All News Releases By Date
Six Klamath Tribes Awarded EPA Funding for Klamath River Solutions; EPA Regional Administrator presents grant to tribal leaders during Regional Tribal Operations Committee
Release Date: 7/31/2003
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, (415) 947-4297
SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $100,000 grant to the Yurok Tribe, which will be shared among five tribes to help find solutions to problems facing the Klamath River.
Wayne Nastri, Regional Administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region, made the announcement while meeting with leaders of the Klamath Basin tribes, includin; Resighini Rancheria, Yurok Tribe, Hoopa Valley Tribe, Karuk Tribe of California, and Quartz Valley Indian Reservation. The tribes have agreed to work together on water quality improvement projects on the Klamath River. The Yurok tribe will administer the grant that will be shared with the participating tribes.
"These tribes are working together to enhance and preserve the Klamath Basin, a valuable resource for many people," said Nastri. "The funding will enable us all to better understand and address the nature of the problems affecting the river."
The grant is part of a larger effort by the EPA to help tribes in the U.S. participate in the environmental decisions that affect them. This year, EPA will award nearly $10 million that Congress authorized for the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program specifically for environmental program development by tribes.
The announcement was made during the Regional Tribal Operations Committee hosted by the Yurok Tribe. Tribal leaders invited the EPA’s regional administrator to discuss the poor state of water quality and quantity in the Klamath River and the affect poor water quality has on tribal cultures and trust resources.
In September 2002, 33,000 salmon died in the lower 36 miles of the Klamath River due to water quality and quantity conditions. Several tribes who rely on Klamath River resources wrote to the EPA asking for support in preventing future fish kills along the Klamath River. The funds will be used to support monitoring of the river conditions and to study the fishery conditions. Ultimately, information provided will be used to help agencies gain a better understanding of the Klamath Basin.
Tribes from throughout the west will attend the three-day Regional Tribal Operations Committee meetings focusing on tribal environmental issues and solutions.
- Leaders of the Klamath Basin Tribes accepting today’s grant award:
Chairman Rick Dowd, Resighini Rancheria
Chairperson Susan Masten, Yurok Tribe
Chairman Alvis Johnson, Karuk Tribe of California
Interim Chairman Aaron Peters, Quartz Valley Indian Reservation