Hoopa, Yurok tribal members take on federal agencies in court

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – Hoopa and Yurok tribal member were in a San Francisco Federal District Court on Wednesday to urge a Judge William Orrick to enforce protective actions for salmon populations in the Klamath and Trinity rivers.

Tribal members sued the Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the Klamath Irrigation District located in Central Oregon and Northern California, as well as the National Marine Fisheries Service.

They say these federal agencies have failed to protect threatened Coho salmon, and they want to see the bureau leave more water in the river, in order to maintain a healthy environment for the species, which are on the decline.

“The Hoopa Valley Tribe will take all necessary steps to protect these fish, the lifeblood of our Tribe,” Hoopa Chairman Ryan Jackson said.

“Last year, our people got less than one fish per member,” said Fisheries Director Mike Orcutt, “Our in stream flow water rights are the most senior rights in the River system and they must be respected.”

The court has taken the requests and will rule soon.