The tribes said camping has done severe damage to the local ecosystem.
Klamath Tribes Chairman Clayton Dumont Jr. said, “it’s ecologically imperative, it’s culturally imperative, and it’s been horribly degraded.”
Members of the Klamath Tribes said closing Hagelstein Park is the best way to protect the endangered fish in its pond.
Dumont Jr. said has been mistreated in a number of ways.
“We see people washing clothes in those pristine waters, bathing,” Dumont Jr. said, “more recently our research staff found that there are high concentrations of fecal e. Coli bacteria.”
Dumont Jr. said they have had concerns about the park’s ecosystem for years.
He said eventually the tribe would like to manage the park instead of the county.
“It could become a place where our long inhabitation of our homeland here could be highlighted for folks,” Dumont Jr. said, “maybe some signage that talks about our history here, the importance of the place, what it was like before settlers came.”
Dumont Jr. said they have already had discussions with the county commissioners about managing the park.
He said they still have to present their plan to the tribes’ general council.
“This is a source of cold, clean water that we very much need to take care of and to do everything we can to reconnect to its natural function as part of Upper Klamath Lake,” Dumont Jr. said.
Dumont Jr. said they will meet with the tribes general council next Saturday about their plan for Hagelstein Park.
© 2023 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.