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Security Fence, Cameras, Guard Headgates

by Associated Press
Capital Press - January 11, 2002

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) -- A new security fence, video cameras and motion detectors are taking the place of federal police guarding the headgates of the Klamath Reclamation Project irrigation system.

The $90,000 security system was completed in late December around the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation structure that became the center of protests last summer over restricting irrgation water to farms to conserve water for threatened and endangered fish, spokesman Dave Jones said.

Contract security guards will remain through mid-January, when a final decision will be made on relying solely on the fence, cameras and motion detectors to protect the headgates.

The security system went up after protestors met with authorities the day after the Sept. 100 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and said they would pull out to allow the federal government to concentrate on fighting terrorism.

The bureau spent about $750,000 guarding the headgates from July 14 through Sept. 26, when federal police left the site.

Jones said he wasn't aware of any breaches of the security system.

"We're hoping for a very peaceful new year. The snowpack building up in the Siskiyous and the area gives us every hope htis won't be another contentious year, that we have enough water to meet environmental obligations as well as our longstanding relations with the farmers who depend on that water."

Due to last winter's drought, there wasn't enough water to supply farmers after meeting Endangered Species Act requirements for endangered suckers in Upper Klamath Lake, the project's primary reservoir, and threatened coho salmon in Klamath River, which drains the region.

Associated Press
Security Fence, Cameras, Guard Headgates
Capital Press - January 11, 2002

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