U.S. House of Representatives committee holds public hearing on Klamath water crisis

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources is holding a public hearing on the economic impact of the decision by the federal government to allocate all available water to fish and none to 200,000 acres of farmlands and 1,400 family farms.

Thousands of farmers seek aid at food bank

June 11, 2001— The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources is holding a public hearing on the economic impact of the decision by the federal government to allocate all available water to fish and none to 200,000 acres of farmlands and 1,400 family farms.

The committee said it expects thousands of area residents to attend this hearing on June 16 in Klamath Falls, Ore.

The farmers and area residents say they are already facing economic devastation over the disputed implementation of the Endangered Species Act.

A food bank that usually services 700 families now is serving 5,000 families. County commissioners say farmers do not qualify for health or unemployment benefits because their land is counted as an asset — even though without water it is worthless.

To protect two species of listed sucker fish, the community has been told it will receive no water from Upper Klamath Lake this year.

Upper Klamath Lake is the principal source of water for the Klamath Project, the oldest reclamation project in the Western United States.

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