Ranchers and the Klamath Tribes have reached a tentative deal for sharing water in the drought-stricken Upper Klamath Basin.
Members of a special task force signed an agreement in principal Monday in Klamath Falls. Thier goal is to reach a final agreement early in 2014 that will guide legislation to be offered by U. S. Senator Ron Wyden.
The task force was brought together by Wyden, Governor John Kitzhaber, and others after water was shut off to hundreds of ranchers to meet water rights newly awarded to the Klamath Tribes.
Cattle rancher Roger Nicholson says if this brings peace to water battles in the upper basin, it will be welcome.
Klamath Tribes Chair Don Gentry says it is a critical step, but there is a lot of negotiating left to do.