Klamath Tribes at water coalition talks
Tribes recently participated in the Coalition of the Willing
group meeting in March, and plan to attend the next meeting
Wednesday in Medford.
which is facilitated by Alan Mikkelsen, adviser to the
Department of the Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on
water and western resources, is made up of dozens of local
stakeholders from various ag sectors of the community as
well as downstream tribes who gather to discuss water
quality and long-term solutions.
“We showed up
and we're participating at the technical level now,” said
Don Gentry, tribal chairman, Friday.
According to a
Feb. 12 H&N story, Mikkelsen said the Klamath Tribes had not
been invited to coalition meetings, but that they are
welcome to attend. Tensions between Mikkelsen and the
Klamath Tribes stem from a late summer meeting in 2018.
Details about the meeting, which was closed to media and the
non-tribal public, aren't clear but both parties left
Gentry, who was
re-elected to his third term this week, plans to attend the
next coalition gathering Wednesday.
knowing the invitation from Mikkelsen was open and with a
desire to protect tribal interests.
“I went to the
meeting especially because they were going to be talking
about the status of the suckers and have a report," Gentry
said. "I felt it'd really be important for technical folks
to be engaged and share our concerns and fill in the gaps in
terms of the knowledge of what's going on with the fish. So
I went to the meeting and I met with Alan.”
upon attending the meeting, he was asked if he was willing
to participate and he answered he was, and that he wanted to
be there to protect tribal interests.
“There was just
a brief discussion about conditions,” Gentry said.
“We were there
with the same standing as the other folks — we're focused on
trying to see where we can come together, identify and
adjust the real problems,” Gentry added.
not immediately available for comment as of presstime but
his staff confirmed the Tribes are now participating.
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