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Balancing Water: Restoring the Klamath Basin Hardcover – April 15, 2000
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From the Inside Flap
What a grand collaboration: Kittredge’s words and the Blakes’ images take us to the soul of the Klamath Country, at once a magnificent, battered, and resolute landscape. This finely-crafted blend of artistry, history, literature, public policy, and ecology tells the full and compelling story of one great western place and its people. In so doing, Balancing Water tells us a great deal about how, if we find the common will to work it right, we can shape the futures of other watersheds across the west.”Charles Wilkinson, Distinguished University Professor at the University of Colorado, and author of Fire on the Plateau and The Eagle Bird
"Coexistence has never been a popular principle in the American West, but as this book makes clear it has become indispensable for the survival of both endangered nature and endangered rural community. I was inspired by this brilliant collaboration of writer and photographers. They show a West that is changing for the good. They bring a message of hope that is compelling and timely."Donald Worster, Hall Professor of American History, Univ of Kansas and author of Rivers of Empire: Water, Aridity, and the Growth of the American West and Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas
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Farmers, the indigenous Klamath people, migrating birds and native fish, all have their claims to the basin. From recalling the basin from his early childhood to driving the dirt roads to meet the 3rd generation farmers and ranchers, William Kitteridge's writing is exceptional at putting real faces and names to this place.
The story is made sublime with some of the most outstanding western wildlife photography you are likely to find. The photographs represent the sacredness of a place that serves as a stop for millions of migrating birds that no words can begin to portray.
A tragic postscript to the publishing of this book was a fish kill of some 30 thousand salmon on their way up the Klamath River to their spawning beds. Its been concluded that in stream flows got drawn down to the point where the migrating salmon stacked up in swallow and warm pools which ultimately depleted the water of oxygen. Only recently have federal wildlife managers admitted that diversion of water to farmers in the basin caused the massive fish kill in the Klamath.