Flytyer, you also have nailed it down.
The supplying of water rights some 90 years ago was the carrot that got the farmers to develop this streatch of desert. Without the water, no way could it happen.
Working quite well for the vast majority of those 90 years ... until... until! ... until!!!! "someone" discovered a non-native "endangered" sucker fish. F.. the farmers, this non-native ugly little bugger is far more important that the livlihoods of the people who lived/farmed in the area for up to 5 generations.
Interesting thing, to my knowledge, not a 'white'single person whose brought the water rights suits lives within 100 miles of Klamath Lake. Not a single one of the enviornmental groups stands to loose a penny (Atty fees aside) when the farmers go under. Not a single one of the 'eg's, et. al. have suggested the farmers be compensated for their financial losses.
And I could go on ....
Now you know why I don't contribute to a single environmental group. Most have long since lost their point, purpose, and direction for being. Groups form, group does what it was formed for ... now group has to invent 'something' to justify its continued existence.
Ever strike you as interesting that there are more atty's, per capita, in the US than ANY other country in the world. Each and everyone of them is looking for "billable hours.