Right-wing protesters threaten to open reservoir headgate in Klamath Falls

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Fear of conflict between law enforcement and right-wing militia supporters over drought-stricken water management in the western United States has been triggered by protests in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Protesters in the People’s Rights Network of right-wing rebel activist Ammon Bandy have threatened to break the water management impasse in the region by unilaterally opening the headgates of the reservoir.

This protest has awakened memories of recent confrontations with federal agencies, including one led by Bandy in eastern Oregon in 2016. Since 2000, in southern Oregon and northern California. A long history of anti-government movements.

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The region was a hotbed of militia and rebel activity, and was hit by a drought that struck the western United States, causing turmoil in the agricultural community as water conflicts intensified. Some of Klamath Falls’s current protesters have been involved in similar actions for over 20 years, including the illegal release of water in the same reservoir in 2001.

In May, the Federal Development Agency released more water from the Klamath Basin reserve for downstream irrigators who depended on the water infrastructure of the Klamath project along the Oregon-California border. Announced that there is no.

Later that month, two Oregon irrigators, Grant Knoll and Dan Nielsen, began occupying land adjacent to the Headgate of the Main Canal, downstream farmers and the water-dependent Yurok. Watered Native American groups like. “Flush” the river for young salmon.

Knoll and Nielsen, along with members of the People’s Lights Network participating in protests against masks in neighboring Idaho, have begun staffing in tents on the premises they call the “Water Crisis Information Center.”

Grant Knoll and Dan Nielsen have set up large tents on land adjacent to the headgate of the main canal.

Grant Knoll and Dan Nielsen have set up large tents on land adjacent to the headgate of the main canal. Photo: Dave Killen / AP

They also told many media that they were ready to restore water flow at the expense of confrontation with the federal government. And they have standoffs. “

There is also a large metal bucket on the premises with the anti-government slogan. This is a monument to the conflict in the same place in 2001. In July of the same year, 100 farmers, including Knoll and Nielsen, used an 8-inch wide irrigation canal to bypass the headgate and drain water into the canal. That year, following peasant action, other protests, such as the accusation of a horse with the American flag, similar to what happened during the family’s conflict with federal authorities at Bandy Ranch in 2014 Continued.

The conflict was resolved only after an appeal was filed against the farmers following the attack of the World Trade Center on September 11.

Since then, as it is now, the reduced flow has partially taken into account environmental issues.

This year, as the drought continues, measures are being taken to ensure the survival of the two remora species in the reservoir under the Endangered Species Conservation Act.

In order to maintain enough water in the system to ensure their survival, water must be given to those who depend on the downstream, including both farmers and tribes who depend on the fishery. ..

Endangered coho salmon can suffer from water shortages, along with migratory birds, in the second half of the season when shelters are depleted. However, a previous court ruling ruled that remora should prioritize upstream interests, including the spiritually important Klamath tribe.

Protesters claim to represent the interests of farmers, but they have been denied by agricultural leaders, including Ben Duval, president of the Klamath Water Users Association. They used the crisis as a “soap box to push their agenda forward.”

Whether or not DuVal speaks for the majority of farmers, there is no sign that small-scale protests to date are riding the wave of the 2001 rebel movement.

And while protester placards have promised “Amon Bundy is coming soon,” their leaders haven’t been to Klamath camp from neighboring Idaho so far.

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