denies Klamath Basin water users motion to delay, modify
U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick issued an order late
Monday night denying a motion by Klamath Water Users Association
to modify a court-ordered injunction in a case of Hoopa Valley
Tribe v. Bureau of Reclamation.
The injunction was first issued March 24, 2017, in two related
cases: Hoopa Valley Tribe v. Yurok Tribe v. Bureau of
Reclamation. The injunctions, according to Orrick's ruling,
required the Bureau of Reclamation to require certain types of
water flows in the Klamath River Project.
Defendants and intervenors include KWUA, Sunnyside Irrigation
District, Tulelake resident Ben DuVal, Klamath Drainage
District, Klamath Irrigation District, and Pine Grove Irrigation
District, intervened on the side of the Bureau and the National
Marine Fisheries Service in both cases, according to the order,
and advocated for protecting their livelihoods.
Plaintiffs in the case, the Hoopa Valley Tribe and the Yurok
Tribe, contend that their cultural heritage and economic
wellbeing revolve around the salmon's health, as well as Pacific
Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, Institute for
Fisheries Resources, and Klamath Riverkeeper.
“I issued the injunctions because the law demands that
endangered species are entitled to primary protection,” Orrick
“Given the pendency of the appeal, my jurisdiction is limited,”
Orrick added. “Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 62.1,
I consider the merits of intervenors' motion and DENY it because
they do not show newly discovered evidence sufficient to justify
suspending or modifying the injunctions.”
Orrick said staying enforcement would not preserve the status
quo, and that he does not have jurisdiction to grant water
users' requested stay while an appeal is pending.
“Nor would I in light of the evidence of record,” Orrick said.
Orrick said, with respect to federal defendants' proposed plan,
that federal defendants' obligations under the injunctions are
for partial compliance with the injunction if full compliance
“And again I urge that the able bodied scientists who are
working on this issue attempt to reach consensus on whether the
best available science has changed since issuance of the 2013
Biological Opinion to the extent that the injunctions should be
modified prior to water year 2019,” Orrick said.
KWUA Executive Director Scott White commented
on the order, and said the association is looking at the
best time for a public meeting regarding the order.
“The question is, how much water is available
for actual delivery to the customers,” White said Tuesday
“That's the Bureau's role … It's a very
tough situation that this entire community is in right now.”
The Hoopa Valley Tribe could not be reached
for comment as of press time.
and News will provide updates online throughout the day and
at www.heraldandnews.com and
in Wednesday's edition. See related story here
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
section 107, any copyrighted material
herein is distributed without profit or
payment to those who have expressed a
prior interest in receiving this
information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only. For more
information go to: