Oregon tribe wins ruling on water rights but Klamath Basin irrigators challenge allocation

The Oregonian 

The Klamath County Circuit Court upheld a majority of decisions concerning the Oregon water rights of the Klamath Tribes last week, but basin irrigators say there could be changes in how those rights are enforced down the road.

Using treaty language wherein the U.S. government promised adequate resources for hunting and fishing on the former Klamath Indian Reservation, the tribes had successfully proved the existence of their time immemorial water rights in federal court in the 1970s and 1980s. But that litigation required their participation in the Klamath Basin Adjudication in order to quantify those rights.

Judge Cameron Wogan’s latest proposed order upheld most of the Oregon Water Resources Department’s decisions on tribal water rights made during the adjudication’s administrative phase.

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