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AMENDMENTS TO THE KLAMATH TERMINATION ACT

OF 1954

OCTOBER 2, 1957

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UNITED STATES AND SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS OF THE
COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS,

Klamath Falls, Oreg. The hearing convened at the county courthouse, Klamath Falls, Oreg., at 10 a. m., Senator Richard L. Neuberger presiding.

Also present: James Gamble, chief clerk, and Robert Wolf, forestry consultant, Subcommittee on Indian Affairs.

Senator NEUBERGER. May we come to order, please! The Chair would like to make a preliminary statement and explain some of the background of these hearings. Before I do that, however, I should like to say that we are very pleased and very honored that a substantial number of members of the Oregon State Legislature interim committee on Indian affairs and Indian problems has come here today to be with us as observers. One of their members will present a statement later on in the day. They are here as our guests, and tomorrow morning it is to be my pleasure, I hope, to have them as guests at breakfast and to discuss with them some of these very urgent issues which confront our State particularly and the Nation in general.

I would like to introduce the members of the interim committee who have come today and if they will stand, I will introduce them individually: Senator Lee Quiring, from Umatilla County; Representative John Kerbow, Klamath County; Representative Sam Wilderman, Multnomah County; Hon. David C. Epps, of Lincoln County; and Hon. Leroy Gienger, of Klamath County. We are delighted that you men have come, and we feel that it is a very encouraging indication of interest on the part of our State.

I want to explain, also, for the record and for those present, why only one member of the Senate Indian Affairs Subcommittee is here today. We have just come through one of the longest congressional sessions in the peacetime history of the United States. This means that many of the Members of the Senate, if not, indeed, most of the Members of the Senate, are trying to get some much-needed rest. I was authorized by the other four members of both the Democratic and Republican Parties who serve on the Senate Indian Affairs Subcommittee to hold these hearings at Klamath Falls and at Portland and to bring back a hearing record. This hearing record will be printed and will be distributed among the members of the committee, as well as all other Members of the Senate and interested groups in the general public. Then, based on that hearing record, my colleagues on the

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Indian Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate will base their decision regarding the future of all of these problems which confront the resources and people of the Klamath Indian Reservation.

So, although there is only one member of the subcommittee here today, the chairman of the subcommittee, I think everybody should know that what is said for the hearing record will be studied by the other members of the subcommittee as well as the 15 members of the full Senate Interior Committee, and, on the substantive record and on the facts and information presented for this record, will be premised such a verdict as is reached by the Congress of the United States.

I now should like to read my prepared statement, which will give some further background and will help illuminate the position of the administrative arm of the Government on this question.

In my capacity as chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian Affairs, I would like to begin these hearings by welcoming all of you in attendance today. I think it would be proper for me to make a short statement explaining some of the recent developments which have brought the Senate Subcommittee on Indian Affairs to Klamath Falls at this time, in order that the record may be clear.

One year ago we held hearings in this very room on the subject of the Klamath Termination Act of 1954. At that meeting the Management Specialists charged with the responsibility of carrying out Public Law 587, 83d Congress, brought to our attention the need for amending the law to provide additional time in which to solve the many complex problems that had arisen in connection with termination. They pointed out that a large percentage of the Klamath Indians probably would elect to withdraw from the tribe, and that such action could result in the wholesale liquidation of the timber assets of the reservation. Mr. Watters, in his testimony before this committee on October 18, 1956, stated :

After studying the basic qualities of each proposal the Management Specialists now believe that the most feasible method for terminating the Federal Government's present trust responsibility in a manner that will safeguard the long-term welfare of tribal members as well as the economy of the community is through the purchase of the Klamath tribal property by the Federal Government.

We were also told by the Klamath Executive Committee that Federal purchase of the tribal assets appeared to be the only solution that would prevent the destruction of the Klamath forest property. The testimony furnished us by Mr. Watters and his associates, members of the Klamath Tribe, conservationists, church groups and individuals was forceful and cogent, and made a deep impression on subcommittee members.

At the outset of the 85th Congress, I introduced for Senator Wayne Morse and myself a bill, S. 469, to defer the sales of tribal assets, extend the final termination date to 1961, and provide for full reimbursement to the tribe for all termination costs. The bill also made certain other desirable changes in Public Law 587. We succeeded in having this proposed legislation passed by the Senate on March 8, 1957. Following consideration by the Indian Subcommittee of the House of Representatives, S. 469 passed the House on June 21, although in amended form. Because there were two versions of the

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bill, it was necessary for the two committees to confer to work out our differences. In my judgment, the Senate had passed a more equitable bill, a more fair bill, and I tried to convince our colleagues that the Senate bill provided a more realistic approach to the existing problem. However, the House members were adamant in their position, and in order to obtain a bill of any sort we agreed to their language. S. 469 was signed by President Eisenhower on August 14, and is now referred to as Public Law 85–132.

I mention this sequence of events to show the difficulties I have encountered in attempting to restore some order to this situation. I want to take this opportunity to state for the record my deep appreciation to Senator Murray, the chairman of the Senate Interior Committee, and the members of the Indian Subcommittee for the understanding and assistance they have given me in my efforts to find a workable solution to the Klamath problem. I regret that the other members of the subcommittee could not be here today, but they have informed me that other commitments prevent their participation.

Many of you may wonder what the Congress had in mind when Public Law 132 was enacted, and what we hope to accomplish through this hearing. Let me quote to you from the Senate report which accompanied my bill, S. 469, when that legislation was reported to the Senate.

The primary purpose of S. 469, as amended, is to delay the sales of tribal property belonging to the Klamath Indians until the end of the 2d session of the 85th Congress. Such a delay period will afford Congress an opportunity to consider alternative means of protecting the economy and preserving good conservation practices in the Klamath Basin.

By the terms of Public Law 132, we now have approximately 11 months in which to come up with these alternative plans for preserving the forest on the reservation. That leaves very little time in which to hold hearings, sponsor legislation, move it through the legislative process and have it signed by the President of the United States. Therefore, I have scheduled these hearings in Klamath Falls and in Portland—and I wish to say that I apologize for scheduling these hearings on world series day, but they were scheduled prior to the time we noticed the start of the world series-for the purpose of receiving recommendations and suggestions from the members of the tribe, the Management Specialists, and other interested groups on how we should proceed. I feel it is absolutely essential that we in Oregon, both Indian owners of these lands and private citizens, build a record at this hearing that will serve as a guide to Congress in formulating a program that will be fair in all respects to the Klamath Indians in giving them a fair return on their property, and yet afford an opportunity to retain the timberlands under a form of sustained yield management.

As you know, I have introduced a bill, S. 2047, which would provide for Federal acquisition of the reservation timberlands, and management of these assets by the United States Forest Service. It would also provide for the purchase of the marshlands, and management of that area by the Fish and Wildlife Service. Senator Wayne Morse, the senior Senator from Oregon, is cosponsor with me of this legislation. I will insert a copy of the bill in the record at this point.

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(S. 2047 is as follows:)

[S. 2047, 85th Cong., 1st sess.] A BILL To provide for the acquisition by the United States of all tribal lands of the

Klamath Tribe of Indians

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a) section 2 of the Act entitled “An Act to provide for the termination of Federal supervision over the property of the Klamath Tribe of Indians located in the State of Oregon and the individual members thereof, and for other purposes”, approved August 13, 1954 (68 Stat. 718), is amended by striking out paragraphs (d) and (e) of such section and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

“(d) "Tribal property' means any personal property, or any interest in personal property, that belongs to the tribe and either is held by the United States in trust for the tribe or is subject to restriction against alienation imposed by the United States.

“(e) 'Adult' means a person who is an adult according to the law of the place of his residence.

“(f) "Tribal lands' means any real property, interests therein, or improvements thereon, including timber and water rights, which belong to the tribe and either is held by the United States in trust for the tribe or is subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States."

(b) The first paragraph of subsection (a) of section 5 of such Act is amended by striking out “by practicable logging or other appropriate economic units”.

(c) Section 12 of such Act is amended by striking out “transfer of title to tribal property to a trustee, corporation, or other legal entity pursuant to section 6 of this Act” and inserting in lieu thereof "acquisition by the Secretary of the tribal lands referred to in this Act”.

(d) Such Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new sections:

"SEC. 27. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Secretary shall purchase from the Klamath Indian Tribe all tribal lands of such tribe at the fair market value thereof as determined in accordance with the provisions of section 28 of this Act.

"SEC. 28. (a) There is hereby established an appraisal board to be composed of three qualified appraisers who have had wide experience in the valuation of timberlands, agricultural lands, and grazing lands, one of whom shall be appointed by the Secretary of the Interior and one of whom shall be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The third member of the Board shall be elected by the Klamath Tribe by popular vote of the enrolled adult members of the Klamath Tribe taken by secret ballot.

“(b) It shall be the duty of the appraisal board to determine the fair market value of all tribal lands of the Klamath Tribe, and to report to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of each House of the Congress during the Eightyfifth Congress the results of such determination. Such report shall be submitted to both committees on the same day. In the event of disagreement among members of the appraisal board as to the fair market value, such value shall be determined by a majority of the board.

"(c) The appraisal provided for under this section shall become effective upon the expiration of a period of sixty calendar days of continuous session of the Congress following the date on which the appraisal board reports to such committees the results of its determination in accordance with the provisions of this section. For the purposes of this section

“(1) continuity of session shall be considered as broken only by an adjournment of the Congress sine die; but

“ (2) in the computation of the sixty-day period there shall be excluded the days on which either House is not in session because of an adjournment

of more than three days to a day certain. “SEC. 29. (a) Any part of the tract of tribal lands acquired pursuant to section 27 of this Act which consists of timberlands under sustained-yield manage ment shall be transferred to and administered by the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture as national forest lands. Such lands shall be ad. ministered in the same manner and to the same extent as are other national

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