American Indians, commercial fishermen and conservation groups plan to take their concerns about salmon-blocking dams on the Klamath River straight to the owner's ultimate chief -- billionaire investor Warren Buffett.

Representatives from the North Coast will head to Omaha, Neb., in early May to plead with Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s CEO to take notice of the struggle over the fate of Pacificorp's dams. The company's shareholder meeting is the forum, and the tribes and fishermen plan to put on a brush dance in the vicinity of the gathering and perhaps bend the ear of investors.

Berkshire Hathaway's MidAmerican Energy Holdings bought Pacificorp nearly two years ago, after the Yurok, Hoopa, Karuk and Klamath tribes twice brought similar messages to previous owner ScottishPower.

”They didn't fix a damn thing,” said Hoopa Valley tribal member Merv George, who intends to bring a traditional redwood canoe to Omaha. “They just sold it to someone else.”

George said that he's optimistic that Buffett may only be uninformed about the effects his subsidiary's dams are having on Klamath salmon stocks. The mission to Omaha is an educational one, George said, that he hopes will spur Buffett to make decisions from the top. Pacificorp and MidAmerican, he said, have not been very helpful.

The trip to the Midwest takes place as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission considers issuing another 30- to 50-year license for the hydropower dams. Settlement talks between the company and stakeholders along the Klamath River are also proceeding, but have yet to produce tangible results.

Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation Commissioner Ronnie Pellegrini and her two daughters Eryn, 17, and Michaela, 14, are also making the trip. A fisherman's wife, Pellegrini said she hopes to bring a message that a healthy Klamath River is for the good of the fishing industry and others who depend on it.

”Everybody seems to want to take out the dams except Pacificorp,” Pellegrini said. “Maybe we can go around Pacificorp and convince Warren Buffett of all the benefits of taking out the dams.”

A spokesman for MidAmerican said that Pacificorp does inform its parent company of the status of negotiations and the relicensing process. Allan Urlis said Pacificorp is in charge of the negotiations.

”This is being managed and handled by Pacificorp,” Urlis said.

He declined to say what the reaction of company leaders might be to the presence of the North Coast contingent in May. A call to Pacificorp was not returned by deadline.

But the group is hoping to make an impression.

”We're going to take case to Berkshire: This subsidiary is not representing them very well,” said Karuk Tribe spokesman Craig Tucker.

John Driscoll can be reached at 441-0504 or