Klamath Tribes land deal sparks debate

Merkley and others declare opposition to a 385-acre Klamath Tribes land deal.

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Sen. Jeff Merkley has declared opposition to a land deal that would place 385 acres of land in a trust for the Klamath Tribes of Chiloquin.

The deal was proposed by brothers Chris and Tom Maletis, who currently own the Clackamas County land and would lease it from the tribes.

The land… is designated as a rural reserve by Metro and Clackamas County, meaning it can’t be considered for urban development over the next 40 years. The brothers are proposing construction of a green industrial development on the property, although city leaders from the surrounding towns are concerned that the 2005 proposition of a mega-casino could be rehashed.

Under the deal the developers would apply with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place the land into a trust for the Klamath Tribes of Chiloquin. The tribes would then lease the land back to the brothers, freeing them of state, county and municipal land-use regulations under the Klamath Restoration Act of 1986. Loose wording in the Klamath Restoration Act makes it difficult to determine if the tribe can be trusted land only in the general vicinity of their reservation, or anywhere. Langdon Farms is about 250 miles away from the tribe’s original reservation.

Read the full story at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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