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Assemblyman Dahle Named Vice-Chair of Two Assembly Committees

Assemblyman Brian Dahle

Dec. 19, 2014

SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, has been appointed Vice-Chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee and the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Substances Committee for the 2015-16 legislative session by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins.

“The North State is a place where our livelihoods and quality of life still depend directly on our forests and other natural resources,” Dahle said. “As Vice-Chair of Natural Resources, I will fight to ensure that protection of the environment doesn’t come at the expense of rural economies, and work to better manage forests to protect communities and watersheds from the ever-growing threat of catastrophic wildfires.”

The Environmental Safety and Toxic Substances Committee’s jurisdiction includes hazardous materials, drinking-water regulation, and pesticides. Assemblyman Dahle will promote safety regulation that protects the public’s health while keeping compliance as clear and simple as possible for manufacturers, farmers and other business owners, to protect the competitiveness of California’s economy. As a family farmer in Lassen County’s Big Valley, Dahle has firsthand experience that helps him understand the importance both of safety and of cost-effective regulation.

“Brian’s career has been dedicated to protecting rural Californians,” said Assembly Republican Leader Kristen Olsen, R-Modesto, “and he understands the importance of balancing economic growth with the protection of our environment and natural resources. Brian successfully passed legislation to help our forestry industry and small business owners when no one else could. Our state benefits from his continued leadership on these committees.”

In the 2015-16 session, Dahle will also continue to serve on the Water, Parks and Wildlife and Utilities and Commerce committees, and become a member of the newly formed Assembly Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection.

Brian Dahle represents California’s 1st Assembly District, which includes all of Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties and portions of Butte and Placer counties.

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ALASKA: Manager says increasingly expensive Susitna dam could help salmon

Dams other than Klamath

Alaska Dispatch News

Alex DeMarban

The project manager for a proposed dam that would rise 735 feet in the Alaska wilderness said it could improve salmon-spawning habitat on the Susitna River, a statement that drew sharp criticism from opponents.

Wayne Dyok and other officials with the project set 87 river miles north of Talkeetna also said this week that the cost estimate for the Susitna-Watana Hydroelectric Project has risen to $5.7 billion, a $500 million increase from the last estimate and one that comes at a time when the governor is considering cutting such mega-projects.

Seeking to reduce an estimated $3.5 billion deficit caused by plunging oil prices, Gov. Bill Walker recently removed $20 million in capital funding for the project that had been proposed by his predecessor. The state Legislature could seek to add that and other stricken mega-projects back in, but such efforts will face the “utmost scrutiny,” Walker’s budget director has said.

Legislators will likely discuss details of the hydroelectric project after they convene next month to consider whether it should receive funding to move forward, leaders said on Wednesday.

“We’ll look to see if it can continue to move forward or if we put it on hold a couple of years how that will affect the project,” said Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Susitna Valley and incoming co-chair of the House Finance Committee.

“Do we waste money and walk away from it, or should we put our shoulder to the stone and push forward because we know in the long term this is the answer for sustainable, lower-cost energy?” asked Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River and incoming co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee.

MacKinnon said she does not currently have a position on the project’s future but said it’s important to remember it could have important long-term value that includes providing power after the state’s natural gas supplies are exhausted. Meanwhile, she said, the plunge in oil prices is a recent phenomenon and one the state will survive as it has done before.

So far, the state has spent about $180 million on environmental studies for the project during this latest effort. The hydroelectric project was also pursued in the 1980s, then shelved during that decade’s oil price collapse.

Alaska Energy Authority still has about $10 million in funds for the project that have been not allocated, officials said. That is not enough money to support a full field season of work, said Emily Ford, the project’s public outreach liaison.

Getting the project to the phase during which it would file a license application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will require another $100 million, said Sarah Fisher-Goad, executive director of the energy authority, during an update on the dam on Tuesday.

Fisher-Goad said the authority is looking at how to advance the licensing effort with less money.

MORE

http://www.adn.com/article/20141218/manager-says-increasingly-expensive-susitna-dam-could-help-salmon

 

 

 

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US appeals court deems gun law unconstitutional

2nd Amendment rights, Constitution, Lawsuits

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati deemed a law unconstitutional that kept a Michigan man who was committed to a mental institution from owning a gun.

The three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that a federal ban on gun ownership for those who have been committed to a mental institution violated the Second Amendment rights of 73-year-old Clifford Charles Tyler.

Tyler attempted to buy a gun and was denied on the grounds that he had been committed to a mental institution in 1986 after suffering emotional problems stemming from a divorce. He was only in there for a month.

Tyler’s lawyer, Lucas McCarthy, hopes that the ruling would have a “significant impact on the jurisprudence in the area of gun rights.”

The decision is the first by a federal appeals court to rule a federal gun law is unconstitutional since 2008. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in D.C. vs. Heller struck down the Washington, D.C. ban on firearms ownership.

Federal law bans gun ownership for convicted felons, people under 18, illegal immigrants, drug addicts and those ordered by a court to a mental institution. The law also syas that people must have a chance to prove that their disqualifying disabilities have ended in order to possess a firearm legally.

Since 2008, states have been able to get federal grants to set up “relief from disabilities program,” which was defunded in 1992. Michigan has not set one up, which left Tyler without a way to prove that his so-called “disability” should no longer apply.

“The government’s interest in keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill is not sufficiently related to depriving the mentally healthy, who had a distant episode of commitment, of their constitutional rights,” wrote Judge Danny Boggs, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, for the panel.

Click for more from the Wall Street Journal.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/12/19/us-appeals-court-deems-gun-law-unconstitutional/?intcmp=latestnews

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Jewell says grouse rider won’t stop BLM, state plans

Endangered Species Act, Federal gov & land grabs

Idaho Statesman.com

Posted by Rocky Barker on December 17, 2014

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/12/17/3547054_jewell-says-grouse-rider-wont.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

A rider that delays a final listing decision for sage grouse across 11 western states won’t efforts to put in place state and federal plans to protect the bird, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Wednesday.

Jewel said the rider in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act won’t stop effortds to continue working with ranchers, the states and energy companies to develop conservation plans to reduce the threat of wildfire and invasive species invasion that protect the birds and allow economic activities to continue.

“It’s disappointing that some members of Congress are more interested in political posturing than finding solutions to conserve the sagebrush landscape and the Western way of life,” Jewell said. “Rather than helping the communities they profess to benefit, these members will only create uncertainty, encourage conflict and undermine the unprecedented progress that is happening throughout the West.”

The Obama administration faced a September 2015 deadline to determine whether to add new protection for sage grouse under a court-approved settlement with environmental groups. In 2010, federal biologists said protections were warranted for greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act. But the Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t impose them, citing other priorities and a shortage of funds.

Idaho, led by Gov. Butch Otter, developed its own conservation plans, meant to conserve sagebrush habitat, while allowing development and livestock grazing to continue. It has been incorporated into the environmental analysis of the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service as a co-preferred alternative for its regional sage grouse plan, which is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

Republican Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said the delay will give Idahoans and other residents of Western states more time to develop a collaborative sage grouse plan. “By delaying the listing decision, we can provide the BLM with time to do the job right,” he said.

Jewell said the rider has no impact on the BLM planning schedule and won’t stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from collecting data to determine whether listing the bird under the federal Endangered Species Act is warranted or not.

“The Obama Administration is still moving full steam ahead, and will continue to work with urgency alongside our federal, state and local partners to put conservation measures in place to protect important sagebrush habitat and avert the need to list the greater sage-grouse,” Jewell said.

“We are more determined than ever to work with the states, ranchers, energy developers and other stakeholders who are putting effective conservation measures in place with the shared goal of reaching a ‘not warranted’ determination by the end of the fiscal year, ” she said.

Will Whelan of The Nature Conservancy of Idaho, has worked closely with Otter and his many partners on the state plan. Those efforts continue, he said because it remains important for all sides.

“The Idaho Plan lays out a road map for saving sage grouse and underscores the importance of acting now,” Whelan said. “It was developed and supported by a range of conservation, sporting, local government, and industry groups.”

http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/12/17/3547054_jewell-says-grouse-rider-wont.html?rh=1

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/12/17/3547054_jewell-says-grouse-rider-wont.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy
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Irrigation water block is no guarantee for Basin

KBRA or KHSA, Klamath River & Dams, Politicians & agencies

www.heraldandnews.com

by Tom Mallams Klamath County Commissioner for Herald and News 12/16/14

   In the Dec. 13 Herald and News, I was incorrectly quoted as saying there is a “guaranteed” block of water for Project irrigators in the proposed water agreements.

   I have never said this. I have consistently said they only “claim” or “attempt” to have a guaranteed block of water for Project irrigators. A few misplaced words drastically alter the facts.

  Wise and prudent allocation and use of water resources in the Klamath Basin is absolutely critical for the economic and social viability of all our citizens.

   I am not against water for the environment including fishery resources. I am, however, continuing to advocate for a real, balanced approach. Project irrigators, upper Basin irrigators and local residents deserve this balance as a real partnership. The net usage of water by the entire Basin population, including upper and lower Basin irrigated agriculture, is an extremely low-percentage number.

  I have been told those estimates could easily be well below 10 percent of the total water available. Upper Basin water is recaptured and reused by downstream users a number of times before entering Upper Klamath Lake and then being used and re-used as many as seven times by Project irrigators.

   All irrigation water helps recharge the underground aquifer. This is indeed wise and prudent use of this natural resource for all. The continued positive economic impact by irrigated agriculture is undeniable, and loss of it would be totally devastating to all, including the environment.

  I continue advocating for a balanced solution, which was missing in Sen. Wyden’s SB 2379 legislation. The hard work to date is not without merit. With a definite change of power in Washington, D.C., I look for a new effort going forward that will have the Basin-wide support that has been lacking to date. I eagerly look forward to actively supporting this needed balanced direction for all.

====================================================

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Utah Demands Feds Surrender Lands by Dec. 31

American Lands Council, Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs, Forestry & USFS, State gov

PNP comment: This issue is too important not to post the entire article. Under the U.S. Constitution and Utah’s Statehood treaty with the U.S., the federal government should have divested itself of the federal lands providing them for state control and management. The federal government did not hold up its side of the bargain and is in default. — Editor Liz Bowen

 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Utah Demands Feds Surrender Lands by Dec. 31

Written by 

New American.com

Utah Demands Feds Surrender Lands by Dec. 31

With the federal government engaged in a de facto unconstitutional occupation of some two thirds of Utah’s territory, citizens of the state and their elected representatives have had just about enough. So, on December 31, the State of Utah is formally demanding that Washington, D.C., relinquish control over more than 30 million acres of valuable land currently controlled by various federal bureaucracies.

While apparatchiks for an all-powerful U.S. government and far-left activists are fuming over the plan, Utah lawmakers, citizens, and experts say the time has come for the state to manage — and profit from — its own resources. Constitutionally speaking, experts say the lands should have gone to state control generations ago, as the federal government promised when Utah became a state.

The escalating battle now brewing between the feds and Utah formally got underway in in 2012, when Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, riding a wave of public outrage over federal abuses and land grabs, signed the popular Transfer of Public Lands Act. Among other elements, the law calls on the federal government to hand over control of public lands purportedly owned by the U.S. government within Utah’s borders.

The law also commissioned a study, released this month, examining various aspects of the process and finances — including how Utah would manage the land it is calling on the federal government to relinquish. According to the study, contrary to the hysterical claims of pseudo-environmentalists and federal supremacists demanding ever greater federal land grabs, transferring the lands to Utah would likely be “profitable” for the state.

Indeed, if Utah controlled its own lands — as opposed to bureaucrats and politicians in faraway Washington, D.C., who siphon away much of the state’s wealth and mismanage the resources — the state could easily bring in enough revenue to cover the costs of managing the lands, and then some. According to the researchers, the vast swaths of federally owned land represent an overall “drag” on the state’s economy — especially in the 20 out of 29 counties where the feds purport to own more than 40 percent of the land.

The 780-page study, “An Analysis of a Transfer of Federal Lands to the State of Utah,” was performed by economists from three leading Utah universities. It concluded that properly managing the lands by Utah authorities would cost the state government about $250 million annually by 2017. Revenues from those same lands in 2013 were already more than $330 million, with most of that coming from oil and gas royalties.

Depending on oil prices and other factors, a best-case-scenario would see the state’s coffers bulging with over $1 billion in additional revenue annually by 2035. By 2017, with a slight increase in drilling, the state could be earning nearly $400 million per year — more than enough to offset the costs of taking over fire suppression and other management duties from the federal government.

“In conclusion, from a strictly financial perspective, it is likely the state of Utah could take ownership of the lands and cover the costs to manage them,” found the study, which was celebrated by Utahans but blasted by Big Green lobbyists given a megaphone by the establishment press. “Our research also suggests that it could put a strain on the state’s funding priorities in the early years as the state adjusts to the loss of federal dollars, evaluates land resources and conditions, and develops programs to replace those now managed by federal agencies.”

While the potential economic benefits to the people of Utah are clear, many of the officials leading the charge are also concerned about broader issues. As the Western territories were officially becoming states, like in the East, the federal government agreed to eventually transfer those lands to state control. However, as with so many other promises made by the D.C.-based political class, so far, the pledges have not been fulfilled. The 2012 Utah law specifically cited those agreements from when the state joined the Union.

Perhaps the most important issue at play in the whole land issue, though, is the U.S. Constitution. Lawmakers involved in the effort point to, among other key points, Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, which outlines what types of property the federal government is authorized to own. The Federalist Papers, too, make clear that the Founding Fathers never meant to have the federal government serve as landlord over half of the Western states, and in some cases, as much as 85 percent of the territory within states such as Nevada.

Despite the 2012 law requiring the feds to get out by December 31 of this year, the controversial federal bureaucracies unconstitutionally occupying and (mis)managing the vast territories — primarily the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service — have refused to cooperate so far, according to news reports. For the state lawmakers and officials behind the effort to restore state sovereignty over the land, however, that is simply not an option.

“We’re going to move forward and use all the resources at our disposal,” explained Utah Rep. Ken Ivory, who sponsored the 2012 law and also leads the American Lands Council, a group seeking to strip the feds of their gargantuan land holdings across the Western United States. Among other possibilities, state leaders are exploring a plan to hire a private law firm to lead the charge in court if Washington, D.C., refuses to surrender the lands by the deadline set in the law.

The first step in the process is to see whether the federal government will voluntarily comply with the Constitution and Utah’s law mandating that it be upheld. “That’s what you do any time you’re negotiating with a partner. You set a date,” explained Rep. Ivory. “Unfortunately, our federal partner has decided they don’t want to negotiate in good faith. So we’ll move forward with the four-step plan that the governor laid out.”

While the governor who signed the 2012 law has not been quite as enthusiastic as state lawmakers, he welcomed the report and vowed to continue considering the state’s options. “I expect that public discussion will be well-served by this report,” Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said in a statement about the study. “It is important to make decisions based upon a thorough review of accurate, relevant information.” He also said his office and the legislature would “continue to review” the study and “pose questions for further consideration of the legislature.”

As The New American reported earlier this year, Utah and its citizens are hardly alone in seeking to wrest control over the lands and the vast wealth currently claimed by the feds. In April, lawmakers and elected officials from nine Western states even met at the Utah Capitol for the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands. “Legislators from across the West are saying enough is enough,” Washington State Rep. Matt Shea told The New American after the summit. “We are banding together to fight federal overreach wherever it rears its ugly head, not just talk about it.”

“The federal government cannot possibly know how best to manage land in the thousands of different locales like the people of those areas could,” the popular Republican lawmaker explained, echoing the sentiments of countless other policymakers and activists who say the federal government needs to be stripped of its vast, unconstitutional land holdings. “Clearly, the people of Western states would do a better job managing those lands.”

Already, the federal government alone purports to “own” about a third of the land in the United States — and with ongoing land grabs across the country under various pretexts, those numbers continue to mushroom. “The enabling acts of the Western States make it clear the federal government was meant to be a steward only until such time that the states could manage,” Rep. Shea explained. State and local governments also have vast land holdings.

Eventually, some advocates of reducing the gargantuan federal footprint across the Western states hope some of the land can be sold off and become private property rather than being owned by government. Getting the feds to relinquish control to state governments, though, would at least represent a good starting point.

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU. He can be reached at

anewman@thenewamerican.com.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/19734-utah-demands-feds-surrender-lands-by-dec-31?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=22ea398612-The_Editors_Top_Picks_3_12_143_12_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8ca494f2d2-22ea398612-282942837

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President Obama says no oil and gas leasing in Bristol Bay

CORRUPTION, Federal gov & land grabs

Lisa Demer

December 16, 2014

Alaska Dispatch News

President Barack Obama on Tuesday declared the salmon-rich waters of Bristol Bay off-limits for oil and gas leasing.

“This action safeguards one of the nation’s most productive fisheries and preserves an ecologically rich area of the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska that is vital to the commercial fishing and tourism economy and to Alaska Native communities,” the White House said in a written statement.

The decision extends a temporary withdrawal from lease sales that Obama made in 2010 and that was set to expire in 2017.

Under the Outer Continental Shelf Land Act of 1953, the Department of the Interior crafts a new leasing program every five years for federal offshore waters. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is working on the 2017-22 lease program, including opportunities for public comment.

Presidents can use their executive authority to withdraw offshore areas from potential oil and gas lease sales, and have done so over the years starting with President Dwight Eisenhower in 1960.

 

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Klamath Basin: A lesson in war tactics, bias, distortion

Agriculture, California water, Federal gov & land grabs, KBRA or KHSA, Klamath River & Dams, Klamath Tribe, Tribes, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Klamath Basin: A lesson in war tactics, bias, distortion

Western Livestock Journal

Friday, Dec. 12, 2014

Water’s for fighting, and if you’re going to fight and win, you need strategy. A few strategies famously used over the millennia have been “divide and conquer” and the old “Trojan horse” trick.
Some farmers and ranchers in Northern California and southern Oregon think that both strategies are being used against them in the Klamath River watershed. In 2002, a federal judge granted the Klamath Tribes senior water rights in the Klamath Basin. Now, at any time, the tribes could “call” their water rights and completely deny water from farmers and ranchers in the basin. A tenuous agreement was reached in 2010 that, for now, provides basin producers with enough water to keep some of them in business.
But for the agreement to stick, the tribes, environmental groups, and commercial fishermen negotiating with farmers and ranchers have demands. In the name of protecting the federally listed Coho salmon and suckerfish, they are demanding that: four significant dams be removed downstream from the basin; hundreds of miles of riparian areas be fenced throughout the entire watershed; farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin give up 30,000 acre-feet of water rights (being used to irrigate 18,000 acres); and farmers and ranchers drop their legal challenge of the tribes’ water rights.
Also necessary to finalize the agreement is federal legislation. Farmers and ranchers in the basin know they need some kind of resolution in order to avoid what happened in 2001—a complete water shut-off. But other producers and communities downstream from the dams are hollering “whoa!” So far, their opposition has been enough to stop the legislation pending in the Senate that would finalize the agreement.
ESA at work once again
Historically, the area’s farming and ranching community has stood strong together. But according to Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams, who testified before the U.S. Senate in 2013, “Our community has been divided by the age old method of ‘divide and conquer.’” It would seem that in the Klamath Basin, as in so many examples across the country, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is being wielded to control resources—and farming and ranching communities at opposite ends of the Klamath watershed are being placed in a position of opposition to one another.
How? Klamath Tribes Chairman Don Gentry may have summarized it best when he stated, “We have successfully used regulatory tools like the Endangered Species Act… and have had some important victories in court.” He continued, “We have also learned that winning one battle does not end a long-lasting war…”
When “at war,” negotiations are sometimes necessary—and there can be casualties. But U.S. Representative Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) has warned that Klamath Basin farmers’ and ranchers’ negotiations may not end up as fruitful as they hope.
“There’s no guarantee, if this ‘agreement’ ever gets codified by law, that someone else won’t come along and sue to deny the rest of farmers’ and ranchers’ needed water,” LaMalfa told WLJ.
“The Klamath Basin has an existing water shortage problem. Removing the dams downstream does nothing to change that. Neither will any other provisions of the ‘agreement.’ So when, lo and behold, there’s still a water problem for endangered fish, guess who’s going to be targeted to give up their water? The same farmers and ranchers who are now trying to negotiate a deal they think they can live with.”
Siskiyou County Supervisor Michael Kobseff told WLJ that litigation may not be the only way for such losses to occur. The legislative language offered this session by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) would empower the stakeholders of the agreement to amend it at any time in the future without congressional approval. “Thus setting up an unelected regional form of government in the Klamath Basin,” he said.
In other words, these elected officials say, the tentative agreement may be little more than a Trojan horse—a way to get federal legislation through to tear out the dams, with potential loss of all benefit to the producers negotiating the deal.
Meanwhile, loss of the dams will be devastating, according to local sources.
In 2013, Siskiyou County Supervisor Kobseff testified before a U.S. Senate committee regarding the implications of the dam removals.
Siskiyou is home to approximately 150 miles of the Klamath River and three of the four dams that are proposed for removal. “Except for a minority of agricultural interests receiving promises of water,” he stated, “the majority of agriculture and ranchers will suffer significant losses.”
Kobseff said loss of the dams meant more than loss of water storage. Eighty percent of Siskiyou County residents had earlier voted to oppose the removal of the dams. They provide hydropower to some 70,000 residents. No replacement source of power has been identified. The dams also serve to control catastrophic floods, have “transformed former marginal habitat into world-class fisheries,” provide water for fish in times of drought, improve water quality generally by providing a settlement basin for naturally occurring toxins, and cool the warm water coming in from the upper high desert basin in Oregon. The Iron Gate dam makes possible a fish hatchery that produces over six million salmon smolts annually, Kobseff added.
Dam removal, Kobseff noted, would prove catastrophic—not just because of the loss of the above functions, but because the removals would release nearly 20 million cubic yards of sediment loaded with toxic minerals.
“This release may result in massive destruction of the ecosystem… Although on considerably smaller scales, one need only look to the damage done by the removal of other dams (Elwha, Condit, Gold Ray, Savage Rapids) to see the destructive consequences of dam removal,” Kobseff testified.
The expected damage to the environment and economy, Kobseff explained, was rationalized on the basis that salmon will have access to approximately 35 miles of what he called “historically inconsistent and marginal habitat.”
He described the federal analysis of the dam removal proposal as “replete with examples of bias, distortion, and circumvention of legal, scientific, and scholarly standards…” He said the federal government incorrectly cited “marked declines” of fish populations in recent years. The government’s projection of economic effects was also grossly miscalculated, he said. The report cited “non-use values” amounting to $98 billion.
“Without these phantom benefits,” Kobseff asserted, “the proposal for full facilities removal has negative economic results.”
Dam removal trend?
Will dam removals on the Klamath incite a trend toward dam removal westwide? Farmers and ranchers negotiating the agreement in the Klamath Basin have been careful to point out there are special circumstances surrounding the possible dam removals in this case. But others are concerned that this dam removal, if implemented, could set a precedent. This could mean a lot to residents in the vicinity of the Grand Coulee dam and four dams on the lower Snake River in Washington, which are reportedly in the crosshairs. Of the Snake River dam removals, a representative of Save our Wild Salmon Coalition last year stated, “Of course [dam removal] is best for the salmon.”
There are many more dams being targeted across the country—just look up “dam removal” on Wikipedia. Is the Klamath Basin a special exception, or will it become the rule? Will the ESA continue to be used as “a tool,” as the Klamath Tribes spokesman put it, and will the “long-lasting war” continue? These are the questions that the agricultural community, local governments, and U.S. Congress must consider as they move forward with Klamath Basin negotiations. — Theodora Dowling, WLJ Correspondent

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Siskiyou supervisors continue forest condition emergency declaration

FIRES, Forestry & USFS, Siskiyou County

• The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors is holding strong to its declaration of a wildfire emergency due

• By David Smith

dsmith@siskiyoudaily.com

Posted Dec. 10, 2014 @ 9:28 am

The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors is holding strong to its declaration of a wildfire emergency due to conditions on national forest lands.
The decision came Tuesday as the board met for its last regular meeting of 2014, with all four present supervisors choosing to extend the emergency declaration.
CAL  FIRE Siskiyou Unit Chief Phil Anzo opened the discussion by noting that the threat of catastrophic wildfire has decreased significantly with cooler temperatures and the amount of recent precipitation.
He added that his agency last week formally declared an end to the wildfire season in California.
District 1 Supervisor Brandon Criss reminded the board that the declaration is focused more on the state of the forest with respect to tree density and the consequent heightened risk of wildfire.
In the initial resolution declaring the emergency, the board shakes its finger at the U.S. Forest Service’s management of federal lands, which comprise over 60 percent of the land in Siskiyou County.
“Whereas, the management of lands, particularly regarding fire protection and fuel reduction on National Forest System lands under the jurisdiction of the United States Forest Service is wholly inadequate, has long been ignored, and is significantly underfunded, placing Siskiyou County in significant peril and at great risk in the event that catastrophic wildfires occur, thereby threatening lives, and destroying public resources, private property, businesses, the natural environment,” the resolution declares.
The board stresses its
desire to see fire prevention and fuels treatment on forest lands as a priority for the USFS, utilizing the resolution to draw attention to the issue.
According to Criss, the conditions that lead the board to make the resolution still exist, and still provide the county leverage in trying to achieve the broad goals for forest management.
The board unanimously agreed, extending the declaration at least into 2015.

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‘N U T S !’: 70 Years Ago Today, Nazi Germany Unleashed Its Final Assault on the American Army

Freedoms - Individual, Veterans & soldiers

PNP comment: We in Siskiyou County have at least one more soldier who fought in the “Battle of the Bulge” who is still living and is from Etna — Tom Tickner. A past Grand Marshal of the Etna Veterans’ Parade. “Thank you” doesn’t seem sufficient, but is said with true sincerity, to all of our U.S. military veterans and present-day soldiers. — Editor Liz Bowen

The Blaze.com

The Red Army was bleeding the Wehrmacht white in the east.

The British and Americans had liberated France and begun the final assault on the German homeland.

Yet the Third Reich had one last desperate, deadly offensive in it: the Battle of the Bulge.

Three members of an American patrol cross a snow covered Luxembourg field on a scouting mission. White bedsheets camouflage them in the snow. Left to right: Sgt. James Storey, Newman, Ga.; Pvt. Frank A. Fox, Wilmington, Del., and Cpl. Dennis Lavanoha, Harrisville, N.Y. (30 Dec 1944). Lellig, Luxembourg  (Image via U.S. Army Center of Military History)

Three members of an American patrol cross a snow covered Luxembourg field on a scouting mission. White bedsheets camouflage them in the snow. Left to right: Sgt. James Storey, Newman, Ga.; Pvt. Frank A. Fox, Wilmington, Del., and Cpl. Dennis Lavanoha, Harrisville, N.Y. (30 Dec 1944). Lellig, Luxembourg. (Image via U.S. Army Center of Military History)

Launched through the nearly impassable, hilly Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge began 70 years ago Tuesday as 250,000 German troops attacked some 80,000 Americans defending the weakest point of the Allied lines in northwestern Europe.

Using the cover of fog, the element of surprise and such creative tricks as English-speaking commandos in American uniforms, the Germans attempted to penetrate the American defenses, and initially met with success, pushing a massive bulge — hence the battle’s name — in the Allied lines.

But the Americans wouldn’t break.

An American road-block is set up with 30 caliber heavy machine gun, and a tank destroyer is ready for action on Adolph Hitler Straase. 1st Battalion, 157th Regiment, 45th Division (10 Dec 1944)

An American road-block is set up with 30 caliber heavy machine gun, and a tank destroyer is ready for action on Adolph Hitler Straase. 1st Battalion, 157th Regiment, 45th Division (10 Dec 1944). (Image via U.S. Army Center of Military History)

Nowhere, perhaps, was American resolve demonstrated as bluntly as it was in the beleaguered town of Bastogne, with a defense led by General Anthony McAuliffe.

Pressing hard on the American forces in the town, the Germans eventually sent a message demanding the town’s surrender.

Read the U.S. Army translation of the German message below:

December 22nd 1944

To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Ourthe near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet.
Libramont is in German hands.
There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two
hours’ term.
All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the wellknown American humanity.

The German Commander.

General McAuliffe’s iconic reply was typed up, centered on a full sheet of paper and delivered to the Germans:

December 22, 1944

To the German Commander,

N U T S !

The American Commander

Bastogne never fell, and by January, the Americans had pushed back the German offensive.

Seven decades later, people around the world honored the memory of the veterans who fought in the battle.

Battle of the Bulge veteran Francis G. Chesko, 90, of Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, was honored in a special program Saturday.

Battle of the Bulge Veteran Francis C. Chesko, Mahanoy City, Pa., holds a gift given to him presented to him by Barbara Ward on behalf of the Ward family during a presentation in his honor by the Mahanoy Area Historical Society at the Mahanoy City Public Library in Mahanoy City, Pa., Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Chesko is wearing his original uniform he wore when he served in the Army. (AP Photo/The Republican-Herald, Jacqueline Dormer)

Battle of the Bulge Veteran Francis C. Chesko, Mahanoy City, Pa., holds a gift given to him presented to him by Barbara Ward on behalf of the Ward family during a presentation in his honor by the Mahanoy Area Historical Society at the Mahanoy City Public Library in Mahanoy City, Pa., Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014. Chesko is wearing his original uniform he wore when he served in the Army. (AP Photo/The Republican-Herald, Jacqueline Dormer)

Late Monday, the Washington Post published the story of Al Darago, 89, who 70 years ago took on a German tank single-handedly — and won.

For more photos and info go to:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/12/16/n-u-t-s-70-years-ago-today-nazi-germany-unleashed-its-final-assault-on-the-american-army/

 

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