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Coalition rallies for Klamath Basin farmers

Hood River's Tractor Coalition is urging valley orchardists to attend a Gorge rally on Friday in support of the financially devastated Klamath Basin farmers.

Camille Hukari, leader of the agricultural activist group, is calling for all area fruit growers and interested residents to be at The Dalles auction yard, off Highway 97, at noon to greet one of three truck convoys that are bringing relief supplies to destitute southern Oregon farmers.

"We need to show our support and donate our money," said Hukari. "If we allow this to happen to the Klamath Basin without speaking out then we will be next because it's going to happen in other parts of Oregon, Washington and the country."

Organizers of the relief convoy passing through the Mid-Columbia are loaded down with other supplies and are now seeking monetary contributions. These funds will be turned over to the 1,400 families who were unable to grow crops this season after they were cut off from access to irrigation water because of federal regulations to protect endangered fish habitat.

A suit by the irrigators to prevent implementation of that decision failed on the basis that the Endangered Species Act superseded all other water uses.

For a $5 per family donation, interested individuals can have their name inscribed on a gold plaque that will be mounted on a memorial to the Bucket Brigade.

Other contributions to the Klamath Relief Fund/Bucket Brigade may be deposited at any branch of U.S. Bank or sent to PO Box 5252 Klamath Falls, OR 97601.

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