Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
14, 2005, The Klamath Tribes proposal to the Klamath
County Commissioners to buy the Fremont-Winema
This document and following note were emailed to KBC from a Klamath Basin resident
To unite the people and the economic interests of the Klamath Basin to create a stronger economy and more family-wage jobs through enhanced local control and careful management of the region's natural resources.
The Klamath basin is unable to reach its full economic potential due to a persistent imbalance of the critical environmental and economic factors which include: adequate water for multiple uses, including irrigation; availability of clean, reliable and affordable energy; and sustainable managed forests that are less susceptible to policy shift, have a diminished risk of wildfire, and produce stable revenue for the region. This imbalance is due to a lack of local input and control over decisions affection the Basin, including natural resource decisions that impact families and our natural heritage.
Restore economic certainty to the Basin by creating solutions that could include the following key elements:
1. Settlement of existing water issues that includes resolution of the Tribes' water rights in a long-term agreement that creates lasting certainty for all interests in the Basin.
2. Fair market purchase of federal lands by the Tribes within their former Reservation that will provide a stable timber supply and family-wage jobs in the Basin.
3. The purchase of federal lands would include a binding and enforceable agreement that protects all existing uses and interests in private and public lands.
4. Affordable power for irrigation using biomass derived energy from the former Reservation that also provides family-wage jobs and economic benefits to the Basin while simultaneously improving the health of our forestlands.
Economic self-determination for the Klamath Basin can and will occur if these critical imbalances are addressed in the form of sustainable, long-term solutions that take into account the needs of the major stakeholders in the region. Piecemeal approaches can provide temporary relief but cannot resolve the underlying imbalances which, until addressed, will continue to deny the Basin its true economic potential.
This is the handout given by the tribe. Of course much was said. I was not in attendance but heard from others. I did talk to Harper afterward. They are proposing a "group" to work out the details. Becky Hyde, Sam Porter (jeld-wen), John Crawford, Marshal Staunton, and Sam Henzel are proposed members. They all spoke in favor of the tribe. Some equated the tribes treatment to the "trail of tears".
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