Winema National Forest


Presidential Proclamation 3423, signed in July 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, created the Winema National Forest from portions of the Rogue, Deschutes, and Frémont National Forests.  The U.S. Government acquired the rights to the new forestland in 1954 after the Klamath Indian Reservation had been dissolved.  Congress passed and President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Klamath Termination Act of 1954, which ended federal social and financial assistance for the Klamath Tribes and terminated their rights to 1.8 million acres of land.  In 1959, the U.S. Department of Agriculture paid the Klamath Tribes approximately $68.7 million for the reservation land.

As part of the termination settlement, each member of the Klamath Tribe who acknowledged termination and left the reservation was to receive approximately $43,500 from the sale of these lands.   Those who chose to stay in the tribe, were left with a small amount of land to share, land that was held in trust and managed by the U.S. National Bank of Portland.  Klamath Tribesman Edison Chiloquin wanted to keep 580 acres of the Winema National Forest, an area that was once his grandfather’s village.  Chiloquin refused to accept the terms of the termination settlement and took his case to Washington, D.C.  In 1980, more than two decades after the initial land sale, President Jimmy Carter granted Chiloquin the rights to his family’s land on the condition that it be used only for traditional cultural purposes.  In 1986, Congress reestablished the Klamath Reservation.  However, most of the tribal lands had been incorporated into the Winema National Forest.

Further Reading:
Haynal, Patrick “Termination and Tribal Survival: The Klamath Tribes of Oregon,” Oregon Historical Quarterly, 101, 2000: 270-301.

Written by Robert Donnelly, © Oregon Historical Society, 2003.


Related Historical Records

Fremont National Forest, 1911
Fremont National Forest, 1911

This 1911 U.S. Forest Service map shows the Fremont National Forest, located in southern Lake County and eastern Klamath County.

In 1898 B.F. Allen, a forest superintendent in northern California, suggested that a forest reserve be established in the Warner Mountains near Lakeview in order to regulate timber cutting and …

Termination

Reservations in Oregon came under attack after World War II. In a sharp reversal of policies established under Indian Commissioner John Collier during the 1930s, the federal government made aggressive efforts to “get out of the Indian business” early in the 1950s—that is, to terminate the relationship between tribes and …

Related Oregon Encyclopedia Articles


This entry was last updated on March 17, 2018