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Letter by Becky Hyde who blasts Klamath Basin Alliance, Elaine Willman of Cherokee descendant/author/film maker/past National Chairman of Citizens for Equal Rights, and Philip Brendale. Brendale was getting screwed by his tribe, took the case to the Supreme Court and won. May 20, 2008. Response by KBC

Becky Hyde's letter, followed by (PRIVATE) invitation to tribal member Philip Brendale's presentation on the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, and tribalism, and tribal expansion.

From: Becky Hyde [mailto:yainix@mac.com]
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 9:38 PM
To: June Sanders; Karl Scronce; Paul Simmons; Stephanie Roseberry; Steve Kandra; shannon peterson; John & Jerri Hyde; John Elliott; Greg Addington; Bob Valladao; Bob Gasser; Jim & Caren Gould; Craig Ditman; Matt & Kathy Walthers; Mark Campbell; Andrew Stuedli; Karl Wenner; James Honey; John Snider; Jeff Mitchell; Jacques Leslie; gusd1@earthlink.net; gus@e-isco.com; Dean Chloe & Jana Walker; Danette Watson; Terry Morton; Alice Kilham; Marshall Staunton; Greg Corbin; Jim Root; Robert Kingzett; Laura Little; Glenn Barrett; Luther Horsley; Mark Stern; Larry Dunsmoor; Bill Brown; docandconnie Hatfield; Ed Sheets; Doug Frank; Dan Keppen; Troy Fletcher; Allen Foreman; Craig Tucker; Trish Seiler; Barbara Hall; John Crawford; Jenny Holmes; David King; Pat Bushey; Mitch Stokes; Sam Henzel; Lynn Long; Steve & Carol Koon; Perri Zepado; Joel & Laurie Brain
Subject: Re: INVITATION - Tribal member Philip Brendale speaks on KBRA

Dear Friends, (from Becky Hyde, off-Project ranch wife),

Just bugged by something and felt compelled to write a note to a bunch of you.

Last week I watched the video, "Going to Pieces: the Dismantling of the United States of America."  You may have gotten a copy of this handed to you or through the mail over the last months or weeks. There's also a book that goes with it. You may have also received the invitation that is on the bottom of this email from the Basin Alliance to hear Philip Brendale speak about the Basin settlement agreement.

I just have to call it what it is. These are part of a coordinated strategy to dismantle the potential for long-term agricultural stability--with water, endangered species and power--in the Off Project and Project irrigation communities. They are tactics based on half-truth fear about tribes. They are made to distract people from the work we need to be doing right now. Namely,  getting the current settlement document to meet the needs of the Off-Project community. (Like limiting the tribal water calls, and including all off-project water users in the power agreement under settlement.)

While we are distracted our opportunity will go away. Then a lot people could be in significant trouble--people who I think may not even realize it yet. Possibly losing water in the Adjudication with no safety nets, or subject to hard endangered species regulation not softened by anything.

I want to continue ranching in this basin. I want my neighbors to ranch and farm. When sensationalists like James Buchal--invited down by the "Save the Family Farm," and "Basin Alliance"--spread fear and panic, it does nothing concrete to protect my families ability to ranch in the future. It's distraction and mayhem--solutions unfortunately are very hard and come with no flash and glitter.

Tribal rights are like taxes--you don't have to like them, but they are law and we have to live with them. Sovereignty of Tribes is a cornerstone of our legal system--it's not about to change even if a whole lot of us don't like it. It's in the Constitution: "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with Indian Tribes." (Article 1, Section 8).

The Klamath Tribes can transfer land to the US government "in trust." Whether we like it or not, it's ingrained in our legal system like the right to private property is. The Klamath Tribes have a water right from their treaty--we don't know yet how big it will be, but it's been upheld as dating from "time immemorial" in the Federal Adair decision. I'm surprised on a regular bases by how many people still do not recognize that.  It is very late in the game to not recognize that--especially if you are an irrigator. Yes--we could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and re-open the Adair case with the hope that ag might prevail.  To me this is a gamble, and a last resort.  In the meantime the lands many of us own in the off project along the river were reservation and allotments covered under this treaty, and we are affected by the remaining treaty rights for fish and wildlife.

We should be trying to settle this so that when that right is quantified, it doesn't wipe out agriculture. I need to say that again--because I really want to make this point--we should be trying to settle this so that when that right is quantified it doesn't wipe out agriculture. The project irrigators obviously recognize this. Many off project irrigators realize this as well.

Mr. Brendale will explain how the purchase of 92,000 acres of Mazama Tree Farm will pave the way to "an interagency trade with the U.S. Forest service for up to 690,000 acres."  Under settlement the Tribes will purchase the land, and they can choose to put it under trust by law. But how they will go from there to taking over all the Forest Service land is just inflammatory and baseless. It's as if you said that if someone buys one ranch they will be able to leverage it to buy the entire valley. 

Tribal law is complex--and the interplay between Tribal, Federal, State and County law is even more challenging. Leaders in this community should be focused on important questions like how will the Tribe ensure the County remains financially whole if lands go into trust? (Setting up payment in lieu of taxes for example.) Or, how will in-holdings and other access issues be addressed if the Tribes purchase the land?

There are of course respectful ways to approach these questions, and then there are tactics designed to create anger and unravel the start we have toward a potential settlement. It's good to have questions about tribal issues--I have questions, but we should be asking them from people who want to solve our complex issues, not just drive it all down the drain.

We are at an important point in Basin history. Everyone wanting to continue farming and ranching has a chance to consider working toward settlement to create stability in the Basin: to meet the needs of farming and ranching while working to settle some of our complex disputes with the fishery that unfortunately are not going away. They just aren't.  Groups like "Save the Family Farm" and the "Basin Alliance"--despite their friendly names--try to block this progress.

Please recognize their strategy. It goes something like this--get people really riled up, ask them for money and then deliver them hopping mad to some county forum. I've watched this strategy for about ten years now. Don't fall prey to these fear tactics. See the connection between the video, and the Buchal and Brendal presentations and how they try to fan unbridled anger in our community. See that this comes out as many leaders including County Commissioners and the Natural Resources Advisory Committee, are trying to evaluate how to keep the door open for a solution to water, power and endangered species issues. Get information about tribal issues from attorneys who don't make their careers with sensationalist speeches. Go on line and try to discern for yourself what tribal sovereignty is and isn't. If you feel prone to panic, panic about what the outcome of no settlement and a large tribal in-stream water right will look like. I can assure you that keeps me praying at night.

See that what is going on here is an effort to sink the potential for settlement. I know we're not there yet that this settlement has loose ends that need attention by leaders in this community. I ask of you only to please help frame our issues in a context of reality. Reality gives us more than enough to deal with. I can not begin to share with you how tired I am of these issues, and the toll I see them taking on my family and this community. We can and should resolve these issues, and get on with our lives in this beautiful place.  Philip Brendale and James Buchal do not understand what is special about this place--or its history both good and bad.  We certainly shouldn't lay our future in their hands.  One sure way to "dismantle"  really gut this basin, is to follow this track.

Thanks. I'll go to bed now. Positive news flash==Bly girls softball (Lizzie's team) 4-6 grade just beat Lakeview. They didn't win one game all last year. 

Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 4:51:52 AM
Subject: INVITATION - Tribal member Philip Brendale speaks on KBRA, brought to you by Basin Alliance

INVITATION (invite only)

The Klamath Basin Alliance, Inc. invites you to a meeting on the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement featuring tribal member Philip Brendale.

MAY 27, 2008, 7:OO P.M. at Shasta View Grange 
(Corner of Shasta Way and Madison)

Expert in tribal law and Federal Indian Policy (FIP), Cowlitz Tribal member Philip Brendale, grew up on Indian reservations. As a young man, he watched the obstacles that tribal government placed before his grandfather as he exercised his legal right to transfer his allotted land to fee land.

As a result of these injustices, Philip has studied FIP, tribal government and court case histories for 45 years. He took the Tribes to the United States Supreme Court and won the Brendale case, a ruling that gives zoning jurisdiction to counties.  He also won a district court case allowing non-tribal members to access roads and private properties within a closed section of the Yakima Reservation where they had been denied access.

Philip's wife Sandra has been an activist for the rights of citizens for nearly 17 years. She attended school in the middle of Indian Country and is an Eagle Forum trained lobbyist and media expert with extensive experience. She hosted a local TV show for three years, IF NOT YOU…THEN WHO? She taught others how to lobby from home and often took viewers to lobby in person. She headed several citizens' committees and is Yakima's leading taxpayers' advocate.

Brendale has also mentored and advised citizens' groups on how to prevent tribal expansion and how it affects communities economically and socially. Philip and Sandra founded "Brendale Belzer, Federal Indian Policy Trouble Shooters."  He mentored Cherokee, Elaine Willman, author of  Going to Pieces; the Dismantling of the United States of America, regarding tribalism and tribal law. Administrator for the town of Hobart, Wisconsin, Willman served as chair for CERA/Citizens for Equal Rights, was a member of Toppenish City Council, and a teacher in the Masters Programs of Public and Business Administration. With a 15 year career in city planning and administration, she encourages all city and county representatives to attend Brendales' presentation. "You must protect their constitutional, civil and property rights from inappropriate government decisions, whether from federal, state, county, city or tribal governments. Government decision-making is a very separate issue from respect for culture".

Philip will explain how tribal expansion, the purchase of 92,000 acres of the Mazama Tree Project included in the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement with federal funds for the Klamath Tribes, would affect all citizens of Klamath County. The Tribes could place this property into federal trust thus paving the way to an interagency trade with the U.S. Forest Service for up to 690,000 acres of their old reservation which they previously sold. Sandra will tell us what we can do about it.

The future of our community is at stake so please join us for an interesting evening with the Brendales.  There will be an opportunity at the conclusion of the presentation for comments and questions.

The Klamath Basin Alliance, Inc. Frank Wallace, Chairman 
541-798-5759 
541-882-6562

Response from KBC  5/22/08

First, to all the environmentalists, tribal members, and government agencies who were insulted by being invited to hear tribal member and tribal law expert Philip Brendale speak: You weren't invited. This Basin Alliance (BA) sponsored speaker was coming to an invite-only meeting (because of space) for the people left out of the Settlement Agreement, those who had no voice in their fate, no seat at the closed-door confidential meetings, and no vote. Someone sent this to their email lists. Not only is there not enough room, but BA did not assume all your mailing lists would be interested. However the invitation has been emailed, and these fine folks at Basin Alliance will try to accommodate whoever will fit once the invited guests have a seat. They do not anticipate extra available seating.

We were reading your letter to the editor of the Herald and News from January 2007, belittling Basin Alliance's agricultural folks for their concerns over a tribal land return and denying their ties to agriculture. You assured them, "There is no “deal on the table” to return Federal lands to the tribes." You were right, technically. It would be a gift of taxpayer's money to buy private timber land for the Klamath Tribes  that they hope to trade for public land. It is interesting that we all were assured by former KWUA Executive Director Dan Keppen that,  "There is simply no chance of a "secret deal" being cut on this matter." The Klamath commissioners assured BA that this would not happen in secret given the public outcry. Department of the Interior Bill Bettenberg, as quoted by the Herald and News 10/9/03: "He said the Interior Department is not going to cut any unilateral deals in the water issue. Any deal made with the Tribes needs to be supported by other interests in the Basin. 'At the end of the day, we have to have something where the water users, the Tribes and the broader community are all on board."

Our "broader community" had concerns and received promises, however Tribal Leaders, farm leaders, gov't agencies, environmentalists and a pack of attorneys spun a "secret deal'" in closed door sessions called KBRA. The chosen ones at the table surely figured it's for the good of the peasants who needn't know what or why, and screw the promises made.

Congratulations on reading and watching "Going to Pieces; the Dismantling of the United States of America," where Elaine Willman, of Cherokee descent, and a videographer, visited many Indian reservations to listen to real people afflicted by corrupt tribal leadership. (To view the 1 hour 34 minute film click here.or contact BA for a copy.) Many were afraid to talk, but some spoke. Becky, that was not a Hollywood film; it was the real thing. Again, Willman is an Indian, but she is first an American. She believes in equal rights for Indians with others, not superior rights; here is part of her bio: "Elaine D. Willman is Village Administrator for the Village of Hobart, Wisconsin – a suburb of Green Bay, WI.  Ms. Willman has been pursuing a doctoral in federal Indian policy, has been adjunct faculty in Washington State, teaching in the Masters in Public Administration and Masters in Business Administration fields.  The Village of Hobart is located within the boundaries of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin providing Ms. Willman and the elected officials she serves with on-the-ground struggles defending the authority of a local general purpose government charged with the duty to protect the general welfare and public safety, against an aggressive tribal government rapidly acquiring land for removal from the local tax base, and asserting authority over non-tribal residents within the Village of Hobart. The economic and jurisdictional impacts of two such co-located governments are profound."

Please don't blast Elaine and Philip until you meet them.

Elaine represents people, not the corrupt leaders.  You accuse her of wanting to dismantle agriculture? Do you know how she met us? KBC was giving a presentation in Joseph, Oregon last year on effects of tribalism in the Klamath Basin and she was sitting on the edge of her seat listening intently. Because in 2001 when we in the Klamath Project had no water, she said she daily watched our website dumbfounded with what was happening to our farmers and ranchers. She is one of us. She believes in The People, dirt farmers like KBC, having a voice and being informed, open meetings, honesty, and transparency, and equal rights, not rights based on race. We give a voice to people whose leaders want to silence.

Elaine told us that Philip Brendale was her mentor and a good person to educate our communiity. Philip is an enrolled member of the Cowlitz Tribe in Western Washington.  He's half Cowlitz and half Hawaiian. As the invitation states, he is a self-taught expert in tribal law, took on a corrupt tribal government and won at the  Supreme Court. He was defending himself and tribal people, not the tribal leadership. He is an American and fights for equal rights of The People, not of the leadership supposedly for the good of the people.

If they are frauds, why would the city of Hobart pay Willman big bucks to be their city administrator to deal with decimation by tribal expansion and unequal rights? Why was she an elected city official if she was a lie? And if they are telling the truth, shouldn't Americans be allowed to hear their story and experiences? America does not mean the government, behind closed doors, plans what's best for their people, but in the case of the KBRA, you'd never know that this happened in America. You want to convince your friends that these Indians will lie about tribalism, and they should listen to you and not let them decide for themselves. Your friends/leaders have denied the people information for over 2 1/2 years, and still refuse to allow them to see draft 12. They want our support before we are allowed to see it. BA does not want your tribal and farm rulers to decide their fate, especially in secret.

You say, "Save the Family Farm" and the "Basin Alliance"--despite their friendly names--try to block this progress."  Allowing them to listen to Indian tribal members (people, not rulers) is not "blocking progress", "delivering "fear tactics" and "fanning unbridled anger." ...it is allowing them to know the consequences of their leaders' agendas for them.

You warn your friends to learn about tribal sovereignty from attorneys or online. "Get information about tribal issues from attorneys who don't make their careers with sensationalist speeches." Are you referring to those friends of yours like Eugene attorney PCFFA Glen Spain or Klamath Tribal attorney Bud Uhlman, who make their money from suing farmers and ranchers, then blackmail them into downsizing ag, ripping out dams, planting fish predators in our ditches, and giving our water rights to the Klamath Tribes along with private land after the tribes voted to sell it in the 50's? Does it not concern you that this agreement says it supports the ESA and BO's, and that ag has 2 voices in 26 and it is not a consensus? Does it bother you that The Nature Conservancy and gov't agencies have bought out over 100,000 acres in the Upper Basin, there are 50,000 acres left of surface-irrigated land, and the settlement agreement demands 30,000 acre feet of water to be permanently taken from them with no guarantees that they won't ask for more. You know this has decimated the cattle industry.

 Buchal, who you blame for "fear tactics', came to explain what fish predators like lamprey will do when planted in the Klamath Basin, or the sucker scam weapons used against us to downsize agriculture, and he brought facts and figures. He has won some ESA-related lawsuits. Perhaps Philip has no doctorate, but that lowly Indian took on the rulers and won at the Supreme Court as they tried to strip him of his rights. He represents people, on the ground, in the dirt, being effected by corrupt tribal governments.

You claim, "Philip Brendale and James Buchal do not understand what is special about this place". Where did you learn so much about them...didn't you just learn yesterday that Philip exists? But you threaten your 'friends' that they will "dismantle/gut this basin." Who is using scare tactics to devalue these good folks?

Some local town governments agreed to support the settlement agreement the evening it was presented, but many didn't really understand it and hadn't read it. Who would possibly encourage a city council to vote before they even read the outdated draft that was offered, or before they got public input? Nice conquest..whatever works.

Perhaps if we had a couple hundred thousand dollar easement with the tribes, we would blindly support the closed door promises of our leaders. But some of us want to be more informed than only hearing what we're told to hear, and not just the truth according to Becky and the tribal government and attorneys that feed off of our people. Maybe the people will conclude that the KBRA does not mean what it says and that it actually is the silver bullet you say. If THEY are allowed to decide, or even vote, now wouldn't that be called democracy?

KBC commends BA for allowing the people to hear from a tribal member his take on their situation.

 

 

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