Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of up to $10 million in assistance from USDA’s Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) to assist agricultural producers impacted by drought conditions in the Klamath River Basin.
Rep. LaMalfa said, “This much-needed aid for our farmers and ranchers comes at a critical time after several consecutive years of drought. These funds, combined with drought funds authorized last Congress, are the beginning of help for the Klamath Basin, and I encourage all our farmers who are interested to contact their local Farm Service Agency office about eligibility. While this aid from USDA is appreciated, we must make the necessary improvements on both the federal and state level to water management in the basin to minimize this problem or our farmers will suffer hundreds of millions of dollars more in losses. Despite updated Department of Interior legal opinions and numerous court victories that say stored water is owned by the farmers, the Bureau of Reclamation is not delivering farmers water they own, resulting in a devastated economy and harming wildlife these farmers work to protect. Much more remains to be done for our Klamath Basin farmers, ranchers, and wildlife refuges, and helping them continues to be one of my top priorities in Congress.”
The WHIP+ program assistance will allow California to offer block grants tailored to the area’s needs. Click here for more information from USDA on the announcement. Water from Upper Klamath Lake will become available to charge Klamath Project canals and allow for limited irrigation no earlier than May 15, and remaining project deliveries will begin no earlier than June 1.
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