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Letter to Commissioner John Elliott from The Klamath Tribes Sept 9, 2003

Re:  Technical studies of potential reservoir site at Long Lake

Dear Commissioner Elliott:

Out thanks to you and the other members of your delegation who took the time to present the Long Lake Reservoir concept to the Klamath Tribes.  We appreciate everyone's dedication to finding solutions to the water and other resource problems of the Basin.

The Tribes believe off-stream storage such as that potentially offered by Long Lake can be a significant contributor to dealing with the problem of over commitment of limited water resources.  We view such storage as a complement to efforts to improve and restore the natural water retention capacity of the Basin with projects similar to those under way or proposed around Upper Klamath Lake.  We are aware that some in your delegation spoke against projects like those associated with the Barnes Property.  We appreciate the frankness of the discussion, but we must respectfully say that we believe natural water retention has unique advantages and we are not prepared to see such initiatives abandoned. 

In any event, we are glad to provide a positive response to your request for this letter supporting technical studies and analysis of the Long Lake project.  From our discussions with you, we understand that this first phase of studies would be limited to the water retention capability of the site and a first level review, with the Tribes' participation, of cultural sites and values found there.  This leaves open the question of water and storage rights for the reservoir, witch would need to be resolved as part of determining its overall feasibility.

We will continue to give this and other reasonable proposals careful attention and due consideration as we seek workable solutions to the problems we all face in the Klamath  Basin.  We are also considering other storage proposals elsewhere in the Basin, and we trust you will support those investigations at an appropriate time.

Again, thank you for your consideration and attention.

Very truly yours,

Allen Foreman, Chairman

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