THIS JUST IN … Bureau of Reclamation plans to set aside a twenty-two year-old agreement on Trinity River; Hoopa Valley Tribe files for injunction

Press release from the Hoopa Valley Tribe:

[Friday], the Hoopa Valley Tribe asked a California federal court for an injunction against the Interior Department agency responsible for restoring Hoopa’s fishery on California’s Trinity River. The Bureau of Reclamation plans to set aside a twenty-two year-old agreement with the United States to restore the Tribe’s fishery, which was devastated by Reclamation’s unlawful over-diversion of water to industrial agriculture and other uses in California’s Central Valley.

This case is Hoopa’s latest battle in an ongoing war to defend its sovereignty and fishing rights.  “That agreement is sacred to us”, said Tribal Chairman Joe Davis. “It took an act of Congress and years of negotiation to make a restoration plan we could agree on. More than a generation ago, on December 19, 2000, Federal, State, Local, and Tribal officials gathered in Hoopa at a ceremony on the banks of the Trinity River to witness Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Tribal Chairman Duane Sherman sign the agreement.”

“We trusted that the Secretary, and his successors, would act in good faith, as we have, to honor that agreement,” said Vice-Chairman Everett Colegrove. “But we knew that Reclamation was under constant pressure from those who had profited from our water to terminate the power that Congress gave us to make sure that Reclamation would be a faithful trustee for our fishery.

“Secretary Haaland knows the importance of tribal sovereignty and tribal fishing rights”, said Council Member Jill Sherman Warne. “We hope our action today will cause the Secretary to hold Interior agencies to account for the unlawful actions they took during the Trump Administration, and continue to take, to terminate our rights, nullify laws to restore fisheries damaged by the CVP, and shift to federal taxpayers the hundreds of millions of dollars owed by CVP contractors for environmental restoration costs.”

The case is Hoopa Valley Tribe v. Bureau of Reclamation et al., E.D. Cal., No. 1:20-cv-1814-JLT-EPG.

ECF 108 Motion for PI
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