By Frank Lockwood

Staff writer

HERMISTON — Last year’s efforts to enforce the Endangered Species Act proved devastating to Klamath Basin agriculture, and national policies continue to ignore the realities of the rural west, according to speakers at the Oregon Water Coalition’s annual meeting last week.

The meeting was held Tuesday at the Hermiston Community Center.

Drought and tough environmental policies made it a tough year last year for many Oregon farmers — particularly in the Klamath Basin. Crops withered, or were never planted at all. Farms were thrust into bank-ruptcy.

Last year’s drought pitted Oregon irrigators against salmon groups and wildlife managers, and almost everyone seemed to have some complaint about National Marine Fisheries Services. (For the full story please see the January 22, 2002 issue of the Hermiston Herald.)

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