Klamath Sheriff asks feds to leave irrigation headgate

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July 23, 2001 Klamath Sheriff asks feds to leave irrigation headgate

(KLAMATH FALLS-AP) - Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger has asked the federal agents guarding the head gate to an irrigation canal there to leave.

The federal agents are watching over farmers who have gathered at the head gate to protest the shut-down of their irrigation water, and four times tried to force the gates open.

Evinger says the federal agents first came to Klamath Falls at his invitation, and that now he would like them to leave.

But Jeff McCracken, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, said today his agency had no immediate plans to remove the federal agents.

He said Evinger submitted a formal letter Friday requesting the agents' removal, and that the U.S. Department of the Interior would respond to that letter this week.

More than 290,000 acres of farm land in the Klamath Basin is parched because irrigation water is being diverted to protect threatened and endangered fish species.

The Endangered Species Act mandated the shut-down because of low water levels in drought-stricken Southern Oregon.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), July 23, 2001

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