Some history on the Crooked at 10 cfs

I have heard that folks have been reaching out to the Bureau of Reclamation and elsewhere on the planned reduction of flows in August to 10 cfs in the Crooked River. While the BoR has been unresponsive, public awareness and pressure is a good thing. Keep contacting them and spreading the word! For those of you interested in digging into the details of how this can be allowed to happen, keep reading.

Here’s a long post from September 2020 about the 2014 Crooked River Act, the legislation that gives the BoR the legal authority to essentially kill the Crooked River. Here’s another shorter post on the topic from February 2021. As I argue in the 2020 post, the Act is not being implemented as those of us in the conservation community were told it would be.

Neither of these earlier posts cover an aspect of the 2014 Act that was never implemented. The Act called for BoR to establish a “dry-year management plan” that would more equitably share water between Ochoco Irrigation District and the Crooked River in extreme low water years like we are in now. Unfortunately, this was to be a voluntary agreement and OID never agreed to it. I am deeply sympathetic with the economic hardship the drought is creating for OID, but their patrons are not going to literally die. The river will. So much for all their statements about caring for the river.