I find it perplexing that the primary irrigator Herald and News chooses to interview about the recent Upper Basin irrigation shutdown, is Becky Hyde. When you do interview her you miss the real story.
The real story is this devastating result is coming shortly after the Yurok Tribe demanded enforcement of provisions adverse to irrigators in the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, the very agreement Hyde is pushing. It is also noteworthy that, Sustainable Northwest, a staunch supporter of KBRA, reported in public documents that they paid her tens of thousands of dollars as a consultant.
Hyde has a history of not supporting litigation challenging Tribal claims, and attacking those who do challenge Tribal claims. This is an important point since in the judicial system you will only get as much justice as you can afford, this is especially true in the adjudication.
Even though I left the Klamath Basin prior to the Klamath Tribesí claims being heard in the adjudication, we anticipated the possible risk. Therefore, true Upper Basin leaders insisted upon, and early written versions of KBRA contained, protections from Tribal claims as well as substantial power benefits for Upper Basin irrigators.
Incredibly Becky Hyde inserted herself in negotiations, insisting that I was being unreasonable.
It was impossible to retain protections or much of anything else in the KBRA when she was willing to support the KBRA with protections removed. Hyde asserted she had such a great relationship with the Tribes she could sign onto KBRA and negotiate protections later. It has now been several years later and peopleís livelihoods are being destroyed.
The reality is KBRA now advocates granting the Klamath Tribes 92,000 acres but does not obligate the Tribes to modify a single water claim above Upper Klamath Lake. This is an outrage.
Editorís note: Becky Hyde and her family are among those whose irrigation water has been cut off because they have junior water rights established by the adjudication process.