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Klamath Basin USDA Radio Features

Join USDA Radio reporter Brenda Curtis as she explores conservation issues and solutions in the Klamath Basin. Hear the stories of Klamath Basin residents in their own words.

NRCS District Conservationist Gene Kelley (left) and rancher Jerry Scanlon view juniper-cleared rangeland.

Removing Thirsty Western Junipers

Ranchers are removing invasive Western Juniper trees from rangeland in order to conserve much needed water and forage vegetation. Brenda Curtis reports on an interesting way that USDA's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is being used by ranchers in the Klamath Basin.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and Tulelake, California rancher, Jerry Scanlon.

Time: 00:02:11

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Large pumps at Straits Drain pump station FF pump Klamath Project water the last 20 feet in elevation to reach the Klamath River.

The Klamath Project

Oregon and California's Klamath Basin is the focus of one issue: "water rights." There are many diverse interests needing water from the two Klamath Lakes as well as the Klamath River. The problem is there is not enough water for everyone.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and George Allen Wright, Member of the Natural Resources Conservation and Development Council, and Gene Kelley, District Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Tulelake, California.

Time: 00:05:00

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Scott Seus (center) in his horseradish field.

Farming on a Wildlife Refuge

Farmers and ranchers who farm on wildlife refuges show a closeness to nature that may surprise you. Brenda Curtis talks to two Klamath Basin landowners who farm on both a national and private wildlife refuge

Participants: Brenda Curtis, Tulelake, California farmer Scott Seus, and Klamath Falls Rancher Bill Kennedy.

Time: 00:05:01

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A pond near the Oregon-California Border in the Klamath Basin.

The Klamath Tribes and the Right to Water

The Klamath Tribes of Southern Oregon and Northern California claim the original rights to the area's water supply. What does that mean to the area's farmers and ranchers? Brenda Curtis traveled to the Klamath Basin and talked to the Chairman of the Board of the Klamath Tribes, Allen Foreman about the complex issue.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and the Chairman of the Board of the Klamath Tribes, Allen Foreman.

Time: 00:05:00

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A dry irrigation ditch near Tulelake, California, during the water shutoff to the Klamath Project in 2001.

The Day the Water was Turned Off

In the Spring of 2001 a serious drought combined with the impact of the Endangered Species Act caused the irrigation water to 800 farms in the Klamath Basin to be turned off. Brenda Curtis examines what happened then and what has happened since then.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and Connie Mack, Martin Kern, and Jim Chapman, Klamath Falls, Oregon farmers and ranchers. Allen Foreman, Chairman of the Board of the Klamath Tribe. Kevin Conroy, team leader, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Klamath Falls Oregon.

Time: 00:05:00

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Waterfowl at a wildlife refuge in the Klamath Basin.

A Producer of Natural Resources

There are farmers and ranchers who farm on both Private and National Wildlife Refuges. They have a very special relationship with the wildlife they protect.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and Klamath Falls, Oregon cattle rancher, Bill Kennedy.

Time: 00:02:48

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NRCS Engieer Tom Benson inspecting gated irrigation pipe.

Lessons Learned in the Klamath Basin

Over the last four years much has been done to help farmers in the Northwest's Klamath Basin to use less water.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and Klamath Basin ranchers, Jim Chapman and Louis Randall. Klamath Basin area leader for NRCS, Kevin Conroy.

Time: 00:02:52

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George Allen Wright.

Diverse Uses for Water in the Klamath Basin

There are many, many diverse users of water in Southern Oregon's and Northern California's Klamath Basin. One group of volunteers called the Resource Conservation and Development Council is working to help people learn to live with less and water while also keeping an economic base intact.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and George Allen Wright, member of the Resource Conservation and Development Council.

Time: 00:03:00

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Cottonwood Creek, tributary of the Klamath River in Siskiyou County, California.

Who Owns the Water?

There is no easy answer to who has priority to the much needed water of the Klamath Basin.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and the Chairman of the Board of the Klamath Tribes, Allen Foreman.

Time: 00:03:00

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Noted wildlife photographer Tupper Blake (left) and District Conservationist Gene Kelley.

Protecting Marshland in the Pacific Flyway

There is a stopping place in the Klamath Basin for migratory birds that will be preserved forever.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and Tupper Blake, the owner of Marshland Island Ranch, Klamath Basin, California.

Time: 00:02:54

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Irrigation water on a ranch near the Oregon border in the Klamath Basin.

Water Rights in the Klamath Basin

Water rights continues to be the complex issue surrounding who gets how much water in Oregon's Klamath Basin.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and Connie Mack and Martin Kern, Klamath Basin farmers. Allen Foreman, Chairman of the Board of the Klamath Tribe.

Time: 00:02:58

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Cost-shared conversion from flood to wheel-line sprinkler irrigation on a farm in the Klamath Project.

EQIPPING Farmers in the Klamath Basin

A cost share program called the Environmental Quality Incentive Program or EQIP is helping farmers in the Klamath Basin to use less water.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and David King, Tulelake farmer and Gene Kelley, District Manager for the Tulelake Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Time: 00:02:24

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Mike Byrne, Northern California rancher.

Ranchers in the Klamath Basin Turn to NRCS

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is helping farmers through some difficult times in Northern California's Klamath Basin.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and Mike Byrne, Northern California rancher.

Time: 00:02:15

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Ore-Cal RC&D Coordinator Jim Vancura explains 
        fuel pellets made from recycled wood and plastic.

Turning Plastic and Wood into Alternative Energy

Want to get rid of unwanted trees and used plastic? Turn them into energy.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and Jim Vancura, Coordinator of Ore-Cal Natural Resource Conservation and Development Program.

Time: 00:02:14

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Cottonwood Creek, tributary of the Klamath River and spawning habitat for Coho Salmon.

Getting the Conservation Word Out

The Agriculture Department wants the public to know about all of the action being taken to save threatened species like the Coho Salmon.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and Linden Brooks, California NRCS Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations. Peter Townley, Resource Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Time: 00:02:00

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California farmer Scott Seus.

High Tech Farming

Farming organically also means farming with the latest technology.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and California farmer, Scott Seus.

Time: 00:02:22

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Rancher Bill Micke explaining the water savings of his cost-shared irrigation system.

Saving the Coho

Farmers and ranchers in Northern California are doing their best to help save the endangered Coho Salmon.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and California Conservationist, Ernie Wilkinson. Bill Micke, Northern California Rancher. Linden Brooks, Red Bluff California Field Operation Assistant for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Peter Townley, Resource Conservationist, NRCS.

Time: 00:05:00

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Aruja Dam.

Northern California's Aruja Dam

A proposed project in Northern California's Shasta Valley will help provide the threatened Coho Salmon with more and better water to swim upriver for spawning. In addition, farmers and ranchers will only need half the water they currently use for irrigation.

Participants: Brenda Curtis and Northern California NRCS Hydraulic Engineer, Tom Benson.

Time: 00:02:26

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