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Tribes support salmon suit

May 21, 2004   Herald and News

Klamath Tribal Council sign in on PacifiCorp lawsuit

by Dylan Darling, staff writer

The Klamath Tribes announced today  they will be a party in the $1 billion lawsuit filed against PacifiCorp earlier this month for the cutoff of salmon from the Upper Klamath Basin.

Support for the lawsuit was secured by a vote of Tribal members at a General Council meeting last  Saturday.

Eight of the 10 members of the Tribal Council then signed an notification of the Tribes being part in the lawsuit.  The announcement was faed to the Herald and News this morning by the Ulum Group, the Tribes Eugene-based public relations firm.

The lawsuit, which claims construction of dams on the Klamath River in the first half of the 20th century destroyed the Tribes' federal treaty rights to fish for salmon in the headwaters of the Klamath River, was filed May 11 in U.S. District Court in Portland.

The suit calls for PacifiCorp to be held  liable for compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $1 billion.

The plaintiffs in the suit include the Klamath Tribes and the Klamath Claims Committee, both as a group and individual members.

The Claims Committee is a 10-member group that represents tribal members and their heirs who were on the roll of the Klamath   Tribe when it was terminated by the federal government in 1954.

After the lawsuit was filed, it was unclear if the Tribes' government supported it even though "The Klamath Tribes of Oregon" topped the list of plaintiffs.

Dan Israel, a Colorado-based attorney who represents the  Claims Committee, said at the time that the lawsuit had the support of the Tribes, but no official word was given by the  Tribes' government.

A document approving tribal participation in the lawsuit was signed by Tribal Council  Chairman Allen Foreman, Vice-Chairman Joe Hobbs, Secretary Torina Case and council members Modesto Jimenez, Rose Mary Treetop, Brandi Koger, Philip Jackson and Helen  Crume-Smith.  Treasurer Gail Hatcher signed later in the week, said Doug Barber, a spokesman for the Tribes from the Ulum Group.




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

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