Governor Signs Basin Agreement

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NEAR CHILOQUIN, Ore. — Governor John Kitzhaber and other Oregon and California leaders are gathering this morning for the official signing of the historic Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement.

Members include Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, Undersecretary of the Department of Commerce Kathryn Sullivan, California Resources Secretary John Laird, Klamath Tribal Chair Don Gentry, and members of the Klamath Basin Task Force.

Members of the Klamath Tribes and Upper Basin water users have come together and developed solutions to water issues affecting the region. The Upper Basin Agreement represents a historic milestone for one of the most complex and contentious natural water wars in the West.

Friday’s event will celebrate the leadership, good faith, and hard work that made the Agreement possible while highlighting the economic and environmental benefits for the Klamath region.


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  1. Rodney says:

    It was an agreement between the ranchers Irrigators and a few misled and or crooked natives Who are suppressing our native people,, How can 500 people make a decision for over 4000 ? the vote is not fair or overwhelming. History is repeating.!!!

  2. Rodney says:

    Today is a sad day for many of us. Everyone knows that I am 100% against this agreement. I voted no as well as everyone in my family. I may be 1000 miles away from home but I can feel the heartbreak of my people. The media as well as our elected tribal representatives are talking about what a historic event this was today. I watched this video and seen some of the pictures that were taken and a few things stand out that I want to mention. First of all in Governor Kitzhaber’s speech he sympathizes with the irrigation community and reflects on his visit to Klamath Falls in 2001 during the heat of the water crisis he states how angry people were in reference to the lack of water. He then goes on to talk about the healing this community will receive because of this agreement yet he fails to mention how our people, the Klamath, Modoc, Yahooskin people were treated by that same group of people during this time. How the local businesses blatantly took sides and refused service to the tribal population. How unsuspecting tribal members were harassed and attacked, end even shot at. Not much has changed since then. You can take a quick look at comments from basin residents on any of the Herald and News forums that mention the tribe and you will see the hate they have for the tribe. The supporters of this agreement speak of reconciliation and yet not one thing has been done to show the community or the tribal membership there is a change or a reconciliation taking place. The bucket that represents the other side still sits proudly in front of the Klamath County Government buildings and our people are still treated with discrimination. This agreement clearly favors one party and it is not the tribal people. Sure the tribal administration will receive some money to pursue their dreams of building a biomass facility on our newly acquired acreage but at what cost does that come to our people? What is the cost to our treaty? What is the cost to the future of Klamath, Modoc, Yahooskin children who may one day need to exercise their treaty rights yet are unable to because a forever agreement was signed? The second thing I want to point out is by far the most disturbing. If this was such a historic event then why were our tribal people not notified about the ceremony or even invited? How many tribal members do you see sitting there to watch this historic event? To witness our treaty being permanently altered? In Indian way if this was done properly our Tribal Council would have invited our Elders. They would have been sat in the front row. They would have included our tribal veterans because in Indian way that is what you do. Our elders would have been honored and introduced to the dignitaries present. In an article I read today our Chairman says this agreement honors our people. I ask you where is the honor? Via Willa Powless

  3. Rodney says:

    There is reason the tribe as even in the immediate area were not invited to attend the so called “celebration” That takes our Sr water rights and gives them away, its a sad Day for our people!!! this article doesn’t reflect the members who protest the unfair vote!! our tribal people were misled!!!

  4. Rodney says:

    It may have been a celebration for some, but it was a sad day for me. If the recent referendum had been fair and equitable for all Tribal members and the vote was still in favor of this agreement, then I could live with that. Instead, the Tribal Council only allowed 19 days from the mailing of the ballots by the election company to the deadline for return. A large portion of the Tribal membership either did not receive their ballots or did not receive them in time to return them to have their vote counted. To me this a violation of the Code of Ethics that the Tribal Council signed at the beginning of their term. They showed no moral principle with this act. I hope they can live with themselves after they have ignored their membership. Via Roberta

  5. Barbara says:

    Thank you, Rodney, for giving a more concise picture of what really happened here. When reading the article I was wondering what Native Peoples really thought of this entire event. Now I know: it’s just another treaty not being honored, and Native Peoples yet again being disrespected and discounted. A sad day for the Klamath Basin and the entire country.

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