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Letter to the Editor
K-Falls Herald & News
October 10, 2004

If good for species...

Dan Keppen, the Klamath Water Users Association executive director, loses no opportunity to call for peer review of all efforts to help endangered species. Keppen tells us that this is in the interest of good science and is not anti-environment. See, for examples, Keppen's Endangered Species Act hearing testimony and his guest column in the Sept. 7 Herald and News.

He is not alone. Calls for peer review of endangered species decisions have become a mantra for the Farm Bureau, cattle producers Association and for most senators and representatives who are linked to agricultural interests.

Peer review sounds good. Who would argue against good science? And since good science in resource decisions is Keppen's stated goal, I am sure he will support this call for extending peer review beyond endangered species decisions to encompass all government resource allocations.

Specifically would he join me in seeking peer review of decisions being made by the Natural Resources Conservation Service on allocating $50 million which Congress intended to conserve water on agricultural lands in the Klamath River Basin?

We need good peer-reviewed science to make sure the water the conservation service claims will be saved is real, not just paper water. Likewise, will the Klamath Water Users Association join the Klamath Forest Alliance in a basin-wide effort to secure peer review of all decisions to allocate taxpayer funds for stream and habitat restoration?

Will the water users support peer review of decisions to pay farmers annual rents for conservation practices? And what about the Bureau of Reclamation's conservation incentive program? Will Keppen and water users support peer review of those decisions?

If Keppen and water users truly believe in peer review they need to step up to the plate now. If peer review is good for endangered species then it must also be judged good for decisions that result in transfer of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds to private agricultural interests. After all, what's good for the goose must also be good for the gander.

Felice Pace

Klamath, Calif.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and as defined under the provisions of "fair use", any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment for non-profit research and for educational use by our membership.