These Are Stories That Should Be Told and Seen.

Welcome to Films That Needs to be Seen.

Each of these film projects, on the right represented by categories, are modern American Stories worth telling. Rural life is presented as the daily challenge it is.

If one climbs to the top of the mountain, as I did, and spend years watching these stories unfold, one would be amazed by man’s wide range of sensibilities and behaviors. These are survival stories in rapidly changing times. Up to now they usually are told by agenda-driven-carpet-baggers rushing by in search of a pension. This doesn’t do fish any good, and it doesn’t do people any good. It perpetuates business as usual in a new era where business is failing to manage many present greed driven dangers and complex social challenges including providing pensions.
But bottom line, these are stories of migration and subsistence.

Anders Tomlinson shooting on the Trinity River in the spring time.
photo- Pam Hathorn

Taming of the Flows

Shakespeare would have had a field day with these Klamath River Watershed plot lines. Events shape action and actions create unintended consequences. Here, good people are capable of doing bad things and bad people are capable of doing good things.

Here history, as passed down by those who were influenced by elders who recall their elder’s words, perpetuates strange bed-fellows and lingering feuds. The drama is driven by those who have nothing to lose, or think they have nothing to lose. This group includes news media, hired scientists, fund-raisers, PR folks, politicians, lawyers, federal agencies and judges. Conflict is fueled by Indian resentment of the White Man for past sins and non-Indians anger at perceived special treatment given to the tribes. There is also bad blood within and amongst the tribes as well as between Anglos, Latinos, Asians, Blacks… On top of all of this Modern Man is trying to maintain wildlife populations at a level where they can be sustain-ably harvested.

And then there is the water resources battle being waged across towns, cities, counties, states
and regions of rural and urban America.

Filming the Klamath Basin Watershed took over 100,000 miles of driving and covered maybe 5% of a vast region that has been marginalized by human interest groups.
photo-Christian Johansson

The Stories are in the Can.

The things that my cameras have seen and heard could send shivers up any tax payer’s spine. The media frames this as is Indians against farmers. So simple the simple think. The reality is it is Indians against Indians, Indians against governments, Indians against farmers, farmers against farmers, farmers against governments, government agencies against government agencies, science against science, liabilities against liabilities, history against history, responsibilities against responsibilities, expectations against expectations and on and on…

What Can We Learn From The Klamath River Watershed?

The human population is growing, and growing and growing. Traditional resources are diminishing as needs increase. Humans need to eat.

Productive farmland, used for farming, is arguably the most important land we have.
photo- Christian Johannson

Humans build structure and infrastructures and create products to market. This is what humans do. Building a freeway through a wetland is a natural thing for humans to do. The freeway was made of products man found, transported and configured into materials that became the road. What is unnatural about this? Humans do what humans do. The true question is was it in humans’ best interest to build the freeway in the first place? And the answer is yes, no, maybe and maybe not. The freeway will benefit some humans and it will harm other humans. New freeways rarely make life easier for other species that live there.

What happens if humans’ build a freeway through fertile farmland? The answer is simple, there will be fewer productive acres to grow more food needed by an expanding population. Does this sound like a smart thing to do? Growing populations and changing climates have led to human migrations and wars throughout recorded time. And what happens when humans create farmland out of wetlands? The answer is multiple causations.
Farmland feeds humans. Food does not come from Safeway, it comes from dirt managed by farmers and ranchers. Protect productive soil, it is all we have.

©2010 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

“Watershed Moments”

A film by Anders Tomlinson, “Watershed Moments“, is going into post-production. Filming began in Rocky Point, Oregon during the summer of 1995 and continued throughout Upper Klamath Basin and the Klamath River Watershed. Filming concluded in 2008.

It was here on a late September day, while waiting to film white water rafters, that Anders learned Southern California can directly effect Klamath River flows.
photo-Jeff Ritter

This is not a story of fish vs. potatoes or Indians vs. Farmers. This is not a film of sound bites and confrontation. This is a film of human nature. And in a broader sense it is a film of human nature’s effect on wildlife and habitat. The springs of Upper Klamath Lake and surrounding country including Crater Lake National Park, Fort Klamath and Chiloquin were the first scenes filmed. The Centennial Celebration of the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, a study of an emerging “Walking Wetlands” on Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and followup interviews with agricultural leaders from the 2001 Klamath Reclamation Project Water shutoff were the last scenes filmed.  

The Klamath Reclamation was the second Federal effort to settle the West.  “Watershed Moments” begins with the history of the Upper Klamath Basin and ends with current pressures Klamath Reclamation Project faces from Endangered Species Acts triggered by Sucker fish in Upper Klamath Lake, Coho Salmon along the Klamath River Watershed and water diversions from Trinity River to the Sacramento River and points south.  This is monumental story that reflects all aspects of human nature.  It is a story of populations in flux.  It is a story of unintended consequences. And it is a story of Modern Man.
National Academy of Science report.

©2010 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.

Watershed videos

Tour of the Klamath River Watershed – The Big Picture.

Research for this video began looking for an existing concise physical description of the Klamath River Watershed. Anders learned that the watershed is not looked at in this manner. It’s story has been, and currently is, told in unconnected reports by various groups and agencies with distinct and differing agendas.

We have heard so much about salmon and the Klamath Basin Crisis. There is no one Klamath Basin. There is a Klamath River Watershed which comprises 10 to 12.5 million acres. It is made up of 13 watershed sub basins. It spreads across 2 states and 7 large counties. There are 7 national forests, 9 wilderness areas and 8 rivers in the overall watershed. 3 converging tectonic plates shape the watershed’s physiography. All of this together is a story of salmon habitat.

This is a Complex-Epic-Saga, It is Not A Convenient-Sound-bite.

The Klamath River extends some 340 miles from its headwaters to its estuary at the coast. Between 11- 13.4 million acre-feet of water flows into the Pacific Ocean during an average water year. Below Upper Klamath Lake there are at least 7,454 waterway miles in the Klamath River Watershed. Historically the Klamath River was a deep narrow river. Early miners en-route to settling Happy Camp thought The Klamath River was a tributary of the Trinity River.

An Unusual Watershed

Unlike typical watersheds the Klamath River watershed’s upper reaches are characterized
by flat topography, slow moving rivers and warm water fisheries. The Klamath River Watershed is upside down compared to most watersheds. The greatest relief and topographic complexity are below Upper Klamath Lake. The Klamath River begins a dramatic descent as it leaves Lake Ewauna and cuts through mountains on its way to the ocean.

Dry Top, Wet Bottom

The upper reaches of the Klamath River watershed are in the rain shadow of the Cascades. The upper watershed above Iron Gate Dam comprises 38% of the total Klamath River watershed area but provides 12% of the runoff.

©2010 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.