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Who is this Ubiquitous "Lady Operator" Dr. Kate?

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Dr. Katherine Vandemoer ("Lady Operator"), a highly trained hydrologist, previously served as Special Assistant to Ada Deer, the former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Interior (“DOI”) and the Director of its Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”).  Ms. Deer was known for her significant reorganization of the BIA under Clinton-Babbitt. 

Among the BIA’s primary mission objectives, was the development and implementation of a federal Indian policy that promoted tribal self-governance, self-determination and sovereignty.  This policy entitles "federally recognized tribal entities" (a/k/a “federally recognized tribes”) to numerous regulatory, tax and other benefits and preferences at the public’s cost and expense, which the BIA and some left-leaning courts consider a 'benign' form of racial discrimination.  These include:

1) Exemptions, waivers and derogations from numerous federal regulatory requirements to which ordinary private parties would otherwise be subject;

2) Receipt of $billions of perpetual federal funding through congressional appropriations to the federal Indian Trust Fund Accounts of the governing bodies of federally recognized tribes, at the expense of tribal members; and

3) Perpetual preferential contracts issued by various federal agencies, such as the BIA, FWS, EPA, NOAA, HHS, DOD, etc., to perform governmental and nongovernmental functions including, but not limited to, the: a) transmission of electricity to the public and maintenance of transmission infrastructure; b) implementation and enforcement of federal fish, environment and wildlife laws and regulations both on and off Indian reservations; c) provision of public health services; and d) fulfillment of military goods and services procurement agreements.

"Federally recognized tribal entity" status deems tribes as financially dependent 'sovereign' nations considered to predate the U.S. Constitution.  The U.S. Interior Secretary, on behalf of the U.S. government, including Congress, assumes a fiduciary trust responsibility to protect the tangible and intangible interests of federally recognized tribal entities, which are NOT considered to be subject to the U.S. Constitution as are U.S. States. 

The only way Congress can control these "financially dependent 'sovereigns'" is through the power of the purse.  The tribes cannot survive without congressionally appropriated monies.

Since federal jurisprudence did not permit tribal governments to have physical jurisdiction over nontribal members off reservation, the courts and the DOI-BIA pushed mechanisms such as the EPA "treatment as states" (“TAS”) program and “638 contracts” that federally recognized tribal entities would enter into with numerous federal agencies, as noted above. These arrangements bestowed newly found legal jurisdiction upon federally recognized tribal entities enabling them to regulate nontribal activities off as well as on reservations in order to protect reservation-related tribal aboriginal land, water and wildlife rights.  Since this often dovetails with the environmentalists’ agenda (e.g., Agenda 21), the enviros usually go along with it.  There have been exceptions, however, as where battles arise over the rights of ocean-based fish vs. those of upper watershed fresh water fish.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana (CSKT) are among the first federally recognized tribes.  They also participate in EPA's TAS program, multiple DOI-FWS “638 contracts,” and many federally appropriated DOD contracts.   For example, in 2014, the CSKT were awarded a $1billion defense contract, in addition to many other contracts it has secured with the domestic and foreign military services to produce military hardware, including missiles and other incendiaries.  For example, the CSKT  produce such devices for the Saudi Airforce.  And, for a number of years, the CSKT have specialized in performing military contracts for the cleanup of uranium mill tailings spills on military bases.  The CSKT's involvement with manufacture of military weaponry and its expertise in uranium spill cleanups should raise red flags when one considers how the Government of Turkey has expressed public interest in pursuing business relations, including building construction and leasing activities, leading to work with the CSKT on the Flathead Reservation.  Turkey also has expressed such interest in entering into building construction, leasing and other business activities with numerous other federally recognized tribes on their reservations.

Lady Operator's job at BIA was to promote enhanced tribal self-governance, self-determination and sovereignty in implementation of these policies around the country, especially in the West and Pacific Northwest.  Although she worked primarily in DOI-BIA, she also had been assigned temporarily (i.e., “detailed to”) to EPA and to NOAA's Columbia River Basin Unit in Washington and Oregon.

Since retiring from the U.S. government in 2002 (i.e., likely forced out during the early part of the Bush '43 administration), she has performed consulting work for Indian tribal governments located in multiple western states.  This enables her to continue to promote the policies for which she was previously held responsible.  It also broadens her resume, so that, in the event Hillary Clinton is elected president, she would likely be placed on a short list of potential candidates capable of assuming directorship of BIA.

For the past 3-4 years, Lady Operator has played mind manipulation games in Montana in an effort to secure passage in the MT legislature of a precedent-setting Water Compact entered into between the CSKT, the State of Montana and DOI.  This water compact effectively cedes state-sanctioned consumptive and non-consumptive instream water rights owned, used and held by irrigators on and appurtenant to the Flathead Reservation, including those flowing through the Kerr Dam, to the U.S. government and/or the CSKT.  The Water Compact also serves to codify controversial legal jurisprudence that reaffirms the Tribes' time-immemorial reserved aboriginal rights to land, water, fishing and hunting both on and off the Flathead Reservation.  In other words, the Water Compact goes even further than did the 1855 Hellgate Treaty the U.S. government signed with the Tribes.  As you know, water rights are very valuable in the West.  Typically, western state laws governing water rights are based on the "prior appropriation" doctrine which awards diversions from natural water flows in rivers, creeks, etc. by those who are first to file declaration of specific use(s) and can demonstrate continuous actual use of a given quantity of water for said purpose(s).  Cessation of use for a specific purpose usually means abandonment of the water right use.

Lady Operator has feigned opposition to the Water Compact in ‘educational’ information-packed blogs, speeches and workshops, which serve to encourage uninformed or otherwise naive reservation residents and irrigators to believe that she will help them defeat the Water Compact.     Lady Operator is understood to have liaison with DOI, FWS, BIA, NOAA and EPA, as well as, with lobbyists and lawyers who work for the CSKT and/or the State of Montana.   And some such lawyers are understood to have feigned protection of irrigators’ private property, including water rights, and to do little to actually protect them, in service to U.S. and/or State government demands.  Unfortunately, when lawyers ‘throw’ cases, bad legal precedent is often created that benefits their other clients’ interests.

Lady Operator is quite adept at creating a ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ in Montana by manipulating peoples’ emotions, attitudes and thoughts, especially through quoting scripture.  This has helped her, for example, to frame the Water Compact debate in the MT legislature, with the assistance of these lobbyists and lawyers, by limiting the discussion to only technical water rights.   

Lady Operator also has been known to engage in efforts to block certain persons from speaking at the April 2015 MT Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.  These hearings led to the fateful vote favoring State passage of the Water Compact in Senate Bill 262.  Furthermore, Lady Operator has worked diligently, with the assistance of key lobbyists, to make it quite difficult for “outsiders” (non-Montanans) from all professions to represent the interests of local irrigators.

Furthermore, Lady Operator is known to serve informally at the pleasure of the Flathead Joint Board of Control which is charged with representing the interests of the irrigators located within its three districts.  This dovetails nicely with the liaison she enjoys with the federal agencies noted above.

Documents of Interest (links listed to the left)

  1. Dr. Kate resume (on Montana Legislature website);
  2. LA Times (6/24/1990), Indians’ Waters Open Flood of Conflicts (Dr. Kate quoted as reservation hydrologist)
  3. Hearing Testimony of Dr. Catherine Vandemoer, Special Assistant for Water and Natural Resources, Department of the Interior, in Creek Sioux Tribe Infrastructure Development Trust Fund Act of 1995, Hearing before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate and the Subcommittee on Native American and Insular Affairs of the Committee on Resources, United States House of Representatives, 104th Cong., 2nd Sess., S. 1264 and H.R. 2512 – To Provide for Certain Benefits of the Missouri River Basin Pick-Sloan Project to the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, S.HRG. 104-500 (April 25, 1996), at pp. 40-44, 47, 52, 67-69;
  4. United States Department of Interior Office of Secretary Memorandum, from Catherine Vandemoer and Tom M. Wall, Co-Chairs, White House Domestic Policy Council Environment and Natural Resources Subgroup, to White House Domestic Policy Council Subgroup on American Indians and Alaska Natives (Sept. 16, 1996), Subject: Status of Subgroup Activities, at pp. 11, 15, 38-40;
  5. United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water Memorandum, from Tom Wall and Catherine Vandemoer, Co-chairs, White House Domestic Policy Council, Environment and Natural Resources Protection Subgroup, to White House Domestic Policy Council Working Group on American Indians and Alaskan Natives (Jan. 24, 1997), Subject: Report on the Activities of the Environment and Natural Resources Subgroup, at pp. 35-43;
  6. Recovery Planning for West Coast Salmon National Marine Fisheries Northwest and Southwest Regions (1999-2000);
  7. '2000 West Coast ESA 4(d) Rules Overview - NOAA;
  8. National Marine Fisheries Service (“NMFS”), Northwest and Southwest Regions, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”), Endangered and Threatened Species; Salmon and Steelhead; Final Rules, 65 Fed. Regis. 42422-42481, (7-10-00), Addendum at p. 63, A Citizen's Guide to the 4(d) Rule For Threatened Salmon and Steelhead on the West Coast, NMFS, NOAA (6/20/2000), at p. 23.
  9. Daily Record, Portland, Oregon (2/19/2000) - Federal Fisheries Service Faces Challenges (re: Yakima, Wash.);
  10. Letter of Mar. 26, 1996 from Paul S. Simmons to Kate Vandemoer, Department of the Interior,  Joint Appendix, at p. 26 and FOIA Request of Mar. 26, 1996, from Paul S. Simmons to Director, Office of Administration, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, Joint Appendix at p. 28, United States Department of the Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs v. Klamath Water Users Protective Association, Petition for Writ of Certiorari Filed: May 22, 2000, Certiorari Granted: September 26, 2000;
  11. US Global Change Research Program - References Cited in the [Nat'l Science] Foundation Report of the National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change (2001) (p. 95) (should find this report);
  12. High Country News (10/28/2002), The Message of 30,000 Dead Salmon;
  13. LA Times (10-29-02), Federal Biologist Invokes Whistleblower Act;
  14. EarthJustice.org News, Suppressed Government Report Shows Klamath Irrigation a Bad Investment (11/2/2002);
  15. WaterWatch Oregon, Instream (Summer 2002) – Meet Our New Executive Director; Activist Profile;
  16. WaterWatch Oregon, Instream (Winter 2002, Spring 2003) – Stream of Consciousness, by Executive Director;
  17. U.S. Dep’t of Interior, Office of the Solicitor, Memorandum: Portland General Electric, Project No 477-024, Application for License Amendment and Surrender for the Bull Run Project (Dr. Kate, WaterWatch Oregon, recipient of Certif. of Service) (01/09/2003);
  18. Klamathbucketbrigade.org, The Monday Profile, A Water Watchdog - Karen Russell: Lawyer Doggedly Guards Oregon 's Use of a Scarce Resource (referencing Dr. Kate) (6/6/2005);
  19. FINAL Meeting Minutes (v. 2), Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) Inaugural Meeting St. Louis, Missouri (Sept.29-30, Oct. 1, 2008) (referring to Kate Vandemoer of the Northern Arapaho Tribe) at pp. 15-16, 29);
  20. Missouri River Association of States and Tribes (MoRAST), Rapid City, South Dakota (Dec. 1-2, 2008) (MoRAST Directors, alternates and other representatives present – Northern Arapaho Tribe: Dr. Kate Vandemoer and Dr. Kate Vandemoer, representative of the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council) at pp. 1-2, 4-5, 12;
  21. Catherine Vandemoer, Ph.D., Watershed Resources Incorporated, Consultant to Northern Arapaho Tribe, The Wind River Water Plan Northern Arapaho & Eastern Shoshone Tribes, prepared for Wind-Big Horn Basin Advisory Group (6/18/2009);
  22. Angela Magstadt, MRRIC Unites Upstream, Downstream Tribal Interests, North Dakota Water (July 2010) (quoting Dr. Kate Vandemoer, “a hydrologist representing the North Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Wyoming”);
  23. Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee, MRRIC Annual Report 2009-2010, (listing Dr. Kate Vandemoer as a Tribal Member representing the Northern Arapaho, including at the Nov. 3-5, 2010 meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming), at pp. 1, 30-31 (see also Appendix 7: MRRIC Rosters, at p. 64);
  24. Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee, MRRIC Annual Report 2010-2011, Subcommittee on Tribal Participation Ad Hoc Group (Kate Vandemoer, Subcommittee Member and member of facilitation team, at pp. 25, 27, “Appendix D - MRRIC Roster and Attendance Record 20102011” (noting Kate Vandemoer, as the official representative of the Northern Arapaho Tribe for the Subcommittee on Tribal Participation, until Oct. 20, 2010 meeting);
  25. Email Correspondence from Dr. Kate Vandemoer to John Metesh, University of Montana, Request to Assist Technical Working Group (6/2/2014));
  26. Draft Meeting Summary, Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC), La Vista, NE (Nov. 4-6, 2014) (referencing Dr. Kate Vandemoer as a member of the MRRIC Tribal Interests Work Group) at pp. 50, 63);
  27. Summary of the Symposium on the Settlement of Indian Reserved Water Rights, (Sept. 6-8, 1995, Portland, OR), presented by the Native American Rights Fund and the Western States Water Council (including Special Luncheon Presentation on Administration Policy by *Dr. Catherine Vandemoer, and Wrap-Up Summary by Susan Cottingham, Program Director for the **Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission), at pp. 41-43, 45-46.
  28. First Nations Development Institute, Native American Asset Watch: Rethinking Asset-Building in Indian Country (2009), at p. 3 (acknowledging Dr. Catherine Vandemoer’s  preparation of the Fort Berthold, North Dakota and Wind River, Wyoming Case Studies). 

28A.  First Nations Development Institute, Native American Asset Watch: Rethinking Asset-Building in Indian Country (2009), at APPENDIX 2: Building a Water and Energy Homeland Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Tribes), Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation, North Dakota - A Case Study on Tribal Natural Resource Asset Control, Management and Protection (prepared by *Dr. Catherine Vandemoer).

28B.  First Nations Development Institute, Native American Asset Watch: Rethinking Asset-Building in Indian Country (2009), at APPENDIX 4: Native Water Rights and Resources: Managing The Trust Asset Wind River Indian Reservation A Case Study in the Management and Protection of Tribal Water Resource Assets (prepared by *Dr. Catherine Vandemoer).  (** Dr. Kate’s resume (Doc. 1 above) indicates that she had “[d]eveloped the Wind River Water Code to implement and protect federal reserved water rights awarded to the Tribes in the Big Horn Decree [;…d]eveloped, implemented, and scientifically defended the Tribes’ first use of its reserved water rights in the form of an instream flow restoring flows to over 50 miles of the Wind River; coordinated with the U.S. Department of Justice in legally defending the Tribes’ instream flow dedication; […and d]eveloped the administrative framework, initial funding, and staffing for the Wind River Environmental Quality Commission”) (underlined emphasis added).

  1. Letter From Dr. Catherine Vandemoer to Chris Tweeten, Chair, Montana Reserved Rights Compact Commission, Re Comments and Questions to the Montana Reserved Rights Compact Commission (Dec. 13, 2012
  2. Dr Catherine Vandemoer, Authored Letters to Interior Secretary Sarah Jewell, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox and Montana Secretary of State Records Manager, for Flathead Joint Board of Control, Re Request for & Explanation of Need for Bureau of Indian Affairs to Takeback the Flathead Irrigation Project) (Dec. 18, 2013).
  3. Dr. Catherine Vandemoer, Analysis of CSKT Compact Technical Elements, Presentation before Montana Legislature, Water Policy Interim Committee (WPIC) CSKT Compact Technical Working Group (June 25, 2014).  (**Readers should note that this presentation was delivered less than two weeks after Dr Kate had dispatched an email correspondence to WPIC Chair, John Metesh, offering her services and to deliver a presentation – See Document 25 “Email exchange” on this website).
  4. CLICK TO VIEW PAGE #32  ===>   Cowgirl, Troubled Waters, Montana Cowgirl Blog (Jan. 14, 2015); Cowgirl, You Really Can’t Run From the Wingnuts, But You Really Can’t Hide, Montana Cowgirl Blog (Jan. 6, 2014); Cowgirl, Baldwin’s “Black Robe Regiment” Gathers At Kalispell Perkins, Montana Cowgirl (Jan. 24, 2015); BlogTalkRadio, Dr. Kate, available at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drkate; BlogTalkRadio, Dr. Kate-Walls in our Minds, available at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drkate/2015/11/20/walls-in-our-minds; American Loons Blogspot, #1360: Martin “Red” Beckman and William J. Benson, available at: http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2015/05/1360-martin-red-beckman-william-j-benson.html; Dr. Kate’s View, Witness to the Protocols (May 22, 2012), available at: https://drkatesview.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/witness-to-the-protocols/
  5. CLICK TO VIEW PAGE #33 ===>  Aaron Flint, Liberal Billionaires and the Montana Connections, Flint Report Headlines, Northern News Network (June 19, 2015), available at: http://www.northernbroadcasting.com/Talk/VoicesofMontanaHeadlines/tabid/519/ID/13327/Liberal-Billionaires-and-Their-Montana-Connections.aspx; Aaron Flint, Breaking: Enviro Sugardaddy, Swiss Billionaire Under Fire, Flint Report Headlines, Northern News Network (June 9, 2015), available at: http://www.northernbroadcasting.com/Talk/VoicesofMontanaHeadlines/tabid/519/ID/13269/BREAKING-Enviro-Sugardaddy-Swiss-Billionaire-Under-Fire.aspx; Resume of John D. Leshy (June 2014); John Leshy Bio (April 2013); Center for American Progress, CAP Board of Directors, available at: https://www.americanprogress.org/about/c3-board/;         Dave Skinner, Passing the Bucks, Range Magazine (Summer 2012) (pp. 28-32); Conservation Lands Foundation, Board of Directors, available at: http://conservationlands.org/home/who-we-are/board-of-directors.
  6. CLICK TO VIEW PAGE #34 ===>  Geoffrey O’Gara, Waterless in Wind River?, High Country News, Vol. 22 No. 16 (Aug. 27, 1990), pp. 10-11, available at: http://www.hcn.org/issues/22.16/waterless-in-wind-river/download-entire-issue.

Another face of Dr. Kate ... Masquerading as a Constitutional Conservative?

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