Banking on Snow

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, October 23 2012 at 4:55 PM, Updated: Tue, October 23 2012 at 5:04 PM

Heavy snows this winter could provide a big boost to the Klamath Basin's economy...for both work, and play.

Zack Church of Klamath Board Sports says the early snowfall has been good for business...

"Our sales were definitely up yesterday - it made a difference.  We saw a noticeable difference."

Store manager Andy Bailey is optimistic the snow will continue...

"Our favorite motto is 'pray for snow' - and as soon as it comes, man, hopefully it comes in bunches so we can get out there and play around in it."

Snow is also needed to boost levels on Upper Klamath Lake, which is more than a foot and a half below average.

"Right now, the lake is at an 18 year low."  Notes Kevin Moore of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.  "We haven't seen it that way for quite some time."

Moore adds that a wet winter will benefit both fish, and farmers...

"We're concerned about this upcoming winter.  We would hope for a very good snow pack."

Those hopes are echoed by snowboarders, and Andy Bailey of Klamath Board Sports...

"The earlier the better for us.  Anything to get a little pack going in the hills is the best thing for us."

Zack Church is keeping his thoughts positive...

"The snow is going to be here longer, and it's going to be better."

Upper Klamath Lake supplies water to Klamath Project farmers through the headgates to the 'A' canal.  Those headgates were closed on Friday of last week, marking the end of irrigation season.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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