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Klamath tribal dispute
Faction: Hold off signing KBRA
Group says tribal leaders were recalled, shouldn’t sign water dealCHILOQUIN — A group of tribal members who claim they recalled current leaders of the Klamath Tribes asked the Bureau of Indian Affairs that those leaders not be allowed to sign the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement today in Salem.
Gary Frost, who identified himself as the new Tribes chairman, wrote in a letter to BIA deputy director Mike Smith that the tribal council has been instructed by the tribe’s general council “to postpone signing any agreement that was initiated by the removed Tribal Council.”The landmark restoration agreement, which aims to resolve water disputes in the Klamath River Basin, will be signed at 10 a.m. today in the Oregon State Capitol rotunda. The Klamath Tribes last month voted to support the agreement.
Joe Kirk, chairman of the disputed tribal council, could not be contacted Wednesday to comment on whether the Tribes planned to sign the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement in Salem this morning.He issued a press release Wednesday disputing claims of the opposition group. (See related story.)
Among those attending signings ceremonies will be Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski.Letter to officials
“The Klamath Tribes realize that there was a referendum vote that was passed by the Klamath tribal membership, but the manner in which this was done, as well as the authority for the issuance of the ballots for this agreement, is in question,” Frost claimed in his letter to BIA officials.“Due to these exigent circumstances, the Klamath Tribes will not be signing the agreement until the Tribal Council and General Council review all actions taken by the removed Tribal Council members to ensure that they were in accordance with the Klamath Tribes laws and guidelines,” he wrote.
The vote for the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement passed 700-139, according to a tribal member.Frost said the Tribes’ general council Saturday affirmed a Nov. 21 recall of seven tribal council members.
Page Updated: Friday February 19, 2010 03:20 AM Pacific
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