Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE by Resource Conservancy
IRRIGATORS SEEK FAIRNESS IN CASE TO DETERMINE TRIBAL WATER CLAIMS
On August 18, 2009 the Upper Basin Contestants filed a reconsideration motion with the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the Klamath Water Adjudication. The motion asks that the order signed by ALJ Joe Allen on June 12, 2009 be vacated. This order conditionally settled the Klamath Water Users (KWU) contests of the Klamath Tribes unsubstantiated claims to all of the water in the Klamath Lake and the Klamath River.
This conditional settlement contained language validating the Klamath Tribesí claim to all of the water in the lake and the river. Previously, ALJ Russell had ruled that the Klamath Tribes had to show evidence in an administrative hearing that they were entitled to any of the water in the lake or river. The evidence has not been submitted in any proceeding to date.
The conditional settlement was developed within the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA). The Upper Basin Contestants have sought to be involved in the KBRA multiple times though their non-profit organization the Resource Conservancy. Their requests have been rejected each time.
The State of Oregon is participating in the KBRA settlement negotiations. Oregon law requires that the State of Oregon not participate in confidential settlement negotiations with the Klamath Tribes. The Resource Conservancy and Upper Basin Contestants have raised this issue with State a number of times, yet the State continues to participate in the closed negotiations. Further, all parties involved in the KBRA continue to negotiate terms that will impact the Upper Basin Contestants without them at the table.
The Upper Basin Contestants and Resource Conservancy want to be treated fairly in the negotiation and settlement process. They stand to lose an additional 30,000 acre feet of water in under the current terms of the KBRA .
The inequity of the KBRA process has now spilled over into the Adjudication. The Resource Conservancy hopes to bring equity back into that process with their motion.
Page Updated: Saturday August 22, 2009 03:16 AM Pacific
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