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Lawmakers create Klamath task force

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — The governor and members of Oregon's congressional delegation have created a task force to find solutions to the water problems of the Klamath Basin.

Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Republican Rep. Greg Walden and Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber announced it Monday.

They say it will have more than 20 people representing Oregon and California state agencies, Indian tribes, farmers and ranchers, conservation groups, salmon fishermen and electric power producers.

State watermasters have been telling ranchers in the upper Klamath Basin to turn off their irrigation due to drought and newly recognized senior water rights held by the Klamath Tribes.

The task force is being asked to consider ways to assure water for irrigation, restore fish and wildlife habitat along rivers, and negotiate a settlement over water rights.


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