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April 2, 2008
Klamath County may go ahead with discussions without Klamath Tribes
By TY BEAVER, Herald and News 4/2/08

   The Klamath County Board of Commissioners may move ahead with a facilitated meeting on the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement without the Klamath Tribes.
   Commissioners and tribal officials have talked for weeks about the meeting, which also would include representatives for irrigators on and off the Klamath Reclamation Project.
   But the Tribes still have not committed to a meeting time and the county’s three commissioners are considering meeting only with irrigators. Klamath County commissioners need to decide whether the county will officially support or oppose the proposal. Commissioner Al Switzer said his decision about the agreement would not be affected by the Tribes’ potential non-participation in the facilitated meeting. “I’m trying to view this very objectively,” he said.
County responds
   The meeting was suggested as a means of resolving conflicts between the Tribes, and on- and off-Project irrigators about portions of the agreement. Representatives from both irrigator groups have consented to the meeting and a facilitator has been found.
   The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement allocates water in the Klamath River watershed among irrigators, tribes, conservationists and fisheries. It also advocates removal of four hydroelectric dams.
Com m issioners sa id they responded to tribal leaders’ questions about the meeting and how it would proceed. As of Friday, the Tribes hadn’t made a decision. The Klamath Tribes General Council has voted to support the agreement.
   “ Unfor tunately, g iven the resumption of the adjudication and other pressing issues raised by federal agencies, we have not been able to digest the document and adequately consider the question of our participation,” wrote Jeff Mitchell, tribal council member, in an e-mail.
   Mitchell did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday from the Herald and News.
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