Klamath Indian Tribe of Oregon
Operators of an irrigation project that brought homesteaders to the Klamath Basin are considering going to the God Squad - the panel that weighs economics against extinction - after biologists declared water as usual for farmers would bring an end to two species of fish, the Lost River sucker and the shortnosed sucker. They were put on the endangered species list in 1988. There's more than the Endangered Species Act to consider, said a tribal attorney. When the federal government signed the Treaty of 1864, sending the Klamath Tribes to the reservation, it committed to maintaining the suckers as a tribal fishery. Though the tribes stopped fishing for the suckers shortly before they were listed, the fish remain an important part of tribal culture. The annual ceremony to celebrate the return of the fish was March 17. The Oregon Natural Resources Council holds while farms would suffer, giving fish and wildlife more water will benefit salmon fishing and tourism associated with annual migrations through the basin wildlife refuges. A spokesman said it's "totally penny wise and pound foolish to continue to pour water on subsidized crops that no one needs at the expense of what is the greatest wildlife spectacle anywhere on the Pacific Coast."