“The poison fruit from the poison tree should not be
allowed to ripen,” is the concluding statement of an
amicus curiae brief recently filed on behalf of the
Siskiyou County Pomona Grange (SCPG) in the case titled
Tulelake Irrigation District v. All persons claiming to
have an interest in the validity of agreements entered
into by Tulelake Irrigation District entitled [the
Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) and
Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA)].
In Tulelake, TID requests that the court validate its
actions in signing the KHSA and KBRA, as well as the
agreements themselves, an action required in the KBRA for
all involved irrigation districts.
Earlier this year, Siskiyou County filed a motion of
demurrer, or dismissal due to a failure to provide a
valid argument, of TID’s validation request, arguing
that the two agreements do not constitute contracts or
bonds and therefore cannot be validated by the court.
The SCPG brief, filed Nov. 26, urges the court to find
in favor of Siskiyou County’s demurrer, alleging that
the process leading to the creation of the KHSA and KBRA violated
the Bagley-Keen Open Meeting Act.
Alleging that the meetings were secret and had a
precondition of agreeing to dam removal, the SCPG brief
says, “The stakeholders and members of the SCPG were
[systematically] and deliberately excluded from those
meetings because they did not agree to the precondition
in order to participate.
“No agendas were published; no notice of meetings; no
convenient access to meetings; no access to records. The
public and Siskiyou counties’ ‘true stakeholders’ were
left out,” the brief reads.
Along with urging the court to not validate the
agreements, the SCPG also asks in the brief that the
court render the documents invalid and require the TID
and other parties to the agreements to allow the public
to contribute to the formation of new agreements.
The court rendering the documents invalid, however,
would require a separate lawsuit.
The SCPG brief is the latest activity in a case that has
remained in stasis for a number of months.