Klamath tribune. (Chiloquin, Or.) 1956-1961, January 01, 1960, Page Page 3, Image 3

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    JANUARY 1960
Page 3
Active in recent months has
been the "Modoc Point Water
Users Association. The Associa
tion was formed approximately
two years ago to consider prob
lems confronting Modoc Point
area land-owners as a result of
termination, particularly t h e
problem of transfer of adminis
tration of the Modoc Point irri
gation project to an irrigation
district or other entity.
Regarding r e c e n t progress
made by the Association, Bob
Doak and Lyle I lass. President
and secretary respectively, re
port that a meeting was held at
Klamath Agency Dec. 22 be
tween the Ass'n and Mr. Paul
Henderson of the area office of
the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Mr.
Henderson provided those pres
ent with a brief history of the
Modoc 101111 irrigation project
and reiterated the importance of
area farmers forming a legal ir
rigation district to take over ad
ministration of the project on
President Doak and Secretary
Haas report that fanners in the
Modoc Point area are now hesit
ant to form an irrigation district
to take over the project because
"they" feel accumulated construc
tion costs of the project are un
justifiable". They advise that
these costs, incurred during the
30-plus years of BIA development
of the project, total over $6(X),(XX),
averaging $136 per acre for the
5,501 acres in the project.
(In accordance with an act of
July 1. 1932 47 Stat. 564; 25
U.S.C. 3S6a, assessment and col
lection of construction costs of
the project was deferred. Sec.
13(b) of the termination law,
however, terminates this defer
ment effective the first day of
the calendar year following Secre
tarial proclamation that the Fed
eral trust relationship to the af
fairs of the tribe and its members
has terminated. Under the law,
the Secretary shall then "cause
the first lien against such lands
created by the act of March 7,
1928 . . . ,'to be filed of record in
the appropriate county office".)
Doak and Haas explain that
many area farmers consider that
creation of an irrigation district
to take over the project will
amount to acceptance of these
construction costs as a lien
against the land. All the farmers
in the area, they assert, object to
acceptance of the costs, averag
ing $136 per acre, on four
grounds :
1. that .climatic conditions of
the area are severe, frosts being
common 10 months of the year;
2. that soil conditions are not
top-standard, a comparatively
high proportion of the land being
in class 6, suitable for pasture
only ;
3. that the quality of the pro
ject is not commensurate with
the assessment ;
4. that an itemization of the
construction charges has not
been received on any Indian
owned land and only on that non-Indian-owned
land that is pres
ently being irrigated.
Klaborating upon these points,
President Doak and Secretary
Haas point out that the unfav
orable climatic and soil conditions
combine to limit greatly the
area's agricultural uses. The
farming qualities of the area do
not warrant an irrigation project
of such cost, they contend. Furth
ermore, they argue that this pro
ject, in itself, is "not worth any
where near $600,000". They
cite a lack of delivery facilities
such as ditches, headgates, etc.,
and capacity of the main canals
to carry only about half the
water claimed by the BIA. They
add that an unbiassed appraisal
of the project has been requested
several times to establish its true
value but that such an appraisal
has not been conducted.
Regarding soil conditions spe
cifically, they calculate that about
1,500 acres of the total of 5,501
is class 6 land, defined as being
physically unsuited for cultiva
tion. They point out that such
land classification does not af
fect the assessment, however,
acreage being assessed equally
regardless of-quality.
With the landowners object
ing to the construction and not
favorably disposed to forming an
irrigation district Doak and Haas
point out that the issue created
must be resolved by the final
termination date. In settling the
matter they see two alternatives
besides the one of area farmers
forming a district, taking over
the project and assuming the ac
cumulated construction costs.
They state that the Secretary
could sell the machinery now be
longing to the project, deduct the
amount realized from the total
costs, and file a lien for the bal
ance on the land, with no irriga
tion district being set up. A third
course would be turning over the
project to another government
bureau, with the land still being
subject to the construction costs.
Offering a possible, partial so
lution, they feel, is sec. 13(d) of
the termination law. There, the
Secretary is given authority to
(Continued from Page 1)
The deadline for the submission
of plans for the second group of
sustained yield units was Jan. 1,
lo0. It was reported that plans
have been submitted on all three
units' for approval by the Forest
Service. Decision as to whether
these plans are approved or dis
approved will be made by March
17, fifteen days before the bids
are opened. The date for the
opening of the bids on the second
group of sustained yield units has
been scheduled for April 1. VXH
Three units are involved in the
second group of units, the largest
of which is the Uhiloquiu unit
containing 55,316 acres, an estim
ated 234.731 M board ft. of saw
timber and 149,317 cords of pulp.
Its realization value is $4,970,
23().(X). The Black Hills Unit, although
smaller in area, has a higher real
ization value. It contains 52.368
acres, 307,015 M board ft. of saw
timber, 37,953 cords of pulp, and
is valued at $5,57(,395.(X) The
third unit, Vaiuax, has 50.522
acres, 27M M board feet, of
sawtiniber but no pulp. Its real
ization value has been established
at $3.666)94.(X).
Four units are in the final
group: Saddle Mountain. Skel
lock, South Calimus, and Vamsay.
Bids on these units are scheduled
to be opened Aug. 1, lnn(), with
the deadline for submission of
plans being May 1, V.Hi).
"adjust, eliminate, or cancel all
or any part of reimbursable irri
gation construction costs charge
able against Indian-owned lands
that are subject to the provisions
of this Act, and all or any part of
assessments heretofore or here
after imposed on account of such
costs, when he determines that
the collection thereof would be
inequitable or would result in un
due hardship on the Indian owner
of the laud, or that the adminis
trative costs of collection would
probably equal or exceed the
amount collected." They empha
size that this applies only to
Indian - owned - lands, however,
and state that an act of Congress
would be required to adjust
charges against non-Indian own
ed lands.
Both officers express confi
dence that the question will be
resolved fairly. They state that
recent progress has been made
towards possible removal of
charges against class 6 land and
consider this indicative of pro
gress towards solution of the
whole problem.
Scldon Kirk, Dibbon
Cook Named to
Advisory Committee
Seldon Kirk, chairman of the
(leneral Council and Dibbon Cook,
secretary, have been officially no
tified of their appointment to the
(lovernor's Advisory Committee
on Indian Affairs which was es
tablished by C.ov. Mark (). Hat
field on November 1, 1959.
The committee, u n d e r the
chairmanship of Harvey Wright
of the State Department of Fdu
eation, includes the major state
governmental agencies, the Area
Director f the Bureau of Indian
Affairs, the county judges in res
ervation areas in addition to rep
resentatives of the Klamath,
Umatilla and Warm Springs
tribes. Non-governmental groups
represented on the committee in
clude the Departments of Anthro
pology and Political Science of
the University of Oregon, and the
Oregon Council of Churches.
According to the statement is
sued by the governor's office,
the committee has been estab
lished for the purpose of coordin
ating "Indian affairs at the State
level as they concern the State of
Oregon." Among other points
listed, the purpose of the commit
tee is "to find ways to extend to
Indian people opportunities and
.-.ervices that are available to all
citizens, to encourage Indians to
assume their rightful responsibil
ities, and to assist Indian people
to become familiar with their
state government."
This committee, which was set
up "to work with Indian people,
helping them to help themselves"
will "meet periodically, when
called by the chairman, to con
sider broad programs ami pro
posed state action, and to study
and evaluate proposed major
policy changes in Federal Indian
It is anticipated, according to
Chairman A. II. Wright, "that
the committee as a whole not be
convened unless we are confront
ed with a State-wide problem.
Individual departments or small
groups rather than the entire
committee will meet with the
chairman to work on specific
Ill his letter to Dibbon Cook,
Wright explained that Cook had
been appointed on the governor's
committer by virtue of his being
Secretary of the Klamath Tribal
Council. "Mr. Seldon Kirk was
chosen," he further explained, "as
the other appointee because he is
the chairman of the Tribal council."