Ranchers, tribes reach deal on Klamath water

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Updated: 3/05 5:51 pm

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A deal to share scarce water between ranchers and the Klamath Tribes has cleared another hurdle on its way toward becoming part of a bill in Congress to overcome a century of fighting over water in the Klamath Basin.

Parties announced Wednesday they have finished negotiations to overcome last summer's irrigation shut-off to cattle ranches in the upper Klamath Basin after the Klamath Tribes exercised newly awarded senior water rights to protect fish.

The deal still must be voted on by the tribes and ranchers. If approved, it becomes part of Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden's effort to pass legislation authorizing removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River to help struggling salmon, and another that gives farmers on a federal irrigation project greater assurances of water during drought.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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