Farmers seek drought aid

The governor wants to help farmers survive drought conditions ahead of the Klamath water deal.

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Before the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is approved, Gov. Ted Kulongoski wants to find a way to help farmers survive the tough drought conditions ahead.

Unless the spring season brings good precipitation, up to 80% of the Klamath Reclamation Project — which supplies farmers with irrigation water — could be without water this year.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski is headed to Klamath Falls on Tuesday to be briefed by federal authorities on what is being done to allow irrigation of 200,000 acres along the Oregon-California border while meeting federal requirements for protected fish.

Even if some flexibility can be found to help threatened suckers in Upper Klamath Lake and coho salmon in the Klamath River, “it is likely that drought conditions will require significant reduction of irrigation deliveries to the farming community,” Kulongoski wrote in a letter Wednesday to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

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