Print this ArticlePrint this Article Email this ArticleEmail this Article
Text Size: A | A | A

Ranchers and Indians sign agreement to share water

 Posted: 2:00 PM April 18, 2014

Cattle ranchers and Indian tribes who long fought over scarce water in Oregon's Upper Klamath Basin have signed an agreement to share access to rivers and cooperate on restoring habitat for endangered fish the tribes hold sacred.

The signing ceremony was held Friday along the Williams River outside Chiloquin, Ore.

Joining representatives of the Klamath Tribes and the ranchers were Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, Gov. John Kitzhaber, and Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

Speakers talked emotionally about the agreement healing longstanding divisions within the basin over water.

Last summer, ranchers in the upper basin saw irrigation shut off as the tribes invoked newly won senior water rights to protect fish.

Wyden says he will introduce legislation in the Senate next month based on the agreement.

Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.