Land for Klamath Tribes identified
By LACEY JARRELL
Herald & News
May 30, 2015
The Klamath Tribes and U.S. Forest Service officials have mutually agreed upon a specific parcel of Fremont-Winema National Forest land that will be returned to the Tribes if Senate Bill 133, the Klamath Basin Water Recovery and Economic Restoration Act of 2015, is enacted by Congress this year.
The identified parcel is a replacement for the Mazama Forest, a critical Klamath Tribes bargained-for benefit in the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA).
“This is a very positive development and should enable the Tribes to maintain continued support for the Klamath Agreements,” said Klamath Tribes Chairman Don Gentry.
The Mazama Forest was purchased by an outside party earlier this year, threatening the continued participation of the Klamath Tribes in the KBRA and Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement. The Klamath Tribes General Council subsequently passed a resolution requiring that Tribal leadership “ensure that the Klamath Tribes receive a benefit similar in nature to and not of less value” than the Mazama Forest.
As directed by the Klamath Tribes General Council, and following the protocol outlined in the KBRA, the Klamath Tribes followed the meet and confer process outlined in the KBRA to remedy the loss of Mazama. If the legislation is successful, the mutually agreed upon parcel will be transferred to the Secretary of Interior in trust for the Klamath Tribes as part of the Klamath Tribes Reservation.
More specific details will be provided to Tribal members attending the Klamath Tribes General Council meeting today at the Klamath Tribes Administration Auditorium in Chiloquin.