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Klamath Tribes members to protest at the state capitol.
Group of four rides 250 miles on horseback to visit Gov. Brown
by LACEY JARRELL, Herald and News 6/24/15
     Horseback riders who saddled up for a 250-mile trek across the state are expected to reach the Oregon State capitol building this afternoon.

   Klamath Tribes member and ride organizer Quinten Bettles said he was inspired to complete the trek by an adage told to him by tribal elders: “A man on horseback is twice the spirit of a man on foot.”

   Bettles said he and three other Klamath Tribes members are traveling to Salem on horseback to raise awareness about tribal politics and to protest the Klamath Water Recovery and Economic Restoration Act (Senate Bill 133), which provides legislation to authorize and implement the Klamath Basin agreements.

   The bill includes the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA), the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA), both signed in 2010, and the 2014 Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement.

   “I decided to take this ride to put a lot of the (Klamath) tribal politics in the spotlight,” Bettles said, explaining that he does not believe the Klamath Tribes’ tribal council is accurately representing what members want in the Klamath water settlement package.  

   According to a news release, the riders are carrying an Oregon state flag that has been owned by several military officers in Bettles’ family. The release said the riders plan to present the flag to Gov. Kate Brown and ask her “Will you Honor the treaty of 1864?”

   The treaty established time immemorial rights for harvesting fish and gathering food.

   Once at the capitol, riders expect more Klamath Tribes members to join them in rallying to raise awareness about tribal water rights, the proposed water settlement and the proposed LNG pipeline.  “The ride shows the lengths we are willing to endure to exercise our right to be fully heard and understood. We the people are against fracking pipelines; we are against SB 133, and we are against any negotiations relinquishing our treaty rights,” tribal member Garin Riddle said in a statement.

   The riders began their horse trek Thursday morning at Pine Ridge Road in Chiloquin.

   Bettles said the ride has been “exhausting and draining on the body,” but the sacrifice is worth it.

    ljarrell@heraldandnews.com  ; @LMJatHandN



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