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NEWEST !!! From New 49ers in Happy Camp. May 19, 2015

CA & OR, California Rivers, Dept. Fish & Game, GOLD, Lawsuits, Mining, Siskiyou County, State gov

Suction Dredgers Petition for Injunction to Prevent the State’s Unlawful Actions
Legal Affairs

“Motion to the Superior Court of San Bernardino to Prevent California from Enforcing its Unconstitutional Moratorium upon Suction Dredging and Return to the 2009 Regulations until they can be Updated in a Way That Does Not Break the Law.”

Update as of 19 May:

Judge Ochoa of the Superior Court of San Bernardino has now issued an Order which confirmed his earlier Ruling that California created an unconstitutional “scheme” of first enacting Section 5653 of the DFW Code which requires suction gold dredgers to obtain a permit from the State, and then enacting Section 5653.1 which prevented DFW from issuing any suction dredge permits. His Order and Ruling declared that both the State’s recently-adopted 2012 dredge regulations and the moratorium preventing the issuance of permits are unconstitutional, illegal and unenforceable.
This was a huge win for our industry!
This Ruling has prompted some people, particularly along the Klamath River in northern California, but also in other places, to resume gold dredging operations. But the Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) has continued to enforce the unconstitutional moratorium. DFW wardens initially were out on the river generally harassing dredgers about breaking the law. They have written some criminal citations. They even seized some equipment. That prompted The New 49’ers a few weeks ago to file for an immediate injunction in Siskiyou County Superior Court to force DFW to stop enforcing a moratorium that has already been found unconstitutional by the California court system. Had we got our day in court, this seemed like it would have been a slam-dunk for our side!
But the State’s attorneys scheduled an immediate hearing in front of the San Bernardino Court, requesting that our motion for an injunction be stopped in Siskiyou County because the California Judicial Council has decided that all suction dredging cases be consolidated and resolved in front of Judge Ochoa. Judge Ochoa agreed, and a hearing date for our motion for relief from DFW’s unlawful actions has been set for 23 June in San Bernardino.
Meanwhile, in an effort to get the matter resolved more quickly, several suction dredgers on the Klamath River refused to sign the promise to appear portion of the criminal citations they were being issued (unlawful dredging), opting instead to be arrested. Ultimately, one of those very courageous guys ended up in jail with The New 49’ers Legal Fund hiring James Buchal to represent him. That hearing in front of a Siskiyou County judge was to take place within 48 hours. Mr. Buchal was motioning the Court to dismiss all charges, order a return of all seized equipment, and order DFW to not bring any further dredging cases in Siskiyou County. Had we got our day in court, this also seemed like it would have been a slam-dunk for our side!
What we had not planned on was that the Siskiyou County jail is completely full of people serving time for felony convictions. Our local sheriff Lopey was objecting strenuously that in order to incarcerate a suction dredger for a rather minor misdemeanor charge, he was going to have to release a hardened criminal back onto the streets. This all caused quite a stir at the jailhouse in Yreka while all the key players were trying to figure out what to do. Ultimately, according to my limited understanding, the District Attorney decided to defer the charges (or something like that) and let the dredger out of jail with no agreement that he appear in court at some later time. Once the dredger was released, the required 48-hour hearing in front of a judge was lost. So it was kind of like being arrested and let go. What can I say; it’s California!
Therefore, as it is now, it does not look like there are any civil or expedited criminal remedies available to us in Siskiyou County to get this rogue agency off our backs.
Yes; I know there are some very important due process issues in play here. We have considered all possible options, and have decided that our best course of action is to wait it out a little longer and place our hope for a 2015 dredging season with Judge Ochoa – who knows more about our plight than any other judge in the country.
Several dredgers have signed a promise to appear (for unlawful dredging) in Siskiyou County on 9 June. I’ll be surprised if the State moves ahead with that, but we shall see.
We filed our opening salvo in San Bernardino yesterday (May 18th). The relief we are asking for is to return to the 2009 suction dredge regulations which were in affect at the time that the unconstitutional moratorium was imposed upon our industry – and stick with those until they can be updated in a way that does not break the law.
I am following with the key moving documents, the proposed Order, supporting Declarations, including several which provide an abundance of science to support our position. The links begin with a letter to the judge explaining that his decision to prevent civil relief in Siskiyou County has prevented suction dredgers from access to any timely due process to prevent the continuing unlawful conduct of DFW. You can see that we are really making our strongest effort to regain hassle-free suction dredging in California this year.

http://www.goldgold.com/suction-dredgers-petition-for-injunction-to-prevent-the-states-unlawful-actions.html

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The Republican Corner

KBRA or KHSA, Klamath River & Dams, Siskiyou County

THE REPUBLICAN CORNER

By Richard Marshall

Published in Siskiyou Daily News

May 21, 2015

Nationally we are now entering the beginning of the election cycle for 2016. While we are still quite a ways out, some patterns are beginning to emerge, such as the Republican Party presidential field is substantial and quite varied. The Republicans have again fielded an overly large number of potential candidates. Within their ranks are a number of candidates with the possibility of winning the election and offering a “real choice” for Americans.

The Democrats are apparently suffering under a regime of machine politics offering them no choices with the Clinton cash machine and union politics undermining an opportunity to field candidates who can achieve meaningful change. It’s a mystery to me how well-meaning Democrats can stomach a Hillary run at the White House as she is loaded down with innumerable scandals.

It is also amazing how someone who claims to have been “flat broke” when they left the White House can amass such a fortune protected in the form of a charitable foundation. Destroying her “private” server with undoubtable sensitive information is an affront to the tax paying voting public no matter their political leaning. This election year will be challenging to the intelligent voter who is trying to do the right thing by picking a candidate who can dig America out of the abyss which Obama’s Administration has created.

A self- fulfilling prophecy of “America is not exceptional”. When Obama became President we didn’t have an America filled with racial divide, class divide and law and order haters. This has been the legacy of an Obama who appears to not like America.

Locally we have much ahead of us to deal with such as protecting our rural ranching and farming communities and way of life. Siskiyou County, as many of you know, is facing an aggressive overregulating bureaucracy who seems to have a special desire to destroy the rural communities. Perhaps part of this can be ascribed to “bullying” techniques on the part of the agency hierarchy. The rural areas don’t have the funds to fight back effectively against a bloated collection of federal and state agencies with a “mission” to protect “endanged wildlife” at any cost against the public. Only now are some of our elected officials and courts beginning to question the role of the EPA in listing species which are then used to take control of the publics’ assets.

One of the biggest issues we are facing as a community is the government threat to take down four dams on the Klamath River under the guise that this will somehow improve the Salmon population. A simple test of this theory would be to establish truck and haul to see if in fact the Salmon would survive in the warm upper Klamath areas.

However the NGOS and their henchmen are not interested in conducting such a test because it would show that the Salmon won’t survive in the upper waters. The real goal has nothing to do with fish and everything to do with money and power over water supply. One Federal official who is a senior advisor in the DOI has become so attached to destroying the dams that he has lost his ability to represent the public i.e. to be impartial in the matter and has now threatened our Board of Supervisors that they must conform to his ideas.

This individual should be removed from his position by the Secretary of the Interior. Every citizen of Siskiyou County should be concerned about such a threat being leveled at their elected officials. The government, through this individual has embarked on a mission to alienate various groups within our community in the Klamath Basin region to separate them from their elected officials and their local government.

I would hope that every citizen especially those installed as officers in community groups would react to the challenge put forward against their local government by this agencies’ action of divide and conquer. Support for our local governing officials is critical to survival of our community.

Richard Marshall
Republican Central Committee Chairman

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Jefferson supporters are asked to jump into action

Mark Baird, State of Jefferson

By Liz Bowen
Published in Trinity Gazette

May 21, 2015

Mark Baird, spokesman for the State of Jefferson committee, is asking for Jefferson supporters to call their county supervisors and respectfully ask for a “yes” vote on the declaration to withdraw from the State of California.
“In Trinity and Colusa Counties, we are waiting for the boards to schedule an action item. Please, call your county supervisor and ask for support of the State of Jefferson,” said Baird, who has been traveling throughout 19 counties of Northern California during the past year on the quest of splitting from California.
So far, eight counties have joined the new statehood movement. They are: Siskiyou, Modoc, Glenn, Yuba, Tehama, Sutter, Lake and Lassen.
On May 12th, Jefferson supporters filled the Nevada County Supervisors’ room as Baird explained the State of Jefferson proposal, which utilizes the U.S. Constitution’s Article 4, Sec. 3 for its legal stand. Baird also gave the Jefferson presentation to the Plumas County Supervisors on April 14th, which included a room full of supporters.
During the past two months, Baird and other Jefferson leaders have spoken at community town halls in Shasta, Sierra, El Dorado, Colusa and Mendocino Counties. A special meeting with business leaders was held in Butte County.
Now, Baird is asking for additional support from “the people.” In going forward, leaders of the Jefferson movement need help getting county supervisors to understand how broad-based the Jefferson movement really is. “It’s important that we put aside differences and restore representation and liberty to Northern California,” said Baird.
The idea of more representation by creating a new state is growing and Baird has found himself speaking on numerous radio and internet shows. Baird said the interviews last from 15 minutes to two hours and are broadcast by local, regional and national stations. George Noory was quite interested in the Jefferson movement during Baird’s interview; and his show covers the U.S. and Canada with an estimated 2.7 million listeners on 570 stations.
Baird said that many interviewers on the radio shows admit they used to live in California, but moved out because of over-taxation and the growing regulations that hinder business. Baird said “lack of representation” reverberates with everyone. “That’s what has excited everybody, the fact that we must have more representation.”
Those supporting the declaration to withdraw from the State of California readily point to the fact that out of 40 state senators, there are a total of 3 elected in the North State. Even more lack of representation is found in the Assembly, where only 3 out of 80 are allowed to be elected in Northern California, which represents over one-third of the state’s land base.
“Without representation, our economies will continue to crash,” said Baird, who adds that each county deserves to elect a state senator for true representation.
California continues a downward spiral of debt. A check on the official California Debt Clock shows a negative $426 billion. Despite the nay-sayers, Jefferson supporters want out before California crashes.
For more information on the State of Jefferson movement, go to the Jefferson Declaration Committee’s updated website — www.SOJ51.net — and the Jefferson Declaration.net site is now called Jefferson Declaration Blog.net.
Also check out activities in each county on facebook. Just type in the county name and add “for State of Jefferson.”
# # #

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Protect Our Water meets 5-28-15

POW

Scott Valley  Protect Our Water

meets

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fort Jones Community Center
Fort Jones, CA.

7 p.m.
Please bring a dessert to share. We eat before, during and after!

Agenda

Suction dredgers situation
Klamath dams
Fire recovery

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‘What the hell?’ Boehner rips VA for firing almost nobody, year after Shinseki resignation

Veterans & soldiers

House Speaker John Boehner tore into Veterans Affairs leadership Wednesday, alleging that nearly a year after then-Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned amid the scandal over veterans care, his successors have done little to fix the agency — or even discipline those involved in the wait-times crisis.

“Just one person has been fired. One,” Boehner said in a scathing House floor speech. “What the hell happened to the rest of them? “

He appealed for the agency to take care of America’s veterans as well as they take care “of the bureaucrats.”

Boehner, R-Ohio, said he is especially frustrated that so few VA officials have been fired, despite evidence that at least 110 VA facilities kept secret lists to manipulate and hide long wait-times.

In February, VA Secretary Robert McDonald claimed in a TV interview that the department had “fired” 60 people connected with the scandal.

That estimate was later revised down to 14. But The New York Times reported in late April that, according to documents given to Congress, only one person had actually been fired — Phoenix VA hospital director Sharon Helman. Another retired under pressure and another’s “termination” was pending. Several others were disciplined in other ways.

Boehner likened some of the punishments to a “slap on the wrist,” noting some got transfers and others got paid leave. And “all of them went on collecting checks from taxpayers,” he said.

Further, Boehner said, the number of patients facing long waits is about the same as it was last year, while the number of patients waiting more than 90 days has nearly doubled.

The VA’s problems are so deep that — despite a new law that overhauled the agency and authorized $16 billion in new spending over three years — it can’t even build a hospital, Boehner said, referring to a half-finished project in Denver that is $1 billion over budget.

Boehner said more legislation to hold the VA accountable is likely.

“But only the administration can change the culture from within,” he said.

As Memorial Day approaches, President Obama “owes the American people a real, long-term plan to fix the VA,” Boehner said. “Not a promise or a pledge or a rearranging of deck chairs: a real plan to clean up this mess.”

A VA representative has not yet responded to a request for comment on Boehner’s allegations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/20/what-hell-boehner-rips-va-for-firing-almost-nobody-year-after-shinseki/

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One California Farmer’s Battle to Win Water

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, Lawsuits, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

California farmer Jim Jasper may have lost his bid in the nation’s highest court to boost water supplies for agricultural use in America’s Bread Basket, but he isn’t giving up the fight for more water.

With the state in the fourth year of a historic drought, Jasper is seeking new solutions and a “common sense” approach to save farmland and the agricultural economy, while keeping balance with nature.

Jasper unsuccessfully challenged a ruling that limits the amount of water pumped through canals in the state’s Central Valley that supplies millions of people with drinking water and millions of acres of farmland with irrigation.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year ruled that economic considerations did not trump environmental concerns in protecting the tiny Delta smelt fish that only live in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The fish are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal, which had been joined by water districts such as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. It provides nearly 17 million people with drinking water, including the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego.

More on this…

  • California farmer struggles for water

Meanwhile, Jasper and other growers are feeling the effects of stricter water conservation policies. Farmers have been denied federal water for a second straight year, while water gently flows by in the canal system a stone’s throw from cracked earth and fallow fields.

The court rulings aim to keep higher water levels in the canals that aren’t moving swiftly, although some experts say the moves are not helping save the Delta smelt. UC Davis fish biologist Peter Moyle has told state authorities to prepare for the smelt’s extinction.

There doesn’t seem to be any relief in site from Mother Nature. The California Department of Water Resources reports water levels, the snowpack, and reservoirs are all below historical levels.

“We’re at maximum water in the past week or two. That’s six weeks earlier than normal, that’s a significant impact,” says Pablo Arroyave, deputy regional director for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. This agency is responsible for the canal system.

California Republican Assembly Leader Kristin Olsen of Modesto charges current state policies have “favored fish over people.” Olsen says farmers have fallowed over 400,000 acres of land and more than 17,000 farm workers are out of work due to a dearth of water.

Jasper had to fallow 20% of the farm’s 2,000 acres in the past few years because of drought, and several neighbors have abandoned raising crops altogether. He has been running the family-owned Stewart & Jasper Orchards, which has been farming in Newman, Calif. since 1948. But the patriarch worries the future may not be as bright when his son, or his grandson, takes over the business.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/industries/2015/05/19/california-farmers-battling-increasing-water-restrictions/

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Alaska: State favors timber harvest in the Southeast Forest

Agriculture, Forestry & USFS, State gov

PNP comment: Talk about a biased and appeal-encouraging headline (see below the Alaska Dispatch’s headline). Alaska decided in favor of the timber sale. Gee whiz. Alaska has gobs of timber in thick forests that need thinning!  — Editor Liz Bowen

State calls for appeals against Vallenar Bay timber sale

KETCHIKAN – Appeals for Alaska Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry decision to sell timber from the Vallenar Bay unit of the Southeast State Forest on Gravina Island are due by May 27.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports that the state decided May 4 that the sale was in the best interest of Alaska. The amount of available timber is approximately 12 million board feet.

The project area is about five miles west of the Ketchikan International Airport.

 http://www.adn.com/article/20150520/state-calls-appeals-against-vallenar-bay-timber-sale

Related:

According to the Division of Forestry the project will establish access to the Vallenar Bay area from the existing road system on Gravina Island by constructing a forest road from the Lewis Reef area to the existing logging road on the southeast side of Vallenar Bay.

 

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If You’re in Wyoming, Don’t Take Pictures of Cattle Ranches

Agriculture, cattle

By Meredith Hoffman

Vice News.com

A new bill in Wyoming has environmentalists afraid they could face jail time for collecting a water or soil sample or taking a photo, not just from privately owned land but even on lands open to the public.

Under the legislation, known as the Data Trespassing Bill, a person can be arrested for collecting “resource data,” which includes pictures and soil and water samples, on private land without prior permission. But the bill also suggests gathering information on “open land” — that is, any public land outside a city or town that might be leased by ranchers, for example.

Critics told VICE News the bill could quash scientific research done by laypeople, often called citizen science, and serves to hide environmentally harmful practices, much like “ag-gag” laws in many states prevent whistleblowers from exposing hazardous work conditions, animal abuse, or possible food contamination within factory farms and slaughterhouses.

“This is an effort to make it illegal for citizens to gather truthful information about all the people using natural resources,” Wyoming attorney Justin Pidot told VICE News. “It has a significant chilling effect on citizens who want to gather information about public land.”

Under the law, a person could spend up to one year in jail and face a $1,000 fine if he “enters onto open land for the purpose of collecting resource data” without a license or permission. Resource data is information “related to land or land use,” such as “agriculture, minerals, geology, history, cultural artifacts, archeology, air, water, soil, conservation, habitat, vegetation,”  the bill says.

The law was passed in March and prompted Pidot to write an editorial about it in Slate.

“This serves a variety of political forces in Wyoming,” Pidot told VICE News. “It serves the ranching community by preventing information about the environmental harm of their practices from being gathered — and it serves the mining industry in that same way.”

The bill comes on the heals of a lawsuit by a group of cattle ranchers, who claim the environmental group Western Watershed Project (WWP) trespassed on privately owned land while collecting water samples. The project’s test results found elevated levels of E. coli in streams, which the group attributes to cattle. The lawsuit is ongoing.

Connie Wilbert of Wyoming’s Sierra Club told VICE News the bill’s wording was vague and could result in a person inadvertently breaking the law. She speculated that even a student conducting field research could be penalized under the new regulations.

“Our fear is that it could be interpreted quite broadly and have severe ramifications that inhibit citizens from doing citizen science on public land,” Wilbert told VICE News. “We’re really concerned. We don’t believe there is a strong legitimate need for this bill — Wyoming already has bills that prohibit trespassing on private property.”

But agricultural representatives and elected officials told VICE News the law was the only way to preserve fundamental privacy rights, and environmentalists like Pidot were exaggerating its scope.

Republican state representative Tyler Lindholm told VICE News that people would have no problem if they photographed or took samples on public land.

“The argument that this protects people who are doing something environmentally degrading is a farce,” Lindholm told VICE News. He added that, as a rancher, he feels “personally concerned” that environmentalists could survey his property.

A spokesman for Wyoming Governor Matt Mead told VICE News Pidot, who represents WWP pro bono in an unrelated suit, used “inflammatory rhetoric” in his article and had misinterpreted the law. The spokesman clarified that a person could only be arrested if he trespassed on private land to reach the public land.

“In order for a person to run afoul of this law, that person must have trespassed on private property,” the spokesman, Seth Waggener, told VICE News. “Trespass is as old as the common law from which it stems, and this statute ensures against it.”

Rancher Jim Magagna, Executive Vice President of Wyoming’s Stock Growers Association, praised the law and said it was critical for fending off groups like WWP.

“We have a Department of Environmental Quality in our state and they have the authority to come on land and test it,” Magagna, whose group is a party in the lawsuit against WWP, told VICE News. “We’re not preventing that data from being collected — we’re saying a third party doesn’t have permission.”

And Ken Hamilton of the Western Farm Bureau echoed Magagna’s stance that the bill served to protect landowners.

“We’ve had reports of people collecting data for no reason and the landowner doesn’t even know they’re out there until this data shows up,” Hamilton told VICE News.

MORE

https://news.vice.com/article/if-youre-in-wyoming-dont-take-pictures-of-cattle-ranches

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LaMalfa Supports Bill Blocking Federal “Waters of the US” Regulatory Overreach

Doug LaMalfa Congressman CA

May 13, 2015

Washington, DC – Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) voted for a measure last evening that rolls back the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial “Waters of the United States” regulatory proposal. HR 1732, which passed by a vote of 261-155, prevents the EPA from implementing the rule and directs it to work with stakeholders on a new rule. The EPA has refused to make any significant changes to its proposal, despite receiving approximately a million comments from across the country identifying the negative impacts the rule would have on farms, small businesses, and local governments.

“The EPA and other federal bureaucracies already ignore clear exemptions in order to attack farmers and ranchers, and they now want even more authority? The Waters of the US regulation would expand the federal government’s jurisdiction over vast swathes of Northern California, including gullies which contain water only during rainstorms and wet depressions in fields,” said LaMalfa. “Congress has made it clear that it never intended to provide these powers to the EPA, has demonstrated bipartisan opposition to the proposal, and has acted to defund it. It’s time that the EPA remembers that Congress writes our nation’s laws, not federal bureaucrats.”

LaMalfa referred to the EPA’s existing interpretation of the Clean Water Act, in which it ignores clear, explicit exemptions of agricultural activities in order to penalize farmers for changing crops or replanting fallowed fields. LaMalfa has successfully passed several measures to limit and defund this interpretation, most recently in the Energy & Water Appropriations bill the House passed earlier this month.

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.
###

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Yreka Tea Party Patriots meet 5-19-15

TEA Party

Please Note We Have a New Meeting Place

Yreka Tea Party Patriots

Meeting for Tuesday, May 19th

Speaker:
Drake Travis, Producer and Actor

The High Road with Drake and Serena Travis (2014) and The Comeback Kids (2014)
“Who Owns Our Children”

Drake Travis earned his Bachelor’s in biblical literature from Simpson University and his Master’s in Literature (New Testament) from Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, New York. For several years Drake helped a medical team provide Christian-based care and surgery for about 4,500 people annually in Vietnam. Currently, Drake is the president of Brave Heart West Coast (www.braveheartwestcoast.org), a program in Northern California that will activate leaders for this millennium.

6:30 PM at the Covenant Chapel Church
200 Greenhorn Rd. Yreka

Everyone Welcome
Free….Contact Louise for more information at 530-842-5443

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