The Klamath County Commissioners withdrew from the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement this morning...but some say the Commissioners are violating a contract.
By unanimous agreement, the commissioners voted to withdraw from participation in the KBRA.
"The county should stand on the outside of the table." Noted Klamath County Commissioner Jim Bellet. "And not sit at the table as a signer."
But, there's a catch.
The previous board of commissioners signed on to the agreement...and some say pulling out now is a breach of contract.
"I think it's a contract." Says Klamath Water Users Executive Director Greg Addington. "I think it's the county who's a party to the agreement, it's not the individual commissioners - and I don't think they can withdraw the county from the agreements."
Commissioner Dennis Linthicum disagrees...
"The current contractual obligations and rights of the KBRA basically don't impact, or impound Klamath County in any single direction."
Commissioner Tom Mallams claims there's enough division on dam removal and the KBRA to merit a fresh start...
"And go forward with the local stakeholders again, and find an agreement that will have local support, and will have the congressional support that's needed to make it work."
The commissioner's vote comes just as the water adjudication process is heading to court.
The Oregon Water Resources Department says the Klamath Tribes appear to have senior water rights...and the Tribes are hoping that will have opponents taking a second look at the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement as a possible solution to basin water problems.
In November of 2010, Klamath County voters elected to continue participation in the KBRA.
Those efforts to continue were supported by 51.7% of the voters.