Dec 14, 2011
Environmentalists Control California’s Karuk Tribe
Its all about Drugs, not Fish nor Jobs
By Investigative Journalist, Barry R. Clausen
December 14, 2011
[Note: There were several members of the Karuk Tribe that contributed to this story but James Waddell was the only one that authorized the use of his name. Others are very concerned about their personal safety and the safety of their families if radical members of the Tribe discovered their identities.]
According to those interviewed within the Karuk Tribe of Happy Camp, California, Mr. Alvin “Bud” Johnson and Mr. Gary Beck were leaders in developing a relationship with the environmentalists, pursuant to which the Tribe became a political entity that could advance the environmentalists agendas with publicity and money. Karuk tribal council members and Karuk office holders helped the environmental activist groups with local knowledge of the land, timber sales in planning and the names of folks who were willing to help the obstructionists.
When asked about the environmentalists, former Karuk Tribal Councilman James Waddell stated, “Many of the problems for local loggers and timber industry people began when a group of anti-culture men and women, frequently called ‘hippies,’ moved into the areas of Western Siskiyou County and Northeastern Humboldt County such as the Salmon River, Somes Bar and Orleans CA areas during the early 1970s. These less-than-clean people moved into places such as the former Black Bear mine, Godfrey Ranch, Reynolds Creek, to Takelma, Oregon and other places that had been gold mines in the past where they could call themselves ‘miners!’ They began to grow marijuana in places of remote locations; mostly being grown on U.S. Forest Service managed land. This was not exactly kept secret.”
Waddell also said, “Norman Goodwin and Leaf Grant Hillman have attempted to portray themselves as Tribal ‘Shamans,’ but some say that they are ‘False Shamans’ and accuse them of being outlaws and have never been obedient, long-term students of older Shamen. Hillman inspires a good deal of fear among local Tribal residents because of a reputation for profanity, violence and intimidation.” Waddell also stated, “I personally witnessed his verbal abuse of three Tribal employee women and foul-mouthed treatment of male employees at an open office of Karuk Natural Resources in Orleans, California in 1998.” Also in 1998 former Karuk Council member Barry “Skip” Davis told Waddell, “We are going to run the white faces outa (sic) town.” Waddell says the statement was in reference to loggers, mill workers, gold miners and other business owners so that Happy Camp will become, “an Indian Town.”
Goodwin became a friend of Hillmans when Hillman became Director of Karuk Natural Resources in Orleans during the late 1980s…. Together they boasted of being the best marijuana growers in Orleans. They were spoken of by locals as being connected to large scale marijuana growers of the Salmon River and Hoopa Tribe.
Newspaper articles tell of Hillman’s 2007 arrest for assault and battery, assault and battery with intent to do great bodily harm, assault and battery in the presence of his own little children, onto the mother of these children… one lady named Molli White, his live-in-girlfriend, cutting her neck, head and face with a beer bottle. Many locals believe that Leaf Hillman used Karuk money to put up his $35,000 bail while some reports say $50,000. The outcome of these charges was he had to attend the Tribes anger management classes.
Hillman was also arrested in Jackson County Oregon for possession of methamphetamines and other drugs in plastic bags and other drug paraphernalia and booked into jail and released, as told in a Medford, Oregon newspaper in early 2009.
In addition to the arrests of Hillman his son Grant Ike Hillman, was arrested for marijuana use, marijuana possession and for possession of other drugs in a Karuk vehicle at Murderers’ Gulch of the Salmon River while being employed by his father, Leaf Hillman at the Karuk Department of Natural Resources in 2007. Such reports were published in several newspapers. Grant Hillman also showed up at a Siskiyou County Supervisors meeting with a friend. Both were wearing black masks that covered their faces. Eventually, the two removed their masks after being told to do so.
According to recent court documents obtained by NewsWithViews.com, Norman Goodwin and Leaf Hillman were talked of by many people as having been a part of the marijuana growers organized group. Norman Goodwin has been well known as a marijuana grower in the Orleans, Somes Bar and Happy Camp areas. Goodwin was at many times a drunken trouble maker that caused Karuk’s and non-Karuk’s alike to fear his crazy, drunken actions.
In June of 2002 John Martinez, a Siskiyou County resident and an employee of the Karuk Tribe met with California Highway Patrol Officers at the Department of Justice Building in Redding in regard to marijuana gardens in Siskiyou County. Following that meeting he was harassed and even threatened at the Karuk Tribal Headquarters in Happy Camp for attempting to expose drug trafficking within the Tribe. He was forced to resign from his job with the Tribe after a Happy Camp Highway Patrol officer found out about Martinez’s meeting with his fellow officers. His resignation came as a result of threats, intimidation and gun fire directed the home of one of his friends where Martinez was visiting.
As the Karuk Tribal leaders and environmentalists work to destroy the local economy, jobs become the greatest threat to the local area. Timber production with loggers, timber cruisers and forest service workers posed the greatest danger of exposing the large local marijuana growers as nearly all of the work involved land reviews of the forests.
These timber sale obstructionists filed administrative appeals and lawsuits, which were then duplicated or taken over by outside organizations such, as the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, the Klamath Forest Alliance and the Wilderness Society.
They managed to halt timber sales and shut down logging in all areas of the western Siskiyou County with the most impact being on the Salmon River of California. On the board of directors of the Wilderness Society is Richard Blum, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband who has been labeled: “The Man Behind California’s ‘Developing Economy.’”
According to documents the Karuk Tribe has pursued policies that are damaging to the interests of Tribal members and other working citizens of Northern California. The Tribal and non-Tribal communities along the Klamath River have suffered significant population declines in the wake of pro-environmental policies trying to stop logging, gold mining and sawmills. Happy Camp’s population has fallen from 3,500 in the 1980s to a current estimate of 1000.
Because Happy Camp is dominated by Forest Service land, once the environmentalists and Karuk Tribe leadership had halted timber sales and shut down the five local mills, workers had to leave town to find jobs. Karuk and non-Karuk people were forced to leave.
As Waddell said, “Many “real” members of the Karuk people of the Klamath River did not like these anti-human developments and chose to stay away from Gary Beck, Bud Johnson and the greedy members of the Karuk Tribal Council. Here, I say ‘Real Members’ of the Karuk Tribe because trouble-makers and outlaws to the Klamath River People were no longer qualified to be ‘Real Members’ of the Karuk Tribe. In many discussions by Karuk’s, of many different families, told of how those people who damaged or hurt other people or did crimes against the people of the Klamath River, could no longer be accepted as existing members of the Karuk Tribe. In modern years, this came to mean that drug people and drug dealers were outlaws.”
Waddell went on the say, “For my entire life, I have watched as outside forces have come to exercise undue influence over the Tribe, and watched corrupt leaders exercise undue influence over Tribal decision-making. As a result, the Tribal leadership has pursued actions that have not helped the Karuk People, instead destroying their livelihoods, and driving them from ancestral lands in order for them to survive. I also want people to know the conditions I have seen, because I hope that someday, someone will do something about outlaws in Karuk false leadership at this time.”
Waddell went on to talk about the current fight against suction dredge mining and how it is just another example of the Tribe’s resources being misused for the private (and illegal) purpose of protecting drug growers.
An Associated Press story on August 8, 2009 about Happy Camp states, “… the Small-scale miners still drawn to California to chase dreams of striking it rich will have to find their gold nuggets the old-fashioned way for a while, with shovels and pans.
“Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Thursday in Sacramento calling an immediate moratorium throughout the state on suction dredge mining until an environmental review determines how much harm the practice is doing to struggling salmon runs….
“The bill is a major victory for the Karuk Tribe, whose members were overrun by the original Gold Rush of the 1850s and have been trying to rein in a new swarm of hobby miners as part of their campaign to restore salmon runs at the center of their culture.
“Our original intent was not to shut down dredging statewide,” said Craig Tucker, hired by the Karuk to lead their campaign to restore salmon to the Klamath River. “But because … these mining clubs fought us so hard, we had little alternative but to challenge the rules…”
Waddell believes Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the Karuk-Paid-Off CA Senator Patricia Wiggins to stop suction dredge miners but according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia there are questions about Wiggins mental capabilities at the time.
“Speculation began in March, 2010, as to whether or not Wiggins may have suffered from dementia and if she was fit to continue serving as a California State Senator. This speculation was based on some events that happened in the last two years of Wiggins’ tenure as a Senator.”
“During a Senate hearing on August 12th, 2008, Reverend Robert Jones was testifying that politicians needed to engage communities in California to discuss the impact of global warming. Wiggins interrupted Jones saying ‘excuse me, but I think your arguments are bullshit. ‘Wiggins was not reprimanded.”
“On February 17th, 2010, during the Joint Legislative Audit Committee meeting, Wiggins was heard yelling over a water canister and scolding her Senatorial aide.”
But when it comes to the salmon Waddell states, “Claims by self-proclaimed Tribal spokespersons such as Mr. Leaf Hillman and the Karuk Tribal Council’s hired interloper Mr. Craig Tucker, that Karuk Tribal members and Indian children are starving because “the salmon are all gone” are false. Most Tribal members of the Karuk, Yurok and Hoopa tribes purchase beef, pork, bread, vegetables and everything else, including salmon, at supermarkets in their towns just like everybody else.
“The Karuk Tribe of California got the media to help them proclaim that the salmon were almost all gone in early 1988. But the runs of salmon in summer and fall of 1988 were greatly the highest in total numbers ever recorded. I was there! I saw the thousands of advancing salmon in the Klamath River. There were also record runs of salmon in the Klamath in 2008.
“A significant problem in salmon management is the widespread gillnetting of salmon by the Lower Klamath River Tribes of Karuk, Yurok, and Hoopa tribal people primarily. There seems to be no control of who is allowed to gillnet, or to find out if gillnetting is being conducted lawfully. These salmon are being sold by the thousands in a variety of sales methods from Hoopa Valley to as far away as Reno and San Francisco.
“In 2008, in a letter to Klamath Basin Crisis website, Karuk Rick Crocker of Happy Camp, CA made a report of these Indian-gill-netters… As Waddell stated, ‘A few Yuroks have told me and bragged about the fact that if they are allowed 40,000 salmon, they will take 60,000 or 80,000 or however many they want.’”
“In 2001/02 water had been shut off to Siskiyou County farmers and ranchers as a result of environmentalist claims that the water was more important for the fish. It was when a court ruling based on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) forced farmers and ranchers to do without their irrigation water to protect sucker fish and threatened Coho salmon. The water was eventually restored in 2002 after it was determined that the shutoff was unnecessary due to “insufficient scientific data as determined by the National Academy of Science.
Many environmental organizations were enraged when, on March 28, 2002, the water was once again flowing for agriculture use. Some of these same organizations had been responsible for the water having being kept from the area to begin with. And once again the radical Felice Pace of the Klamath Forest Alliance who many believe has been involved with the Salmon River marijuana growers in the “Salmon River Restoration Council.”
Currently, the farmers and ranchers in Northern California are continually experiencing attacks on their water rights and their way of life by government agencies, their agents and more environmental regulations designed to destroy their rights, once again because of fish.
© 2011 Barry R. Clausen – All Rights Reserved
Mr. Clausen has been a guest on over 250 U.S. and Canadian radio talk shows and TV news shows including ABC, CBS, NBC and repeatedly on FOX News. He has been featured or quoted in over 800 books, magazines and news articles including the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Vancouver Province, Canada’s B.C. Report, New York Times, Newsday, Seattle Times, Oregonian, Sacramento Bee, Christian Science Monitor, The Dallas Morning News and a lengthy article beginning on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Clausen’s information has been translated and used by publications in many foreign countries including Japan, Ireland, England, Turkey, Germany, France and Chile. In 1994, a film crew from Danish TV-2 flew to Seattle to interview Mr. Clausen for a television documentary about international and U.S. extremist organizations. The documentary, A MAN IN THE RAINBOW, was subsequently aired in several European countries.
His latest book “Burning Rage – The Growing Anger Within My Country,” covers Clausen’s personal experiences within the American judicial system, as well as his investigations into the activities of environmental / animal rights terrorists and extremists. Burning Rage is a behind the scenes look at the dark underworld of government cover-ups, the Unabomber, and radical environmentalism. Clausen is a ‘human backhoe’ – constantly digging for the truth. What he finds is not always pleasant, but sometimes the truth hurts.