The Times podcast: A drying lake in Oregon attracts the far right

A circus tent decked with U.S. flags bears a sign saying, "Open the gates. No water, no food, no life."
Members of a far-right fringe group set up a circus tent, decked with U.S. flags, on land adjacent to gates that stop the flow of water from Upper Klamath Lake into canals that irrigate farmland. They’re threatening to open the gates.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Today, in Episode 2 of our Drought Week series, we go to Upper Klamath Lake in southern Oregon. As water shortages become a permanent part of life in the American West, battles are brewing everywhere for what little remains. Even in long-verdant areas like the Beaver State.

We’ll talk to L.A. Times reporter Anita Chabria and Don Gentry, the chairman of the Klamath Tribes. The tribes get first rights to the water of Upper Klamath Lake, which they use to help sustain a fish important to their culture. But farmers are angry because they’re not getting any water this year. Now, members of the far right are coming in to try to exploit the tension.


After that story, stick around to hear Nick Itkin talk about how he got into fencing and came to represent the United States in the Tokyo Olympics.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times Northern California reporter Anita Chabria, Klamath Tribes Chairman Don Gentry and fencer Nick Itkin

More reading:

Racism, drought and history: Young Native Americans fight back as water disappears

Water crisis reaches boiling point on Oregon-California line

As drought slams California and Oregon, Klamath farmers grow fish to quell a water war


Listen to more episodes of The Times here

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, producer Shannon Lin, senior producer Denise Guerra and editors Lauren Raab and Shani O. Hilton. Our intern is Ashlea Brown. Our engineer is Mario Diaz and our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.