and News: Klamath Falls, Oregon
ONRC plans rejected by tribal leader
October 12, 2003
By LEE JUILLERAT
A proposal by the Oregon Natural Resources Council
to have the federal government buy or condemn
private land to create a new reservation for the
Klamath Tribes was rejected Friday by tribal
Chairman Allen Foreman.
In a letter to Jay Ward, the ONRC's conservation
director, Foreman categorically dismissed the idea
made public by the ONRC last week.
The ONRC suggested the private land alternative so
that former reservation lands that are currently
part of the Fremont-Winema National Forests will not
be returned to the Tribes, as is being considered.
The Tribes are hoping to regain title to more than
600,000 acres of public land, reportedly in exchange
for the Tribes' senior water rights.
In his letter, Foreman said the Tribes plan to move
forward with efforts to acquire the Forest Service
"... Despite ONRC's unalterable opposition to the
Klamath Tribes' efforts to regain our Reservation
lands managed since 1961 by the U.S. Forest Service,
the Tribes will continue to work with federal, state
and local officials, community groups in the Klamath
Basin, and environmental leaders, to assure that the
Tribes' forest lands are returned," Foreman's letter
"You should also understand," Foreman wrote, "that
the Klamath Tribes do not and will not support
ONRC's proposed alternative. It is difficult for us
to imagine how ONRC could even think that lands now
private, in place of the Reservation lands which
were designated as National Forest lands in 1961,
could be a plausible solution to the taking of the
Klamath Tribes homeland.
"So while ONRC's proposed alternative will not be
considered by the Klamath Tribes, and ONRC's
opposition will not deter us from working to restore
what was our homeland for 14,000 years before being
designated National Forest only 42 years ago, please
do feel free to call my office to arrange a meeting
at your convenience."
The ONRC was joined in its proposal by 16 other
conservation groups, including Audubon Oregon, the
Audubon Society of Portland, the Friends of the
Columbia Gorge and the Hells Canyon Preservation
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section
107, any copyrighted
material herein is distributed without profit or
payment to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this
information for non-profit
research and educational purposes only. For more
information go to: