Norton reverses decision on Klamath water
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Secretary of Interior Gale Norton on Friday reversed a decision to hold back water for fish in the Klamath River Basin of California and Oregon.

The move comes in response to the recent deaths of thousands of salmon. At least 12,000 have died in the past week and biologists for the Yurok and Hoopa tribes put the total number at 30,000.

In 2001, the Department of Interior cut off water to non-Indian farmers to meet its trust responsibilities to area tribes that defend on the fish. But this year, Norton intervened tp restore the water to farmers after they complained.

In releasing the water this time, Norton did not ascribe blame for the massive fish kill. It is hoped the water, which was released at midnight Friday, will save any remaining fish but no one is sure the plan will work.

The Upper Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is drying out due to lack of water as well.

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As Thousands of Salmon Die, Fight for River Erupts Again (The New York Times 9/27)
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Secretary Norton Announces Water Releases in Klamath River (DOI 9/27)
Feds trying to stem salmon die off (The Seattle Times 9/28)
U.S. releases water to stop salmon kill (The San Francisco Chronicle 9/28)
Dying by the thousands (The Klamath Falls Herald and News 9/29)
Wildlife refuge going dry (The Klamath Falls Herald and News 9/29)
Salmon die-off fears become harsh reality (The Oregonian 9/29)
Dead fish will be hauled away to become fertilizer (The Oregonian 9/29)

Related Stories:
Tribes estimate 30,000 dead salmon (9/27)
Salmon dying in Klamath River (9/25)
Water woes affect Calif. tribes (Enviro 08/26)
Calif. tribes still waiting for water (8/22)
Interior sued over river plan (1/10)
Plan would help restore salmon to river (12/20)