Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_fulltext in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1531

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_intro in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1533

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_fulltext in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1531

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_intro in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1533

Umatilla say they will oppose water project 5-5-07

HERMISTON, Ore. (AP) - Tribal officials have served notice they will oppose an Eastern Oregon water project under consideration in the Legislature “every step of the way” and called for a collaborative approach to water in the Umatilla Basin.

At issue is the Oregon Oasis Project that would allow up to 500,000 acre feet of water a year to be withdrawn from the Columbia River for agricultural, municipal and industrial uses.

Tribal officials said it contains no salmon protection, and the tribes weren't consulted when it was drawn up.

“The main players have not been up front with the Tribes,” said Umatilla tribal council chairman John Barkley at a meeting Thursday with county commissioners and others. “Our intention is find something that's going to be beneficial to all stakeholders in the basin. Oasis doesn't do that.

“If you want to stay with Oasis, you're looking at a long, drawn-out process because we'll be there to oppose it every step of the way.”

Alice Nelson, legislative assistant to her husband, Sen. David Nelson of Pendleton, said later that a bill in the House “is still alive and there are many different ways it could go from here.”

Rick George, who manages environmental planning and treaty-rights protection for the tribes, said it's unlikely to pass, “but if it did, it's going to create quite a war in this basin.”

George said the U.S. Department of Interior has committed $450,000 for a two-year Bureau of Reclamation study that could result in water supply developments in the basin, including new reservoirs and developing groundwater supplies.

“If we're all together and the state is with us,” he said, “we'll get a new federal water project developed in this basin.”

Umatilla County Commissioner Larry Givens asked George whether the tribes would “cooperate to make it work” if the Oasis bill passes.

“I think the short answer is no,” George responded. “The time to keep disaster from happening is before passage.”
0
0
0