One month ago today, on Dec. 4, 2015, Ron DeShon, a man who had a huge presence in the Klamath Basin area during the crisis that broke out in the spring and summer of 2001, died of cancer at the age of 65.
I have no doubt that his early demise was due to the stress that began on that fateful moment that he founded the website: klamathbasincrisis.org. The website continues through the faithful attendance of a web-savvy farmer in the area, whose name will remain anonymous, as did Ron’s during his service to the community.
Here is the obituary written by the current webmaster:
12/17/15 KBC News founder Ron DeShon dies
Ron DeShon was the founder of KBC News. In 2001, when he heard about the Tulelake WWII veterans’ homesteads being denied water by the U.S. government, he created this website almost overnight for the Tulelake and Klamath farmers and ranchers.
His father, from “The Greatest Generation,” farmed one of these WWII homesteads. It quickly became the website of the Klamath Water Users Association, Tulelake Growers Association, and Klamath Bucket Brigade (which later developed their own websites).
During the 2001 crisis when farms and ranches, for the first time in recorded history, were deprived of water for political reasons, there were bankruptcies, suicides and heart attacks.
Nearly 20,000 people showed up from around the country at the Bucket Brigade protesting the actions by our federal government.
Literally thousands of people viewed the website daily for information about: food banks for farmers, farm workers and entire communities, meetings, protests, and new regulations restricting the farmer’s use of their deeded water.
The National Academy of Science later ruled that the water shutoff “was not justified.”
Ron abandoned his successful international heavy equipment brokering business to help the farmers have a voice with this website, coming from his home in Medford to attend meetings, and posting information, photos, and voices continually on KBC News with the help of dozens of farm supporters. It was viewed daily by government agencies trying to hush the voices of the farmers and ranchers.
Ron passed away this month of cancer. But the voices of the farmers, ranchers, and other resource users live on through his masterpiece, KBC News.
Thank you Ronnie! May our voices never die.
IFO posted many commentaries here on this matter. It is more than a local battle against overreaching governmental actions. People came to the website and to Klamath Falls from all over the US to show the quiet, peaceful support for the beleaguered farmers and ranchers. They, too, were experiencing similar attacks, they said.
Why haven’t you heard about them? Hmmm???
For more information: http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/aboutus/about%20us.htm