The Mid Klamath Today
Following the events of World War II, attention was redirected back to the hard work of nation building. The emphasis was on resource extraction, including timber resources in the Mid Klamath. Due to the productivity of Mid Klamath forests, the region contributed significantly to the production of timber products for consumption. Fire suppression was put into effect to protect these resources from combustion. A large agency structure was developed and funded to oversee resource management in the region.
This period also saw the completion of major water projects, dams and aqueducts. The Iron Gate Dam was built on the Klamath River in 1962. The upper Klamath basin was promoted for its irrigated agriculture: incentives were given to veterans and complex diversions, ditches, and irrigation schemes were developed. This hydrological alteration cut off a large portion of salmon habitat in the upper basin, and is now believed to be a critical factor in the deterioration of anadromous fisheries in the watershed.
With the depletion of the timber resource and increasing regulatory protection, timber extraction and associated jobs have drastically declined since the 1980s. Dwindling fish runs also curtailed industries tied to the Klamath River instream sport fishery, including fishing guides, lodge owners, bait and tackle shops, etc. In the Upper Mid Klamath, agriculture, recreation and logging on private lands are the source of many jobs. In the lower Mid Klamath, recreation, along with employment through the federal government and the Karuk Tribe provide the most jobs.