Klamath Tribes meet with Interior's Zinke
and News by Holly Dillemuth 7/18/17
Chairman Don Gentry and a Klamath Tribes delegation voiced
support for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument expansion
— among other topics — during their first meeting with U.S.
Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in Medford Sunday.
hour-long meeting at Medford’s Bureau of Land Management
office, Gentry also invited Zinke to visit the Tribes
homeland in the Klamath Basin, and requested action on the
termination of Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement.
“We had a
chance to introduce ourselves and talk a little bit about
the Klamath Tribes, who we are, and what our interests are
in regard to restoring fisheries and other (1864) Treaty
resources that are important to the Tribes,” Gentry told the
H&N Monday afternoon.
Monday with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Deputy Commissioner
Alan Mikkelson, who met with Gentry and other local
officials. Mikkelson is in Klamath Falls this week also to
meet with Upper Basin landowners, and with the Klamath
Irrigation District board of directors at 8 a.m. today at
the district offices at 7463 Tingley Lane. The meeting is
open to the public.
interested in finding out what his role is in addressing
Klamath Basin issues,” Gentry said of Zinke.
encouraging to have a face-to-face meeting with the
secretary because of their significant role in meeting the
trust obligation to the Tribes established through treaty.”
interests, are continued support by the Klamath Tribes for
the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and its expansion.
that the area is unique and that the area needs to be
considered for ecological and other values it provides, or
that the management for that area needs to consider being
considerate of the values in ecological significance it
provides,” Gentry said.
Gentry said the
meeting also served to set a foundation for continued work
toward goals of restoration of land by the Tribes.
“We do want to
discuss the Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement
negative notice,” Gentry said, adding that Mikkelson will
likely play a role in such talks.
The Tribes and
Upper Basin irrigators have undergone “meet and confer”
procedures and mediation efforts in regards to the
agreement, but have not come to a consensus to maintain the
agreement that was part of the now dissolved Klamath Basin
Restoration Agreement (KBRA).
Basin irrigators oppose the termination of the agreement and
continue to pursue a resolution for a sustained agreement.
that agreement, which was dependent upon successful
legislation of the KBRA … the last final step is a letter of
negative notice from the Secretary of Interior,” Gentry
said. “We want to find out the status,” he said.
planned to meet with Mikkelson Monday afternoon in
Chiloquin, where he hoped more could be discussed about the
process associated with terminating the pact.
toured parts of Crain Creek, a riparian project in the Wood
River valley Monday with Randall Kizer, president of the
Landowner’s Entity, and other officials. Kizer hopes to meet
with Mikkeslon this week on the subject of the Upper Basin
Zinke was “open” to visiting the Klamath Basin in person in
the future though no specific dates have been given.
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