Government Land Theft in Klamath Basin, America’s Coming Civil War


“Is there a possibility that this could lead to civil war within the United States? I think the potential for extreme violence, even to the extent of Civil war is possible if action is not taken in the very near future to remedy this tragedy.” ~ Sheriff Redfield, Klamath Basin



Photo of onion fields by Jaqui Krizo

As the iron-fisted amendments to the Clean Water Act loom large, all private property owners should consider the plight of the Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers whose deeded water was stolen from them by the government. The new EPA regulations will give the government the power over every body of water in the United States and they are written in such a way as to include ditches, trenches and even puddles. Do you think anyone will really own anything privately after this? You might own property, but the government will control it.

We are all the Klamath Basin farmers.

Before there was a Cliven Bundy, there were the Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers. The Endangered Species Act was being used steal the PRIVATE PROPERTY of landowners in the Klamath Basin and it led to standoffs beginning in 2001. It was the first battle of its kind and served as a precursor of what was to come under the Clean Water Act.

Unlike Cliven Bundy, the Klamath Basin farmers owned the water. Their water was “deeded”, just like a piece of land that you buy, so it’s actually private property, not a “right” to use the water. All other water holders in the nation only have a “right” to use it. Klamath “owned” their water through a government “deed”.

The famers and ranchers remaining in the Klamath Basin (southern OR & northern CA) are making their last stand as they seek to work within or around a resolution that will give them very little water of the deeded water they own. The water has been stolen.

The farmers “deeded” water rights were given to WWI and WWII veterans in perpetuity to homestead the area and to pass on to their children and their children’s children.

Klamath Basin was once a thriving hub of food production.

In 2001, when Klamath Basin farmers twice sued the U.S. Department of the Interior for more access to irrigation water, their rights were upheld.

Their water was stolen at gunpoint by the Bureau of Reclamation in 2001.

Stealing a farmer’s water is akin to stealing his land.

The sheriff at the time said it was a case of domestic terrorism by environmentalists in concert with the government.

Lt Redfield

Lt. Redfield

Sheriff Redfield said this at the time:

“My considered opinion of the recent water crisis in the Klamath Basin, which has been initiated by the so-called environmentalists and our federal agencies, is that it is nothing more than an act of thinly disguised domestic terrorism directed at the economy of the US. I believe that the people who are orchestrating this atrocity are not environmentalists at all (although they may be being manipulated into believing they are doing the right thing), but that they are actually acting in the capacity of environmental and/or economic terrorists (or at least extremists) who are launching a severe and effective attack upon the economy of the United States. The same environmentalist extremists enjoyed a good deal of success in recent years with the spotted owl, which was also nothing more than an excuse to destroy the logging industry. There is no doubt that had the spotted owl not been considered an endangered species, they would have easily found another creature, be it a reptile, fish, other bird, rodent, etc. that needed to be protected to further their cause. So be it with the suckers. In other parts of the nation where such nonsense is starting, I am hearing reports of endangered gnatcatchers, shrimp, turtles, other fish, etc.”

“Recently the terrorists/extremists have enjoyed a tremendous success in shutting down our local agriculture with no regards at all to the misery and destruction of thousands of local ranchers, farmers, local business people, etc. They have also found a great amount of support through the liberal federal court system within the ninth district. I don’t see that changing until the case makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court, but that takes time and I am afraid that it will be too late for many of our local people by then. Our only hope is that Congress will recognize where this is going within the entire nation and take action to modify the endangered species act to achieve a reasonable balance between the needs of endangered species and the livelihood of American citizens.”

“This is NOT a local issue. I would suggest that the Klamath Basin attack is nothing more than a test case. With the success that the environmental extremists and some out of control federal agents (so called public servants, HAH) have recently enjoyed, they will not stop in the Klamath Basin. They are already up to their devious evil in other parts of Oregon and other states. Considering that there is a good deal of agriculture in nearly every state in the nation, this thing will spread like wildfire and before long I believe that our way of life as we now know it will be very different.”

“We have seen a great deal of restraint among our local agriculture community and our local business people who are threatened, despite the extreme emotional trauma that they are experiencing and their understandable anger. Their professionalism and restraint during the recent bucket brigade demonstration was remarkable. This will not last.”

He predicted the Cliven Bundy standoff:

“When you expand the crisis to our 50 states over the next year or two as this madness progresses, you are looking at the destruction of the livelihoods of millions of people and businesses. Will that strike a violent response? I think so!”

“As the economy of the entire nation is threatened and crumbles, I think that the leaders of other nations who are not necessarily friends of the United States will be smiling broadly. Will our national security be threatened? I certainly think so! (Is it possible that there are foreign governments who would enjoy a severe economic crisis in the United States and is it possible that these foreign governments who are not friendly to the United States might be rendering substantial financial support to his economic attack? What better way to bring a nation to its knees than to attack their agriculture water supply?) Is there a possibility that this could lead to civil war within the United States? I think the potential for extreme violence, even to the extent of Civil war is possible if action is not taken in the very near future to remedy this tragedy.”

He was later suspended for his comments which were prophetic in many ways.

The group behind the theft is an environmental group called Trout Unlimited. They were the first in the nation to successfully steal water.


Sucker Fish

When the water was stolen, they claimed it was to save the sucker fish and coho salmon, but there was enough water to bring a power plant online.

Trout Unlimited is now active in “saving” Bristol Bay and they want landowners to voluntarily sell them their land if they are thinking of selling. They will take the land off the tax rolls and give it to animals and plants.

The government grabbed the land in the Klamath Basin in Klamath County in Oregon in part to save the sucker fish, a fish that in the 1960’s they tried to eradicate. It was considered a pest. Poisoning didn’t work. Nothing kills the thing.

How times change, now the government is claiming that the sucker will meet its doom over a few feet in lake elevation and they must save it at the expense of farmers and ranchers.

Native tribes claimed the sucker fish was vital to their livelihood and traditions. In fact, the tribes do not eat them – they use them as bait. It’s also a fish that requires low water levels. Nevertheless, they joined the government and the environmentalists and stood to gain the water rights for their efforts.

The coho salmon was added to the list of endangered Klamath species – the government had to save them too and had the support of fisherman for that.

It’s only a ruse of course to rid the land of the farmers and ranchers who are left in the Klamath Basin and take their property. At one time there were 1400 farmers. Over the years, the government shut off the water to the farms and many went bankrupt.

The government didn’t care, they diverted the water, let the farms go dry and the owners go bankrupt. All for the sucker fish.

The tribes and the federal government have decided to take all the water that did not belong to them. The tribes say they once owned the water. The battle continued for years and came to a head last year.

After a year of having the Upper Basin Irrigation pumps being shut off in 2013, the famers begrudgingly accepted the only agreement they could get which gives them some water. For the first time, landowners were told they would be compensated for the land they can no longer use.

This entire undertaking is a colossal waste of money. The government continues to take land off the tax rolls and make taxpayers fund their nonsense. They are also shutting down farms and ranches we need for our food.

The deal calls for the removal of four dams.

One rancher said that it prevents ranchers from using land 130 feet on each side of a river or stream – it’s a lot of acres. It does away with property rights and some landowners might not agree to the “deal”.

The fix was in with the native tribes thanks to government bribes.

The tribes will get complete control over all the water under this deal. They will also get a 40 million economic development package for the Tribes to fund a timber mill and other related activities so they can harvest timber on the 92,000-acre Mazama Forest and grow its economic base. The Tribes also would receive $1 million a year for five years from the Department of Interior to address tribal transition needs beginning this year.

The tribes will also get grants and loans to buy back land within the former boundaries of the Klamath tribes’ reservation. They will then preserve the resources and use it to promote their well-being.

The farms and ranches have been greatly devalued by this plan.

If the tribes think they won’t be sold out somewhere along the line, they aren’t aware of their own history.

Eventually, they will be out also. This is about environmentalists for now and for the government who will find lucrative uses for the land.

The Department of Agriculture is “investing” in projects that will both help keep more water in the river and restore river ecosystems, as well as help support a sustainable agriculture community. The USDA will make available up to $4.5 million this year to help farmers and ranchers plan and install water conserving practices on their operations. It’s Agenda 21 speak for the farmers and ranchers will have their private land completely under the control of the government and their environmental extremist friends.

The farmers in Klamath Basin aren’t like the Bundys and there are no militias. They are desperately trying to recoup some of their loss as their property is stolen out from under them.

This was a video made in 2008 but nothing much has changed except it’s gotten worse:

A 2012 video:

In 2001, the farmers and ranchers thought they had won. Activist Jeff Head spoke these now haunting words at the time:

“May the lessons learned be fully applied so we in this nation never again have to witness the specter of armed federal officers standing on an irrigation dam to keep law-abiding farmers away from the water that they have the rights to. So that farmers can spend their time farming their fields and providing food and resource to a hungry nation, rather than having to resort to civil disobedience and protests against bureaucracy and regulation gone mad to the point of totalitarian conditions. That bureaucracy foisted ridiculous, frivolous, and junk science on the rights of citizens in order to enforce such conditions in the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

“God grant that the experiences of the farmers in the Klamath Basin will spread as an example across the face of this nation so that others can overcome similar conditions whenever they arise. Especially, God grant that this example, that these events, will give rise to true statesmen and patriots in our state houses, in our halls of congress, in our federal agencies, and in the very White House, as opposed to mere politicians who are manipulated by polls or the blathering and screeching of those willingly perverting our American system. It is up to us as citizens to put such statesmen there, so that the conditions that created this crisis do not materialize in the first place.”

The fight is not over. The farmers and ranchers are taking a stand and they are gaining some support from county commissioners and cities. We will post more on this issue.

Farming is going the way of coal if we don’t do something as a nation. We must stop Agenda 21. The government doesn’t simply want to protect the environment, they want to control it, all of it. there will be no end. This isn’t a conspiracy theory. Land is being stolen throughout the nation, particularly in the West, for the sake of whatever animal or plant they claim is “endangered” using a “secret” science, and that’s a reality.

We must ask ourselves how much we believe in the right to private property. We must also ask ourselves if we trust the government with all the U.S. land or do we believe the farmers and ranchers and other property owners are better keepers of the land? Think of the VA when you consider this.

Read more at farm wars