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Tribes to stage hearing protest

July 11, 2004

Witness list for congressional field hearing does not include Allen Foreman


H&N Staff Writer

Members of the Klamath Tribes say they will stage a protest Saturday outside a congressional field hearing in Klamath Falls because their tribal chairman isn't being given a turn at the microphone.

Tribal officials announced Friday that Allen Foreman, chairman of the Klamath Tribes, wasn't included in the list of witnesses set to give testimony regarding the Endangered Species Act at the House Resources Committee field hearing.

The hearing is set for 9 a.m. Saturday at the Ross Ragland Theater.

A list of witnesses scheduled to testify was not available Friday on the Resources Committee's Web site, and has not been announced by any of the six republican legislators set to attend.

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, a Republican who represents Klamath and Lake counties and is a member of the committee, has said the hearing will focus on what is working and what is not with the 30-year old ESA.

Efforts to reach Walden before press time were unsuccessful.

The Tribes said the hearing is intended to justify weakening of the Endangered Species Act, they said in a press release.

"The committee will be considering laws and regulations that profoundly affect Tribal resources," Foreman said in a press release. "We must speak on behalf of the Tribal fisheries that have been decimated by reckless resource management in violation of our federal treaty rights."

Tribes in the Klamath River Basin have fishing rights for endangered Lost River and shortnose sucker fish and threatened coho salmon.

Tribal members plan to dance, drum and protest their way from the Klamath County Museum to the theater starting at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

Klamath sucker fisheries were closed in 1986 and the two species of fish were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1988.

"Our tribes have suffered for too long," Foreman said in Friday's new release. "Agricultural pollution and a federal water policy that drains Upper Klamath Lake below its natural level have destroyed our fishery and our way of life. This hearing should really be about how to protect the rest of us from federal policies that flaunt the laws protecting nature."


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