U.S. Water News Online
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -- A new security fence, video cameras,
and motion detectors are taking the place of federal police guarding
the headgates of the Klamath Reclamation Project irrigation system.
The $90,000 security system has been completed around the U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation structure that became the center of protests
last summer over restricting irrigation water to farms to conserve
water for threatened and endangered fish, spokesman Dave Jones said.
Contract security guards will remain through mid-January, when a
final decision will be made on relying solely on the fence, cameras,
and motion detectors to protect the headgates, Jones said.
The security system went up after protesters met with authorities
the day after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the
Pentagon and said they would pull out to allow the federal government
to concentrate on fighting terrorism.
The bureau spent about $750,000 guarding the headgates from July
14 through Sept. 26, when federal police left the site.
Bureau spokesman Dave Jones said he was not aware of any breaches
of the security system.
``We are hoping for a very peaceful new year,'' said Jones. ``The
snowpack building up in the Siskiyous and the area there gives us
every hope this will not be another contentious year, that we have
enough water to meet both the environmental obligations we have as
well as our longstanding relations with the farmers who depend on
Due to last winter's drought, there was not enough water to supply
farmers after meeting Endangered Species Act requirements for
endangered suckers in Upper Klamath Lake, the project's primary
reservoir, and threatened coho salmon in Klamath River, which drains
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