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Public Statements

Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation And Management Reauthorization Act of 2006

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. I want to thank the gentleman from Maryland, especially the gentleman from California, for their great work on many pieces of legislation before this body.

Mr. Speaker, I represent a large part of the Klamath Basin, and indeed it has been plagued with enormous problems over many years, literally dating back far before this administration. But it has been pointed out a couple of times on this House floor that it hasn't done anything in Klamath Basin, and I would argue that is simply, factually, an error.

In fact, after the water cutoff of April 6, 2001, this administration, barely a few months into office, got involved in this basin in an unprecedented way to try to bring different partners together to try to find solutions, and there is a lot of work that has been done to improve water quality, to improve irrigation standards, to put more water in the river, to make a fish passage improve, up and down the whole river system.

There is also an enormous amount of other work that needs to be done.

There is a very cooperative, very, frankly, exciting group meeting together right now, probably as we speak, trying to come up with a comprehensive solution that involves the tribes, the farmers, environmentalists, power companies, everybody involved in this basin.

This administration, this Congress, put forth $10 million to screen the ``A'' canal so that sucker larvae could come back into Klamath Lake; 100,000 acre feet of water was put in streams away from agriculture, and a water bank to put more water into this system. We have passed the authority and funding to remove Chiloquin Dam to improve fish passage, the upper end that deals with sucker recovery.

In the farm bill, $50 million, the only earmark for EQUIP funding, was carved out by this Congress to help in terms of both irrigation efficiency and conservation programs and partnerships between farmers to put more water into the system. There is an enormous effort under way in this basin by this administration, by this administration, and in a bipartisan way by this Congress. We recognize more work needs to be done.



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