Non-Native Settlementhydraulic-mining.jpg

The earliest known interior Klamath exploration by non-nativeswas led by Jedediah Smith between 1827-1829. Smith explored the Trinity River and lower Klamath in this expedition. Ogden and Fremont explored the eastern Klamath region in 1829-1830 and 1845-1846, respectively.

However, the true entrance, occupation, and settlement of the Klamath region did not begin until the declaration of California statehood in the early 1850s. Major changes over the next 100 years came to the Mid Klamath including:

  • Alteration of tribal presence and land management
  • Initiation of modern resource extraction, such as gold mining and logging
  • Extirpation of beaver, wolf, grizzly, and elk
  • Draining of bottomlands
  • Watershed diversions
  • Building of the two Copco dams on the Klamath River (1918 & 1925)

old-orleans-bridge.jpgThe Gold Rush of the mid-to-late nineteenth century, although productive, turned bust, and the highest population densities the Mid Klamath has ever known came and went. By the close of the period, the transition from early settler occupation to resource extraction had been completed, leaving lasting environmental and cultural effects.