Report says Klamath panel erred
larryc at teleport.com
Mon Nov 25 13:10:07 EST 2002
In article <6dafee1b.0211241931.2ad9bb9d at posting.google.com>,
dwheeler at ipns.com writes:
> Larry Caldwell <larryc at teleport.com> wrote in message news:<MPG.184b052a2492639998a36d at news.earthlink.net>...
> > In article <6dafee1b.0211231415.178e1db6 at posting.google.com>,
> > dwheeler at ipns.com writes:
> > > There does appear to be an agenda. I don't see the Klamath tribe
> > > involved in it, since their tribe legally doesn't exist at this time
> > > to my knowledge.
> > You are very mistaken. Plus, it is the Klamath TribeS. There are Modoc,
> > Paiute and Klamath tribes involved in the Klamath Basin. They have all
> > had official tribal status restored, but they didn't get their
> > reservations back.
> I'd still like to see something more than just your informed opinion,
> Larry. If I am mistaken, a citation would certainly prove that
Why not check with the tribes themselves?
"In 1986, we were successful in regaining Restoration of Federal
Recognition for our Tribes. Although our land base was not returned to
us, we were directed to compose a plan to regain economic self-
sufficiency. Our Economic Self-sufficiency Plan reflects the Klamath
Tribes' continued commitment to playing a pivotal role in the local
I live in a rural area outside the Willamette Valley. While the Indian
population of Oregon is not huge, you don't have to go very far before
you rub elbows with one. I used to work for a Modoc, who employed
several Indians from various tribes. There was never a hint of
discrimination. They always treated me like a regular person. :)
I'm no expert, but when you work with Indians you hear a lot of
conversations from the Indian viewpoint, and get a picture of their
politics. The Klamath Tribes were once pretty prosperous, before the
feds took the reservation away.
I think most Klamath Basin Indians want to return to a land based
economy, rather than cashing in on the gambling craze. I have always
supported the return of tribal lands. There is no doubt that the
termination movement was nothing but a land grab clothed in high sounding
phrases. The environmentalists don't like the idea, because turning a
whole national forest back to the Indians would erode their power base.
The Whites in the Klamath Basin are of mixed opinion about the
restoration. On one hand, the Indians historically did a great job of
managing the land and were a big part of the local economy. Farm stores,
restaurants, shopping malls and similar businesses stand to benefit in a
big way if the Indians get their land back. OTOH, whites would lose
their hunting and fishing privileges on millions of acres of land, which
would be a big hit to the local recreation industry. A lot of people
show up to hunt mulies and waterfowl each year, and leave big wads of
green at local vendors. Some ranches would lose profitable grazing
So you see, besides fishery concerns, the Klamath Tribes are using the
water issues to leverage their cause. Sometimes they may use the
environmentalists to make a point, but they have no illusions that the
environmentalists would support the tribes. They may dispute with the
farmers, but know that the farming community contains some of their most
solid supporters. Farmers and Indians are united in their loathing of
Washington DC. If the feds destroy the local economy, it will hurt the
Indians bad, because they depend on the white community for jobs. If you
destroy the farming economy of the basin, you push another 20% of the
Indian population below the poverty line.
The general public just gets sound bites, and has no clue about the
historic basis for local politics. At this point, everybody is praying
for rain. Twenty years ago, they had to raise the road bed of US97
because Klamath Lake was flooding the highway. This was right after the
severe droughts of the late 1970s. A couple years of double snow packs
and this entire issue would sink into the water and drown.
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