Klamath Advocates Condemn Bureau of Reclamation’s Willful Destruction of the “Everglades of the West”

Today three conservation groups, Audubon Society of Portland, Oregon Wild and WaterWatch of Oregon condemned the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s proposal to drain wetlands on Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge during a crippling drought, even as millions of birds arrive for the peak of spring waterfowl migration.

A refuge for wildlife... or potatoes?

Decoys to scare away native wildlife. Workers dressed in hazmat suits spraying pesticides. Water diversions draining wetlands to irrigate industrial agriculture. Does this sound like a National Wildlife Refuge to you?

Judge Affirms Ruling Favoring Wildlife on Klamath Refuges

Yesterday, a U.S. District Judge today issued a ruling ordering the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to complete the long overdue “Comprehensive Conservation Plan” for Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges. These plans, mandated by a 1997 law, require the USFWS to ensure commercial activities on refuge lands do not harm wildlife. The order by U.S. District Judge Owen Panner in Medford adopted a preliminary recommendation issued on March 5th by U. S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clark.

Judge’s Ruling Favors Wildlife on Klamath Refuges

 Medford, Ore—A US District Court Judge today issued a preliminary finding ordering the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to complete the long overdue “Comprehensive Conservation Plan” for Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges.  These plans, mandated by a 1997 law, require the USFWS to ensure commercial activities on refuge lands do not harm wildlife.  The preliminary finding, issued by United States Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke in Medford, requires the USFWS to complete the plan by August 1st, 2016.

Not Much Refuge In Klamath Basin For Migratory Birds

The nation’s original waterfowl refuge may be too dry this year to provide much hospitality for migratory birds arriving in the Klamath Basin.

You could blame it on the region’s prolonged drought.

But critics say that’s not the whole story. They also point to the way water for the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge has been managed.

Jim McCarthy is one of those critics. He’s the Southern Oregon program director for Waterwatch of Oregon. McCarthy led an informal tour recently around the Lower Klamath.

Spring Migration on the Pacific Flyway!

Bird watchers in their natural habitat

Springtime in the Klamath Basin brings sunshine...and sleet...and wind...and rain...and snow...aaaaaaand a tiny bit of thunder. But no one attending Oregon Wild’s recent birding trip seemed to mind this atmospheric multiple personality disorder. After all, it’s been a painfully dry winter, so the Basin can use every last drop of water. Besides, we were really there to see the spectacle of birds in full migration mode along the Pacific Flyway.

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