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Tribesí land purchase would be huge mistake       
 
Herald and News Letter to the Editor 9/29/09 by Charles Patterson, Wilsonville.   Editorís note: The letter refers to the Tribeís interest in buying 385 acres of land known as French Prairie near Wilsonville south of Portland.

   The Klamath Tribes are making the leadersí worst mistake since termination.
   Then at least, tribal members I knew walked away with cash to begin anew.
   Today, tribal leaders are working with distant speculators to evade land-use laws. The leaders believe there is profit in this evasion.  Not likely.
   Providing water, sewer and roads is too costly. The I-5 bridge over the Willamette is already over capacity and will require more than $500 million to upgrade. Can the Tribes afford that? Oregon canít in any foreseeable future.
   This deal also mocks the words of the tribal mission statement offering respect for the land of their heritage. The land at issue is Oregonís finest farmland according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture, classified as ďFoundation Agriculture Lands.Ē Speculators luring the tribe into a deal have learned every jurisdiction and community nearby believes the land should remain in agriculture. City, county, metro and state governments have held discussions about the land for years.  
   When thoughtful people are asked, the result is the same: The land belongs in agriculture. The proposed deal will involve the tribe in a long, costly struggle with little benefit for members. Only the same sort of fast-talking speculators who promoted termination will likely profit. Can the Klamath Tribes afford another costly mistake?
  
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              Page Updated: Wednesday September 30, 2009 03:00 AM  Pacific


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