The New Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement/ AIP is the same thing as the KBRA & KHSA , The Modoc Nation opposes this because of the following reasons: The Klamath Tribe tries to make it sound good but it's simple, they do not and will not ever respect the Modoc's rights!
A short list of issues The Modoc Nation (formerly “Modoc Tribe”) would like to see addressed:
1. Both the KBRA and KHSA make it clear that both the Keno Dam and Link River Dam will not be removed. Since the entire premise of both agreements is that the removal of all or a part of the four dams below Keno Dam is an action necessary to remove obstacles to fish runs, to restore health to the Klamath River, its tributaries and its habitat for the ultimate purpose of preserving and enhancing salmonid populations, logic would dictate that the same actions and purposes would apply to the Keno Dam and the Link River Dam.
a) What impact will the continued existence of the Keno Dam, operated for the express purpose of providing “water levels upstream of Keno Dam for diversion and canal maintenance consistent with Contract #14-06-200-3579A executed on January 4, 1968, between Reclamation and PacifiCorp (then COPCO) and historic practice” (KHSA §7.5.4) have on the reintroduction of salmon into the streams and lakes of the Upper Klamath Basin that are in our ancestral lands described above? In other words, how will the salmon get past the Keno dam so that they can enter the upper reach of the Klamath River, the Lost River, the Sprague River and the Sycan River?
b) What impact upon the Modoc Nation’s spiritual, cultural and economic interests and well-being can be expected if salmon are not able to get past the Keno dam and Link River Dam?
c) What benefits does either of the two water agreements provide to the people of The Modoc Nation to offset any adverse impacts just described? Please do not cite projects or land swaps that run to the benefit of the Klamath Tribe, such as the Mazama Tree Farm, as all of those take place north of our ancestral homelands, and we do not see how they benefit us, especially since we have severed all political relations with the Klamath tribal government as of June 19, 2010.
2. What would be the environmental, ecological and biological impact on Modoc ancestral lands, particularly on Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (LKNWR) and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge (TLNWR) and their respective plant and wildlife populations if the Keno Dam were removed to allow natural stream flows and fish passage?
3. How can the separate study required of the Secretary of Interior with respect to the Keno Dam by KHSA § 7.5.1. be considered scientifically and methodologically sound when the decision as to the continued existence and operation of the dam in a manner designed “to provide water levels upstream of Keno Dam for diversion and canal maintenance consistent with Contract #14-06-200-3579A executed on January 4, 1968, between Reclamation and PacifiCorp (then COPCO) and historic practice” has been predetermined?
4. Section 9 of the KBRA provides an overview of a Klamath Basin Fisheries Program, the specific purpose of which is set forth in KBRA § 9.2.1.A., which reads as follows: “…provides for reintroduction of anadromous Species throughout their historic range above Iron Gate Dam, including tributaries to Upper Klamath Lake but excluding the Lost River sub-basin, and for reestablishment and maintenance of the ecological functionality and connectivity of Fish habitat.” (Emphasis added). KBRA 9.2.3., which covers the geographic scope of the project, states in pertinent part: “The Agreement is not intended and shall not be implemented to establish or introduce populations of salmon, steelhead, or Pacific lamprey in the Lost River or its tributaries or the Tule Lake Basin.” (Emphasis added)
a) What environmental, ecological or biological diversity purpose is served by excluding the Lost River sub-basin, the Lost River or its tributaries or the Tule Lake Basin from the program for fisheries restoration and the reintroduction of species that were indigenous to those places prior to the construction of the Klamath Reclamation Project and the five dams on the Klamath River?
b) What impact will this provision have on the very deeply held and specific spiritual and cultural concerns of The Modoc Nation and its people, as set forth in the section preceding the listing of issues our Nation would like to see addressed.
c) What benefit or benefits does The Modoc Nation and its people receive under the two water agreements to offset this catastrophic and devastating spiritual, cultural and economic loss?
d) Why among all the tribes party to or affected by the two water agreements has the Modoc Tribe been selected as the only tribe to be deprived of the restoration of its native fisheries and the reintroduction of anadromous species? How can any reasonable person see this situation as fair and reasonable to The Modoc Nation and its people or expect them to merely accept this outrageous and intolerable injustice?
5. KBRA Section 1.2.3.Sustainable Tribal Communities provides: “Tribes have lived in the Klamath River Basin since time immemorial and are expected to continue to do so using sustainable resource-based economies. There are tribal fishing rights in various locations that have associated water rights for the fish to propagate and produce sufficient numbers for harvest. The Tribes, irrigators, and the United
States have differed in administrative and judicial settings over the amounts of water needed for fish. This Agreement seeks to resolve these substantial differences and also to provide the Tribes with both sustainable natural resources and sustainable communities.” (Emphasis added) KBRA Section 15.3.2.B.iii (Non-Use of Findings and Judgment/Decree), Section 15.3.3 (Assurances of Non-Interference with Klamath Reclamation Project Diversions by the Klamath Tribes, and Section 15.3.5 (Relinquishment and Release of Claims against the United States by the Klamath Tribes) all run to the effect that although the Modoc Nation retains its underlying treaty water, hunting, fishing, hunting and gathering rights, it is waiving its right to assert them in any way that will interfere with deliveries of water to irrigators through the Klamath Reclamation Project.
a) How can the above-referenced provisions of Sections 9 (discussed above) and Section 15 be reconciled to the stated goal of Section 1.2.3? In other words, how does The Modoc Nation sustain the natural resources of its ancestral lands, particularly those of the two National Wildlife Refuges, necessary build a sustainable community based on our traditional spiritual, cultural and economic values, when Section 15 deprives us of the right to protect those very resources and way of life through the assertion of claims either before regulatory agencies or the courts?
b) How does the provision set forth in KBRA §15.3.2.B.iii, which states: “… the Tribes and the United States shall not, directly or indirectly assert in any manner, water rights recognized for the Claims in the findings and order issued pursuant to ORS 539.130(1) or a judgment/decree issued under ORS 539.150(4) including in water rights or other contexts, that interferes with the diversion, use, and reuse of water for the Klamath Reclamation Project” improve or otherwise impact the environment, ecology or biological diversity of any of the lands in the Klamath Basin, especially those of our Modoc ancestral homelands in the Lost River Circle and the LKNWR and TLNWR?
c) KBRA § 15.3.3. provides in pertinent part, “The Klamath Tribes hereby provide interim Assurances as stated in Section 15.3.8.B, and conditional permanent Assurances that the Klamath Tribes will not assert: (i) tribal water or fishing rights theories or tribal trust theories in a manner, or (ii) Klamath tribal water or trust rights in the State of California, whatever they may be, in a manner, that will interfere with the diversion, use or reuse of water for the Klamath Reclamation Project that is not precluded by the limitation on diversions of water as provided in Appendix E-1 in any administrative context or proceeding, or any judicial proceeding, or otherwise . . .” (emphasis added)
i. What is the purpose of subparagraph (ii) other than to single out The Modoc Nation and people, who among the three tribes that formerly made up the Klamath Tribes (as stated above, The Modoc Nation on June 19, 2010 dissolved all political ties to the Klamath Tribes and formed its own government) is the only tribe to have ancestral lands situated in California?
ii. How does KBRA § 15.3.3. improve or otherwise impact the environment, ecology or biological diversity of any of the lands in the Klamath Basin, especially those of our Modoc ancestral homelands in the Lost River Circle and the LKNWR and TLNWR?
d) How does the provision set forth in KBRA § 15.3.5.A.i. that requires the Klamath Tribes (including the Modoc Nation) to release of any and all claims we may have against the federal government “resulting from (a) water management decisions, including the failure to act, or (b) the failure to protect, or to prevent interference with, the Tribes’ water or water rights, that relate to damages, losses, or injuries to water, water rights, land, or natural resources due to loss of water or water rights (including damages, losses, or injuries to hunting, fishing, gathering rights or other activities, due to loss of water or water rights)” improve or otherwise impact the environment, ecology or biological diversity of any of the lands in the Klamath Basin, especially those of our Modoc ancestral homelands in the Lost River Circle and the LKNWR and TLNWR?
e) How can the waiver of our rights to assert claims designed to protect and preserve the water we deem necessary to preserve and protect the land, waters, plants and wildlife that are essential to our spiritual, cultural and economic well-being not be construed constitute a severe adverse impact The Modoc Nation and its citizens?
f) What benefit or benefits does The Modoc Nation and its people receive in return for giving up the major rights enumerated in KBRA Section 15? Again, please address this issue directly with respect to The Modoc Nation and its people, not the “Klamath Tribes” in general.
To request and enrollment application please e-mail us at: modoc-nation@Hotmail.com
The Modoc Nation's Declaration of Independence