Time to Take Action
Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

 The following was sent to KBC from Becky Hyde, facilitator for the 10/21/02 Beatty meeting.  This was to be a public meeting for the Upper Basin residents to ask questions regarding the closed-door talks with Klamath Tribes, Rangeland Trust, and some Upper Basin and Klamath Project people.  As it turned out, people were broken into small groups, so many people left.  The following statements were collected by Mrs. Hyde.

Community Meeting 10-21-03

Upper & Lower Basin Irrigators, Tribes & Community Members


Collective statements are based on the belief that each of us sees the world from a different viewpoint. Our individual views are like pieces of a puzzle -- when we fit them all together we get the full picture.

In most meetings our views tend to be seen as competitive. When someone speaks, another person responds with a counter-statement, and the meeting progresses with each trying to convince the other of his or her rightness. This behavior is based on a belief in the "one right answer" to all questions. Only one of us can be right, so our intelligence is used to establish that rightness firmly. It becomes a competition in which each person's ego and intelligence are at stake.

This is either/or thinking -- either you are right or I am! Often, two or three people will capture all the time in a meeting with this either/or conflict, while others listen, get bored, and drop out. It is a time-consuming, ineffective process. The meeting ends with some vaguely worded compromise that relieves the participants. They leave with little commitment to it.

Collective thinking assumes we can all learn something from each other. We have different views of a situation, and all views are right.

This is done with many of the workshop tasks. The collective statements are the result of adding individual statements together, keeping each person's words to the best extent possible, creating a statement of the total group.

A collective statement process is based on the notion that we all have different views of a situation, and all views are right. Each of us perceives the world through our experiences, our values and beliefs and our desires.

In some tasks, statements made by each individual participant are recorded as accurately as possible. These statements are first segregated into common groups. The individual statements are then added together, keeping each person's words to the best extent possible, creating a statement of the total group.

At times it is necessary to add words to the brief recorded statements to clarify the intent. Or, a word might be added to bridge two or more statements together. This is kept to a minimum in order to retain the original recorded thought.

While some grammatical improvements may be made, the original statement and the original words are kept as close as possible. These are not "consensus statements" but can become the basis of developing consensus in words.


What is your deepest concern about the Tribe, Upper and Lower Basin Irrigators meeting together?

Water Issues

The main interest of the meeting is the right to irrigate, selling water rights, and State and Federal preemption of water rights. Water rights should stay with productive land – not be lost to oceans. I am concerned because the tribes are not irrigators. Tribes get water – no irrigation.

There is concern over whether there going to be enough water for the fish wildlife and people? There is not enough water for all uses. Water will get divided up for agriculture, but not enough left over for the fish. In the past, there has always been enough water.

How much water is adequate for the Upper Basin? Is the lower basin willing to negotiate? Could we reduce usage of river somehow? Must use less water. Use less water. Must find a way to reduce usage of river and the amount of wells, and restore river.

Continuing conflict

There is a concern that the Klamath Tribes, lower basin irrigators and upper basin irrigators will dig in our heels and pass these problems and more to the next generation. There will be absolutely nothing accomplished, except to divide people against each other in order to put forth an agenda already established. I am concerned that the usual ‘me first’ attitude will prevail. My biggest concern is that they each will consider only their own special interests.

Fish, tribes, and irrigators must find workable ways. Just doing it. This meeting is a start to solving our problems. To start talks to resolve the situation – the existing problem. But, people walking out. Those who walked out only hurt themselves.

All meetings should be public meetings. All Basin be involved – be open minded. Everyone knows about the meetings. Everyone represented. Information needs to be given to all. My only concern is that not everyone will get information. There needs to be a way to get factual information out. Publish the meeting minutes on the website.

Representation at past meetings

How will the results of past meeting affect community of Sprague River? What is their agenda? Has problem truly been identified before solutions are decided upon? Are they representing all interests? My deepest concern in how the balance of power is shared and represented.

There is a concern with non-representation. No representatives at the meeting for water. No representation in meeting between irrigators and the Tribes. No representation from Upper Basin at ‘secret’ meetings. Who represented the Upper Irrigators in past negotiations? Why was Edward or other upper basin irrigators present? Upper River Irrigators were not represented. We felt the negotiators were using our water for a pawn.

The process is improper - informing Washington DC. No U/B L/O (Upper Basin landowners) input. L/O (landowners) asked to compromise, is the tribe willing to compromise? What’s going on? Who is KBRT? Who is KBRT? Klamath Basin Resource Council?

The community has no voice. The concern goes much beyond the impact of the tribes and irrigators alone. These 3 groups collectively cannot speak for all. It’s not all just about the irrigators and the tribe. Concerns are not only involving water irrigators. I am part of the community at large. I represent private property owners.

Questions & concerns regarding Tribal management

Is it true that the Tribes sold their lands 3 times, and 3 times the government gave it back? Explain this, if you can…Why does the tribe feel they should get the forest back when it was sold by the tribe, not once but twice? Tribe voted to sell land.

What are they (Indians) going to do different? Restoration? Why can’t they work together without controlling the water? Are they going to pay back what bought? Why does this have to be? Water – how to divide or keep? Access? Timber? Fish? Tribe – agreements or change minds? Water – tribal over use?

When is the Tribe going to make public boundaries of the lands they are asking for? It is pretty difficult to discuss a subject when the facts are kept a secret. What are the tribal land boundaries? Where are the boundary lines on the reservation and how much? What land is involved? To me, the Winema is Oregon. Will I loose the right to live in Oregon?

I’m concerned about the taking of our private lands and water, and trading forests for water. Tribes need to answer all questions on water. Because this is a water issue, is the tribe involved also with the designated local wetland areas?

How will this affect the Tribe taking private lands that was reservation? If the reservation is restored, will the Tribes keep access open to private property owners that now travel over Forest Service roads and know the arguments that private property owners have with the Forest Service (e.g., road maintenance, snow removal, tree trimming). Private property owners are concerned about legal access to their homes if public lands and roads within these lands are governed by the Tribes. My main concern is public access to my property (guaranteed!!!) What about access to private land if forest returned to the Tribe? Access? Will we have to pay for access? What about the private lands having dams being put back in above their property to block off natural resources?

I’m concerned with timber utilization, fair dealing on water issues, the proposed reservations, and endless litigation. I’m concerned that the reservation will be restored more for water than for other good reasons. In-holder concerns – access, surrounding level of erosion. People won’t be happy – there won’t be any more water. My deepest concern regarding the Tribes is the management of the forest – compare it to the management of the casino. The other is access – compare to Warm Springs – two sets of laws.

There are questions regarding the Tribe’s timber and wildlife management plan. Timber – future tribal government could overcut, etc. How does the Tribes’ timber management plan differ from Bush’s ‘Healthy Forest Restoration Act’? Federally funded projects should be opening up for bidding by reputable local private contractors within the next few years, why doesn’t the Tribe just bid like everybody else instead of eliminating work opportunities? Is the Tribe planning on using non-Tribal companies to help with their management plan? How does the Tribe propose to fund such a large project initially? How would tribe pay for the restoration work? If the Tribes get the 690,000 acres of forest, how will they pay to maintain it? Tax dollars? How would the Tribe pay for land if returned? If retained, paid by tax payer money? Is the Tribe planning on keeping all profits from timber sales? Will there be a loss of taxes from logging (for schools)? Will wood cutting be charged? What about ‘foot’ access or horse back riding in and around land that maybe has road closures?

Wildlife management – the Tribe is concerned with dwindling deer populations, but claims they aren’t drastically going to change non-tribal hunting on the affected lands. With current Tribal hunting of 3 deer/month/adult tribal member, how does the Tribe propose to address the problem without restricting non-tribal hunting? There is concern with the taking of more game than needed – left to spoil, use of spotlights, lack of game management program controlling the taking of game and the lack of building game herds in the saddle mountain area. Tribe hunting at night. Hunting fee – more the state.

I believe the Tribe will manage forest and wildlife better than Forest Service.


I’m concerned about making agreements with a sovereign nation. When an agreement is made, will the Tribes stick to the agreement? How can we be FOR SURE that private landowners will have full access to their property? Will Tribes honor existing agreements with Forest Service permanently?

Federal Government is supervisor of reservation (Tribal lands). What makes the Tribe think they won’t change again as in the past?

Why do we not trust our government to make the right decision?

If we work together as a community, what is the best possible outcome?

The best possible outcome would be to give everybody what they want. Obviously that’s impossible because power is at the core. There will not be a best possible outcome to all issues. Everyone will get the water needed. Irrigators and Indians first, fish last.

Work together is the best possible outcome. I think it is good to cooperate. Hope we can work together and be civil towards one another. Better communication. I think if we work as a community, we could accomplish more than trying to work one on one. We all should work together as one. We could get more accomplished as a team. Everyone work together – all of us!! Learn to be honest and trust. We will be able to have what we need without BAD feelings or short changing anyone. In other words, LIVE, LIFE & SUCCESS.

If we work together as a community that would be the best outcome. The community thrives. All the community gives fair compromise. If united working together adequately we will probably see things are better in various ways. Tribes would have lots of sucker fish to eat and worship. Farmers can feed America. Boaters can sail into the sunset. Tribes and hunters would hunt on equal terms. Tribes restored their homelands. Need water storage. Water storage. Restoration of watersheds and storage of water would meet ALL irrigators’ and Tribes’ needs. All of us live together in unity.

No Federal Government intervention. Better understanding between all factions involved. To look at water at years as it is available, and not ask government to set rules.

Federal land will stay public land for ALL to use. Harmony for all: fish, irrigation, land owners, farmers, labor, reservation, agriculture, preservation, resistance to government intervention. Sufficient water for upper and lower water users. All users and Tribe work with government to improve forest lands for all people. Government would maintain control. All members would work well together. Be water for fish – hunting – recreation – land use at no charge overseen by local people, not Tribe or Forest Service or BLM. Tribes and Forest Service should work together to manage the land (using local businesses when possible) while keeping it under US taxpayer ownership – open, unrestricted access as it has been for the last 50 years.

Healthy ecosystems, healthy communities – better relationships for future generations. Adequate water for irrigators above and below the lake. Fish in, above and below the lake. A Vibrant tribe – a valuable part of the wider community as well as carrying on tribal culture. Healthy forest recovering from over and high grading cutting and from bad effects of exclusion of fire. Scientific research to determine the best solution for deer population problem, with a look at current hunting limits by both Tribal and non-tribal hunters. Also Tribe could check claims brought by some of their own members as to their legal monthly limits.

If we are going to work as a community, we must first INCLUDE the community. I’m hoping for full participation from all parties, If that happens, I feel we will accomplish our goals in the upper basin, lower basin and Tribes. Open process and represented. Everyone’s needs can be satisfied. Years of hard work will provide results for our children, Continued lifestyle. DITTO. Game management plan. Less money on litigation, more money for agriculture. Continue to stay in business.

If the Tribe pleases everyone there is no point in restoration.

The best possible outcome is for the Tribe to either completely assimilate or accept the risks and responsibilities of a true sovereign nation. Either you are an American or you are not!





Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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