Don Gentry, Klamath Tribes Chairman, is passionate about finding a new way forward

Posted by Hannah Meganck on July 2, 2014

Chairman Gentry was profiled by Oregon Business, and will be highlighted in an upcoming film about water sharing in the Klamath.


Chairman Gentry and The Klamath Tribes were featured recently by Oregon Business in an article about limited water supplies in the Klamath Basin.  Don Gentry’s and the Klamath Tribes’ compassion for their neighbors, community, and future generations is why we feel lucky to work with rural people and remain hopeful that our natural resource conflicts can be solved through deep collaboration.

We are excited to have Chairman Gentry joining us to speak at our 20th Anniversary celebration and fundraiser about the importance of community and how far we'’ve come in finding a new way forward, –away from crisis over water, –toward a future when there will be enough water for people and wildlife. 

See a clip of Don Gentry speaking passionately about his people and their cultural history at the signing of the final Klamath Basin water settlement. The upcoming film ‘A River Between Us’ will explore the challenges that have faced the Klamath Basin. 

'Liquid Gold' by Jennifer Margulis, Oregon Business

Don Gentry tried not to breathe. A sudden algae bloom in Agency Lake in 1995 was killing hundreds of fish, and Gentry, who was working for the Klamath Tribes Natural Resource Department, was on the deck of a fiberglass Boston Whaler, tasked with the unpleasant job of collecting dead fish to identify which species had died at what age. When algae grows quickly over the top of a lake on a hot summer day, the drastic change in pH of the water and the lack of available oxygen can be lethal to fish. 

Gentry motored through the bright green water, the acrid smell of rotting sewage and decaying fish turning his stomach. The Klamath Tribes Natural Resources Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were tracking Lost River suckers (“c’waam” in Klamath) and shortnose suckers (“qapdo”), both native to Southern Oregon and Northern California, and both historic staples of the Klamath and Modoc tribes. The shortnose sucker was already on the federal government’s list of endangered species. In 2001 the Lost River sucker would be added to that list.

Continue reading the article online at Oregon Business.