Hayley Hutt: Tribal perspectives missing from Klamath report

"The Times-Standard's “Klamath draft report released; Thompson: 'Time for Congress to act is now'” article mistakenly recites that the 2010 Klamath Agreements “represent the best way forward for the Klamath River Basin and its communities.” If it sounds too good to be true, that is because it is.

There is no mention of the KBRA costs. Rep. Thompson's HR 3398 would bill taxpayers $800 million for the benefit of the few and at great cost to tribal rights and resources. These are additional costs above the “estimated cost of dam removal” of $291.6 million, only part of which is paid by the PacifiCorp customers who have benefited from the fish-killing dams. Far from blessing the Agreements as “the best way,” the draft Secretarial Overview report actually says that the KHSA is in “the best interest of PacifiCorp” and its customers.

The Hoopa Valley Tribe and other California tribes that declined to sign the Klamath Agreements strongly support removal of the obsolete dams of the Klamath Hydroelectric Project. Dam removal will help struggling fish species. But the Klamath Agreements block the normal relicensing process that will produce dam removal. Because the secretary has a government-to-government relationship with the tribes, it is important that the draft report advise the secretary of the tribes' own views of the proposed action, not just the opinions of third parties as to what may be “best” for Indians. But the tribes' views are missing from the draft report."

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Hayley Hutt: Klamath legislation jeopardizes rights and resources (The Eureka Times-Standard 2/3)

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