KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — A federal appeals court has found that the water rights of Klamath Basin tribes take priority over those of farmers who sued the federal government in 2001 for reducing their irrigation water supply after a dry year.
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is a key step forward toward the tribes’ goals of restoring the Klamath Basin ecosystem and saving chinook and coho salmon, the Yurok tribe said Sunday in a statement. The federal appeals court made its decision public on Nov. 16 in a lawsuit that’s been in the courts for two decades.
The irrigators have not decided if they will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Times Standard reported.
The complex case involves how to allocate Klamath River water among three competing dem