Representatives of Audubon California today highlighted one aspect of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement – announced today by officials from the federal government, California and Oregon – which has the potential to benefit California’s migratory birds. Although the settlement is designed primarily to help rebuild fisheries in the region, it also establishes reliable water supplies for two wildlife refuges that provide vital habitat for migratory birds.
“While the motivation for this agreement has more to do with fishing and farming, million of migratory birds stand to benefit from more reliable water for these important refuges,” said Graham Chisholm, executive director for Audubon California. “By putting these assurances in the Klamath settlement, we are taking important steps toward recognizing that California’s migratory birds make up an important part of our state’s natural heritage.”
The two refuges that are affected include the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (which is mostly in California) and the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge (which is entirely in California). These refuges house substantial populations of sensitive bird species, including the Bald Eagle, White Pelican, White-faced Ibis, a variety of geese and ducks, Black Tern and Tricolored Blackbird.