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Browsing the archives for the Agriculture – California category.

Judge won’t block release of water

Agriculture - California, Federal gov & land grabs, Klamath River & Dams, Salmon and fish, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality


The Associated Press

Posted Aug. 28, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

A federal judge Wednesday denied a request by irrigation suppliers in California’s Central Valley to stop emergency water releases intended to help salmon hundreds of miles away in the Klamath Basin survive the drought.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill in Fresno, California, denied the temporary injunction sought by Westlands Water District and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority. Westlands is the nation’s largest supplier of water for agricultural use.

The judge ruled that the potential harm to salmon from drought conditions right now outweighs the potential harm to farmers next year.
Dan O’Hanlon, attorney for the irrigation suppliers, did not immediately respond to a telephone call and email seeking comment. The bureau routinely refuses to comment on pending litigation.

At issue is water in a reservoir on the Trinity River in Northern California, which has long been shared with farmers in the Central Valley. The river is the main tributary of the Klamath River, where sharing scarce water between fish and farms has long been a tough balancing act marked by lawsuits and political battles.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation ordered the emergency releases to prevent a repeat of a massive fish kill in 2002. The agency has said the salmon releases were not expected to reduce the amount of water exported to the Sacramento River this year, but would likely mean less water stored for next year.

Indian tribes that depend on the salmon for subsistence, ceremonial and commercial fisheries had pressed the bureau to reverse an earlier decision to only release more water once significant numbers of fish began to die.

“The court again recognized the scientific basis for the supplemental releases, and the best decision was made for the resource and the fishery,” said Susan Masten, vice chairwoman of the Yurok Tribe. “Klamath (Basin) water is meant to support Klamath River fish, not industrial agriculture in the Central Valley.”

In his ruling, O’Neill cited a statement from tribal fisheries consultant Joshua Strange that the extra water was needed to prevent an outbreak of disease from a parasite known as Ich, short for Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, that attacks fish crowded together in drought conditions. The parasite was the prime killer of salmon in the 2002 drought.

O’Neill noted that the fish expert for the irrigation suppliers, Charles Hanson, asserted that higher, colder flows in the Trinity would harm other protected species, such as the Western pond turtle, yellow-legged frog, and lamprey.

O’Neill has indicated that he is likely to find in favor of the irrigation suppliers on at least one of their claims in a lawsuit over last year’s releases to the Trinity, but that would not affect his findings in the current case, he wrote.

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Dam distraction delays real water solutions

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, CA & OR, Federal gov & land grabs, Klamath County, Klamath River & Dams, Siskiyou County, Threats to agriculture


Dam distraction delays real water solutions; Klamath County has rescinded its 2010 approval

Herald and News 8/17/14


Siskiyou County Supervisors Michael Kobseff and Brandon Criss recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Members of Congress and their staffs to reinforce Siskiyou County’s opposition to the proposals to remove the lower four dams on the Klamath River. We are optimistic in reporting that there is strong Congressional opposition to these proposals for a wide range of reasons.

   In late 2011, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced legislation to authorize the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. These are intertwined agreements that would have state and federal taxpayers and PacifiCorp’s California and Oregon ratepayers foot the bill to let PacifiCorp walk away from the Klamath River.

  The bill met its deserved fate when it died at the end of the 112th Congress in December 2012, with no action being taken.

   Earlier this year, Oregon’s other senator, Ron Wyden, reintroduced a version of the Merkley bill with the addition   of a new agreement on water and land management in the Upper Basin. California Senators Feinstein and Boxer agreed to support this new bill as cosponsors.

  One large problem with moving this legislation any further is that it is not scientifically justified. The Secretary of Interior’s own expert panels have concluded that the benefits for salmon would be “minimal” and “unlikely.”

   Elected representatives from other states are now seeing the Klamath agreements for what they are: Supposed “stakeholders” wanting to spend vast amounts of other peoples’ money. These selfselected “stakeholders” also would form their own regional government under the Klamath Basin Restoration Act composed of unelected leaders.

  These stakeholders are authorized under Sen. Wyden’s legislation to amend the Klamath agreements without Congressional approval.

   Also, although a handful of senators are trying to advance the Klamath agreements, the proposed legislation would be dead on arrival if it reaches the House of Representatives.

  California Congressman Tom McClintock is the chair of the Water and Power Subcommittee. His district includes the long-stalled Auburn Dam and he is an ardent supporter of that project. He also is adamantly opposed to the Klamath agreements, as is Washington’s Doc Hastings, the chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over any bill.

   We are witnessing the agonizingly slow death of the Klamath agreements. Klamath County has rescinded its 2010 approval. A number of parties to the new Upper Basin Agreement are already questioning it. The recent referendum in the Klamath Tribes demonstrated a surprising internal divide.

  The questions are getting louder about how long the Public Utilities Commission will continue a surcharge to fund a proposed project with one unmet milestone after another, a timetable that is now years behind, and no forward progress on its central element of dam removal.

   At some point, we believe a critical mass of real stakeholders will acknowledge they need another approach.

  Siskiyou County has offered repeatedly to return to the negotiating table to work toward all of the things that could be done to benefit water supplies and enhance fish populations without getting sidetracked by the controversy of dam removal and the enormous costs associated with it.

   In light of the ongoing wildfire disasters in southern Oregon and California’s Copco region, water storage has proven to be a major asset to the residents of our drought-stricken region.   Building additional offstream water storage could provide increased firefighting resources and water irrigation resources for both on-project and off-project water users.

  Klamath County has joined us in a joint letter opposing the Wyden legislation. Both counties have invited Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to visit our region. Our open invitation to Secretary Jewell stands. We await a reply to our correspondence and a visit by her to become informed of the concerns of Siskiyou County and our constituents.


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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California drought has wild salmon competing with almonds for water

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

By Stephen Frank

on Aug 22, 2014 08:05 pm

California Political News and Views

When government controls money or assets, you have less of it, it costs more and there are predetermined winners and losers. Government takes from one, gives to another and freedom is lost by all. The Feds and our confused Guv Brown have decided fish are to be the winners, with families, jobs and farms to …


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Assemblyman Brian Dahle voted for new Water Bond

Agriculture - California, California water

PNP comment: We are studying the bill and are concerned there are funds for Klamath dam removal.  — Editor Liz Bowen


Water bond will prepare state for the next drought

By Brian Dahle

There’s an old saying that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the second-best time is now.

The same holds for building reservoirs.

California is enduring its worst drought in 200 years, by some measures. The agricultural belts of the Central Valley are the driest and suffering the most from shortages, with fields fallowed and groundwater drawn down severely to make up for shortages, but nobody is immune from the drought’s effects. Cities are strictly rationing water. Treasured runs of salmon are at risk of die-offs.

And much as I’d like to say otherwise, at this point there’s not a lot anyone in Sacramento can do about it, other than triage the crises. The solutions – more water storage and smarter management – require investments California should have made 20 years ago.

But the next big drought? Californians might just have a fighting chance to make it through more smoothly, thanks to the bipartisan legislative agreement on the water bond that will go before the voters this November. If Californians agree about the urgency of action, the state will commit to its first major investments in new reservoirs in decades. The bond directs $2.7 billion toward new storage, directed toward projects first identified in 2000 as the best investments the state could make to improve the water system.

They include Sites Reservoir in the Sacramento Valley, which would store water off the river, in the Coast Range in Colusa County. Holding up to 1.4 million acre-feet of water, or about one-third the size of Lake Shasta, Sites would allow the state to store additional winter floodwaters for productive use. It would make 500,000 acre-feet of new water available in normal years, with even higher benefits in droughts. The state has talked about Sites for more than a decade. With this water bond, we take a concrete step toward pouring the concrete.

New storage is a critical breakthrough in the bond, but it also provides money for other needs: groundwater cleanup, drinking water for struggling communities, investments in healthy watersheds. What it doesn’t include is pork.

In 2009, the last time the Legislature attempted to craft a bond, they won the votes the old-fashioned way – they bought them, one pet project at a time. The result was a bond so bloated and overpriced, $11.14 billion, that the Legislature never even had the courage to present it to the voters, who would have had the good sense to reject it.

Taking a different approach, over the past two years the Assembly Water, Parks and Committee has traveled the state – including a December hearing in Redding – so members could learn firsthand about the needs of the state’s diverse regions and craft a package that would meet those needs in a balanced way. The final deal came at the last possible minute to make the November ballot, in classic Sacramento fashion, but it won nearly unanimous support even as it would spend billions of dollars less than the bond it replaces. Yes, a whole building full of politicians agreed to spend less of the taxpayers’ money, while making the fundamental investments the state needs.

This drought is tough. Farms are fallowed. Cities are rationing water. Mountain springs are drying up. Treasured fisheries are dying off. The one upside is it’s finally woken the state up to the need to build a water system that will serve the next generation. And when the next drought hits, we will be ready.

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


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Sec of State Debra Bowen assigns number to new Water Bond ballot measure

Agriculture - California, California water, Over-regulations, State gov, Water, Resources & Quality

August 14, 2014
Contact: Nicole Winger
(916) 653-6575

Secretary of State Debra Bowen Assigns Number to
New November Ballot Measure; Invites Ballot Arguments

SACRAMENTO – Following action by the Legislature and the Governor last night creating a new water bond measure for the November 4 General Election ballot, Secretary of State Debra Bowen today invited interested Californians to submit arguments to be considered for inclusion in a second voter information guide. The new water bond measure is Proposition 1.
Voter guides, also known as ballot pamphlets, are mailed to every voting household in California and posted on the Secretary of State’s website. The full text and nonpartisan analysis of propositions are also in the voter guides.
The statutory deadline for placing legislative and initiative measures on the ballot was June 26. However, the Legislature and the Governor chose to waive laws and place Proposition 1 on the ballot after the deadline had passed, triggering the need for a second voter guide. When creating Proposition 1 the Legislature and the Governor removed another water bond measure, Proposition 43, from the November 4 ballot.
The new proposition is listed below, along with the Legislative Counsel’s digest.
Proposition 1
Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014. (Chapter 188, 2014). (1) Existing law, the Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2012, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $11,140,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance a safe drinking water and water supply reliability program. Existing law provides for the submission of the bond act to the voters at the November 4, 2014, statewide general election. This bill would repeal these provisions. (2) Under existing law, various measures have been approved by the voters to provide funds for water supply and protection facilities and programs. Existing law, the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006, an initiative measure approved by the voters as Proposition 84 at the November 7, 2006, statewide general election, authorizes the issuance of bonds in the amount of $5,388,000,000 for the purposes of financing safe drinking water, water quality and supply, flood control, natural resource protection, and park improvements. Existing law, the Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention Bond Act of 2006, approved by the voters as Proposition 1E at the November 7, 2006, general statewide election, authorizes the issuance of bonds in the amount of $4,090,000,000 for the purposes of financing disaster preparedness and flood prevention projects. Existing law, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Act of 2002, an initiative measure approved by the voters as Proposition 50 at the November 5, 2002, statewide general election, authorizes, for the purposes of financing a safe drinking water, water quality, and water reliability program, the issuance of bonds in the amount of $3,440,000,000. Existing law, the Costa-Machado Water Act of 2000, approved by the voters as Proposition 13 at the March 7, 2000, statewide primary election, authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds in the amount of $1,970,000,000 for the purposes of financing a safe drinking water, clean water, watershed protection, and flood protection program. Existing law, the Safe, Clean, Reliable Water Supply Act, approved by the voters as Proposition 204 at the November 5, 1996, statewide general election, authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds in the amount of $995,000,000 for the purposes of financing a safe, clean, reliable water supply program. Existing law, the Water Conservation and Water Quality Bond Law of 1986, approved by the voters as Proposition 44 at the June 3, 1986, statewide primary election, authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds in the amount of $150,000,000 for the purposes of financing a water conservation and water quality program. This bill would enact the Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $7,120,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance a water quality, supply, and infrastructure improvement program. This bill, upon voter approval, would reallocate $425,000,000 of the unissued bonds authorized for the purposes of Propositions 1E, 13, 44, 50, 84, and 204 to finance the purposes of a water quality, supply, and infrastructure improvement program. This bill would provide for the submission of these provisions to the voters at the November 4, 2014, statewide general election. (3) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.
People may submit arguments for or against the measure. Arguments selected for the supplemental voter guide will be on public display between August 23 and September 12. If multiple arguments are submitted for one proposition, state law gives first priority to arguments written by legislators in the case of legislative measures, and first priority to arguments written by proponents of an initiative or referendum in such cases. Subsequent priority for all measures goes to bona fide citizen associations and then to individuals. No more than three signers are allowed to appear on an argument or rebuttal to an argument.
Ballot arguments cannot exceed 500 words and rebuttals to ballot arguments cannot exceed 250 words. All submissions should be typed and double-spaced. Arguments may be hand-delivered to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at 1500 11th Street, 5th Floor, Sacramento, California 95814; faxed to (916) 653-3214; or emailed to VIGarguments@sos.ca.gov. If faxed or emailed, the original documents must be received within 72 hours.
The deadline to submit ballot arguments is August 19 by 2:00 p.m. The deadline to submit rebuttals to the ballot arguments is August 22 by 5:00 p.m.
For more election deadlines and information on ballot measures, go to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/statewide-elections/2014-general.
To view past state voter guides, go to www.sos.ca.gov/elections/ballot-measures/voter-information-guides.htm.
Keep up with the latest California election news and trivia by following @CASOSvote on Twitter.

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California Water Impact Network Opposes Wasteful Water Bond

Agriculture - California, State gov, Water, Resources & Quality


Proposition 1 Will Burden Taxpayers, Do Nothing to Alleviate California’s Water Woes

By: California Water Impact Network (C-WIN)

August 18, 2014 – Proposition 1, the water bond approved by the California legislature for the November 2014 ballot, would waste an extravagant amount of taxpayer money just when the state is recovering from the Great Recession. Further, the bond would do little to alleviate California’s chronic water problems, and would cause irreparable environmental harm.

“Forty three percent of the bond’s money is earmarked for dubious storage projects with a dismal cost return, cheap water for billionaires and administrative overhead,” says Carolee Krieger, the Executive Director of the California Water Impact Network (C-WIN). “After you add in the required interest to this boondoggle, it will mean a $14.7 billion hit to the General Fund at a time of record debt.”

Proposition 1 falls short on several specific counts:

- It provides $2.7 billion for new water storage projects that will yield minimal additional capacity.

- The new storage facilities supported by the bond will benefit corporate agribusiness far more than urban ratepayers.

- It allocates at least $200 million to subsidize cheap water deliveries to billionaire almond growers.

- It contributes to the continued expansion of California’s already bloated bureaucracy by designating up to $375 million for administrative overhead.

- Despite claims that Proposition 1 is a “conservation measure,” it does nothing to protect the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta and the Klamath and Trinity Rivers from excessive water diversions.

In sum, Proposition 1 encompasses all the usual porcine metaphors used to describe wasteful government initiatives: It is both a pig in a poke, and the rankest variety of political pork.

“Also, this isn’t a matter of putting lipstick on a pig and ending up with a gussied-up pig,” said Krieger. “This is more a case of slathering lipstick, rouge, foundation makeup and mascara on a feral hog. When it’s all done, taxpayers will have something that isn’t only surpassingly ugly – it’ll bite a big chunk out of their wallets.”

In a more serious vein, Krieger added:

“As much as people would like to think that these new dams will solve our water problems, they won’t. These new facilities will capture a minimum amount of water – far less than can be gained through cheaper methods such as recycling, conservation, and reallocation of deliveries currently made to impaired agricultural lands. Both C-WIN and the State Water Board have documented that water right claims in California tally up to five times the average amount of water available. You can’t address that kind of deficit with these new, absurdly expensive schemes. They are literally a drop in the bucket. All they will do is burden taxpayers.”


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Water bond headed to voters

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water, State gov, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 – 8:27 pm

Last Modified: Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 – 8:38 pm

California voters will be asked to authorize $7.5 billion to bolster the state’s water supply, infrastructure and ecosystems in November, as lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday struck a long-sought deal to move a new water bond to the ballot.

An extraordinary drought that has strained California’s water supply spurred a concerted push for a new water bond. Lawmakers moved to replace an $11.1 billion previously slated for the ballot, convinced that voters would reject it.

Instead, voters will see a $7.5 billion measure that contains significantly less money for Delta restoration. The final sum represents a compromise both from Republicans, who called for $3 billion for surface storage projects, and from Brown, who sought an overall total closer to $6 billion.

In a pivotal concession, Democrats and the governor agreed to boost the amount of money for surface storage projects to $2.7 billion. Republicans had opposed a pact between Brown and Democrats containing $2.5 billion for new dams and reservoirs.

While money for storage and the Delta occupied a central place in negotiations, the bond would also allocate billions to provide clean drinking water to thirsty communities, guard against floods and treat or reuse water.

Without GOP support, lawmakers could not have mustered the two-thirds margin needed for passage. Republicans consistently demanded more money for surface storage, ideally enough to build two large-scale reservoirs capable of better sustaining California through another drought.

“It was real critical to get a bond that actually helped fund two reservoirs,” Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar, told reporters. “We’ve had a lot of bonds in the last 15 years that haven’t had any storage, so we finally have a water bond that has water in it.”

The deal marked the culmination of feverish negotiations. Legislators returned from a July recess calling the new bond an overriding priority. Lawmakers and their staff met through the weekend and continued to talk with Brown until late Tuesday evening and through much of Wednesday.

Driving the sense of urgency was the need to prepare for the November election. On Monday, legislators voted to extend by two days the deadline for printing voter guides.

Another point of dispute involved Brown’s highly contentious plan to drill two massive water tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, allowing water to flow to farms and cities in southern California without passing through the Delta’s precarious ecosystem.

Democratic leadership and environmentalists insisted that any bond be “tunnel neutral,” carefully crafted so it did not pay for environmental mitigation required for Brown’s Bay Delta Conservation Plan.

Watersheds across California would receive $1.495 billion under the bond deal approved Wednesday, with $137.5 million of it flowing to the Delta. That falls significantly below the $2.25 billion for the ecologically sensitive region in the previous, $11.1 billion bond.

Under the agreement, $810 million would help fortify local water systems and $520 million would increase increase access to potable drinking water. Water recycling projects would be eligible for $700 million, and $395 million would become available for flood protection – $295 million of it for projects in the Delta region, including work on levees.

The state of California’s groundwater has attracted attention as the drought has taxed surface sources like rivers and reservoirs, pushing farmers and others to lean more heavily on wells. The bond would allocate $900 million for groundwater, much of it set aside for preventing contamination.

But $100 million would pay for groundwater management plans. California does not regulate groundwater withdrawals at the state level, though lawmakers are advancing bills to do so this year amid warnings that over-pumping is rapidly draining aquifers.


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/13/6626961/california-lawmakers-reach-deal.html#storylink=cpy
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With anger, sadness and honor, bidding farewell to a historic cannery

Agriculture - California, CORRUPTION, Federal gov & land grabs

PNP comment: This didn’t have to happen. It is a disgrace to America that Americans are not allowed to make a clean, healthy living with an environmentally-friendly business. Drake’s Bay Oysters fought a good fight. I respect and honor the Lunny’s. — Editor Liz Bowen

Point Reyes Light

By Christopher Peak


Under a pall of gray clouds and cutting winds last Thursday morning, a crowd of misty-eyed stalwarts bid farewell to Drakes Bay Oyster Company as the farm shut down its cannery and retail shop for the last time.

The group of supporters struggled with a fraught mix of emotions: anger, sadness and honor, as John Wick of Marin Carbon Project put it. The day was a celebration of an oyster farm’s legacy that for many was cut unnecessarily short. A memorial and a funeral, Mr. Wick said.

“Today brings many historical changes to Point Reyes,” said Ginny Cummings, one of the farm’s manager and Kevin Lunny’s sister, as she held back tears. “The oyster farm’s teachings to visitors and classes of all ages on sustainable agriculture and how working landscapes can complement working ecosystems is over. The original mission of Point Reyes to demonstrate how the culture of our farms and ranches and our natural wilderness can coexist as a model of sustainability is over in Drakes Estero. California’s last oyster cannery is gone.”

Many of the morning’s speeches focused on a renewed commitment to former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s pledge in his Nov. 2012 decision to “support the continued presence of dairy and beef ranching” in the seashore. Albert Straus, who converted his family’s farm into the first organic dairy in California, pointed to the park’s elimination of farm worker housing and jobs.

“My family’s support for the park’s formation was because it took the farms as a basis for the existence of this land that has been sustainably farmed for over 150 years. This chapter might be over, but the battle to keep our farming community intact continues,” Mr. Straus said. “The farms in this park are threatened. Both the National Park Service and the farms must work together to continue to make this an example of how farms can be sustainable and viable in our community.”

Kevin and Nancy Lunny thanked the semi-circle of supporters for their dedication to the cause. They proposed a toast to the “hundred-year operation” and a “day to remain together and to effect change” with a fresh oyster on the half-shell. The farm’s production manager Jorge Mata lifted his oyster and said, “Salud!” and everyone downed their bivavles.

“This would have been the hardest day of our lives, but you’ve made it possible to see the brightness,” Mr. Lunny told the crowd as a lone bagpiper began to play.

Later in the day, a handful of last-minute visitors and news cameras lingered near the shack’s doors, watching the line dwindle. They wanted to be there for the very end.

Employees still bustled with a job to do. “We still have everybody working,” Mr. Lunny said this week. “We’re keeping busy so we don’t have to lay anyone off, but it’s coming. Obviously without shucking and packing and without retail, it’s inevitable.”

A heavy-duty vehicle was parked by the shipping container that had served the oyster cannery, ready to lift the steel box off to temporary storage.

“It’s really sad,” said Elizabeth Candelario, a Healdsburg resident and self-declared “serious oyster eater,” who was the last customer to ever buy a plate of a dozen shucked oysters and enjoy them at the picnic tables. “I understand the environmental point of view, but then I also understand the point of view of this business. It’s ironic because they’ve been so good from an environmental standpoint. I sure have appreciated them.”

At 4:29 p.m. Andrea Peroni, a Forest Knolls resident who worked in the shop with her daughter Erica, asked, “Anyone else need help?” One more woman took home a bag of shells on ice. It was time to close. “Do we really want to close the doors?” Ms. Cummings asked.

“I think we just walk way with the doors open because we’re leaving it open for all possibilities,” said Loretta Murphy, a  manager for the farm. “We close the doors and it closes. I say, leave it open. Leave it open.”

“Let’s hope we can call you back,” Ms. Cummings told them, “and say, ‘Hey, we need ya.’” The retail ladies and shucking gals all stood outside in a loose group hug, not wanting the moment—or the era—to end.


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California: Protect Groundwater Rights

Agriculture - California, California water, Property rights, Ranch life, Scott River & Valley, State gov, Threats to agriculture, Water rights

Farm Team Action Alert

Stop AB 1739 & SB 1168 Take Action!

Protect Groundwater Rights

AB 1739 (Dickinson, D-Sacramento) and SB 1168 (Pavley, D-Agoura Hills), two groundwater management bills, began as a rush to solve groundwater management issues for basins in overdraft during the crisis of our current drought, but have now morphed into a significant water grab.

The two recently amended and identical bills have significant, negative impacts on:

• Groundwater rights
• Adjudicated areas already in existence
• Adjudications in the future
• Allocation of groundwater for environmental and habitat purposes
• New authorities for local districts, including a new fee authority

Farm Bureau agrees groundwater management is best accomplished at the local or regional level; however, there are very real concerns about this attempt to pass groundwater management policy with all the related complexities in the last few weeks of this legislative session. Poorly thought through policy will only devalue land and result in litigation, but will also impact jobs, county tax rolls and local economies.

It is imperative that decision-makers consider all the impacts any groundwater policy will have on those who live, work and rely on our agricultural landscape.

Act today to stop AB 1739 & SB 1168!

The Time has come for 51 — the State of Jefferson, splitting from California!

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What Drought? Govt. Doesn’t Live By Drought Rules

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, CORRUPTION, State gov, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Posted by Katy Grimes

at 8:10 am on Jul 22, 2014



If 80 percent of California is in extreme drought, as the Los Angeles Times just reported, where is the data and evidence?
City and county governments are still running sprinklers and wasting water as though there is no drought, yet threatening and even imposing penalties on citizens who violate unclear water policies.

The State Water Resources Control Board adopted new drought policy and regulations to give local agencies the authority to fine water wasters up to $500 a day.
Who are these board members, comfortable with imposing fines on citizens?
Water Board member Dorene D’Adamo, was also on the California Air Resources Board, since 1999, until 2013.
Board member, Frances Spivey-Weber was a director of international programs for the National Audubon Society, and previously a legislative assistant for the Animal Welfare Institute.
Chairwoman Felicia Marcus was the Western Director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Steven Moore served on the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board from 2008-2012 and held staff positions at that Regional Water Board over 14 years, and worked 10 years as an engineering consultant on a wide variety of water infrastructure projects, stream and wetland restoration projects, and Environmental Impact Reports throughout California.
Tam Doduc most recently served as Deputy Secretary at Cal/EPA, where she directed the agency’s environmental justice and external scientific peer review activities.
National Weather Service “data?”
The most recent National Weather Service Drought Monitor Update claims 81 percent of California in the category of extreme drought or worse, up from 78 percent.
A strange “map” also claims “drought conditions” worsened in parts of Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties, while never acknowledging that these parts of the state are actually considered desert. “The new data comes as officials are getting tough on water wasters,” the Los Angeles Times reported. Did the data follow the new penalties?

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