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Browsing the archives for the Water, Resources & Quality category.

Klamath Tribe wants all the water

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, cattle, Klamath Tribe, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Herald and News.com

Ranchers in the Upper Basin react

Tribal water call: ‘Devastating’

The call on water by the Klamath Tribes will be devastating economically for the cattlemen in the Upper Basin, affected ranchers said Tuesday.

The Tribes made the call last week. A water call puts the rest of the secondary water users on notice that the Tribes intend to use its water allocation in the Williamson, Sprague and possibly the Wood rivers for the benefit of fish habitat over irrigation for farming and cattle operations.

“This call is potentially devastating to both irrigators and the Tribes,” said Becky Hyde, a member of a long-time cattle ranching family in the Upper Basin above Upper Klamath Lake. “Our ag communities want what is best for the fish as well, but this puts a tremendous strain on our relationship with the Tribes.”

 While the call focuses on the current high water flows in the rivers — and if they fall to a certain level, irrigators can actually irrigate — there is still the concern that the irrigation window will be short-lived.

This is the first time the regulations have taken effect with spring runoff, which could run to June 1 or end sooner.

Water agreement

Hyde and several other ranchers spent years hammering out an Upper Basin agreement over water use with the Tribes. That agreement is still on the books, but has no funding behind it, hence is moot. The agreement would retire some 18,000 acres of land from use to put water back into the streams. In turn, there will be water security for ranchers.

Larry Nicholson, whose family also has historic cattle ranches on the Wood River, said the economic impact will be huge. A water call has not been made on the Wood, but Nicholson expects it.

“There are some 30,000 head of cattle that are moved into the area from ranches in California,” Nicholson said. “The grass in the Fort Klamath area is highly nutritious, but it is only good in the summer as it’s too cold to keep cattle there in the winter. Most ranches are not setup for stock water. If there is no water, the cattle will be kept in California, crowding out those ranch resources.”

After that …

“We have yearlings who need to grow all summer on grass,” Hyde said. “It’s a scramble to find alternative grazing. If you multiply that across the region, the water call a big deal,” she said. “We will be OK in the spring thanks to the early moisture and growing grasses. After that, it could be devastating.”

A couple of years back, Hyde shipped some cattle out after water supplies dwindled.

“This will be worse. There will be no water,” Hyde said.

Randall Kiser, who is a fifth-generation rancher on the Sprague and Wood, said, “When you have a snowpack at 138 of average and there is still a call for water, something is wrong.” Kiser, too, worked on the water pact with the tribes. Some 150 large and small ranches on the Sprague will be affected by the call.

“It’s a serious situation,” Kizer said.

“It would be nice if we could negotiate a settlement, finalize it and keep moving” he said. “This call affects everybody in the Upper Basin. When we last met in February, the Tribes told us they were ‘settlement-minded.’”

Fisheries status

Tribal Chairman Don Gentry said of the call Monday, “I understand the concerns for the agricultural community, but there needs to be concerns for the status of our fisheries.”

Both Hyde and Nicholson point out that the agreements work both ways. The idea was to have cattlemen build fences to keep cattle out of the rivers so fish habitat could grow.

“If you don’t have fences, it stands to reason the cattle will be drinking from the river,” Nicholson said, damaging habitat and eroding banks.

“Just having water doesn’t restore habitat,” Hyde said. “That’s where everyone loses. The Klamath Tribes have a powerful card that they are playing, but that doesn’t, mean they win in the end.”

READ it here

http://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/ranchers-in-the-upper-basin-react-to-water-call/article_2e958a6e-14be-5def-bd13-7f69b6db4517.html

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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CA. Fish and Wildlife (DFG) will be doing fly-overs in Siskiyou Co. today

Agriculture, California Rivers, Dept. Fish & Game, Property rights, Ranch life, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

I learned that CA F&G will be conducting low level flights over Scott Valley with a small plane in the coming days. The County has requested they stay above the required 500-foot level with respect to spooking cattle etc.

We also requested Elizabeth Nielsen, Siskiyou Co. Natural Resource Specialist, be able to fly with them to understand what they are looking for and with respect to the former elevation requirement. That request has been denied.

Ray A. Haupt

(530) 925-0444

PNP comment: Irrigation season began, in earnest, in Scott Valley on April 1, 2017, when most land owners were then able to open their headgates to legally obtain their water right. There are some water rights that do not begin until April 15.  Why DFG is flying this early in the season, when there is plenty of water for  irrigation, stock water and fish in the river is a BIG question mark? — Editor Liz Bowen

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Support Siskiyou Supervisors in application as groundwater agency

Ranch life, Siskiyou County, State gov, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Please attend the Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors’ meeting

April 4, 2017

Siskiyou Co. Supervisors meeting room on 2nd story of courthouse in Yreka

Time is 1:30 p.m.

Please be willing to speak even if only to voice your support of the county’s application to the State.

 

Synopsis of this issue is below:

Elizabeth Nielsen, Siskiyou County Natural Resources Specialist, did a thorough job explaining the new state law regarding groundwater at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting last week. This situation is a bit ominous.

If the county does not create its own Groundwater Sustainable Agency and submit its application for that agency by June 30, 2017, the State Water Board will intervene to manage groundwater extraction activities in Siskiyou County. The State Water Board will have the power to assess fees for its involvement and will levy fees of $100 per well and in unmanaged areas the cost will be $10 per acre foot per year if the well is metered and $25 per year if not the well is not metered. Yep, this is scary and costly. Oh, and will start on July 1, 2017!

Our county supervisors are proposing that the Siskiyou Flood Control and Conservation District serve as the agency that will oversee the Sustainable Groundwater Management Plan. The plan must be operable by 2022 using information developed by local landowner committees in the four subbasins that are affected. Those subbasins are: Scott Valley, Shasta Valley, Butte Valley and the Tulelake area.

Actually, a sub-type of agency will be developed in each of these subbasins. The important key is that the agency members will be local landowners and groundwater users, including water districts and municipalities.

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Dist. 5 Supervisor, said the county hopes the citizens will support its application to the state. He wants to “seize this process” and keep control local over groundwater instead of the state’s one-size-fits-all demands. Ray said the county supervisors voiced vigorous opposition to the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. But it passed the state legislature and Gov. Brown signed it into law.

Elizabeth is asking individuals with groundwater wells to attend and express support at the April 4th hearing. She has been tasked with completing the county’s application. The hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the supervisors’ chambers at the courthouse in Yreka. This is next week folks. Please attend or write-in comments of support.

For more on the GSA law and process, go to Elizabeth’s website for a power point presentation. The easiest way to find the site is to Google “Siskiyou County Natural Resources Department” and when you reach the site, scroll down and in the middle is a list with “Natural Resources – Groundwater” in it. Or give Elizabeth a call at 530-842-8012.

 

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California U.S. Senators fight over new California water-bill plan

California water, Water, Resources & Quality

Boxer, Feinstein in angry split over new California water-bill plan

McClatchy DC

A controversial California water bill that’s sparked years of fighting has been added to a fast-moving measure, boosting the chance the water measures will pass Congress but sharply dividing the state’s U.S. senators.

In a remarkable break for the two longtime Democratic allies, Sen. Barbara Boxer pledged Monday to fight against the legislation written by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Now in the final weeks of her congressional career, Boxer said she would seek to block the broader water-projects bill to which Feinstein and her Republican allies in the House of Representatives had attached the California measure.

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Mike Dunbar: Would Times like some facts with that Kool-Aid?

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water, CORRUPTION, Salmon and fish, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Wow, this is a great article and parallels the same knowledge we here in Siskiyou have been touting — and being ignored by the Greenies and guvmunt agency bureaucrats. Worth the read, it is! — Editor Liz Bowen

Modesto Bee

December 2, 2016

In reading a recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times, we just about choked on our Cheerios.

One of our nation’s truly great newspapers, with inspiring editorial writers, the Times noted that California is more than merely lines on a map. Invoking the “California condor, the giant sequoia, the golden trout,” the writer implied that farmers in Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin counties have lost sight of what it means to be Californians. Since we’re all in this state together, folks living around here should be happy to give up more of the water that flows through our communities to save salmon.

If we get rid of all those lines, how can anyone justify pumping billions of gallons of water hundreds of miles from the rivers where it once flowed, away from the ocean to which it was headed, through deserts, over mountains, and into giant tubs for the future use of people who’ve never heard of the Tuolumne River?

What the editorial didn’t mention was wading into the Tuolumne to count spawning salmon carcasses; visiting the hatchery where millions come to life on the Merced; spending millions of dollars pushing around gravel in the Stanislaus to make rock beds suitable for salmon eggs. Don’t know how the Times missed that.

So where did the Times’ editorial writers get their information? We’re guessing from trusted sources in the environmental community. That’s fine; we talk to them, too. We just recognize they’ve got a point of view and an agenda.

If the Times had talked to anyone here – including the scientists who work most closely with the thousands of salmon that swim up our rivers each year – they might have gotten a different story. They might have learned that the salmon here are no different genetically from the 720 million tons of salmon harvested each year. That the number of salmon native to our rivers is actually zero. That any salmon you find on the San Joaquin or its tributaries was born in a hatchery. The fish the environmentalists are trying to save are already extinct.

Like so many others, the Times decried the harm farming does to the state’s “$1 billion fishing industry.” But according to the state, the best commercial salmon catch in this century was worth $15 million – less than half the value of the crab fishery.

There’s more. The Times blamed the drought and agriculture for catastrophically low salmon counts – disregarding the role played by state officials, who released too much cold water from Lake Shasta at the wrong time last year, dooming thousands of salmon and trout. Or the federal officials who insisted on releasing 35,000 acre-feet of cold water from New Melones to push juvenile salmon and steelhead to the ocean; but the fish refused to go, waiting until it actually rained to swim out.

The Times has millions of readers; here’s part of what it told them: “In this sixth year of drought, the agriculture industry and its supporters have pushed hard for diverting every scarce drop of water flowing down streams and rivers to orchards and field crops instead of, as they often describe it, allowing good water to be flushed downriver, through the Delta, into the San Francisco Bay and out to sea.”

Except that’s not true. First, virtually every resident of this area wants to see vibrant, beautiful rivers flowing through our communities. Hundreds volunteer to clean the riverbanks, plant trees, clear floodplains and many make donations. Second, our irrigation districts, county officials and local legislators quietly negotiated a deal to provide an additional 300,000 acre-feet of water for environmental purposes on top of the 20 to 30 percent already flowing to the ocean. But that offer – a year in the making – was ignored as it moved up the ladder.

Now our region is in a life-and-death struggle with the state over a plan that will double the water flowing away from one of California’s poorest regions – all for roughly 1,100 additional salmon. Did the Times’ environmental sources mention any of that?

As much as we admire the Times’ prize-winning editorial writers, they shouldn’t allow themselves to be spoon-fed by anyone.


The Public Policy Institute of California’s water experts offered an interesting idea Friday through The Sacramento Bee. Instead of building twin tunnels to carry the Sacramento River beneath the Delta, Gov. Jerry Brown should build just one. Two 40-foot-wide tunnels can siphon off virtually all of the Sacramento River; just one can’t. Skeptics have long noted that the Sacramento provides 80 percent of the Delta’s water, and it’s impossible to provide more reliable water deliveries south and simultaneously save the Delta. Eliminate one tunnel, the PPIC says, and eliminate that skepticism.

Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla of Restore the Delta liked the idea. But in her enthusiasm, she took aim at the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers – echoing the state’s demand for 50 percent flows. She didn’t mention that 95 percent of the Delta has been channelized, leading to the demise of the Delta smelt. Not a word about tearing down levees to allow sinking islands to flood and create more habitat. Nothing about getting rid of striped bass that feast on smelt and juvenile salmon.

Apparently it’s less about restoring the Delta than about getting more water. It always is.

Read it here: http://www.modbee.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/mike-dunbar/article118612498.html#storylink=cpy

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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Trump’s impact will be huge in California, where he was soundly rejected

Agriculture - California, Water, Resources & Quality

Trump’s impact will be huge in California, where he was soundly rejected

Sacramento Bee

Farmers from California’s Central Valley invested big time in Donald Trump, and soon the president-elect could repay the debt. During a Tulare County campaign event in late August that raised an estimated $1.3 million, Trump heard about the farmers’ need for water, among other issues. As president, he’ll appoint the people who can turn the taps, at least a little.

“The good thing is, he is more up to speed on water infrastructure than any other president we’ve had,” Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, said in an interview Wednesday. “Out here, everything is water, water, water.”

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California: Sites Reservoir backers prepare to seek bond money

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Dams other than Klamath, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment:  Finally some movement on this situation! This is where the California Water Bond money should go, not to the destruction of the Klamath dams. — Editor Liz Bowen

Sites Reservoir backers prepare to seek bond money

Capital Press

Backers of the proposed Sites Reservoir west of here believe they have plenty of momentum going into next year’s application period for Proposition 1 water bond funds.

The number of agencies signed on to participate in the project has grown from 14 to 34, including from the San Francisco Bay area and San Joaquin Valley, said Jim Watson, general manager of the Sites Authority. And the Legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 2553, a bipartisan measure that will give flexibility in construction methods to help speed the project.

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Miners’ “Waters of the United States” Challenge to U.S. Supreme Court

Clean Water ACT - EPA, Courts, Federal gov & land grabs, Water, Resources & Quality

From: Mountain States Legal Foundation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: William Perry Pendley, 303/292-2021, Ext. 30

Miners’ “Waters of the United States” Challenge to U.S. Supreme Court

October 4, 2016 –

DENVER, CO. A 120-year-old nonprofit, non-partisan mining trade association with thousands of members today joined with other litigants in urging the Supreme Court of the United States to review its lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and their top officials over newly released final rules that purport to define “waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act (CWA) after odd rulings from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) (once Northwest Mining Association) of Spokane, Washington asserts that the rules published on June 29, 2015, violate both the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. AEMA is represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), which commented on the draft rules by arguing that they illegally: extend to all waters (not just wetlands) and all waters adjacent to non-navigable interstate waters; create a new jurisdictional concept “similarly situated waters” by misquoting the Supreme Court; and ignore the Court’s demand regarding alleged wetlands adjacent to non-navigable tributaries.

“We ask the Court to answer a question of great national importance, that is, whether Congress intended a definitional rule delineating the scope of the Clean Water Act to be reviewed exclusively in the court of appeals, or, as the plain text of the law provides, in the federal district courts,” said William Perry Pendley, MSLF’s president.

Over the years, landowners challenging federal wetland rulings reached the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1985, deciding at which point “water ends and land begins,” the Supreme Court upheld a definition that included wetlands that “actually abut[] on” traditional navigable waters. In 2001, the Court held that “non-navigable, isolated, intrastate waters,” even those used by migratory birds, were not within the CWA. In 2006, ruling on whether the CWA included intrastate wetlands adjacent to non-navigable tributaries of navigable waters, the Court vacated the Corps’ rules. For a four judge plurality, Justice Scalia required a “continuous surface connection to bodies that are ‘waters of the United States’ in their own right,” but Justice Kennedy, while concurring in striking down the rules, demanded “a ‘significant nexus’ to waters that are or were navigable in fact or that could reasonably be so made.”

In 2007, the EPA and the Corps responded to the Court’s rulings and in late 2008, after the receipt of 66,000 comments, issued new guidance on identifying “waters of the United States.” Then, in 2011, the two agencies proposed new guidance that expanded significantly the reach of the CWA, including over vernal pools, prairie potholes, natural ponds, and playa lakes. In response to 230,000 comments, many of which demanded a formal rule-making, the agencies issued that proposal in April of 2014.

The three separate judgments of the Sixth Circuit panel denying all motions to dismiss the petitions for review for lack of subject matter jurisdiction was entered on February 22, 2016, and the Sixth Circuit denied a petition for rehearing en banc on April 21, 2016.

Mountain States Legal Foundation, founded in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government, and the free enterprise system. Its offices are in suburban Denver, Colorado.

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Water contractors sue federal government for $350 million

Agriculture - California, Lawsuits, Liberty, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

By The Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) – Seventeen California water districts have filed a lawsuit for $350 million against the federal government for not delivering water to contractors in the drought year of 2014.

The Fresno Bee reports (http://bit.ly/2dUTACL ) that the districts in the San Joaquin Valley and the city of Fresno filed the suit Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C.

Attorney Craig Parton, who is representing the contractors, says the claim seeks to recover the fair market value of Friant Division water not delivered to the contractors even though there were sufficient supplies in Millerton Lake that year.

The lawsuit says farmers lost crops due to lack of water and had to remove orchards, deplete groundwater supplies and take emergency measures.

Attempts to reach the Bureau of Reclamation, which controls Millerton Lake and Friant Dam, were unsuccessful.

___

Information from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com

http://www.redding.com/news/state/water-contractors-sue-federal-government-for-350-million-jmgurnpublicidaporgac5c4a2f8e564246a55458ff-396152561.html?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_content=&utm_campaign=TopHeadlines_Newsletter

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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Opinion: Learn from history … fight to keep your water

California water, Op-ed, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Looks like the coho salmon is the only fraud perpetrated on farmers and ranchers and fishermen. — Editor Liz Bowen

OPINION: Learn from history … fight to keep your water

Modesto Bee

At an important meeting last week in Modesto, The Bee reported, Francisco Canela, a member of the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee, asked one of the state’s top water regulators a great question:

“Where’s the end game for this community? That’s our concern. We’re giving more water and more water, and we aren’t getting anything back.”

The short answer to Canela’s question is that the community will never get back any water or anything else.

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