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Upper Klamath Basin Ag Collaborative

ranch resiliency – conservation – support

Who We Are

A Collaborative Resource

for Upper Klamath Basin Landowners and Producers

Most of the reaches of the Klamath River and its basin have organizations that represent the landowners, producers, tribes and conservation interests. Upper Klamath Basin (UKB) agricultural interests have been relatively unorganized and/or individualized. We lack representation on key water management issues.

The Upper Klamath Basin Ag Collaborative (UKBAC) has been formed to give the landowners and producers a collective voice on issues that are of utmost importance to the resiliency of their properties. We believe that there is a nexus between conservation and ranch resiliency. When pastures and grasslands are fallowed due to lack of water, erosion of top soil occurs and sediment is transported into the surface flows of water which is devastating to the entire ecosystem.

We expect to have a broad reach across the Upper Klamath Basin and we will be collaborating with all entities that have interests in Agriculture and Conservation.

  • Upper Klamath Basin aerial view over Root Ranch

Considerations & Challenges

Relations with Klamath Tribes

Working Together for the Benefit of All

We support the efforts of the Klamath Tribes for species recovery and we hope to rebuild a trusting relationship with the Tribes. As trust builds, we will support the efforts of people who build an ecology plus an economy that supports all peoples in the Upper Klamath Basin.

Ranch lands must be managed to improve water quality, to efficiently use what water is made available for the growth of all plant life, and keep sufficient surface water in-stream to support a vibrant riparian area for the streams and fish. Even in low water years, there is enough to allow for some agriculture and sufficient surface water to support riparian health.

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Klamath Tribes and Upper Basin agricultural relationships have become strained over recent years. In more years than not, there is too little water to accommodate all needs. Water for beneficial use is allocated under western water law by the tenant of “first in time, first in right” meaning he with the oldest water right is fully served before the next oldest right is served any water and so on down the line until the most junior water right holder is served. The balance of the water, if any, flows downstream. All agriculture rights are limited by a duty expressed in acre-feet of quantity and cubic feet per second in-flow rate.

The State of Oregon is in the process of adjudicating water rights in the Klamath River drainage. The Klamath Tribes will be granted a water right based on minimum flows in specific reaches of the various streams and with a “time immemorial” priority date (the most senior). The duty and rate will be that which supports the Tribes’ historic hunting, fishing and gathering activities. Water is currently being allocated as above under a preliminary judicial order which will most likely be supported under a judge’s final order.

Climate Change

Seeking to Develop Creative Solutions

We realize that we are in a climate change / drought environment and we must develop creative solutions for all people in the Upper Klamath Basin (UKB) to survive and prosper.

We will be available to support solutions which other parties develop and will draft support letters and even partner with those developers if our support proves to be beneficial. We also will self-develop beneficial projects as we expect to be listening to most of the land owners and producers in the UKB. These are the people who are closest to the land and its resources and are proving to have many beneficial ideas but lack the resources to advance their projects.

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During times of adequate water for irrigation and ecology, we will be supporting conservation projects for the Upper Klamath Basin, such as riparian fencing and irrigation efficiency.

As irrigation water becomes scarce, we will continue our work on precise and limited irrigation applications. We will also work with Associate Members to establish rotational irrigation programs which will reduce the amount of surface water being diverted from surface flows and thus extend the irrigation season for all irrigators on any source of water.

When we are in a drought year and irrigators are regulated off from their water source, we will support programs for rotational grazing, stock water wells, grasshopper control and other invasive pest control.

Our Goals


We will provide the infrastructure to qualify the most beneficial projects for funding, whether it be public or private funds. The infrastructure will include introductions to parties who will be important to the project’s success, initial project design aid, science resources, modeling resources, scaling resources, grant writing, engineering, publicity and internet positioning.

Member Education

Education is a key focus for UKBAC. There are many resources available to aid our members. These resources reside in many disparate locations and we plan on finding those resources, vetting the applicability of the resources and packaging them for most effective use. Examples of these include drought relief, water use efficiency, riparian conservation, rotational grazing, stock water well drilling and rotating use of surface water among irrigators who are on the same system.

Build Public Support

We plan to build public support by showing the benefit to our communities of profitable ranch and farm operations. Cattle and hay are the principal products produced in the Upper Klamath Basin. These products are nearly all exported out of the UKB, returning revenue which circulates through our communities. The ranches also provide open space, view sheds and recreation opportunities such as biking, fishing, hunting, river floating and various activities on horseback and with sporting and working dogs.

Community Education

We will provide community education on all of the benefits that the agricultural producers and landowners provide to our communities. We plan on producing product for social media and hosting community events in order to promote building community strength and understanding how agriculture provides community benefit.


How to Become a Member

About membership and how to apply

Executive Committee & Board

Contact information
grant money

Grant Activity

Summary updates

drilled water well

OWRD Well Info

Public hearings and information

Wildfire Preparedness

Resources to prepare and stay informed
water levels

Surface Water River Levels

Klamath current conditions report

price tag

Current Beef & Hay Prices

Market prices and outlooks

Status of Interior Meetings

U.S. Dept. of Interior meeting updates
livestock water trough

Stockwater Development Programs

Financial and technical assistance

Interested in becoming a member?

UKBAC members are Upper Klamath Basin landowners who are engaged in farming or ranching. They believe in farm/ranch resiliency and want to help find and benefit from solutions to our shared issues. There is no cost to become a member.