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Central Valley | Environment & Forest Defense

Action Alert: Rally To Clean Up The Klamath on October 25, 12:30 pm
by Dan Bacher
Tuesday Oct 24th, 2006 4:47 PM
Don't miss the rally to clean the Klamath in Sacramento on October 25 at 12:30 pm.
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Action Alert: Rally To Clean Up The Klamath on October 25, 12:30 pm

Here's the updated action alert on tomorrow's rally from Regina Chichizola,the Klamath Riverkeeper: 

Help us turn in a letter on toxic algae for over 35 groups and Senator Chesbro at the State Water Resources Control Board, 1001 I st. Sacramento at 12:30 pm 

Join Klamath tribal members, the Klamath Riverkeeper, fishermen, and other Klamath residents on October 25th at 12:30 p.m. to ask the State Water Resource Board (SWRB) to CLEAN UP THE KLAMATH AND SAVE THE KLAMATH SALMON. The opportunity to ask state officials to deal with pollution through the Clean Water Act comes as a triennial review every three years. We will get a Klamath comment period at the hearing from 1-1:30 to talk about the Klamath fisheries, dams and toxic algae. 

Ask the State Water Resource Board (SWRB) to CLEAN UP THE KLAMATH AND SAVE THE KLAMATH SALMON. The opportunity to ask state officials to deal with pollution through the Clean Water Act comes as a triennial review every three years. 

This is our chance to tell California water managers to UN-DAM THE KLAMATH and to protect our river and river-based economies. Cleaning up the Klamath is a key part of bringing the Klamath salmon back. Water boards have the power to not give the Klamath dams necessary permits, and to deal with poor water quality watershed wide. Currently, toxic algae is not addressed in the review, though the area with the toxic algae below Iron Gate Dam is. 

We will have a peaceful demonstration for the Klamath River at 12:30 and testify on what the Klamath River and Salmon mean to us at the public forum at 1 p.m. For more information, call Regina cell 541-951-0126.

http://klamathrestoration.org
§Boats with Signs at Salmon Rally in S.F. in April
by Dan Bacher Tuesday Oct 24th, 2006 4:47 PM
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Hundreds of tribal, commercial and recreational salmon fishermen rallied for legislation to restore the Klamath and give fishermen disaster aid in April.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by personal critique of pro-dam comments
Friday Oct 27th, 2006 11:14 AM
It is nearly impossible to discuss toxic 'microcystis aeruginosa' algae blooms in the Klamath River without mentioning the lower four dams as impeding obstructions to healthy pre-dam rio agua flow that dissipates the algal blooms into near nothingness. However, the presence of the lower four dams over the last few decades is a direct correlation with the increasing severity of toxic algal blooms effecting the entire lower, middle and part of upper Rio Klamath watershed. The salmon, sturgeon, eel and the human residents of the Klamath are all negatively effected by algal blooms, even without direct water contact human residents are inhaling unknown quantities of particulate matter from dried out algae that encrusts the rocks along the low summer levels of Rio Klamath..

It was distrubing to me to hear the first public comment from a Siskiyou county resident who expressed she was concerned about the algal blooms though also wanted to include the lower four Klamath dams in the community's future (what about solar, wind, true sustainable energy?). The percieved benefits of electricity production from lower Klamath dams ( < 1% net contribution to electric grid) is outweighed by maintenance and operation costs subsidized by taxpayers on these 4 outdated dams..

Similar to former ENRON exec Ken "slap on the wrist" Lay, recent Pacificorp CEO & billionaire business tycoon Warren Buffet will gladly bilk naive and forgetful CA taxpayers to subsidize Pacificorp's export of potential electricity to out of state corporations. While Buffet profits from operating subsidized dams, the chinook and coho salmon runs become extinct from the Klamath Rio ecosystem and the sovereign indigenous nations of the Yurok, Hupa and Karuk are denied their cultural and nutritional staple food..

The last speaker made claims that certain (Klamath Lake) algae is good for you, citing nutritional benefits of algae consumption, making quaint remarks like "the Japanese sprinkle algae on their sushi" which got a few smirks from the council and groans from the audience. Well duh. Here's a little sarcastic 'experiment' our enlightened pro-algae consumption commentator could attempt. Try going into the forest and eating the first brightly colored mushroom that you can find because "the Japanese crumble mushroom flakes into their soup". Then dry the bright mushroom and crumble it's dried flakes into your soup. If you return to tell about your experience, then we can discuss the various species of algae, mushrooms and other plants that may appear similar yet in fact are different. Yes, certain species of algae are indeed edible and the Japanese among others enjoi sprinkling these algae species on their sushi. However, i would be suprised to witness any Japanese or other algae lovers to sprinkle the toxic algae along the Klamath reservoirs onto their sushi!!

DISCLAIMER!! IMPORTANT!! PLEASE READ!! In case certain people didn't get it the above experiment is FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!! and should NOT be attempted by anyone. Various species of mushroom, algae and plants are incredibly toxic and can cause lifelong damage OR DEATH to people who consume even small amounts. Foraging in the wilderness requires knowledge and certainty of the plant being consumed. That being said, here's some background info of the toxic Klamath algae;

"Toxic algae is a health risk

The WHO reports that animal poisonings and human illnesses related to the blue-green algae 'microcystis aeruginosa' are usually accompanied by the presence of scum material at the water surface, and that ongoing observation of beaches is necessary to assess the existence of high-risk exposures.

WHO reports indicate that exposure to high levels of microcystin can produce symptoms such as eye and skin irritation, vomiting and stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, headache, pains in muscles and joints, and weakness. However, chronic long term exposure can be more dangerous as symptoms may not develop until much damage has been done.

There are two aspects of chronic microcystin damage to the liver—progressive active liver injury and the potential for promotion of tumor growth. Tumor formation has been induced in laboratory mice. Thus liver failure or cancer could result if someone is exposed often over the course of years."

entire article @;
http://klamathrestoration.org/wp/what-is-toxic-algae/

Notice the species name of the toxic algae infesting the Rio Klamath is 'Microcystis aeruginosa'. The edible algae from Klamath Lake is a different blue-green algae species called 'Aphanizomenon flos-aquae'. (Let's try to mate a tiger with a lion, eh? They're both species of cats, no? Not happening in this universe!!) The intergalatic speaker who supported the Klamath River's algae as edible failed to make this distinction and thus jeopordized the health of any naive people in the audience, especially young children who may attempt to sprinkle the algae on their sushi "like the Japanese do it". Giving scientifically inaccurate information in public forums can have devastating results. If this speaker was sponsored by Pacificorp corporation there needs to be some responsibilty for the health risk side effects of misleading corporate propaganda. This author intends to discover said speaker's identity for a serious discussion about science and differentiating species. Will be on the lookout at future public speaking events..

Here's some background info on the healthy blue-green algae from Klamath Lake (not from lower four dam reservoirs);

"The unique ecosystem and crystalline, pure waters of Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon provide an abundance of the synergistic elements necessary to grow a concentrated, deeply nourishing superfood — Klamath Lake algae (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae). This rare superfood is a protein powerhouse. It provides a highly bioavailable protein that is 80% assimilated in our bodies (compared to meat protein, which is 20% assimilated), and its amino acid profile is optimal for humans. Klamath Lake algae is also the world's most concentrated source of chlorophyll, a valuable phytonutrient considered by many to be one of nature's most cleansing and regenerating substances."

read on @;
http://www.synergy-co.com/pages/klamath-algae.html

Other than that everyone else who commented expressed their heartfelt desires to have the toxic algae problem dealt with in the most reasonable and effective manner, by removing the lower four Klamath dams that are directly responsible for the toxic algal blooms. The Riverkeepers and Klamath River Watch educated the room with their short movie that provided visual evidence of the toxic algae crisis on the Rio Klamath. Several medicine healers of both Karuk and Yurok nations voiced their pain at living near the suffering Rio Klamath. To be successful at healing with traditional indigenous medicine, the Klamath River needs to be healthy also. This also goes for the spiritual, cultural and physical connections between the Klamath Rio sovereign nations and the migratory chinook and coho salmon, sturgeon, eel who depend on the rio's health for their survival..

In addition to many indigenous voices PR reps from the coastal fishing industry (non-native) expressed their concern about the economic impacts the renewal of the lower four Klamath dam's FERC license would have on the coastal economy. Many working families are employed in the coastal fisheries and the reduction of salmon populations is hurting them financially. The tactics of the GW bush regime to declare an outright ban on salmon fishing was not made with their well being in mind. Healthy rios, oceans and estuaries are all required to have a functional ecosystem free of obstructionist dams. A symbolic comparison is the dams resembling cholesteral blocking the flow of Madre Tierra's veins and arteries, preventing the sangre (blood) from reaching her corazon (heart) and reaching oxygen, no small irony that rios blocked by dams are oxygen poor, suffocating the salmon..

This author and many other scientists understand that following the removal of the lower four Klamath Dams the migratory salmon, eel and sturgeon populations would over the next 5-15 years possibly double and triple thereafter. According to the eyewitness accounts of early settlers, prior to dam construction the rios were so thick with salmon runs that you could walk across to the other side on their backs. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, though we're talking at least 5X the current numbers of this year's salmon run..

Though the author is not originally from the Rio Klamath bioregion, i have lived nearby for several years and befriended several indigenous people of the Yurok, Karuk and Hupa nations. It is difficult to witness their hurt resulting from the decades of dam induced ecocide of the Rio Klamath. This year, in 2006 newcomers and indigenous nations can mend relationships by joining forces to correct past wrongs by removing the obstructionist dams. We cannot travel back into time and amend genocide, murder, rape, etc.., though from this day forward we can pledge to never allow this cultural genocide of north america's indigenous population to occur in our name. One simple way of accomplishing this is to not allow an individual member of our newcomer tribe, namely Warren Buffet, to continue this pattern of greed induced genocide for one more day. This message from me to Pacificorp CEO Warren Buffet personally, only over my dead body will the lower four Klamath Dams remain standing past 2010. As a 'wanna-be' native american, i have taken the phrase "today is a good day to die" into mi corazon (a muscle the size of our fist). Wanna call my bluff, Mr. Billionaire business tycoon? We're all just so many peon peasant pawns in your game of corporate domination, WHAT IS another human life worth IN YOUR WALLET, MR. BUFFET? Add that bit o' data into your cost-benefit analysis, eh Mr. Buffet??

There comes a point when enough is enough (Ya Basta!), & for those of us not in prison, we are sometimes contemplating the ultimate sacrifice, not an easy choice. We all love life, air, water, food, friends, family love, sex, wilderness, oceans, trees, rios, swimming, music, bicycling, etc.. and don't want to give any of these pleasures of living on Madre Tierra up for either prison or the cemetery. Though at times when you love someone so much you need to sacrifice your life for them. Think of it this way. You love your mother (or children, sisters, brothers, father, lovers, amigos, pets, etc..) and also love being alive and spending time with her (or them), though would you sacrifice your life to defend her (or them) from harm?? (Many would answer this question "SI!" (yes) without any hesitation. (BTW, This does NOT include US military service in Iraq that was/is primarily for petroleum profiteering, not actually protecting a soldier's family one tiny bit.) So it is with us who love our Madre Tierra, her rios (sangre), oceans (corazon), montanas (breasts), bosques (lungs), etc.. that we will die for her if needed..

It is my prayer and intention that this path of ultimate personal sacrifice will not need to be taken and enough people come to their senses and demand the restoration of the Rio Klamath and removal of the lower four dams. Visualizing a 'salmon nation' is a concept of salmon restoration to pre-dam populations along the Pacific NW rios, including the Klamath Rio. The removal of the Klamath dams seems the reasonable choice given that water storage capacity is irrelevent, as the Klamath Basin is the major exporter of Rio Klamath water from far above the lower four dams, directly from Klamath Lake. When dealing with water storage methods for the Klamath Basin, restoration of the Tule Lake wetlands/vernal pools complex complete with wocus lily (Modoc's water veggies) may be more benefit to farmers & residents in the hot & dry summer months than the toxic algae soup of the Rio Klamath suffocated by the lower four Klamath, weapons of mass obstruction..

From Salmon Nation;

"Dams have caused widespread damage to salmon habitat

The spread of dams in the southern part of the region has posed a major threat to salmon, in some cases completely barring the upstream migration of the fish. Runs have dwindled even above dams equipped with fish ladders - stair-stepped cascades of artificial pools. In the reservoirs that dams create, no current guides juvenile salmon to the ocean."

read on @;
http://www.ecotrust.org/publications/salmon_nation_maps.html

Thank you for providing this space at imc to express my ideas without a 3 minute time limit. Words, thoughts, intentions and actions are all interwoven, our heartfelt desire for a healthy and restored Rio Klamath bioregion will manifest into reality!!

Fish on!