Hoopa Valley Tribe Alarmed by New Bill

Salmon

[Image provided by the Hoopa Valley Tribe]

Press release from the Hoopa Tribe:

The Hoopa Valley Tribe strongly opposes H.R. 1769, the San Luis Drainage Resolution Act, and is alarmed to learn today that a clandestine effort is underway to include it in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We urge you to reject its inclusion in the NDAA. We assume that the purported nexus of H.R. 1769 to the NDAA is section 6(c) of the bill which provides for a water service contract for the Leemore Naval Air Station, so there is nothing about H.R. 1769 proceeding through the regular order that will impair national defense. To advance H.R. 1769 outside regular order in the House (the bill has not been introduced in the Senate) is particularly egregious. H.R. 1769 is not a germane to the Armed Services Committee; upon introduction, it was referred only to the Natural Resources Committee. Moreover, CBO reported that H.R. 1769 has PayGo impacts of $309 million over the 2017-2027 period. House Report No. 115-349 at 18.

In addition to its adverse fiscal impacts, this bill represents a grave risk to the integrity of the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s rights and interests under existing federal reclamation law and the federal trust responsibility to the Hupa people.

In its present form, H.R. 1769 puts at risk property rights to water established by federal reclamation and state water laws more than a half-century ago for the Hoopa Valley Tribe and California’s economically depressed North Coast communities. The Hoopa Valley of the Trinity River has been the home of the Hupa people and the center of our culture and religion since time immemorial.

The San Luis Unit would not exist without the dams, reservoirs and power plants of the Central Valley Project’s (CVP) Trinity River Division (TRD), the only source of imported water to the Central Valley and an essential source of hydroelectric power to deliver water to the San Luis Unit. The TRD diverts water and power for use up to 400 miles from our reservation. We are interested in the drainage settlement for a number of reasons.

· In its current form, H.R. 1769 leaves unresolved excessive diversion of Trinity water to the Central Valley by the Bureau of Reclamation, in violation of congressional limits established in the 1950’s. Those limits are intended to ensure that water needed by the Trinity Basin communities and Indian reservations would not be taken from the Trinity River Basin to the Central Valley.

· The San Luis Unit contractors have waged a decades-long war against our water rights to TRD water supplies. Today, San Luis Unit contractors have two pending cases in federal courts against the United States and the Tribe about the allocation of TRD water. Neither of those cases would be settled by this legislation.

· The Department of Justice has consistently insisted on certainty and finality in water settlements. Leaving the San Luis Unit contractors post settlement-free to continue their efforts to seize the TRD water supplies promised by the federal law to use would be a damaging breach of federal litigation settlement policy and the trust responsibility to the Hupa people.

It is important to recognize that we have raised these issues for more than a decade, ever since the drainage settlement was proposed. The Tribe’s May 24, 2016 testimony to the House Natural Resources Committee on the virtually identical drainage settlement legislation in the 114th Congress (H.R. 4366), which was not enacted sets out in detail: (1) the Tribe’s opposition to drainage settlement; and (2) proposed amendments to the bill that would :

(a) Confirm with certainty and finality the rights of the Hoopa Valley Tribe to waters of the TRD both for economic development and for the restoration, preservation, and propagation of fishery resources that the United States hold in trust.

(b) Provide standards and programs for fishery restoration preservation and propagation; and
(c) Assist with economic development and socio-cultural renewal of the Hoopa Valley Tribe after a half-century of federal management of Klamath water resources that subordinated prior rights of the Hoopa Valley Tribe to TRD water for the benefit of CVP water and power contractors, particularly those in the San Luis Unit.

Officials in the Department of Interior have knowingly and willfully disregarded the rights of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and California’s North Coast communities in negotiating the San Luis Unit settlement. We request that Congress disapprove H.R. 1769 in its present form and instead be guided by Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black’s admonition the “great nations, like great men, should keep their word.”

Contact: Ryan Jackson, Hoopa Valley Tribe- Chairman
C: 530.625.4211

Vivienna Orcutt, Hoopa Valley Tribal Council

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11 comments

  • tired of all this

    I support the Hupa people’s rights to keep the water in the Trinity system.

  • Next it will be be all water rights in ca, be sure to register all your springs.

  • THANK THE SMILING CONGRESSMAN THAT SHAKES YOUR HAND, AND ASSURES YOU EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT, MEANWHILE HE IS STABBING YOU AN YOUR FAMILY IN THE BACK, STEALING YOUR MOST IMPORTANT RESOURCE, WATER. I THOUGHT THEY WOULD GO FOR ROUND VALLEY WATER FIRST, BUT THEY WOULD HAVE TO COMPLETE THE DAM, IF ANYBODY THINKS THAT THIS WONT HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE, GO TO SACREMENTO, AND VIEW THE DIORAMA OF THE PROJECT. BEING DEEMED A WILD RIVER BY POTUS, MEANS NOTHING, BIG AGRA MEANS EVERYTHING, THATS WHY CA. IS A SANCTUARY STATE IT KEEPS FARM LABOR AT ROCK BOTTOM WAGES, AN THATS THE WAY BIG AGRA WANTS IT, MORE PROFIT LESS WAGES. AND THE ELITE REAP THE BENEFITS.

  • I would generally agree that politicians suck but i highly doubt jared huffman is in support of this.
    This sounds like its coming from the interest based leaders of all of our water air land resources.
    Folks from the tribe, could you speak to whether you feel huffman has let you down?

    Will you have a petition we can all sign in support of your rights or is it better to send letters and call our reps?
    Its riduculous that this is even happening, wasnt it just a few years ago that the tribe finally got the water they were promised in the 50’s after lengthy legal battle??
    Respect the treaties and the peoples who have been here for thousands of years. Im not native but it looks to me the natives continue to have a war upon them, on so many levels.
    “They say that we are free, only to be enslaved in poverty”

  • Two more months, and I don’t give a shit anymore, they take water out of the eel river 4/5th of its flow which spells greedy fucking wine ( whine) growers if you prefer leaving shit for the salmon, then some mysterious way squaw fish got introduced in to the watershed…so because of lesser numbers of salmon they don’t have give the water back, the water grab on the Trinity is criminal and you can bet your ass there is more than one politician lining his or her pockets, these people think that pulling off the crime of the century is perfectly Legitimate and above board…have we had enough yet? I don’t think so,let them take your rain gutter runoff then it will sink in.

  • We live in the rain while they steal our water in the sun.

  • Boo hoo! Want in one hand,and wish in the other hand see which gets you the most ! It’s all about the Benjamin’s

  • Water doesn’t recognize boundaries, everyone living in this area should pay attention and support what the Tribe is working for. The Tribe is fighting this battle that will not only benefit the Tribe, but the entire community. The rivers are rapidly becoming degraded to the point that they are unhealthy even for recreation, low levels and flows with high phophorus and nitrogen levels are prime breeding grounds for toxic algae cyanotoxins, not even safe to irrigate with.

  • ( in sarcasm font )

    Screw animals like the salmon and bison, they prevent me from my way of life having cheap nutritious almond milk from the Central Valley for my pumpkin spice latte, and defending America in the war on Christmas. Central Valley alfalfa exports to China are very lucrative keeping lots of workers employed, and the water-grabbing Delta Smelt has already forced small dairies out of business, and the price of milk to skyrocket, thanks to libral fish huggers that hate America. Plus, since it’s in a defense bill, it must somehow be supporting our troops, keeping them from getting captured. USA USA USA! ( in sarcasm font )

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