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Karuk Tribal Member writes about Klamath Settlement

From Jim Waddell

E-mail james.waddell@sbcglobal.net

February 7, 2008

To Glen

Glen, in answer to some of your questions;

            I shall offer you some of what I believe at this time.  I am now 59 years old.  I am a fifth generation former resident of the Happy Camp, CA and Klamath River lands.  With regards to the Klamath River, I have mined for gold, fished for steelhead, a licensed fishing guide, often visited with other gold miners and I am a researcher of history.  I am related to gold miners in the Klamath River for over the last hundred and fifty years.

I am a member of the Karuk tribe of Native Americans on the middle Klamath River.  Some of my conclusions in these matters say that many organizations, such as the “Karuk Tribe of California”, are political entities that often are not supported by any majority of tribal members of those tribes.  By filing law suits against the very government that donates billions of dollars to them, they have alienated themselves from many of the other members of those tribes.  Often, political actions are made by the Clan-Gangs without the tribal members even knowing anything about those actions!

Independent granting organizations are either fooled by fancy, fabricated entries in grant writing or they deliberately allow such grant writing.  Some of these grant applications are so false that some city-folks and young people actually think that “…American Indians still live in Tee Pees and beat drums at campfires!”

Many such “tribal” political groups have tribal council members that are securely imbedded inside of Clan-Favored voting practices.  They are fooling people with their false political self-importance as to bamboozle the news media and the members of government; and are deeply involved in large pay-off politics from Environmental Obstructionists.  Money games and pocket-money pay-offs go all the way up to state and federal officials.  Native American “Tribes” can get all the money they ask for with nobody counting and politicians that support the Tribes can get pay-backs with nobody counting!

There are billions of dollars of money paid to these “little, greedy Indian groups!”  Be careful that such political manipulations do not kill USA freedoms! 

All who live on USA money are supposed to be USA citizens!  Rich environmental political obstructionist groups pay these politically active members of the Native American Tribes to file these unsubstantiated appeals, law suits and other anti-working-people legal actions. 

They apparently think:  Get rid of loggers, truckers, sawmill workers, farmers, and ranchers in the outdoor country to make it all wildernesses!

For all that I know or can learn, all these “Indians” do not “…depend upon eating salmon…” they shop at Raley’s and Safeway just like everybody else!  An Alaska Athabascan Native told me that “…Alaska is up to its pockets in salmon…!”

In history, the Klamath River was never “Clear Water.”  Beaver trappers under Finan McDonald and Tom McKay did not report any salmon in the lakes, marshes and slow-waters of the Klamath Falls area… back in 1825.  In 1826-27, beaver trappers under Peter Skene Ogden and Tom McKay, from eastern Oregon, to upper Klamath and Pit Rivers, and over the Siskiyou Mountains to upper Rogue River… spoke of salmon traded for food from the Natives being “…so beat up and poor as to be inedible.” 

As can be read in the Journal of George Gibbs with the Indian Treaty group of Redick McKee in 1851, the Klamath River was so bad in autumn water quality that you should seek out creeks for fresh water! 

You, Glen, at 76, and your Mom, Violet Anderson, who is 99 years old and of a family of Klamath pioneers in this area of middle Klamath River land, tell stories that I have heard from late members of my own family.

The Klamath River was not of good quality, especially in the fall.  It had times of the people shoving rotting salmon back into the river to get rid of the stink! 

The upper Klamath River above the 14 miles of white water rapids at the line that now is the California – Oregon border… never had salmon.  Salmon need gravel to spawn!  No spawning gravel exists in the 14 miles of white water rapids above the State-line!  No spawning gravel exists in the slow waters of shallow lakes, slow-water streams and the still-waters of marshes of the Klamath Falls area!

In Lower Klamath Lake, Tule Lake, Upper Klamath Lake, Agency Lake, Williamson River, Sprague River, Sycan River, Lost River, Klamath Marsh, and Sycan Marsh never did have salmon per reports of history past!  There were Brown trout, Lake trout, Mullet fish, and several species of sucker-fish… that gained the sizes of 5-15 pounds… all off-shore spawning fish!   Mullet fish and sucker-fish are bottom feeders, up to 14-15 pounds… that spawn off-shore in slow, warm water of shallow lakes!

The factoid of Algae that is so often reported… is a “Factoid!”  A Factoid is a report that is so often told by biased news media or local gossip to be thought of as if it really is “Fact.”  Near as I can learn, there never were salmon in the Klamath Falls area of slow water lakes and or slow water rivers.  The media so often talks of “…the Klamath Basin” as though it is at one time the Klamath Falls area and at other times it is the entire Klamath River Drainage System!  What is actually meant is dependant upon who is talking and which story is being told!  Facts are so often manipulated in favor of political commentary of outsiders who have nothing to do with the lives of local citizens! 

As I told before, getting rid of the dams on the Klamath River will not “Return Salmon” to the Klamath Falls area.  Salmon were never in the Klamath Falls area!  Salmon need spawning gravel and there never was any spawning gravel there! 

Removing the dams on the Klamath River will not get rid of algae!  Algae is a product of slow and shallow waters, mineral springs, and of decaying organic material exposed to abundant sunshine onto that shallow, warm water!  Make more “Wet-lands” and you will get more algae!

Who will pay for removal of dams?  Who will be flooded out without dams?  How will “They” get rid of decades of lake-bottom sediment?  How will summer water flows do without stored water from these lakes?  Will removal stifle downstream critters?  What about ESA with regards to other “Listed” species?

The working citizens of the west do not need outsiders to plan their lives!

USA citizens cannot not put up with much more of these political shenanigans!

Now you know some of my opinions of all these connected subjects,

Jim Waddell

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