Friday, April 28, 2023
Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley announced Thursday that the Klamath Basin will be the focus of an additional $3.7 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for drought resiliency.
A release said the Interior Department investment building on previous department investments to restore aquatic ecosystems and salmon in the basin comes in response to an October 2022 letter from the senators seeking drought relief for the Klamath Basin.
Wyden said, “The major drought that’s slammed the Klamath Basin requires a major federal response to help the community weather the crisis and move forward to a secure future”. Wyden said, “This fresh investment is a key piece of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s overall investment making a real local impact, and I’ll keep pressing to ensure Tribal, farming, ranching, and fishing communities receive the resources they need and deserve”.
Merkley said, “The Klamath Basin community has faced years of devastating drought fueled by climate chaos, and the major investments being made through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are key to finding real solutions to tackle their ongoing water crisis”. Merkley said, “This latest critical funding gives the region more tools in the toolbox to build the drought resiliency needed for the dynamic community of tribal members, farmers, ranchers, and fisherman to thrive”.
The release said the latest investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure is part of an overall $162 million for the Klamath Basin targeting projects or activities that support – or will help improve – rivers, lakes, wetlands and associated riparian habitats that historically supported millions of fish and waterbirds.
The bill was led by Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.