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Hoopa Valley Tribe Declares Drought Emergency

Hoopa Tribe

Two Rivers Tribune

The Hoopa Valley Tribal Council called an emergency meeting with their environmental and healthcare staff to discuss a plan to prepare for the realities of drought. Later that day, the Council passed a drought declaration./Photo by Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune – See more at: http://www.tworiverstribune.com/2014/01/hoopa-valley-tribe-declares-drought-emergency/#sthash.R81v4gmE.dpuf

By ALLIE HOSTLER, Two Rivers Tribune

The Hoopa Valley Tribal Council declared a drought emergency on Monday evening at their re-scheduled council meeting.

The declaration comes just three days after California Governor, Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on behalf of the state. Several counties have also declared emergencies as low precipitation levels and lack of snowpack, continue to break records.

When it comes to the Trinity River, water levels have never been as low as they are now or at least in the past 50 years that there has been a record.

“We’re setting a new record, and it’s not a good one,” fisheries hydrologist, Robert Franklin said during an emergency meeting with tribal departments on Monday morning. “The flows are the lowest anyone alive has seen (at this time of year).”

Franklin explained the dilemma low water flows can cause for the tribe. He said Trinity Lake is about half full and that if the Bureau of Reclamation acts as if there is a surplus of water in Northern California, sending more to central and southern California, cold water for the river could be compromised during critical salmon migration times this fall.

“Politics and money are on the other side,” Franklin said. “There’s a good chance we’ll squeak through this year, but if we have another dry year, or several, wow, we’ll be in no position to do anything.”

The Tribal Environmental Protection Agency (TEPA) is concerned about water quality and plans to begin testing for bacterial contamination earlier this year.

Ted Oldenburg, from TEPA said, “The major concern with low water levels is increased temperatures creating conditions ideal for the growth of algae and bacteria that could become a health risk, not only for drinking, but for recreational use in the river and creeks.

TEPA is also working to ensure their air quality measuring devices are up and running prior to the fire season, since it’s predicted to also be record-breaking.

Forest manager, Darin Jarnaghan and Fire Management Officer, Kevin Lane are working to develop a plan to reduce fire risk in residential areas. Some attendees talked about implementing a defensible space regulation to protect homes, but nothing was agreed upon during the meeting.

The tribe’s Office of Emergency Services is a little more than a week away from formalizing a draft Drought Mitigation Plan that could include storing water from untapped waterways in the mountains, increased fire prevention measures and repairing backup water systems for domestic purposes.

The plan will also include a strategy for increased public education about water conservation, and safety from polluted water and fire.

Director of the Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District (PUD), Barbara Ferris, said she is working to secure a backup water system and storage for domestic water use should Trinity River water become unusable.

“The scientific community doesn’t know where this is going. No one can really say, because no one has seen anything like this before. The planning needs to be three-to-five years out and it needs to be put in place now,” Ted said.

The team assembled to address the drought emergency will meet again to discuss their progress in two weeks.

– See more at: http://www.tworiverstribune.com/2014/01/hoopa-valley-tribe-declares-drought-emergency/#sthash.R81v4gmE.dpuf

By ALLIE HOSTLER, Two Rivers Tribune

The Hoopa Valley Tribal Council declared a drought emergency on Monday evening at their re-scheduled council meeting.

The declaration comes just three days after California Governor, Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on behalf of the state. Several counties have also declared emergencies as low precipitation levels and lack of snowpack, continue to break records.

When it comes to the Trinity River, water levels have never been as low as they are now or at least in the past 50 years that there has been a record.

“We’re setting a new record, and it’s not a good one,” fisheries hydrologist, Robert Franklin said during an emergency meeting with tribal departments on Monday morning. “The flows are the lowest anyone alive has seen (at this time of year).”

Franklin explained the dilemma low water flows can cause for the tribe. He said Trinity Lake is about half full and that if the Bureau of Reclamation acts as if there is a surplus of water in Northern California, sending more to central and southern California, cold water for the river could be compromised during critical salmon migration times this fall.

“Politics and money are on the other side,” Franklin said. “There’s a good chance we’ll squeak through this year, but if we have another dry year, or several, wow, we’ll be in no position to do anything.”

The Tribal Environmental Protection Agency (TEPA) is concerned about water quality and plans to begin testing for bacterial contamination earlier this year.

Ted Oldenburg, from TEPA said, “The major concern with low water levels is increased temperatures creating conditions ideal for the growth of algae and bacteria that could become a health risk, not only for drinking, but for recreational use in the river and creeks.

TEPA is also working to ensure their air quality measuring devices are up and running prior to the fire season, since it’s predicted to also be record-breaking.

Forest manager, Darin Jarnaghan and Fire Management Officer, Kevin Lane are working to develop a plan to reduce fire risk in residential areas. Some attendees talked about implementing a defensible space regulation to protect homes, but nothing was agreed upon during the meeting.

The tribe’s Office of Emergency Services is a little more than a week away from formalizing a draft Drought Mitigation Plan that could include storing water from untapped waterways in the mountains, increased fire prevention measures and repairing backup water systems for domestic purposes.

The plan will also include a strategy for increased public education about water conservation, and safety from polluted water and fire.

Director of the Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District (PUD), Barbara Ferris, said she is working to secure a backup water system and storage for domestic water use should Trinity River water become unusable.

“The scientific community doesn’t know where this is going. No one can really say, because no one has seen anything like this before. The planning needs to be three-to-five years out and it needs to be put in place now,” Ted said.

The team assembled to address the drought emergency will meet again to discuss their progress in two weeks.

– See more at: http://www.tworiverstribune.com/2014/01/hoopa-valley-tribe-declares-drought-emergency/#sthash.R81v4gmE.dpuf

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Water rights seen as ace in Klamath legal battle: Judge asks parties to compromise

Agriculture - California, Hoopa Tribe, Salmon and fish, Tribes, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Remember that we may need to check the bias in this article and read between the lines. — Editor Liz Bowen

Catherine Wong/The Times-Standard

Posted:   08/21/2013 02:35:09 AM PDT | Updated:   about 7 hours ago

The Board of Supervisors and local tribal officials said Tuesday they are hoping a declaration asserting Humboldt County’s rights will be their trump card in a legal battle over Trinity River water after releases to protect Klamath salmon were halted by a Fresno judge.

That’s if a scheduled hearing goes forward.

Tom Schlosser, an attorney representing the Hoopa Valley Tribe, said Judge Lawrence O’Neill told the parties in the case on Tuesday that he believes the amount of water needed to prevent a fish kill is less than what was originally set. He has ordered the government and the irrigators to try to come to an agreement on the flows in the 30 minutes prior to a scheduled 8:30 a.m. hearing.

”It’s the first ray of light we’ve had from this guy,” Schlosser said. “He’s interested in two things. The first is the connection between flow and disease. The second is the legal issues.”

Schlosser said the hearing may be postponed if the two sides do not reach an agreement.

Board Chairman and 5th District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg called the delays in releasing the water “a very scary situation.”

”I think a lot of us know how dire this need is,” he said.

The Board of Supervisors’ declaration is in response to a temporary restraining order approved by the federal judge that is blocking Trinity River releases the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation had authorized to help avoid a repeat of the 2002 Klamath River fish kill.

Members of the Hoopa Valley Tribe said they will travel to Fresno today to attend the Eastern District Court hearing, where O’Neill is scheduled to hear arguments from Central California farmers on why Trinity River water should not be released. O’Neill has ordered the federal Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Department of the Interior to demonstrate why he should not restrict additional flows until the farmers’ lawsuit runs its legal course.

The tribe and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, which joined the case in support of the flows, are also slated time to present their arguments.

Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairwoman Danielle Vigil-Masten said their legal team plans on using personal testimonies at the hearing, before submitting the declaration that asserts the federal government is legally obligated to provide no less than 50,000 acre-feet of water to Humboldt County and downstream water users under the 1955 Trinity River Act and a 1959 contract between the county and the Bureau of Reclamation.

”This is our ace,” Vigil-Masten said. “We want this to be the new information being brought forward.”

Sundberg said Tuesday that he was mistaken when he told the Times-Standard last week that the letter and declaration had already been sent to the judge.

O’Neill granted the temporary restraining order — sought by the Central California farmers who are suing the Bureau of Reclamation over the planned releases — last week.

The plaintiffs — Westlands Water District and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority — claim the releases would decrease already low water allocations available to farmers for irrigation. San Joaquin Valley farmers also argue that the bureau did not have the authority to authorize the flows.

http://www.times-standard.com/news/ci_23907018/water-rights-seen-ace-klamath-legal-battle-judge

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Hoopa Valley Tribe to vote how to split $17 million

Hoopa Tribe

Hoopa Valley Tribe faces $17 million choice; Jan. 3 vote to decide how to split remainder of federal settlement – Times-Standar

http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_22266778/hoopa-valley-tribe-faces-17-million-choice-jan

Hoopa Valley Tribe faces $17 million choice; Jan. 3 vote to decide how to split remainder of federal settlement

Kaci Poor and Luke Ramseth

The Times-Standard

December 27, 2012

Christmas came early this year for Hoopa Valley Tribe members in the form of payouts from a federal settlement — and not long after New Year’s, the tribe faces a vote on how to divide the rest of the money.

Each tribal member received $10,000 earlier this month as part of a partial payout of a $49.2 million lawsuit settlement between the Hoopa Valley Tribe and the U.S. government. The settlement is the result of a suit filed by the Hoopa Valley Tribe, along with 41 other tribes, against the federal government in 2006 over mismanagement of tribal trust funds and natural resource revenues.

Leonard Masten, Hoopa Valley tribal chairman, said the federal government had historically mismanaged Hoopa’s timber revenues. “Our timber was going for pennies on the dollar,” he said.

”It’s something that we knew was coming, but I didn’t think it would materialize in my lifetime,” Masten said of the settlement. The Obama administration had helped speed up the process of disbursement, he said.

”It came at a good time,” Masten said. “People needed money.”

Hoopa Valley Tribe’s vice chairman Byron Nelson Jr. said that while everyone agrees the payment has been a long time coming, not everyone agrees on how the remaining funds should be divvied up between the tribe’s 3,100 members.

On Nov. 15, the tribal council voted against full distribution — despite a circulating petition that had gained over 50 percent of the voting population’s signatures for full distribution — deciding instead to distribute 65 percent, or $32 million, of the settlement.

On Dec. 17, Hoopa residents over the age of 18 lined up at the post office and then at the bank to deposit their newly arrived checks. Payments for underage members went directly into Individual Indian Money accounts set aside for minors, which the underage members will be able to access when they turn 18 if they earn a high school diploma or GED, or at 21 if they do not.

Nelson said a special election on Jan. 3 will determine how the remaining 35 percent will be parceled out.

”Some of us were hoping that part of that money could be used for tribal scholarships and for the elders,” he said. “Next year’s budget is also expected to be really, really tight — what with all the funding cuts — so we were hoping part of the money could be used to ease us through that.”

Nelson had argued in a Two Rivers Tribune guest editorial that the settlement money should go toward tribal programs and not to individuals he described as “willing to discard tribalism for individual gain for less money than the price of a new car.”

”This settlement money will be the last windfall the tribe will see in a great while,” Nelson wrote. “With the drastic decline in the value of our timber and the expected cutbacks in federal funding, tough times are surely ahead. Now is the time to shore up programs that support the most vulnerable.”

A grassroots committee led the charge in pressuring the tribal council to distribute the money individually, however. The spokeswoman for the committee, Danielle Vigil-Masten, said councilmembers were discussing using the money for various projects that she said were thin on plans or details. So she distributed a petition that garnered 700 signatures earlier this year, calling for a vote that would decide what to do with the money. Before that vote could happen, though, the council decided to distribute the $10,000 checks — and have tribal members only vote on what to do with the remainder.

To Read more: Click link at top of article.

 

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2013 Hoopa Valley Tribal Budget Narrowly Passes

Hoopa Tribe

TWO RIVERS TRIBUNE ~ ONLINE | 2013 Hoopa Valley Tribal Budget Narrowly Passes

http://www.tworiverstribune.com/2012/12/2013-hoopa-valley-tribal-budget-narrowly-passes/

 

John Robbins Jr. made public comments on the budget during the Tribal Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, and shared a detailed analysis of the budget. / Photo by Allie Hostler, Two Rivers Tribune

By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune

December 19, 2012

The Hoopa Valley Tribal Council narrowly approved a fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget on Tuesday, Dec. 11, with Vice Chairman Byron Nelson Jr. casting the deciding vote after council members deadlocked three to three.

The 2013 fiscal year actually began October 1, but the Tribal Council’s work on the budget was pushed back 71 days into FY 2013 as Council members faced a series of hard-to-make choices, and sharp differences of opinion over what should be a priority.

Last-minute changes to the preliminary budget prepared by Tribal Councilmember Ryan Jackson increased the total tribal budget by $3.2 million, while some programs were cut back.

Tribal Councilmember Hayley Hutt said, “We did try and stick close to Ryan’s budget, but we made compromises to lower some of the costs on new things.”

One of the reduced new programs was the Hoopa Tribal Citizen Corps (HTCC). Its budget was cut from just over $149,000 down to $60,000.

Tribal Councilmember Augie Montgomery said, “I will not support the Citizen Corps. I would like to see a plan of what it’s going to do, and how it’s going to support the people.”

“If that Citizen Corps is going to happen, I hope there’s going to be a long-term plan,” Montgomery said.

Jackson criticized the $3.2 million budget increase, and said that it would lead to dipping into the tribal trust fund to cover expenses.

“The amount of money that we’re spending, I don’t think that really solves our fiscal problems,” Jackson said. “I don’t think we should do something that takes us pretty close to bankruptcy.”

Several tribal members attending the meeting addressed the council with their concerns and criticized the budget and the budget process.

John Robbins Jr. said, “In a 10-year span, $48 million was paid out of the trust account. There is more money being paid out than has been put in. When are we going to start rebuilding that trust account?”

Marcellene Norton said, “I too share the same concerns that we are continuously spending the money we have and the trust money.”

“The whole budget process has not followed the budget ordinance. You still don’t have a detailed budget that identifies how this money is going to be spent,” Norton said.

Sherlette Colgrove said, “You just heard Ryan say we’re going to be bankrupt in a year, and you just heard John John tell you how bad things are, and you’re spending more and more money.”
After the public comment period, the Tribal Council put the FY 2013 budget to vote.

Council members Diana McCovey-Ferris, Hayley Hutt, and Maggie Dickson voted yes to approve the budget. Council members Ryan Jackson, Leroy Jackson, and Augie Montgomery voted no.
Vice Chairman Byron Nelson Jr. cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the budget.

“The budget is flawed and there are some pretty glaring problems,” Nelson said. “But we haven’t had a budget for over two months and we need one to function.”

Report from Washington, D.C.

Tribal Councilmember Ryan Jackson reported back from Washington D.C., where he and Tribal Chairman Leonard Masten Jr. spent four days meeting with members of the U.S. Congress and tribal leaders from across the country

Jackson said there were meetings with representatives from the Lummi and the Seneca “working on a tribal alliance on taxation to try and get the federal Government and states out of taxing Indians.”

Masten and Jackson represented Hoopa in meetings with the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), working to pass changes to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which would allow tribes to prosecute non-Indians in tribal court for violent felonies such as sexual assault.

The two also met with Senator Diane Feinstein and members of Senator Barbara Boxer’s staff, working to protect Hoopa and its interests.

Board Appointments

There were three applicants for three vacancies on the Tribal Employment Rights (TERO) Commission. Julie Robertson, Daniel Pratt, and Karen Kyle were all approved by the Tribal Council and appointed to the TERO commission.

Rod Mendes and Marcellene Norton were selected from among four applicants to fill two vacancies on the K’ima:w Medical Center Board.

The Tribal Council appointed Elizabeth Turner and Myrtle Moon-Lewis to positions at  Hoopa Development Fund.

Tweeters Safe for Now

A proposed amendment to the Title 30 personnel policies would have forbidden tribal employees from using social media sites like Facebook or Twitter during workday hours and would also have authorized disciplinary action against tribal employees who criticized or insulted the Tribal Council or other employees online.

The proposed amendment was not seconded and did not pass. The Two Rivers Tribune conducted a poll online asking readers how the famous social media site, Facebook has affected their lives. See results below.

Freezer for Food for Elders Program

The Tribal Council authorized $6,000 for repairing the walk-in freezer at Food Distribution and $23,000 for the purchase of a discounted surplus ice machine that will be used as part of the Fish for Elders Program
George Kautsky, deputy director of the Hoopa Tribal Fisheries, said, “It’s about half the cost of what we paid for a similar machine.”

Christmas Per Capita Payments

The Tribal Council set aside $624,400 for a $200 Christmas payment for each Hoopa tribal member.

The payments for tribal members under 18 years old will be split. Half will go into their Individual Indian Money (IIM) trust accounts, and half will be paid to their parent or guardian.
Tribal members began receiving the $200 checks on Friday, Dec. 14.

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted
material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit
research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

This information and much more that you need to know about the ESA,
the Klamath River Basin, and private property rights can be found at The
Klamath Bucket Brigade’s web site – http://klamathbucketbrigade.org/index.html
please visit today.

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Hoopa Tribe Receives $49 million in settlement from U.S. Government

Hoopa Tribe, Lawsuits

TWO RIVERS TRIBUNE ~ ONLINE | Settlement Checks Arrive in Hoopa Mailboxes

http://www.tworiverstribune.com/2012/12/settlement-checks-arrive-in-hoopa-mailboxes/

Settlement Checks Arrive in Hoopa Mailboxes

 

People crowded into the post office and the Coast Central Credit Union in downtown Hoopa on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, as $10,000 per capita settlement checks began to arrive. The settlement checks are a partial payout of the $49.2 settlement paid to the Hoopa Valley Tribe by the U.S. Government to end a lawsuit over federal mismanagement of tribal trust funds and timber resources. / Photo by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune

December 19, 2012

You could almost feel the excitement in the air on Monday, Dec. 17, as people crowded into the post office and the bank in downtown Hoopa to receive and cash their settlement checks.

Arlene Doolittle smiled as she showed off the checks that she and her friends had just received.

“We’re going to Redding!” Doolittle said.

The checks were a part of a $49.2 million payment from the US Government to settle a 2006 lawsuit filed by the Hoopa Valley Tribe. The lawsuit was filed because of federal mismanagement of tribal trust funds and funds from trust resources like timber.

On Nov. 15, 2012, the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council authorized a one time per capita payment of $10,000 to every enrolled member of the tribe who was on the rolls as of 12:00 am that night, to be sent out as soon as the settlement money was received.

Councilmember Augie Montgomery said, “$49.2 million will soon be deposited into the tribe’s trust account, and then $31,269,000 will be paid out to Hoopa tribal members at $10,000 per capita.”

Payments for children will go directly into their Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts, and the money will be held for them until they are 18 (with a high school diploma or GED), or 21.

A special tribal election on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, will decide whether the remaining third of the $49.2 million will be paid out to individual tribal members, or if will be kept in reserve to pay for things like elder payments or scholarships.

The Tribal Council also approved a $200 per capita payment for tribal members, which were mailed out on Thursday, Dec. 13.

Workers in the Fiscal Department worked overtime last week, and over the weekend in order to prepare both sets of checks in time.

Chelsee Gibbens said, “We worked pretty much all last week and over the weekend. For the $10,000 dollar ones we had to do a lot more because we had to take out deductions and enter them one-by-one into the computer.”

In addition to the two per capita payments sent out by the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the initial checks for the Cobell Settlement also started to arrive on Monday.

The Cobell Settlement monies were paid out by the US Government to members of tribes across the continent in a separate case of mismanagement of Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts.

On Monday morning, crowds formed at the post office and at Coast Central Credit Union downtown. Officers from Hoopa Tribal police were stationed at both locations.
Police Officer Karl Norton said that there were no problems.

 

Hoopa Tribal Police were on hand at the post office and the Coast Central Credit Union in downtown Hoopa on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, to help direct the crowds of people cashing and depositing their settlement checks. There were no reported incidents, and wait times at the post office and bank were about a half-hour during the middle of the day./ Photo by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

“It was pretty calm. I don’t think anyone was trying to mess around today, with the law enforcement presence here,” Norton said.

For postal workers, the rush of checks came right in the peak of their holiday season, and on their busiest day of the week.

Ronalda Jordan said, “It’s the biggest day of the year for the postal service because of the holidays.”

The mail went through anyway, despite the load and despite the fact that mail and packages arrived an hour late from Eureka.

Kelly Jarnaghan, the Officer in Charge (OIC) at the post office, said, “It was a heavy load, but it always is on Mondays.

A letter from the Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairman Leonard Masten Jr. was included with each of the $10,000 per capita checks, praising Tribal Attorney Tom Schlosser and the tribe’s past leadership for working towards the settlement.

“The Settlement Agreement – and therefore these payments – would simply not have been possible without the hard work of the tribe’s past leadership,” Masten wrote. “I hope you will join me in my heartfelt appreciation for those who worked so hard to make this payment possible.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted
material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit
research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

This information and much more that you need to know about the ESA,
the Klamath River Basin, and private property rights can be found at The
Klamath Bucket Brigade’s web site – http://klamathbucketbrigade.org/index.html
please visit today.

1 Comment

Interesting discussions at Hoopa Tribal Council meeting

Hoopa Tribe

TWO RIVERS TRIBUNE ~ ONLINE | $49.2 Million Settlement Topic at Tribal Meeting

http://www.tworiverstribune.com/2012/11/49-2-million-settlement-topic-at-tribal-meeting/

$49.2 Million Settlement Topic at Tribal Meeting

$10,000 Per Capita Approved

Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairman Leonard Masten Jr. and the Tribal Council listened as members voiced their concerns and shared their views at the general meeting at Neighborhood Facilities on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. / Photo by Kristan Korns, Two Rivers Tribune

By KRISTAN KORNS, Two Rivers Tribune

November 26, 2012

The Hoopa Valley Tribal Council voted on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, that per capita settlement payments will be sent out to everyone who was on the tribal rolls as of 12 am that night.

Councilmember Augie Montgomery said, “$49.2 million will soon be deposited into the tribe’s trust account, and then $31,269,000 will be paid out to Hoopa tribal members at $10,000 per capita.”

Payments for children will go directly into their Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts, and the money will be held for them until they are 18 (with a high school diploma or GED), or 21.

Thursday’s council meeting was dominated by discussions and comments from the public about issues surrounding the settlement, and the tribe’s budget for fiscal year (FY) 2013.

Marcelene Norton said, “There’s supposed to be a public hearing on the budget Monday night. The spreadsheet tells us nothing without the detailed budget. How can we address anything without the details?”

Tribal Attorney Mary Jane Risling said, “The council is working with Fiscal to address these concerns. We do have a proposal. There will be detail to look at and department heads will help produce it.”

The $71.2 million budget for FY 2013 will be available for public review starting on Nov. 27, and a public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 4.

A motion by Councilmember Hayley Hutt to direct Tribal Credit and the Housing Authority to forgive ‘the maximum possible’ interest and fees owed by individual tribal members was not approved.

“This is focusing on penalty fees, court fees, and things on top of the debt, not getting the debt itself removed,” Hutt said.

Rodney Vigil, director of the Housing Authority, said he opposed the idea.

“We have an opportunity to get the Housing Authority operating normally again,” Vigil said. “This is against the principle of trying to get ourselves to the point where we can do things the right way.”

Montgomery said, “I can’t support this. Who’s going to end up paying for this? The tribe will.”

The proposal was not seconded, and failed.

A motion to appoint Mary Benedict as the acting CEO of K’ima:w Medical Center, and interim director of Human Services during the merger of the two, was approved by the council.

The council added 22 new members to the tribal rolls, making them the last additions to be eligible for settlement per capita payments.

Tribal Member Jamie Smith said that only one of her grandchildren was on the list.

“Hope Smith, she’s my son Joseph’s daughter,” Smith said. “I still have three more that I’m trying to get on. It’s just a really long process.”

Cassandra Chavez said, “I had a baby in November, and it took three months to get a birth certificate from the county, which is a required document for enrollment.”

“At the time I was afraid that he wouldn’t be included in receiving settlement monies, because a portion of the community didn’t want new enrollees to be included,” Chavez said.

General Meeting

A general meeting of the Hoopa Valley Tribe was held on Saturday, Nov. 17, in the gymnasium at Neighborhood Facilities (NF), to talk about the coming $49.2 million settlement. Over 120 tribal members attended.

Tribal Chairman Leonard Masten Jr. said, “All we’re doing today is listening to what people want done with the money.”

Montgomery gave a short presentation, and revealed more details surrounding the coming settlement payouts.

“SSI, Social Security, and TANF will not be affected by the per capita payments,” he said.

Montgomery also said that the council will not draw down on the settlement funds, and that no more than half of any per capita payments will be taken to pay debts to tribal entities.

After the presentation, tribal members were invited to come to the microphone and share their opinions on the settlement.

Dozens of people shared their opinions, and many wore red ribbons on their arms showing their support for a resolution sponsored by a local ad hoc committee.

Stanley “Jumper” Ferris gave an impassioned plea for 100 percent payout to individual tribal members. Many other speakers said they also wanted that.

Pauline Van Bergen said, “It’s our money and we want it now.”

Masten said, “We all agree to pay out the $10 grand and then argue out the rest.”

Hutt said, “The $49.2 million hasn’t been deposited in the trust account, so we don’t have it yet.”

She added that the resolution approved by the council would allow the immediate payout of $10,000 per capita, and that there will be a special election on what to do with the rest.

“I’m in favor of 65 percent going to individual tribal members and 35 percent for the tribe as a whole for our future,” Hutt said. “Maybe we should put $5 million in trust to protect senior per capitas.”

Ken Norton, Land Management director, said, “We need to start purchasing back our traditional tribal lands. Having land available for our members’ housing is a long-term benefit for the tribe.”

Sharon Campbell-Branham, a member of the ad hoc committee which pushed for the special election, said, “We’re really happy about the decision to give out the $10,000 to the membership and to vote on the remaining money.”
Several tribal members had questions and expressed concerns about the budget.

Tribal Council member Ryan Jackson said departmental budgets would be reduced by 10 percent.

“The 10 percent will be used for a resource enforcement group – like a national guard – in order to address the problems we’ve been having in the forest,” Jackson said, referring to the armed groups in illegal marijuana plantations.

“Nothing is really different from the past few years except for the 10 percent reduction and resource enforcement,” Jackson said.

Tribal Council Vice Chairman Byron Nelson Jr. said, “Getting back to the settlement, I think it’s all going to go out, because the people have the power and if they vote, there’s nothing the council can do about it.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted
material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit
research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

This information and much more that you need to know about the ESA,
the Klamath River Basin, and private property rights can be found at The
Klamath Bucket Brigade’s web site – http://klamathbucketbrigade.org/index.html
please visit today.

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Tribes ask for regulation of Klamath dams via Clean Water Act; some don’t agree dam relicensing process should begin

Clean Water ACT - EPA, Federal gov & land grabs, Hoopa Tribe, Karuk Tribe on Klamath, Klamath River & Dams

PNP comment: Remember the whole intent of this attitude is to throw a cog or two in the wheel. The ultimate goal is to make life difficult for those who are not tribal leaders or Greenies; and to get the four hydro-electric dams destroyed from the Klamath River. — Editor Liz Bowen

Megan Hansen/The Times-Standard

Posted:   07/20/2012 09:22:43 AM PDT

 

Relicensing of the four Klamath River dams has been put on hold for another year, giving dam owner PacifiCorp more time to see a 2010 dam removal agreement enacted by federal legislation.

On Tuesday, the State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously to continue staying the relicensing process through June 30, 2013, despite protests by the Hoopa and Resighini tribes. The tribes believe PacifiCorp is stalling the process of un-daming the river.

Hoopa Valley Tribal Council member Hayley Hutt said 80 to 100 people protested outside the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Sacramento on Tuesday. She said the tribe wants the dams to go through the Clean Water Act certification process, so the toxic algae in the river is dealt with and fish passage is improved.

”The initial dam license was issued 50 years ago, at which time they had no environmental laws,” Hutt said. “To be licensed, they’d have to meet the new water quality laws.”

Since 2010, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s relicensing process for the dams — which includes compliance with the state Clean Water Act — has been placed on hold by the water control board at PacifiCorp’s request. The company and supporters of the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement — which aims to remove the dams in 2020 — don’t want the relicensing process to move forward if the dams are coming out in eight years.

PacifiCorp spokesman Bob Gravely said it

doesn’t make sense to go through the expensive and time-consuming relicensing process if Congress chooses to adopt legislation supporting dam removal.

”We’re not going to carry out relicensing steps that would add a bunch of additional costs,” Gravely said. “We can either relicense the dams or implement the settlement agreement.”

An alliance of Native American tribes, environmentalists, farmers, fishermen and government officials are waiting for Congress to pass legislation that’s already been introduced that allows the U.S. Department of the Interior to determine whether the dams should come down.

Gravely said the company is frustrated with the federal government’s pace, but that money is already being collected from energy customers to fund dam removal activities. He said the company can’t charge its customers to both upgrade the dams and remove them.

”Just because Congress hasn’t passed legislation at this point is no reason to put the brakes in place,” Gravely said, adding that more than $36 million has been collected in dam removal surcharges.

Craig Tucker, the Klamath coordinator for the Karuk Tribe, said all the North Coast tribes seem to want the dams to come out, but that there’s a sharp contrast in how the Hoopa and Resighini tribes want to get there. If the state water board had directed PacifiCorp to undergo the relicensing process, he said a series of lawsuits would likely be triggered.

”It would’ve dashed our chances of ever removing those dams,” Tucker said, adding that the issue would likely have to go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

He said the process would be a long, drawn-out one in which PacifiCorp might have to increase energy rates just to fund its costs to litigate the issue.

While Congress isn’t moving as quickly as settlement agreement supporters would like, Tucker said progress is being made and that things haven’t stalled out on Capitol Hill.

”We’re having briefings with legislators,” Tucker said.

Read it:

http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_21118244/tribes-ask-regulation-klamath-dams-via-clean-water

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Hoopa Tribe petitions feds to speed up dam removal

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, Federal gov & land grabs, Greenies & grant $, Hoopa Tribe, KBRA or KHSA, Klamath River & Dams, Salmon and fish, Sham Science, Tribes

PNP comment: Hum, biased writer Jeff Barnard fails to make any mention of federal whistleblower Paul R. Houser Ph.D. who questioned the science and process being utilized by the Dept. of Interior and was fired on Feb. 26, 2012. On Feb. 29, 2012, DOI Secretary Ken Salazar admitted publicly that he could not made a decision on the Klamath Agreements. Salazar does NOT have that authority at this time. Yes, Congress has not provided any funds for the destruction of Klamath dams.

At this point, the Hoopa can jump up and down and scream with the best of the Greenies, but the corruption is beginning to be exposed.

And oh yes, salmon are NOT “struggling” and the water is pure and clean. Last year a bumper crop of chinook returned to the Scott, Shasta and Klamath Rivers. This year, those who know, have predicted another bumper return. This article is nothing but FEAR tactics. Don’t fall for it! — Editor Liz Bowen

http://pioneer.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/HeraldandNews/

Hoopa Tribe petitions feds to speed up dam removal 

Attorney: Agreements are bogged down in Congress 

By JEFF BARNARD

The Associated Press

May 31, 2012

     The Hoopa Tribe has petitioned federal authorities to restart the bureaucratic process in hopes it will speed up removal of four Klamath River dams.

   Tribal attorney Tom Schlosser said Tuesday the current dam-removal agreement was hopelessly bogged down in Congress and going back to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission offers the best chance to enforce the Clean Water Act and open up the river for struggling salmon and to improve water quality.

   “They (FERC) are in a position to move this thing off dead center, and nobody else is,” Schlosser said. “It’s just stranded.”

   PacifiCorp, the Portland-based utility that owns the dams, says it wants to stick with the current plan.

   “We are already collecting millions of dollars from our customers for dam removal costs,” said spokesman Bob Gravely. “We are not going out and spending millions of dollars in effect on relicensing. That’s what they are trying to do.”

   The tribe, whose reservation is at the junction of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers in Northern California, has opposed from the beginning a pair of agreements, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, signed at the Oregon Capitol two years ago to end a century of water battles in the Klamath Basin.        Besides laying out terms for removing the dams, which provide power for 70,000 customers of PacifiCorp, the agreements lay out how water will be shared between irrigators and fish in times of scarcity.

   Schlosser said the agreements grew out of a desire to provide reliable irrigation water for farmers, and failed to set out hard goals for the ecological restoration of the Klamath River Basin. He said in order to renew its license to operate the hydroelectric dams, PacifiCorp would have to spend millions of dollars to build fish ladders over them and clean up toxic   algae growing in the reservoirs.

   Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was supposed to decide in March whether dam removal was feasible, but had to put that off because authorization to make the decision and $800 million for environmental restoration have been blocked in Congress.

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News gathered by Klamath Bucket Brigade 5-30-12

Agriculture, Hoopa Tribe, KBRA or KHSA, Klamath Bucket Brigade.org, Klamath River & Dams, Property rights, Tribes

Tribe Wants End To Short-Term Klamath Dam Relicensing · Oregon Public Broadcasting · EarthFix

http://earthfix.opb.org/water/article/california-tribe-asks-feds-to-stop-licensing-klama/

Tribe asks feds to resume Klamath dams relicensing

San Jose Mercury News – ‎4 hours ago‎

By JEFF BARNARD AP Environmental Writer Frustrated that a deal to remove a string of hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River in Northern California has stalled, the Hoopa Tribe has petitioned federal authorities to restart the bureaucratic process in

Hoopa Tribe asks FERC to resume relicensing process to speed removal of

The Republic – ‎4 hours ago‎

Frustrated that a deal to remove a string of hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River in Northern California has stalled, the Hoopa Tribe has petitioned federal authorities to restart the bureaucratic process in hopes it will get the dams out of the

Tribe Asks Feds To Order Removal Of 4 Klamath Dams · OPB News

http://news.opb.org/article/tribe-asks-feds-order-removal-4-klamath-dams/

Tribe Asks Feds To Order Removal Of 4 Klamath Dams

Amelia Templeton

May 30, 2012

A California American Indian tribe asked federal regulators Tuesday to order the removal of four dams on the Klamath River. The tribe says a restoration plan for the river is stalled.

The Klamath River runs through the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s reservation.

The tribe says the four dams upriver contribute to toxic algae blooms and salmon diseases. Power company PacifiCorp owns the dams and has signed a deal that would remove them by 2020. Thomas Schlosser is an attorney for the Hoopa Valley Tribe. He says the tribe doubts Congress will ever approve the current dam removal deal.

“That legislation isn’t going to pass. It subordinates Indian water rights. It costs 800 million bucks. And it has a whole lot of other controversial provisions,” he said.

The tribe wants federal regulators to stop extending PacifiCorp’s license to operate the dams. Bob Gravely, a spokesman for PacifiCorp, says the plan to remove the dams by 2020 is still on track.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted
material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit
research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

This information and much more that you need to know about the ESA,
the Klamath River Basin, and private property rights can be found at The
Klamath Bucket Brigade’s web site – http://klamathbucketbrigade.org/index.html
please visit today.

No Comments

Feds Trying to Settle all Tribal Mismanagement Cases

Federal gov & land grabs, Hoopa Tribe, Tribes

TWO RIVERS TRIBUNE ~ ONLINE | Settlement Proposal to Obama Administration

http://www.tworiverstribune.com/2012/04/settlement-proposal-to-obama-administration/

Proposal to Obama Administration

Feds Trying to Settle all Tribal Mismanagement Cases

By Kay Heitkamp, Two Rivers Tribune Contributing Writer

April 4, 2012

Recent headlines proclaimed an end to the claim filed in 2006 by the Hoopa Valley Tribe (Plaintiff) against the United States (Defendant) in the Court of Federal Claims for mismanagement of its assets and failure by the Defendant to provide a full accounting of its trust funds and assets.

On July 14 and Dec. 17, 2008, the Court ordered Plaintiff and Defendant to file joint status reports as they worked together during informal settlement discussions. One such report was filed on June 10, 2011 and the latest was filed on Dec. 9, 2011.

In December, both parties agreed to continue to conduct the informal settlement discussions or alternative dispute resolution (ADR), as well as informal productions of relevant or potentially relevant documents to determine the possibility of resolving Plaintiff’s claims without ongoing litigation.

A total of 74 tribes who filed their own trust accounting and trust mismanagement cases in the Court of Federal Claims and various federal district courts had been working closely together as part of a tribal trust case settlement initiative called the “Settlement Proposal to the Obama Administration” (SPOA).

Having represented the Hoopa Valley Tribe in Court, Tom Schlosser, long-time counsel to the Tribe, continued to represent the Tribe’s interests during the SPOA process. Together with attorneys for other tribes, Schlosser worked with the appropriate program officials, employees, and consultants of the Interior Department to devise ways to address claims of all the plaintiffs regarding the United States’ mismanagement of tribal trust funds and non-monetary trust assets.

Discussions between Schlosser, counsel for the 73 other tribes, and counsel for the United States, as well as senior officials in the Justice, Interior, and Treasury Departments, were ongoing during 2010 and 2011 in the form of meetings and conference calls.

According to Schlosser, about 40 of the 73 tribes are represented by the Native American Rights Fund, consolidated into one case, Nez Perce et. al. v. Salazar. Many of those tribes have already settled, with each tribe having a separate settlement agreement, although they are part of one case. When one of the 40 tribes settles, it is dismissed as a plaintiff in the Nez Perce case.

“The remaining 30 or so tribes have individual cases, some in federal district court and some in the court of federal claims,” said Schlosser. “Some tribes filed in both courts. So, although the tribal lawyers have worked together, there are many separate lawsuits. The US is trying to settle all of them.”

During the informal discovery process, the United States researched, identified, located, collected, and provided to Plaintiff some 4,768 documents or 86,268 images (as calculated by Defendant). Both parties stipulated to the confidentiality of the materials and the Court issued protective orders to further ensure confidentiality for settlement discussion purposes.

Among other data, the United States sent Plaintiff the latest version of their Trust Account Database (TAD) containing information about the Tribe’s trust accounts, including the “proceeds of labor,” judgment award and Tribal-related Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts. Schlosser reviewed the TAD and had multiple questions for program staffers of the Interior Department. On December 5, 2011, the United States’ responded to his questions by sending written responses.

At the time the latest Joint Status Report was issued, the parties agreed some progress had been made since the last report. However, they said additional work needed to be done to determine if there could be a resolution to Plaintiff’s claims without the need for additional court litigation.

At the meeting on Dec. 6, 2011, the United States made a settlement offer to the Hoopa Valley Tribe. The Tribe reviewed the offer and worked with Schlosser to plan their next steps. At the time of the last 2011 status update, while the settlement talks were ongoing, the parties agreed to submit another Joint Status Report before June 8, 2012.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted
material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit
research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

This information and much more that you need to know about the ESA,
the Klamath River Basin, and private property rights can be found at The
Klamath Bucket Brigade’s web site – http://klamathbucketbrigade.org/index.html
please visit today.

No Comments
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