From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Call Walden Today To Oppose Wallowa Water Grab

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 
E-mail: alra@landrights.org or alra@governance.net  
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003

Call Walden Today To Oppose Wallowa Water Grab

Senator Gordon Smith did not allow a hearing on the Wallowa and instead rushed  S 231 through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  It will now come to a vote in the full Senate some time in the future.

Meanwhile, Congressman Greg Walden has not introduced a corresponding version of the bill.

But he is planning to.

It is urgent that you Call or Fax Representative Walden in the next two days to urge him not to rush to judgment on S 231, the Wallowa Lake Dam Rehabilitation and Water Management Act.

Ask him for more hearings so more people from Oregon can testify.  Ask him to hold a public meeting in the Wallowa Valley before he re-introduces a bill.

Representative Greg Walden

(202) 225-6730

FAX:  (202) 225-5774

E-mail:  http://walden.house.gov/contactgreg.htm

Also call Representative Richard Pombo (R-CA), Chairman of the Resources Committee.  

Phone:  (202) 225-2761 

FAX:  (202) 225-5929

E-mail:  resources.committee@mail.house.gov


The Wallowa Basin is trying to head off a takeover of its water such as occurred in the Klamath Basin.   Some people are so afraid of the Endangered Species Act and the scare mongering about imminent failure of the dam (not true) that they are rushing to judgment on a plan that will take their water and land rights.

A major issue is the condition of the Wallowa Lake Dam.  It has been slowly deteriorating and has not been properly maintained.  It is clear that the dam must be rehabilitated.   It is a private dam.  The owners only seem interested in getting Federal money to bail them out.  Our view is if the Feds and the local tribe get their hooks into it, it will become a slippery slope of regulation, water, endangered species and land use controls.

The dam must be fixed.  Everyone should support that.  Nobody we know thinks the dam should not be fixed.  The key is to fix it with private funds thereby avoiding the future loss of water and land rights and vastly increased regulation.  
Fixing the dam will only cost $2 to $7 million.  This bill is for $40,000,000.
This is pork barrel politics at its worst.

A private foundation has offered two loans to the Associated Ditch Co.s (ADC)  to fix the dam.  That offer has been declined.  They want free Federal money.

Some people are supporting a giant Water Management Plan in partnership with the Nez Perce Tribe and the Federal government that we believe endangers the future of local control in the Valley.  It will likely reintroduce endangered salmon into the lake and river and bring with it an enormous loss of local control.  It appears to be the long term goal of the Nez Perce to eventually take back the valley.

The four key issues in this battle are:

-----A.  The installation of  automated headgates on all irrigation diversions throughout the Wallowa Valley, thereby locking up valley water under outsiders’ control;

-----B.  Disrupting the valley ecosystem with interdrainage water transfers and pipelines, thereby lowering water tables and affecting wells and lowlands.

-----C.  Facilitating the (re) introduction of endangered species of salmon, with all of the additional water control and restrictions that will cause; and

-----D.  Creation of a hidden, unaccountable group of water management planners with a blank check, who will be free to impose a water management system of their choosing upon the entire valley.

For more information about the Wallowa Dam controversy, call (541) 432-0757 or visit www.stopthewatergrab.org

You can make a difference.  This is important to you no matter where you live.  What is happening in the Wallow Valley is really a road map for how certain groups are seeking land and water grabs all over the country.

Please call Representative Walden today.  Ask him to hold off introducing a bill until he holds a public meeting in the Wallowa Valley.  He should hold a public hearing so local people can get a chance to express their opinion.

Get your neighbors and friends to call.  

Representative Walden must know there is controversy.

Please forward this message to everyone you know in Oregon.

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