News: Klamath Falls, Oregon
Tribes set to release forest plan
Published Oct 3, 2003
Klamath Tribes' plan for former reservation lands
key to negotiations for reacquisition
By DYLAN DARLING
The Klamath Tribes are nearing completion of a
forest management plan for former reservation lands
they hope to reacquire, according to the tribes'
most recent newsletter.
The plan will be a key piece of negotiations with
the U.S. government to restore lands to the Tribes,
according to the September issue of the "Klamath
News," the monthly tribal newsletter.
For about two decades, the Tribes have been trying
to get land back from the U.S. government. The
Tribes' reservation, which had about a million
acres, was abolished when the Tribes were terminated
The Tribes regained federal recognition in 1986.
The Tribes now hope to gain ownership of about
660,000 acres of former reservation land now owned
by the U.S. Forest Service.
A year ago, the Tribes' executive council asked the
general membership to help with talks between the
Tribes and the government about water issues and
"the return of our homeland," according to the
newsletter. The talks have been with the White House
and the Klamath River Basin Presidential Working
Group, set up by President Bush in March 2002.
How to manage the forests is a major part of the
negotiations, said Allen Foreman, chairman of the
Klamath Tribes in a telephone interview this
He said many people have questions about how the
Tribes would manage the lands.
"This plan will lay all of that out," he said.
In the Tribes' September newsletter published this
week, Foreman said the negotiations should take
another year and the Tribes are getting ready to put
out a proposed package.
One of the biggest pieces of the Tribes' proposal
will be the restoration of rivers and streams that
flow through the forests.
The plan will be out sometime between Oct. 15 and
the end of the month.
"The cornerstone of our land return is our Forest
Management Plan ...," Foreman said. "It was compiled
by the leading foresters in the world and is said to
be the gold standard of forest management plans. The
work that needs to be done in our forest will
provide many more jobs for tribal members."
The text in the newsletter came from a message
Foreman delivered at a special meeting of tribal
members on Sept. 27.
In the message, Foreman said the talks have been
long and difficult, but the Tribes are being taken
seriously by the government and progress is being
"Today I can reassure each of you that the return of
our homelands is for real," Foreman said in the
The presidential working group has been working
closely with the Tribes, said Carl "Bud" Ullman,
attorney for the Tribes in a telephone interview
Friday morning. He said the talks are taking a long
time because there are many complexities.
"Things are moving ahead, but they are not always
moving ahead as fast we would like," he said.
Reporter Dylan Darling covers natural resources. He
can be reached at 885-4471, (800) 275-0982, or by