Saturday, October 10, 2009

NEC still at the table

NEC still at the table - Jay Wright/NEC Klamath Campaign Coordinator Letter to The Editor in response to Uri Driscoll

In his My Word of October 6, “Environmentalist Wake Up Call,” Uri Driscoll suggested that the Northcoast Environmental Center is “not in the Klamath River talks.” That's just not true. In fact, the NEC remains very much engaged in ongoing discussions and negotiations over the future of the Klamath, in both formal and informal arenas. The NEC has raised objections to some serious problems in the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement -- the water deal that would give Upper Basin irrigators first rights to Klamath River water, as well as cementing in place unsustainable farming on key wildlife refuges for the next 50 years. We're not alone in raising those concerns, which have been reported in a number of newspapers, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Christian Science Monitor.

Last week, as the NEC's new Klamath campaign coordinator, I attended the Klamath Plenary Group meeting in Portland, Oregon. As reported by Uri's brother John Driscoll Oct. 30 in the Times-Standard, the purpose of the meeting was to finalize and release for public review the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, which calls for all four mainstem Klamath dams to be removed beginning in 2020. The NEC remains troubled by the continued linkage between the Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and the KBRA. Like our fellow KBRA skeptics at the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the NEC voted to release the final Hydro Agreement for public review. Neither the NEC nor the Hoopa have definitively rejected the proposed Klamath deal at this point.
We are keeping our options open and will continue to work with our partners in the Klamath Basin to ensure our Board of Directors hear all sides of the debate and make a principled assessment before our ultimate decision whether or not to support the Klamath negotiated settlement agreements.

Jay Wright
NEC Klamath Campaign Coordinator

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Environmentalist wakeup call

It seems to me there is an unsustainable element within the environmental movement here in Humboldt County. The notion that we should all just step back behind the fencing and signs to minimize our impact in order for nature to achieve an often anonymous and unchallenged concept of balance simply cannot work. We have and always will impact our environment, as do all living things. To live is to consume, whether you are an ameba or an eagle.

Walling off areas in a restorative effort seems often counterproductive to what should be a realistic expression of our place in nature. What we are going to have to do is continue to develop ourselves as competent participants.

Once we are excluded from participating in our community and its special places, we and the walled-in areas are isolated. Humans end up contained in smaller and smaller areas and the nature of which we are a part is also segregated from us.