Klamath Tribes invoke water rights

Big news in Oregon water issues is the fact that the Klamath Tribes are exercising their water rights and the federal government will support those rights by limiting irrigation water to cattle ranchers and farmers in the Klamath basin this summer.  The water will be used to protect the Tribes' traditional fishing grounds and two species of fish that are on the endangered species list.  Scott Learn, Tribes invoke water rights, Oregonian, June 11, 2013, at A1.

As I understand it, the State of Oregon refused to enforce anyone's water rights while the 38 year long Klamath basin stream adjudication went through the Oregon administrative process. Obviously, during that long period of time, other people were using water that has now been determined to belong to the Klamath Tribes. Now that the Tribes' water rights are quantified, and will be protected, it is largely their decision on how their 1864 treaty reserved water rights will be exercised.

The Oregon process, however, allows the administrative decision to be challenged in Oregon courts and apparently some cases are already underway.

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