Klamath, Yurok, Karuk Tribes working on restoring Klamath Basin ecosystem

KLAMATH BASIN, Ore.– We told you yesterday that the Klamath, Yurok and Karuk Tribes and the Klamath Water Users Association reached an agreement to work on ecosystem restoration projects together.

$72 million is coming to the drought-stricken Klamath Basin from the federal government to help improve water and irrigation in the area.

The Department of the Interior said the newly signed ‘memorandum of understanding’ commits the groups to work together to identify, recommend and support projects that advance shared restoration goals.

The Klamath Water Users Association’s Moss Driscoll said, “we need to be able to realize and capitalize on that opportunity. Because this isn’t coming around again. We’re not going to see these dollars and these opportunities like we currently have.”

Driscoll said the Klamath Water Users Association has already identified the Tulelake Wildlife Refuge as a project they want to invest in.

The KWUA wants to use this money to make the basin’s ecosystem as durable as possible.

Klamath Tribal Chairman Clayton Dumont said, “if there’s any chance of saving the cultures which are so dependent on the environment with the tribes, and if there’s any chance of the agricultural community having a sustainable future, it is with the repair of the ecosystem.”

Dumont said they want to use part of the money to continue to work on the ecosystem in the Bootleg Fire burn scar.

He said they will also be working to reconnect the Klamath Straits to the Klamath Wildlife Refuge.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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