get together, they need to put a group together."
"And if somebody will come up with some alternate that's better, then that's where we should go." Stated Commissioner Switzer. "But right now, we've got to get this solved."
Commissioner Dennis Linthicum was opposed...
"The federal government isn't going to fund this. The federal government is already expressing doubts and concerns about getting involved."
The KBRA is aimed at providing farmers on the Klamath Project with more reliable access to water. Part of the deal would require the removal of four hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River.
In the end, the board voted in favor of the extension...but the vote didn't end the controversy.
"They should have let this die." Said farmer Bob King. "It's a stupid agreement at the best."
"We really need to move forward with legislation." Said Don Gentry of the Klamath Tribes. "And get the folks, the nay-sayers that are opposing it to really understand what it does, and doesn't do."
The board of commissioners is one of about 40 groups that will be voting on the extension issue.
Commissioner Linthicum proposed tabling the measure until Commissioners-Elect Tom Mallams and Jim Bellet take office in January, but the motion died.
Both Mallams and Bellet are strong opponents of the KBRA.