Tribes unhappy with lack of progress on big water agreement

The Klamath River in northern California. Photo U.S. Fish & WIldlife Service, Klamath Basin Ecoregion Collection

The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is falling apart as tribes withdraw from a deal that was meant to resolve long-standing water issues in northern California and southern Oregon.

The deal was originally signed in February 2010. But Congress has failed to take action and the Yurok Tribe said the agreement has been modified so many times that its provisions have become "unachievable."

"The Yurok Tribe played a leadership role and invested extensive financial, technical, and human resources in the process," a notice of withdrawal stated. "The bargained for benefits of the Klamath Agreements, however, have drastically changed since their passage in 2010."

The Karuk Tribe, also in California, is planning to withdraw unless Congress takes action by the end of the year, The Eureka Times-Standard reported. The Klamath Tribes of Oregon also might walk away, the paper said.

The Hoopa Valley Tribe of California had not signed onto the agreement.

The deal sought to address water issues for the tribes. Lack of water flows have hurt runs of salmon and other fish. The tribes' water rights have never been fully quantified either.

Get the Story:
Tribes eye leaving Klamath Basin deals (The Eureka Times-Standard 9/16)
Tribe pulls out of river pact (The Del Norte Triplicate 9/17)

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