Search Tips

U.S.: Justices won’t wade into fight over tribal water rights Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Courthouse News Service

Farmers won’t get paid for river water they lost out on during a drought in southern Oregon, because Native American tribes have water rights that rank above those of irrigators, stretching back to “time immemorial” — a ruling the U.S. Supreme Court refused to disturb on Monday.

It was a ruling that Klamath Tribal Chairman Don Gentry said benefits everyone, whether they are tribal members or not — despite the hardship faced by farmers who don’t have enough water to irrigate their crops.

“Tribes aren’t alone in this,” Gentry said over the phone. “The health of the environment should be important to all of our community citizens in the region.”

Read more at: