Klamath County, Oregon

Klamath County, Oregon

Infobox U.S. County
county = Klamath County
state = Oregon

map size = 225
founded = October 17, 1882
seat = Klamath Falls | area_total_sq_mi =6136
area_land_sq_mi =5944
area_water_sq_mi =192
area percentage = 3.12%
census yr = 2000
pop = 63775
density_km2 =4
web = www.co.klamath.or.us

Klamath County (pronEng|ˈklæməθ) is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. The county was named for the tribe of Native Americans living in the area at the time the first white explorers entered the region, the Klamaths. As of 2000, the population is 63,775. The county seat is located at Klamath Falls.


The Klamath or "Clamitte" tribe of Indians, for which Klamath County was named, has had a presence for 10,000 years. White settlement began in 1846 along the Applegate Trail, which precipitated clashes between the two cultures, and led to the Modoc War of 1872. The Legislative Assembly created Klamath County on October 17, 1882, from the western part of Lake County. Linkville, later known as Klamath Falls, was named county seat.

A treaty was signed with the Klamaths on October 14, 1864, which led to the establishment of the Klamath Reservation. At various times over the next 40 years, different individuals of the Modoc tribe were settled within the reservation. Because of the extensive tracts of forest, the Klamaths were very well off as a people until the termination of the reservation by the U.S. government in 1954. As a result, much of the money received after the termination was lost due to squandering, theft or criminal deception, resulting in increased poverty and loss of tribal identity.Fact|date=March 2007

A few of the Klamath refused to accept the buyout money, most notably Edison Chiloquin (1924 - 2003). Instead of the cash, he insisted on receiving the title to ancestral land along the Sprague River where he lived. On December 5, 1980, the Chiloquin Act was signed into law, giving him title to the properties he wanted.Fact|date=March 2007


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,136 square miles (15,892 km²), of which, 5,944 square miles (15,395 km²) of it is land and 192 square miles (496 km²) of it (3.12%) is water.

Adjacent Counties

* Jackson County, Oregon - (west)
* Douglas County, Oregon - (northwest)
* Lane County, Oregon - (northwest)
* Deschutes County, Oregon - (north)
* Lake County, Oregon - (east)
* Siskiyou County, California - (south)
* Modoc County, California - (south)

National protected areas

* Bear Valley National Wildlife Refuge
* Crater Lake National Park (part)
* Deschutes National Forest (part)
* Fremont National Forest (part)
* Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
* Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge (part)
* Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (part)
* Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge
* Winema National Forest (part)


Historically, Klamath County's economy was based on timber and agriculture, and although these natural resource industries now contribute only a small fraction to the region's current economic activity and employment, their legacy lives on in local politics, community identity, and landscape. Euro-American settlement in the area was spurred in the early 1900s with the coming of the railroad and the heavily taxpayer-subsidized creation of a federal reclamation project. The Klamath Irrigation Project drained much of the 128 square mile (331 km²) Lower Klamath Lake and Tule Lake to convert 188,000 acres (761 km²) of former lakebed and wetland into irrigated farmland.

Sky Lakes Medical Center is the largest employer in the area, followed by Klamath County School District and Jeld-Wen, a manufacturer of doors and windows. The area is currently experiencing a boom in housing construction as its proximity to California brings waves of retirees from population centers to the south. Outdoor recreation, such as hiking, hunting, and world-class trout fishing, as well as Oregon's only National Park at Crater Lake, also contribute to the economy of the area. A complex of six National Wildlife Refuges—Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuges Complex—seasonally draw some of the largest concentrations of waterfowl in North America. The area is world-renowned as a birdwatcher's paradise. Natural geothermal hot wells provide heat for many homes, businesses, and the Oregon Institute of Technology campus. The full potential of this energy resource continues to be studied.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 63,775 people, 25,205 households, and 17,290 families residing in the county. The population density was 11 people per square mile (4/km²). There were 28,883 housing units at an average density of 5 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.33% White, 0.63% Black or African American, 4.19% Native American, 0.80% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 3.45% from other races, and 3.47% from two or more races. 7.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.7% were of German, 10.8% Irish, 10.7% English and 9.8% United States or American ancestry according to Census 2000. 92.6% spoke English and 6.1% Spanish as their first language.

There were 25,205 households out of which 30.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.20% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.40% were non-families. 25.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 25.50% from 25 to 44, 25.20% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 100.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,537, and the median income for a family was $38,171. Males had a median income of $32,052 versus $22,382 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,719. About 12.00% of families and 16.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.40% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over.


Colleges and universities

*Klamath Community College
*Oregon Institute of Technology


* [http://info.econ.state.or.us:591/FMPro?-db=Community.fp4&-Format=forms.htm&-lay=webpage&-op=eq&sort%20name=Klamath%20Falls&-script=hit%20count&-Find#telecom Klamath Falls Community Profile]

External links

* [http://www.co.klamath.or.us Klamath County, Oregon] (official site)

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