Editor’s note: Joseph Farah co-authored the book “This Land Is Our Land” in 1996 with Rep. Richard Pombo. The book is a thorough examination of the Endangered Species Act and how, using bad science, it is employed to deny people property rights. The book is available, autographed by Farah, exclusively in the WorldNetDaily online store.

An Associated Press story, moving only on the state and regional wires and, therefore, unavailable to most of the nation, may go a long way toward explaining why the government shut off water to farmers and ranchers in Klamath Falls.

“What happens when water is cut off from fields, ranches and wildlife refuges to protect endangered species?” the new story asked. “Farmers protest. Townspeople tighten their belts. And scientists ask questions.”

It seems researchers from Oregon State University and the University of California have already been dispatched to study how the government’s decision to withhold water from Klamath Falls farmers and ranchers affects local communities, according to the obscure Associated Press report.

As angry farmers from around the West rallied at Klamath Falls, on the California-Oregon border, to protest the withholding of water, researchers are already using the region as a case study to measure the social, economic and biological impact of the water shutoff on humans and the environment.

A case study. In other words, the Klamath Falls community is going to serve as a big guinea pig in a misguided study to determine what happens when people, dependent on water for their livelihood, don’t get any.

Well, I’ll tell you, from my layman’s point of view, I think the results of the water shutoff will be quite predictable. I don’t think we need a scientific or academic study to determine the impact on the community. The community will go hurting. It already is hurting as a result of this criminal, inhumane government meddling.

But it’s ominous news that Klamath Falls has been targeted and that government agencies are studying the impact. It suggests that if the government gets away with this action in Klamath Falls, it’s just the beginning. Other rural communities will be next. Other farmers better get prepared. Other ranchers better think twice. The government is coming after you.

According to Tom Gallagher of the Klamath Project, the research team will look at the impacts of the water shortage on the area’s economy, tax base, schools, health care, social services and ecosystem.

“What we’re concerned about is that the water didn’t go into the community because of the decision. There are lots of rumors and speculation about what impact it does and will have,” Gallagher said.

He said the group hopes the study will enlighten decision-makers both in the present crisis and in the future. The study should be completed by year’s end, he told the Associated Press.

“We think water issues are going to be increasingly important across the West,” he said. “We’re happy we’ll have good information we can bring to the discussion.”

Finding people affected by the water shortage and the resulting decimation of crops won’t be hard, the Associated Press article pointed out. Every day is busier than the last at the makeshift food bank in the small nearby farm town of Merrill. Since it was set up in June, volunteers have handed out food to more than 100 families. The 14,000 pounds of food delivered last week and unpacked by the local football team over the weekend is gone. Almost everyone seeking food had lost jobs or income as the water disappeared. Most were farm laborers. Unemployment in Klamath County hit 8.1 percent in July, up 1.7 percent over last year.

“We’re literally sustaining them every week, and we’re going to do all we can to make that last all winter,” said Niki Sampson, director of the Klamath Falls-Lake County Food Bank. “There is that fear for some people that if they don’t get what they need now, it may not be there.”

Is this our future, America? Do we all want to be dependent on the goodwill and largesse of Big Government? This is where it leads. Suckerfish get priority over people. Coho salmon get priority over communities.

The people of Klamath Falls don’t need any stinking studies. They don’t deserve to be guinea pigs. We know what they need – water. Turn it on and send the academics packing.

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