This map of the Klamath River Basin shows both the Upper and Lower Klamath Basin study areas, with the Sub-basins addressed in the Basin-wide Planning Process of the Klamath River Basin Work Plan for Adaptive Management.
In March 2002, President Bush created the Klamath River Basin Federal Working Group. Comprised of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, and Commerce, and the Chairman of the Council of Environmental Quality, the working group advises the President on immediate steps and long-term solutions to enhance water quality and quantity and address other environmental issues in the basin.
The Klamath River Basin gained national attention in the spring of 2001 when a combination of drought and the impacts of the Endangered Species Act triggered a shutdown of irrigation water during the growing season to more than 1,300 farms and ranches in the US Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) project area. NRCS immediately began providing technical and financial assistance to these producers to minimize drought impacts. In cooperation with Conservation Districts, NRCS was able to establish 41,000 acres of cover crops on highly erodible lands using Emergency Watershed Protection Program funds. Recognizing the broader implication of the resource issues, the Klamath Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) in Oregon and the Lava Beds/Butte Valley Resource Conservation District (RCD) in California met in the first of a series of strategic planning sessions. The basin-wide nature of the resource issues subsequently brought the locally elected officials from these two Conservation Districts, together with officials from the lower Klamath Basin: Humboldt RCD, Shasta Valley RCD, Siskiyou RCD, and Trinity RCD.
Goal and Objectives
The primary goal of the six Klamath Basin Conservation Districts is to achieve a reliable water supply for agriculture. The core objectives of the Conservation Districts are to:
Decrease water demand
Increase water storage
Improve water quality
Develop fish and wildlife habitat
Summary of NRCS Basin-wide Planning Assistance
Basin-wide planning assistance occur is three phases:
Phase 1: Rapid Assessment of current resource conditions, recommendations of resource management systems to solve identified problems, and estimates of on-farm effects for each sub-basin.
Phase 2: Evaluate the cumulative effects of proposed resource management systems on a basin-wide scale.
Phase 3: Specialized assistance with planning, designing and implementing projects at the sub-basin or community level, including tasks to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the conservation being applied.
Rapid Sub-Basin Assessment Maps
Rapid Sub-basin Assessments Completed as of December 2002.
In the rapid assessment process, the Conservation Districts and NRCS focused first on the six Upper Klamath sub-basins, rather than the entire Klamath River Basin. The rapid assessments for the Upper and Lower Klamath are currently being developed. As these sub-basin assessments are completed they will be linked below.