Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

KBC  notes:

1. The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement/KBRA, does not state there will be no more litigation. A subgroup of the chosen stakeholders will tell the litigants HOW they may sue each other.

2. These DVD's are available HERE. Going To Pieces is written by a Cherokee woman, Elaine Willman, who exposes corruption in tribal leadership, and tribalism. She is not "racist" against Indians; she is one.

3. Here is the poll: KBRA Survey

The following was submitted by the Klamath Tribes to the closed-door settlement 'stakeholders' Klamath Tribe document of intensions -  putting land into tax-exempt trust, ...intends to "buy back private lands....and secure funding for purchasing retired water rights, conservation easements...assert tribes senior water rights...expand gaming...exchange for federal lands..."  Their document speaks for itself.

4. The Tribe is claiming water rights from "time immemorial", and is asking for all the water. They 'promise' not to enforce that right. However the Tribe is 'sovereign', and as provided in Section 2.2, this Agreement does not waive any Party’s sovereign immunity.

5. Off-Project group that represents 125,000 acres of irrigators, Resource Conservancy, was not allowed at the negotiation table by Klamath Water Users Asso, tribes, environmentalists, and gov't agencies.

The Upper Klamath Water Users Association was recently formed by Becky Hyde and represents approximately 2000 acres of land. They were welcomed at the table by Gov't agencies, Klamath Water Users, Tribes and environmental groups.


The Klamath Tribe owns the easement to the Yainix Ranch of Becky and Taylor Hyde. p408.

Becky Hyde works with tribes and Sustainable NW, "Within two months of public offering, the LLC already has $40,000 in investments with several additional investors interested....Besides the Hydes and Sustainable Northwest, this partnership includes the Klamath Tribe, federal and state government agency employees, environmental groups, and interested ranchers."

Yainix Ranch-Model Conservation Easement grant was $225,000 (http://www.oregon.gov/OWEB/GRANTS/docs/board



A time to choose: collaboration or conflict?

In water struggle, more conflict means more litigation


This is the first of two parts on the Klamath Tribes’ assessment of Klamath Basin water issues.

It is time to choose between collaboration and conflict in the Klamath Basin. Choosing settlement will direct energy and resources into constructive, collaborative resolution of complex problems.

1 Rejecting settlement is choosing conflict, and will direct energy and resources into litigation and regulatory action, pathways the Klamath Basin has been experiencing for the past 20-plus years.

Much has been said lately about removing the lower four Klamath River dams and settling parts of the Klamath Basin water adjudication. All of these things and more would be accomplished through Basin-wide settlement agreements. Not surprisingly, strong emotions and opinions about the changes that would come with settlement have been widely expressed.

2. Also not surprising, but always disheartening, local and national racist elements have been making their presence known. Months ago, locals linked with a national anti-tribal group drove around rural Klamath County placing anti-tribal DVDs in mailboxes. 3. Two weeks ago, elected officials released results of a poll that was blatantly designed to elicit anti-tribal sentiment.

As is always the case, those who push these kinds of views rely on the fact that most people are not well informed on whatever issues are in view. Their task is easy to do here, since the issues surrounding tribal rights, dams, and water are complex. Two good examples are the emotional debates surrounding water rights and dam removal.

Before addressing these issues, however, several facts must be emphasized. The Klamath Tribes have lived here for millennia — this is our home, and we are not going anywhere. We signed a Treaty in 1864, and so did the United States, and this continues to hold both moral and legal significance, which we will not abandon.

We have valid, substantial rights and interests in water, in fisheries and in many other areas. Our commitment to collaborative, settlement-based solutions to complex, divisive issues is real, as we have demonstrated over the past several years of productive negotiations.

4. The Klamath Tribes hold the most senior water right in the Upper Klamath Basin — time immemorial.

A question asked in the poll was whether respondents thought that “the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement will give the Klamath Tribes too much control over our water. Water rights in the West follow a pretty simple rule — “first in time is first in right.”

Who was using the water in the year 1200? Perhaps you can understand our gut reaction to the question asked by the poll, which clearly states that the water belongs to someone else.

We realize, of course, that nobody knows how much water they have a right to until the ongoing water adjudication has run its course. Those who commissioned the poll know this as well.

After many more years of litigation, the water adjudication will establish how much water each party has a right to, and in what priority order..

Even if the Tribes only partly prevail in the adjudication, there will be significant reductions in the availability of irrigation water. While the ultimate outcome of the water adjudication remains uncertain for all parties, one thing is certain: Enormous amounts of money have been spent in the adjudication by all parties since it began in 1975, and much more will be spent if settlement is not achieved. One of the things this money will buy is continued conflict.

We are working hard to collaboratively settle water rights issues in ways that meet our needs and the needs of others. The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is a remarkable example of such settlement with the irrigators in the Klamath Project.

5. We remain committed to seeking similarly remarkable, collaborative outcomes with other Basin interests. We welcome the recent formation of the Upper Klamath Water Users Association because there has for too long been no voice for the rational, reasonable people who we know exist in the area outside of the Klamath Project.

Part 2 will appear in Tuesday’s Herald and News print edition.

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