I rode out
to Jack Redfield's ranch in Klamath with rancher Jim Palmer and his wife
Mary today to see if he had anything to say. He did.
You may recall, Lt. Redfield of the Klamath Falls police department was
the police officer who spoke out at the headgates in support of the farmers. His
letter (the full text of which is included at the end of this article), provoked his suspension in July by City Manager, Jeff Ball
who said, "The statement read contained a number of extreme and potentially
inflammatory passages. The city of Klamath Falls does not endorse those
"Mr. Redfield was acting in his private capacity when delivering the statement,
and was outside the scope of his official duties with the city. He should
not have been in uniform, and it was inappropriate to have other uniformed
city officers on the podium with him."
Ball went on to say that Lt. Jack Redfield, a 39-year veteran, will continue
to receive pay and benefits until an internal investigation is complete.
That's not what I heard. I heard Redfield was suspended without pay and
that if he set foot on city property he would be arrested for trespassing.
His brother officers or city officials have not visited him at his ranch,
and he could use the support. He's got many head of cattle and little help.
When I was there he only had three people with him putting out feed and
cutting his bulls. In an emotional exchange he related his feelings since
When asked to comment on his present situation, he said that he was currently
prevented from making any statements by counsel. However he did have this
to say to the farmers at the headgates. "I can say that I am extremely proud
of the local community, the ranchers, the farmers, the local businessmen
that have been devastated by this mess. People that are losing their livelihoods.
I'm very proud of their professionalism, their restraint. The fact that
there's been no violence. It's frightening, the fact that many families
are losing their livelihood. That they are a hell of a neat bunch of people
and I'm proud of them. And I'm with them. I' m somewhat limited in what
I can say publicly but I can say that by God. I'm very proud of them."
When asked about what he said in his letter that he read at the headgates
he responded, "I stand by every fricken word of it."
When I asked a Klamath Falls cop about the suspension without pay he indicated
that he had heard that Redfield was suspended with pay. And when I asked
if he would support his lieutenant he said he would but not in public.
After all, if the city can suspend a 39-year veteran for speaking out, what
would happen to a beat cop backing him up? And while the Klamath PD did
strike in 1974, they no longer have that option today.
I tried to call the city police and the county offices, but as it was Saturday
there was no answer. So, while the city has the weekend off, former Lt.
Jack Redfield, advocate for the farmers and ranchers is working shorthanded,
isolated and alone in a small town in Oregon without water.
Reported from Klamath Falls, Oregon
Full Text of Lt. Redfield's Speech at the Head Gates - 7/28/01
Many residents of Klamath County reading this letter will identify my name with law enforcement as I have been a member of the Klamath Falls Police Department for over 39 years. The content of this letter is not necessarily the opinion of the City of Klamath Falls or the Klamath Falls Police Department. It is my opinion as a private citizen of Oregon and the United States and as a small ranch operator. I am not affected financially to the degree of other Klamath Basin ranchers due to non-ranch related income. I am also one of the fortunate few who irrigates from a well (for the time being), but there is no doubt that the so-called environmentalists will be initiating an effort to control or stop irrigation from ground water in the near future.
My considered opinion of the recent water crisis in the Klamath Basin, which has been initiated by the so-called environmentalists and our federal agencies, is that it is nothing more than an act of thinly disguised domestic terrorism directed at the economy of the US. I believe that the people who are orchestrating this atrocity are not environmentalists at all (although they may be being manipulated into believing they are doing the right thing), but that they are actually acting in the capacity of environmental and/or economic terrorists (or at least extremists) who are launching a severe and effective attack upon the economy of the United States. The same environmentalist extremists enjoyed a good deal of success in recent years with the spotted owl, which was also nothing more than an excuse to destroy the logging industry. There is no doubt that had the spotted owl not been considered an endangered species, they would have easily found another creature, be it a reptile, fish, other bird, rodent, etc. that needed to be protected to further their cause. So be it with the suckers. In other parts of the nation where such nonsense is starting, I am hearing reports of endangered gnatcatchers, shrimp, turtles, other fish, etc.
Recently the terrorists/extremists have enjoyed a tremendous success in shutting down our local agriculture with no regards at all to the misery and destruction of thousands of local ranchers, farmers, local business people, etc. They have also found a great amount of support through the liberal federal court system within the ninth district. I don't see that changing until the case makes it to the U.S. Supreme Court, but that takes time and I am afraid that it will be too late for many of our local people by then. Our only hope is that Congress will recognize where this is going within the entire nation and take action to modify the endangered species act to achieve a reasonable balance between the needs of endangered species and the livelihood of American citizens.
This is NOT a local issue. I would suggest that the Klamath Basin attack is nothing more than a test case. With the success that the environmental extremists and some out of control federal agents (so called public servants, HAH) have recently enjoyed, they will not stop in the Klamath Basin. They are already up to their devious evil in other parts of Oregon and other states. Considering that there is a good deal of agriculture in nearly every state in the nation, this thing will spread like wildfire and before long I believe that our way of life as we now know it will be very different.
We have seen a great deal of restraint among our local agriculture community and our local business people who are threatened, despite the extreme emotional trauma that they are experiencing and their understandable anger. Their professionalism and restraint during the recent bucket brigade demonstration was remarkable. This will not last.
As the extremists and out of control federal agents continue to push and as the agricultural people see their fields turn brown and their entire lives destroyed, their frustration will undoubtedly escalate to the point of boiling over. It won't take much from Andy Kerr or Wendell Wood or their like to spark an extremely violent response. I am talking about rioting, homicides and destruction of property like dams that hold the precious water from the agricultural community.
When you expand the crisis to our 50 states over the next year or two as this madness progresses, you are looking at the destruction of the livelihoods of millions of people and businesses. Will that strike a violent response? I think so!
As the economy of the entire nation is threatened and crumbles, I think that the leaders of other nations who are not necessarily friends of the United States will be smiling broadly. Will our national security be threatened? I certainly think so! (Is it possible that there are foreign governments who would enjoy a severe economic crisis in the United States and is it possible that these foreign governments who are not friendly to the United States might be rendering substantial financial support to his economic attack? What better way to bring a nation to its knees than to attack their agriculture water supply?) Is there a possibility that this could lead to civil war within the United States? I think the potential for extreme violence, even to the extent of Civil war is possible if action is not taken in the very near future to remedy this tragedy.
Compare this to the economic collapse of the Soviet Union. Is it possible that a foreign power was instrumental in their economic collapse? Is the U.S. next? Are other nations who depend heavily on agriculture, such as Australia experiencing an attack of the same nature?
I am seriously afraid that if our United States Congress and the Federal Court System does not wake up and stop this madness, this nation is about to experience an era that has the potential to severely damage or completely destroy our nation's economy. Should this happen, all the efforts of our political leaders, military forces and loyal U.S. citizens in the history of our nation will have gone for naught. The promises of the United States government to all those veterans of foreign wars and other United States citizens will become as worthless as their dry fields. God help us if our federal government doesn't come to their senses and recognize the extreme danger of this fiasco before it is too late!
Klamath Falls, Oregon