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Browsing the archives for the Tribes category.

Klamath Tribe wants all the water

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, cattle, Klamath Tribe, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Herald and News.com

Ranchers in the Upper Basin react

Tribal water call: ‘Devastating’

The call on water by the Klamath Tribes will be devastating economically for the cattlemen in the Upper Basin, affected ranchers said Tuesday.

The Tribes made the call last week. A water call puts the rest of the secondary water users on notice that the Tribes intend to use its water allocation in the Williamson, Sprague and possibly the Wood rivers for the benefit of fish habitat over irrigation for farming and cattle operations.

“This call is potentially devastating to both irrigators and the Tribes,” said Becky Hyde, a member of a long-time cattle ranching family in the Upper Basin above Upper Klamath Lake. “Our ag communities want what is best for the fish as well, but this puts a tremendous strain on our relationship with the Tribes.”

 While the call focuses on the current high water flows in the rivers — and if they fall to a certain level, irrigators can actually irrigate — there is still the concern that the irrigation window will be short-lived.

This is the first time the regulations have taken effect with spring runoff, which could run to June 1 or end sooner.

Water agreement

Hyde and several other ranchers spent years hammering out an Upper Basin agreement over water use with the Tribes. That agreement is still on the books, but has no funding behind it, hence is moot. The agreement would retire some 18,000 acres of land from use to put water back into the streams. In turn, there will be water security for ranchers.

Larry Nicholson, whose family also has historic cattle ranches on the Wood River, said the economic impact will be huge. A water call has not been made on the Wood, but Nicholson expects it.

“There are some 30,000 head of cattle that are moved into the area from ranches in California,” Nicholson said. “The grass in the Fort Klamath area is highly nutritious, but it is only good in the summer as it’s too cold to keep cattle there in the winter. Most ranches are not setup for stock water. If there is no water, the cattle will be kept in California, crowding out those ranch resources.”

After that …

“We have yearlings who need to grow all summer on grass,” Hyde said. “It’s a scramble to find alternative grazing. If you multiply that across the region, the water call a big deal,” she said. “We will be OK in the spring thanks to the early moisture and growing grasses. After that, it could be devastating.”

A couple of years back, Hyde shipped some cattle out after water supplies dwindled.

“This will be worse. There will be no water,” Hyde said.

Randall Kiser, who is a fifth-generation rancher on the Sprague and Wood, said, “When you have a snowpack at 138 of average and there is still a call for water, something is wrong.” Kiser, too, worked on the water pact with the tribes. Some 150 large and small ranches on the Sprague will be affected by the call.

“It’s a serious situation,” Kizer said.

“It would be nice if we could negotiate a settlement, finalize it and keep moving” he said. “This call affects everybody in the Upper Basin. When we last met in February, the Tribes told us they were ‘settlement-minded.’”

Fisheries status

Tribal Chairman Don Gentry said of the call Monday, “I understand the concerns for the agricultural community, but there needs to be concerns for the status of our fisheries.”

Both Hyde and Nicholson point out that the agreements work both ways. The idea was to have cattlemen build fences to keep cattle out of the rivers so fish habitat could grow.

“If you don’t have fences, it stands to reason the cattle will be drinking from the river,” Nicholson said, damaging habitat and eroding banks.

“Just having water doesn’t restore habitat,” Hyde said. “That’s where everyone loses. The Klamath Tribes have a powerful card that they are playing, but that doesn’t, mean they win in the end.”

READ it here


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


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Former Northern California tribal chair gets death penalty for gun, knife attack on fellow members


ALTURAS The former head of a Northern California Indian tribe was sentenced to death Monday for a 2014 rampage inside the tribal hall that left four people dead.

Cherie Louise Rhoades will be taken to San Quentin to await execution.

Judge Candace Beason called the killings at the Cedarville Rancheria Tribal Headquarters “intentional, premeditated and willful,” rejecting the option to modify a Placer County jury’s death sentence to life in prison.

Dressed in a grey-striped prison jumpsuit and plastic orange shoes, Rhoades, 47, shook her head as she listened to the judge read the sentence during a three-hour hearing in Modoc County Superior Court.

Rhoades was a former chairwoman of the 35-member Cedarville Rancheria Tribe of Northern Paiute. She launched her attack on her fellow tribal members, including three close relatives, during a Feb. 20, 2014 hearing at which the tribal council was expected to decide whether Rhoades and her son should be evicted from tribal housing. She had been suspended as chairwoman pending a federal investigation into allegations that she embezzled at least $50,000 from the tribe.

After asking that all the windows be closed at the tribal hearing, she pulled out a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and began shooting in a rampage that continued several minutes.

Pronounced dead at the scene were Rhoades’ brother, Rurik Davis, 50, her niece; Angel Penn, 19, her nephew, Glenn Calonicco, 30, and Shelia Lynn Russo, 47, a tribal administrator who managed evictions.

After she emptied at least one firearm, Rhoades grabbed a butcher knife and began stabbing people. Sisters Melissa Davis and Monica Davis were both injured.

Now chairwoman of the tribe with nine adult voting members, Melissa Davis appeared at the hearing. Her mother, Diane Henley, was among the victims who addressed Rhoades directly: “You tried to wipe out my daughters. They survived. They are stronger than ever. Nothing is going to stop them from moving on, and you will not be a part of it,” Henley said.

Phillip Russo, Shelia Russo’s husband, told Rhoades “Shelia lives forever… and you will be forgotten and die alone.”

Before delivering her sentence, Beason denied a defense motion for a new trial. Defense Attorney Antonio Alvarez argued that the testimony of then-Alturas Police Chief Ken Barnes was “false,” weakening his case that Rhoades did not plan the murders.

District Attorney Jordan Funk called the motion “a tempest in a teapot.”

Beason also tentatively authorized $64,874 be paid in restitution to the victims pending further discussions with the attorneys.

Read more here:


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

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Federal agents raid California casino in ongoing probe


April 4, 2017

Federal and state authorities have raided a Southern California casino as part of an ongoing investigation.

Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles, says agents executed search warrants Tuesday at the Bicycle Hotel and Casino in Bell Gardens.

Kice said in a statement that officials could not comment on the scope or nature of the investigation. She says the raid was carried out by a financial crime task force that includes agents with ICE, the IRS and the California bureau of gambling control.

Kice says the warrant was filed under seal.

The casino is about 10 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

Read more here:


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Court sides with Auburn tribe over former chairwoman’s ouster

Lawsuits, Tribes

Sac bee.com

The ruling by the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, responding to a bitter 2013 clash in one of California’s wealthiest casino tribes and ensuing litigation, effectively rejected claims that the tribe “imposed unlawful restraints” on the “liberty” of Tavares and three other members by cutting off their income and banning them from United Auburn properties.

In October, 2013, Tavares and the other members brought legal action, filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento as a writ of habeas corpus under the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act. She charged that the tribal council for the United Auburn Indian Community wrongly denied her $40,000 a month in benefits and bonuses, based on casino profits, and illegally banished her for 10 years.

Tavares was stripped of payments for 3 1/2 years, starting in 2011, reduced by the tribe from an original sanction of four years. The others were denied payments of $30,000 and up for five months and given a two-year banishment, a punishment since expired.

Tavares and the other plaintiffs – Dolly Suehead, Barbara Suehead and Donna Caesar – were part of an unsuccessful recall effort against five tribal council members that focused on the dissidents’ protests over what they charged were excessive legal fees paid to the firm of tribal attorney Howard Dickstein. The lawyer contended he had provided “a phenomenal net benefit to the tribe.”

The 9th Circuit upheld a district court ruling that rejected the Tavares’ faction’s habeas corpus claim on grounds that federal courts lacked authority to intervene in internal tribal politics.

“We ground our opinion in two fundamental principles in the Indian law canon – tribal sovereignty and congressional primacy in Indian affairs,” wrote Judge M. Margaret McKeown in the court’s decision. “We have long recognized that Indian tribes are ‘distinct, independent communities, retaining their original natural rights.’ 

In a partial dissent, Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw supported the ruling that the court couldn’t intervene by overturning the tribe’s financial sanctions against the members. But Wardlaw wrote that United Auburn’s continuing 10-year-banishment order against Tavares “severely restrains her liberty and constitutes ‘detention’ under the Indian Civil Rights Act” and, thus can be overturned by the courts.

“Taveras presents us with precisely the kind of case over which Congress intended to establish federal jurisdiction: having exercised her right to free expression,” Wardlow wrote, adding “Tavares suffered retaliation … in the form of ‘severe restrains on individual liberty’ not shared by other members of her tribe.”

According to court documents, Tavares and the other members were sanctioned for claims in their recall petition that raised “a litany of allegations” against tribal council members, including ‘financial mismanagement, retaliation, electoral irregularity (and) denial of due process.’ 

The tribal council ruling, which banned the members from tribal events, offices and properties other than the members’ own homes, was also imposed because the tribal government ruled the Taveres’ faction wrongfully took its grievances to the news media, including The Sacramento Bee in “a sensationalized publicity stunt.”

Tavares served as chairwoman of the tribe for many years. She led the group when it opened its wildly successful casino on Highway 65 in 2003.

Read it here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article138501293.html#storylink=cpy

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

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Former tribal chair sentenced to death for slaughtering family members during hearing to evict her

Courts, CRIMINAL, Tribes

 A Placer County jury has decided that Cherie Louise Rhoades should be sentenced to death for the 2014 murder of four people, three of them her relatives.

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

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Tribe halts construction on Yuba casino


PNP comment: Ummm, fighting among Tribes over new casino? Very interesting! — Editor Liz Bowen

Sac Bee

 The Enterprise Rancheria Indian tribe halted construction Tuesday on its $170-million casino outside of Sacramento, blaming the owners of Thunder Valley Casino and other tribal competitors for filing “frivolous lawsuits” that have made it harder to obtain financing.

Three months after breaking ground on the Fire Mountain Resort & Casino outside Marysville, the tribe announced a “temporary suspension” of the project. It said it had secured interim financing but couldn’t secure “final permanent financing” until it had cleared up remaining legal obstacles.

“The continued delay-and-obstruct tactics of a small number of opponents have temporarily forced our tribe and community into this situation,” said tribal Chair Glenda Nelson in a prepared statement. “We still believe that the project will go forward, that key decisions will be made any day now, and that construction should take about a year once restarted.”

The tribe has been working on a fairly small, 50,000-square-foot casino under its so-called Class II gambling license, which would limit Fire Mountain to electronic versions of bingo and other games.

Enterprise Rancheria, though, wants the more desirable Class III license. That would allow more of a Vegas-style casino with full-fledged slot machines and table games, making Fire Mountain a more formidable competitor in the Sacramento market. The tribe has said it would likely expand the casino beyond its original footprint if it gets a Class III license.

It’s the tribe’s lengthy quest for the Class III license that has sparked Enterprise’s legal woes. Although a federal judge ordered the state in February to sign a compact allowing Class III gambling operations, obstacles remain. The state and tribe couldn’t agree on a compact, prompting a mediator to step in. The mediator selected a version of the compact written by the tribe, but it still needs approval of the U.S. Interior Department, said tribal spokesman Charles Banks-Altekruse.

As the Interior Department vets the compact, Enterprise Rancheria’s opponents are intensively lobbying in an effort to bottle up the process, he said.

Enterprise’s opponents are also fighting in court. The tribes that own Thunder Valley near Lincoln and Colusa Casino have teamed up with anti-gambling groups to sue the Interior Department over its decision to allow Enterprise Rancheria to acquire the Yuba County land for the Fire Mountain casino. A federal judge ruled against their challenge, but the Colusa tribe is seeking a new hearing on the matter.

“They know how to game the system, to drag it out,” said Banks-Altekruse. With the construction project requiring tens of millions of dollars a month, “we had to pull the plug,” he said.

Opponents say casinos should only be allowed on ancestral tribal lands, and the Enterprise tribe shouldn’t be allowed to build a casino 35 miles from its home in Butte County. They also say the tribe’s troubles with financing Fire Mountain aren’t their fault.

“It must be they’re looking to blame somebody for their inability to raise money to build an elaborate bingo hall off their reservation,” said Doug Elmets, a spokesman for Thunder Valley’s owner, the United Auburn Indian Community.

The Yuba County property is near the Toyota Amphitheatre, on the fringe of the Sacramento market. The tribe has said it would consider expanding the casino and adding a hotel if it gets a Class III license.

The project comes as other tribes look to build casinos in greater Sacramento, including one in Elk Grove proposed by Wilton Rancheria.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article91983312.html#storylink=cpy

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

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Siskiyou Co. & USFS win against Karuks and EPIC for fire recovery

FIRES, Forestry & USFS, Karuk Tribe on Klamath, Lawsuits

Ray Haupt, District 5 Supervisor for Siskiyou County, has happily announced that the county, along with the Klamath National Forest of the USFS, and a forestry group, won an important lawsuit, yesterday.

This win will keep the Westside Fire Recovery Project moving harvesting burned trees from the 2014 fires in Western Siskiyou County.

In opposition, the Karuk Tribal leadership joined Klamath-Siskiyou Wild and EPIC (Greenie lawyers) to try and stop the Westside Fire Recovery Project. This project will mostly provide clearing of burned trees in infrastructure areas and road sides. This is a great win for the county, the economy and the environment.

Believe it or not, the win was in the 9th Circuit District Court. There will be no injunction and no TRO.

Some sales were already sold, trees are being felled and log trucks are rolling.

The USFS, Siskiyou County Supervisors, Ray with his knowledge of forestry, forestry organizations and Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office worked hard to get this recovery project in place; and to win the lawsuit.

Thank you for your many efforts, knowledge and dedication!

Hooray for this win !!!!!!!!!!

— Editor Liz Bowen


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Washington: EPA-funded billboards attacking farmers are coming down

Agriculture, Clean Water ACT - EPA, Tribes

EPA-funded billboards attacking farmers coming down
Capital Press
A Washington state tribe took down an anti-agriculture billboard and said a second one will come down too, one day after the Environmental Protection Agency issued a statement saying the media campaign was an inappropriate use of EPA funds.
EPA being blamed for assisting with anti-farmer billboardsagprofessional.com

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Federal takeover to achieve removal of agricultural crop production

Agriculture, Constitution, Dams other than Klamath, Federal gov & land grabs, Hypocrisy, Ranch life, Tribes

Federal Takeover of State Authority, Property Rights & Citizen Civil Rights

To Achieve Removal of Crop Production in Western States

Here is the Big Picture of a collection of federal programs cramming down right now on individual landowners in Western States, and specifically, Western Montana:

  1. All Western Watershed Management Plans for the great rivers (Missouri, Mississippi, Columbia, etc.) have transitioned their primary purpose from agriculture and economic development to “tribal sovereign cultural resources, ESA, etc.). Irrigation is now at the bottom of the list for use of major river waters.

  1. Capturing state waters using tribal governments as pawns. (See CSKT Compact, Klamath Dams, etc.).

  1. BIA-owned/controlled power and energy entities. Now requires ALL customers of BIA-owned/controlled power or energy entities to provide extensive and intrusive personal information (i.e. social security numbers, EIN numbers, # of acres owned, annual water/power use, number of persons in households, household incomes, etc. (See March 31, 2016 Federal Register).

  1. Indian Energy Program as “Indian Economic development” to transfer public utilities (dams, energy plants) from public utilities to tribal sovereign assets. (Billions of dollars and huge federal facilitation for tribes to take over major pockets of our nation’s power grid.

  1. Obama’s new federal “Drought Resilience” Program, with complete capability of pinning down individual landowners. (See Federal Register, Presidential Proclamation, March 21, 2016).

  1. The CSKT Compact on the Flathead Reservation and directly impacting 11 Western Montana counties. Approved by Montana Legislature, April 11, 2015.

  1. Transfer of Kerr Dam to CSKT, September 5, 2015. Now all water rates (wholesale and retail) are controlled by the feds/tribe with NO caps, and NO review by Montana Public Services Commission.

  1. Mission Valley Power Company. Owned by BIA, operated by CSKT. Now wholesale and retail electric rates have NO caps, and NO review by Montana Public Services Commission.

It would be impossible for our friends and neighbor landowners here on the Flathead Indian Reservation to be completely aware of all of these forces and processes bearing directly down on their own individual lands, intended to take out crop production here and across the Western States.  The ultimate goal is to take out landowners, property rights, and replace State authority with federal/tribal jurisdiction in wide swaths. But it IS happening right NOW, and has been quietly developed by multiple agencies for a couple of decades.  Failure of landowners to act makes it a certainty. In Western Montana, crop production IS our economy.


And NO government will help. All governments are intentionally adversarial to the landowner. We ONLY have the federal court.

The GOOD News:  All of the above constitutes a whole volume of federal violations of the U.S. Constitution, Montana State Constitution, Tribal Constitution, egregious violations of the federal Administrative Procedures Act (APA) such as due process, discrimination, – actually this whole collusion of federal agencies constitutes a Racketeering (RICO) violation, violates the Sherman Antitrust Act, which applies to the Federal Government, and countless other laws and regulations.

The irony is that the black/white printed law is on OUR side since all these agencies have intentionally gone rogue and no longer follow their own regulations or any laws.  Court is our only hope, but court will be clumsy and tedious at first, moving through the lower courts (most filled with Obama appointees), then up to the Appellate Court where help should come (even from the unpredictable 9th Circuit).and on up to the Supreme Court.

Contact:  Elaine Willman, Author of Going to Pieces…and Slumbering Thunder

Email:  toppin@aol.com                Phone: 509-949-8055

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Ranking federal officials traveling Monday to Burns

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs, LaVoy Finicum, Property rights, PROTESTS, Tribes

PNP comment: This is a way-biased article, but at least it is some information. — Editor Liz Bowen

By Dana Tims

The Oregonian/OregonLive

on March 21, 2016 at 5:00 AM,

updated March 21, 2016 at 5:03 AM

Two high-ranking federal officials will travel to Harney County Monday, where they will meet with employees affected by the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation.

Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and Michael L. Connor, U.S. Deputy Interior Secretary, will also meet with community and tribal leaders during afternoon sessions in Burns.

Jewell and Connor will meet with Harney County officials, the High Desert Partnership, the Burns Paiute Tribe and public land management employees. Jewell will also hold a brief media availability about her visit.

“As the community continues to recover from the illegal occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, I know that deepening the strong partnerships already in place will be important to the healing process,” Jewell said in a statement. “I’m here to talk to local leaders about what’s working in southeastern Oregon and what opportunities exist to work more collaboratively when it comes to managing our nation’s public lands that belong to all of us.”

Their visit comes about six weeks after the end of a 41-day occupancy of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Armed militants from at least 10 states took over the refuge’s administrative offices on Jan. 2, saying they were protesting the prison sentences handed to two area ranchers.

The occupation ended Feb. 11, with the arrest of the last of the self-styled militants who took over the refuge, which is about 30 miles from Burns. One militant was killed by police in a road-side shooting. A number of other occupiers remain jailed in Portland, where they are facing a variety of federal charges.

— Dana Tims



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

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