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PUBLIC MEETING SCHEDULED TO DISCUSS LEGAL OPTIONS FOR KLAMATH FALLS FARMERS

 

 

February 12, 2005

Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
NewsWithViews.com

On January 12, 2005, Judge Michael Hogan ruled that the federal government violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by listing the coho salmon in the Klamath River basin as endangered. The ruling cited the listing failed to consider hatchery fish in its assessment of coho in southern Oregon and northern California rivers. The illegal listing of the coho salmon devastated the entire Klamath Basin area, driving farmers into bankruptcy and causing a negative financial impact to the community and surrounding areas for hundreds of millions of dollars.

The ESA protection of coho in the Klamath River was a significant factor in the government's devastating decision to shut off irrigation water to Klamath Basin farmers in the spring of 2001. While this victory came too late for the farmers driven into bankruptcy, there are legal options to consider for those directly impacted by the illegal listing of the coho salmon.

Pacific Legal Foundation, the legal firm representing individuals on this issue will be holding a public meeting to discuss the legal ramifications of Judge Hogan's ruling last month in Grange v. Evans and National Marine Fisheries Service. This Town Hall Meeting will be held on February 17, 2005 in Klamath Falls, Oregon, at the Midland Grange Hall, 7:30 pm. The Greenhorn Grange and Klamath Bucket Brigade who are sponsoring this meeting encourage as many people to attend as possible. The Grange Hall is located at corner of Joe Wright Road and Tingley Lane in Klamath Falls.

Additionally, on January 14, 2005, Pacific Legal Foundation scored another win for Klamath farmers when a federal court ruled in favor of the Klamath Water Uses Association by dismissing a case brought by the Yurok Tribe to usurp the water rights of Klamath farmers. Pacific Legal Foundation successfully represented the Klamath Water Users Association as intervenors in the tribe’s case against the federal government; PCFFA v. United States Bureau of Reclamation.

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While this victory came too late for the farmers driven into bankruptcy, there are legal options to consider for those directly impacted by the illegal listing of the coho salmon