Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Len Broberg

Commitee Members

Dan Flores, Dave Beck


20th century, factions, federal hearings, Indian voice, Klamath Tribes, logging, Modoc, ponderosa, revisionist, southern Oregon, timber industry, tribe's view, Yahooshin, Yahuskin


University of Montana


During the 1950s, termination policy dominated federal Indian policy. Termination policy was an effort by the federal government to complete the assimilation process by ending the federal trust relationship it held with Native American tribes. US federal officials chose to terminate the trust relationship with tribes that they considered assimilated and wealthy. As many other historians have argued, termination history did not end in a positive way for tribes. Many tribes witnessed the social and economic collapse of their communities, as well as the loss of their tribal identity. Although the Klamaths suffered from their termination experience, they faced a new path before them after termination. This new path resulted from conservation-based amendments to the tribes’ termination act. The conservation-based amendments encouraged the federal purchase of most of the Klamaths’ forested land. In 1970, the US denounced termination and in 1975 enacted self-determination policy, legislation that would allow tribes to assert their sovereignty without severing their federal trust relationship. The federal, rather than private, ownership of the Klamaths’ former land offered the Klamaths a land-base on which they could practice their treaty rights and assert their sovereignty in the management of that land during the self-determination era. This study delves into the Klamaths’ interests in their forested land prior to termination. Then, it illuminates the development of the conservation-based amendments. Last, the research follows the Klamaths down their new path to show how the tribes empowered themselves by taking advantage of self-determination policy, environmental law, and federal administrative procedures.



© Copyright 2008 Monika Nicole Bilka