Who Will Speak for the Birds?

by Heidi Dahlin, Oregon Chapter Conservation Chair

The Klamath Basin Wildlife Refuge Complex is a stopover for one of the largest migration of birds in North America. Birds stop by south-central Oregon to rest and feed on their way north or south, or stay and raise their young.

This weekend, representatives from two Sierra Club chapters met with two other organizations and toured the complex with refuge manager, Ron Cole, to learn about the state of the refuges after a series of dry years. What we found were low water levels, with the prediction that the Lower Klamath Refuge will be dry by August.

That’s right: no water for thousands of birds that depend on the wetlands for food.

Last year over 20,000 birds died from a cholera outbreak due to overcrowding in the low water in the spring. The Lower Refuge has been dry three of the last four summets due to the lack of delivery of water.

We need to speak for the birds. Please contact your representatives in Congress and ask them to remember the thousands of birds who need the water to survive and ask that the Bureau of Reclamation deliver the needed (and promised) water to the refuge complex.

Please speak for the birds.

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