Hoopa Blasts Fed’s Water Plan In Order To Save Salmon

Press release from the Hoopa Valley Tribe expresses a decided dislike to the federal water plan:


Hoopa Residents see stressed and dying salmon in the Trinity River.[Photo provided by Vivienna Orcutt]

Members of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation are facing a state of emergency. As Northern California is consumed by wildfires, it is neither safe to breath the air nor drink the water. There are daily health warnings in place advising our members of degraded air and drinking water both of which are essential for human existence.Last Friday, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) released an Environmental Assessment (EA) outlining proposed flow releases from the Trinity River to protect migrating Klamath-Trinity River salmon this year. However, BOR’s proposal does little to protect fish and does not use the best available science.The Hoopa Valley Tribe has submitted a scientific and technically sound proposal to protect returning Chinook salmon that BOR has rejected. Fisheries Director, Mike Orcutt said, “It is disheartening after having put all of our resources into a good faith effort to develop a sound and scientifically valid proposal to have it be rejected.”Further, much to our dismay BOR now puts forth a scientifically untested and cumbersome proposal offered by federal agencies who profess to be fishery experts.” It seems that Interior is considering last minute proposals not intended to protect fish but rather meet political agendas (CVP water supplies) of San Joaquin Agribusiness.

“Last year, we did the same Chinese fire drill. It’s now come to the 11th hour and we’re still entertaining arm chair quarterback approaches to protecting Klamath-Trinity River fish.”

BOR will finalize its EA on Friday, 7 August. If a fish kill does occur it will be environmentally and politically devastating but a direct reflection to how this administration has managed water resources.

Hoopa Tribal Chairman, Ryan Jackson, added, “Another fish kill on the Klamath River would be devastating to North Coast communities especially when Interior can still make the right choice and protect our culture and way of life.”

“Why are our people reduced to hauling dead fish from our river, instead of working with our trustees to prevent the disease that BOR’s operations cause ?”

Everyone knows that the Klamath River is in the state of environmental collapse and daily reports on the conditions of the river foretell an imminent fish kill. Both Hoopa and Yurok Tribes have done everything in their power legally and scientifically to convince Interior. We fully intend to work with anyone that wants to help save Klamath Basin salmon. We’re hoping to get Humboldt County on board and collectively accomplish that. Residents of Klamath and Trinity Rivers are fed up with the deplorable water conditions while our water is being piped over the hill to Central Valley agribusinesses. They have decided to protest the Bureau’s decision at a public scheduled scoping hearing on the Klamath River Long Term flow plan EIS on Wednesday.


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