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Agriculture, Clean Water ACT - EPA, CORRUPTION, Federal gov & land grabs, Illegal, Lawsuits, Pacific Legal Foundation, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Way to go Pacific Legal Foundation ! — Editor Liz Bowen

Claiming control over ‘every pond, stream and ditch’ in country

July 16, 2015

Published: 1 hour ago

World Net Daily.com

A massive new power grab by bureaucrats in Washington that would give them control of “practically every pond, stream and ditch in the country” and the lands where they are is being challenged in court by a legal team that already has taken on – and defeated – federal efforts to run roughshod over Americans with water rules.
The newest fight is against the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and others for their announcement, at the end of June, to vastly expand the jurisdictional term “waters of the United States” under the clean Water Act.
A lawsuit was filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation because, as its principal attorney, M. Reed Hopper, explained, “This new regulation is an open-ended license for federal bureaucrats to assert control over nearly all of the nation’s water, and much of the property, from coast to coast.”
Have a retention pond in a park? Could be subject the new regulation. A low area where rain runoff from your neighborhood drains? Same thing. Isolated puddles in a cow pasture? Look out.
In fact, Hopper said, “Under its vague and limitless terms, the only waters that are clearly not subject to federal regulatory power are a few that are expressly excluded in the Clean Water Act, including artificial reflective pools, ornamental waters, some ground water, and gullies.”
Plaintiffs include the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, California Cattlemen’s Association, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, New Mexico Wool Growers Inc., New Mexico Federal Lands Council, Duarte Nursery Inc., Pierce Investment Co.’ LPF Properties and Hawks Co.
Judge Andrew Napolitano is issuing his warning, in “It Is Dangerous To Be Right When The Government Is Wrong.”
The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota.
The Sacramento-based legal team said the Washington rule “could bring virtually all the nation’s water and much of the land under direct federal regulatory control” because “it sets no limit on the CWA’s reach.”
It explicitly expands federal control to waters that the U.S. Supreme Court already has ruled “off-limits,” the team said.
The Clean Water Act, originally designated to protect “navigable” waters such as rivers, lakes and oceans, would now include “tributaries” no matter how small or remote, “neighboring” water without any connections, and “even isolated waters that the Supreme Court has held to be beyond CWA coverage.”
“In short, the administration is engaged in a sweeping power grab,” Hopper said. “Property owners around the country will be faced with the prospect of being micro-managed by federal bureaucrats. This turns our federal system on its head. Under our constitutional framework, the states and localities are charged with the primary role in land use regulation and local water-quality protection.
“The Obama administration’s sweeping new rule usurps the authority and responsibility of the states, and empowers bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., to act as zoning and land use czars for the entire nation.”
Billy Gatlin, of the California Cattlemen’s Association, said the rule is vague and creates confusion over what ranching activities might, or might now, now be allowed.
Jose Varela of the new Mexico Cattle Growers Association noted his family has been on his land for 14 generations.
“I believe we have the history to prove that we are caretakers of the water and the land without the help of the Environmental Protection Agency,” he said.
The complaint seeks declaratory judgments that the EPA’s expansive claims to control of all tributaries, adjacent waters, interstate waters, isolated waters and more is contrary to law and invalid.
It explains that the Supreme Court already has ruled that the agencies can regulate some wetlands adjacent to navigable waters, but they cannot take control of isolated water bodies or certain tributaries.
The EPA proposed the rule change in 2014, and made it final on June 29, 2015.
If the rule change stands, the complaint explains, “landowners” will be required to seek a federal permit, at a significant cost perhaps of tens of thousands of dollars, to use their own property.
Lawsuits also have been filed over the past few days by 27 states challenging the EPA plan because it violates the Clean Water Act, Supreme Court precedent and state rules in its action.
“The results of this rule will carry a tremendous cost to our state, our economy, and our families,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a statement.
“The EPA’s proposed expansion would bring many roadside ditches, small ponds on family farms, water features on golf courses, and storm water systems under extremely burdensome federal regulation.”
States involved include South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Utah, Wisconsin, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana.
The Pacific Legal Foundation has taken on Washington’s bureaucrats directly in the past, most notably in the Sackett case from Priest Lake, Idaho. There a couple bought some land and, with building permissions, started work on their dream home.
Along came the Environmental Protection Agency with a determination that the parcel contained “wetlands” and gave the couple the options to abandon their land, seek a prohibitively expensive permit or face millions of dollars in fines.
The federal agency also contended the couple was not allowed to seek a judicial review of its decision.
But in a case assembled by the foundation, the Supreme Court ruled the EPA cannot issue a “drive-by” decision regarding wetlands and then prohibit the owner from using the property or challenging the decision.
The Supreme Court said the EPA must provide a process through which a challenge to its decision can be addressed in a meaningful way. The case was called a “precedent-setting victory for the rights of all property owners.”
A legal team spokesman said at the time: “The justices have made it clear that EPA bureaucrats are answerable to the law and the courts just like the rest of us. EPA can’t try to micromanage people and their property – it can’t order property owners to dance like marionettes – while denying them any meaningful right to appeal to the courts. It can’t threaten property owners with financial ruin and not have to justify its threats to a judge. And it can’t issue lazy, drive-by ‘wetlands’ edicts about private property.”
WND reported earlier on the looming rule change, when the PLF submitted comments to Washington warning of the dangers.
“On its face, the proposed rule covers virtually every water in the nation,” the team told the government in a comment procedure in advance of any final decision on the plan. “Under this rule, a prudent legal practitioner would have to advise his client that the only waters not covered are those few that are expressly exempt.”
The legal team warned, “If a water body isn’t a ‘traditional navigable water,’ it is a ‘tributary.’ If it isn’t a ‘tributary,’ it is an ‘adjacent water.’ If it isn’t an ‘adjacent water,’ it is an ‘other water.’ All of which are subject to onerous federal regulation.
“If it isn’t a water at all, it is still covered by the fine print in Footnote 3 of the proposed rule that states the terms ‘waters’ and ‘water bodies’ ‘do not refer solely to the water contained in these aquatic systems, but to the system as a whole including associated chemical, physical and biological features.’”
Pacific Legal said the “seemingly innocuous language is troubling because it can be interpreted to include runoff, dry land, man-made structures, and flora and fauna.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/feds-sued-over-massive-water-rule-power-grab/#RuZ9Xbs774mhaEBz.99

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Update from HJTA on lawsuit against CA Fire Prevention Fee TAX

Fire Fees, Illegal, Lawsuits, Liberty, State gov

From Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc.

Our attorneys are reviewing 13,000 pages of documents

Many people affected by the fire tax have asked us when our lawsuit will be resolved.

With our state’s high unemployment and high poverty rates, we understand your frustration with this burdensome tax. Unfortunately lawsuits can take a long time and that is especially true here because this is a “class action” with lots of complicated procedures.

Our legal department is currently working on a phase of the case known as “discovery,” where both sides are given the opportunity to ask each other for relevant information.

After our attorneys sent the State’s lawyers formal questions and requests for important documents, the State sent back 13,000 pages of material.

Our attorneys are presently reviewing these documents in order to prepare for trial. We will continue to provide periodic updates regarding this matter.



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Oregon Water-taking 2001 lawsuit moves forward

Federal gov & land grabs, Illegal, Klamath River & Dams, Lawsuits, Liberty

Klamath Water Users Defeat Section 1500 Dismissal

    Marzulla Law Legal Report

     The Klamath Basin water users have won another round in their quest to recover just compensation for taking their water in 2001, defeating the Government’s motion to dismiss under 28 U.S.C. § 1500.  The water users suffered a cutoff of all irrigation water in 2001 when the United States Fish and Wildlife Service determined that water be left in the Klamath Project Reservoir to protect two endangered species of sucker fish, and later be released to protect a Klamath River salmon run.  That takings suit is pending in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC.

Long Road to Their Day in Court 

     In 2001, 31 plaintiffs filed suit in the CFC (Klamath Irrigation District v. United States) asserting two claims: just compensation under the Fifth Amendment for the taking of their water rights and damages for impairment of their water rights in violation of the Klamath Compact.  On January 31, 2005 the Klamath plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding a claim for breach of contract.   The CFC entered summary judgment in favor of the Government on the takings and Klamath Compact claims in 2005 and on the contract claims in 2007.  On appeal, the Federal Circuit certified a set of state law questions to the Oregon Supreme Court in 2008.  The Oregon Supreme Court issued its opinion on the certified questions in 2010.  The Federal Circuit then reversed and vacated the entries of summary judgment and remanded the case to the CFC in February 2011 for a new determination of liability and damages.

     On remand back to the CFC, the Government again moved to dismiss under Section 1500, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the claims.  The Government’s motion cited two grounds for dismissal:  First, that at the time Klamath was filed, a case was pending in district court with the same “operative facts” as Klamath; and second, that the plaintiffs in that district court case were the “assignees” of the Klamath plaintiffs because they had “a stake in the outcome of the district court action.”  Under Section 1500, the CFC lacks jurisdiction over any claim for or in respect to which the plaintiff or his assignee has pending in any other court any suit or process against the United States.  The Government’s “assignee” argument was novel and an attempt to broadly expand the reach of Section 1500.

     The CFC denied the Government’s motion (except for one claim of three plaintiffs who had also been plaintiffs in the Kandra district court proceeding).  Rejecting the Government’s argument that the Kandra plaintiffs were assignees of the CFC plaintiffs, the CFC held that “[t]here is no evidence that the plaintiffs before this court transferred any of their property, interests or rights to the [Klamath Water Users’ Association] (or any of the other Kandra parties).  It follows, a fortiori, that they are not ‘assignees’ under the ordinary definitions of that term.”

     The CFC also refused to dismiss any of the takings or Klamath Compact claims, including the claims of the three plaintiffs that had participated in Kandra, stating that they were not based on the same operative facts as Kandra: “In terms of the takings claim, the issues of fact and law raised by the Kandra complaint and the plaintiffs’ complaint here have little in common. In Kandra, the plaintiffs sought an injunction enjoining the Bureau from implementing a revised plan, issued April 6, 2001, that terminated the delivery of irrigation water to many individuals and irrigation districts for the year 2001.”

     Having survived with their case largely intact, the plaintiffs are now preparing their claims for trial. The trial court has ordered the parties to complete discovery on the remaining claims by December 19, 2014, clearing the way for a possible trial in 2015.

California Faces Devastating
Drought Conditions

     The California Department of Water Resources has announced a zero allocation of irrigation water for State Water Project irrigators, citing the ongoing drought.  As the Sacramento Bee reports, “it is the first time a ‘zero allocation’ forecast has been made in the 54-year history of the State Water Project . . . .” The announcement comes as California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of drought emergency, calling “all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.”  The “zero” forecast affects farmers and ranchers from San Jose to San Diego—a region of California that some have called “the Food Basket of the World,” producing just under 13% of all agricultural production in the United States.  The 29 water agencies in this area serve 25 million people and nearly 1 million acres of farmland.

     In addition to the zero allocation forecast, the State has also ordered 5,800 junior water rights holders, mostly agricultural users, to stop taking water—a decision not made since the drought of 1977.  The Los Angeles Times reports Jim Beck, general manager of the Kern County Water Agency as describing the zero allocation as a “huge disaster that will dramatically affect our growers economically” that “should be viewed with the same urgency and response as an earthquake and wildfire.”

     Since the mid-2000s, water that would otherwise be diverted from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to alleviate drought conditions must remain in the river to protect runs of salmon and the delta smelt, federally protected endangered species.  Last week the House passed legislation that would restore a 1994 compromise between environmentalists and water users that was intended to protect both fish and agriculture.  That compromise—known as the Bay-Delta Accords—was signed by both state and federal agencies with conservation and water management responsibilities over the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  But in 2009, the federal government reversed course when the White House required increased diversions for the benefit of salmon and the delta smelt.  House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) accuses the Government of failing to “recognize the damage it can cause when it gets in between our country’s farmers and a critical resource . . . .”

     Members of California’s House Congressional delegation have also petitioned Governor Brown and the Secretary of the Interior to change the way water operations are conducted to help the farmers affected by the drought.  Congressman Jim Costa (D-Calif.), a member of the House committees on Natural Resources and Agriculture, has called for the Governor to suspend the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act—the state’s equivalent of the National Environmental Policy Act.

     Here is a recent graph from the California Department of Water Resources depicting California’s average precipitation by water year.



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Fire Tax court day approaching

Fire Fees, Illegal, Lawsuits, State gov

The fire tax will soon receive its day in court and citizens are welcome to watch the proceedings directly from the gallery of the courtroom.

With written arguments already exchanged between the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the State, the upcoming hearing will give HJTA lawyers the opportunity to appear before a judge and urge that this case be allowed to move forward so that this unfair tax be repealed and refunds granted to those affected.

If you plan to attend, please arrive a little early, dress appropriately, be quiet and respectful in the courtroom, and turn your cell phone off.  If you have a “Burned by the Fire Tax” tee shirt, feel free to wear it.

If you want a tee shirt, you can pick one up from our office at 921 Eleventh Street, Suite 1201, Sacramento.  Here are the details for the hearing:

Date:  Friday, July 19, 2013
Time:  10:00 a.m.
Place:  Dept. 14, Sacramento Superior Court, 720 Ninth St., Sacramento

This court hearing is an important step forward in our fight to stop the fire tax, which we believe is illegal under Prop. 13 because it was not passed with a two thirds vote.

See you on July 19th!

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Drug arrests made by Siskiyou Co. Sheriff deputies

Illegal, Sheriff Jon Lopey




                On Thursday, October 18th, Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) deputies spotted a vehicle suspected of containing a wanted felon, Mr. Shawn Timothy O’Leary, 26, of Yreka, on State Route (SR) 263 north of Yreka.  Deputies observed up to three occupants in the vehicle and attempted to initiate a traffic stop when the driver turned from SR 263 to westbound SR 96.  The driver hesitated and would not initially yield and failed to stop.  The driver, Mr. Vincent Bowers, 44, of Yreka and Ms. Kari Landrum, 37, of Happy Camp, then exited the vehicle as it slowed to a stop.  Mr. O’Leary then fled the area at a high-rate of speed in the vehicle as the solo occupant.  A pursuit was initiated as the vehicle continued westbound on SR 96 from SR 263 in an apparent attempt to evade arrest at unsafe and reckless speeds, violating a number of traffic laws.  After traveling for several miles, the vehicle collided with a guard rail on SR 96 between mile post markers 85 and 86 as the driver attempted to negotiate a sharp curve at an unsafe speed.  Mr. O’Leary fled the collision scene on foot into a nearby wooded area near the Klamath River.  SCSO Deputies, members of the SCSO Special Response Team, SCSO Detectives, and SCSO Canine “Caro” tracked Mr. O’Leary to the wooded area where he was believed to be hiding.  With the help of the canine, Mr. O’Leary was located hiding in a tree and was taken into custody without incident.   Additional assistance was provided by the California Highway Patrol.

               A search of the vehicle revealed approximately two ounces of methamphetamine and a large bag of marijuana.  Deputies also retrieved ammunition and a firearm that were thrown from the vehicle during the pursuit.  After his arrival at the Siskiyou County Jail, Siskiyou County Jail staff located additional methamphetamine on Mr. O’Leary’s person.

           Mr. O’Leary is currently lodged in the Siskiyou County Jail on several criminal charges including felony evading a peace officer, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance, transportation of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance in jail, possession of a controlled substance for sale, felon in possession of ammunition and possession of a switchblade knife. He is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail.

         The additional occupants of the vehicle, Mr. Bowers and Ms. Landrum, were also arrested and booked into the Siskiyou County Jail.  Mr. Bowers was charged with being an accessory to a crime and obstruction of a public officer. He posted $25,000 bail and was released. Ms. Landrum was booked on charges of possession of concentrated cannabis and possession of more than 28.5 grams of marijuana.  Ms. Landrum appeared in court on Friday, October 19, 2012 and was released on her own recognizance.

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There’s pot in them hills: Out-of-state folks arrested on pot charges in separate incidents in Trinity County


PNP comment: Illegal marijuana growers and drug traficking is abundant and rampant in Northern California. Anyone going into the Public Land’s should be cautious. — Editor Liz Bowen

Officials arrest suspects fromFlorida, Utah


  • Posted October 22, 2012 at 11:37 p.m.

Trinity County authorities stayed busy late last week, cracking down on a section of the rural county apparently rife with out-of-state marijuana sellers.

First, they arrested two Florida men Friday after the two were seen speeding on Fawn Lodge Road, according to the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office.

When the California Highway Patrol officer stopped Keiston Marquell Shivers, 24, of Pittville, the officer smelled marijuana, deputies said.

Because of the scent, the officer searched Shivers’ vehicle and found a box of $50,000 and evidence that led him to believe the two were involved in a drug trafficking ring, deputies said.

The Trinity Narcotics Task Force came to the area to investigate, as well as a police canine that went toward the money.

Read more:


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Siskiyou Sheriff’s Office busts 2,145 pounds of marijuana

Illegal, Sheriff Jon Lopey



On October 12, 2012 the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office’s (SCSO) Marijuana Eradication Team (MET) followed up on an anonymous tip of a marijuana farm located in the 1800 block of Timmons Road in Gazelle.  An investigation revealed there was a sizeable marijuana cultivation site at the location.

 SCSO MET enlisted the aid of additional resources including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA – Redding), Siskiyou County Wide Interagency Narcotics Task Force (SCINTF), North State Marijuana Investigation Team (NSMIT – Redding), California Department of Justice (DOJ) Yreka Police Department, and California Highway Patrol (CHP).

The DEA contacted The Assistant United States Attorney who agreed to proceed with a federal search warrant for the location. A surveillance operation revealed that the occupants of the rural property harvested a large portion of the marijuana crop.  The land occupants were observed placing the harvested crop into a rental truck.

The rental truck departed the location and was subsequently stopped on Interstate 5, north of Dunsmuir with assistance from the CHP.  A subsequent search of the rental truck revealed it was packed with marijuana.  The two female adult occupants of the rental truck, Ms. Vongphachanh Daranikone, 52 of Jacksonville, FL and Ms. Johanna Daranikone, 31 of Sacramento, CA were arrested at the location for drug trafficking charges and later transported to and booked at the Siskiyou County Jail.   Both were charged with possession and transportation of marijuana for sale with a bail amount of $75,000.  Both arrestees posted bail and have since been released from custody.

The marijuana farm on Timmons Road was under continual surveillance during the evening and early morning hours. On October 13, 2012 members of the DEA, SCINTF, DOJ, NSMIT, Yreka Police Department, SCSO MET, and the Sheriff’s Siskiyou County Special Response Team (SRT) served the Federal Search Warrant at the location.

Roughly 2,145 pounds of marijuana was confiscated during the operation. Five additional occupants of the home at the location were arrested and booked for drug-related charges.  Mr. Jimmy Sengthavongsouk, 62, of Grenada, Sandon Thosychanh, 68, of Sacramento, Khaiseng Thosychanh, 32, of Sacramento, Sockxay Thosychanh, 63 of Sacramento, and Onuma Sengthavongsouk, 51, of Fresno were arrested and booked at the Siskiyou County Jail for marijuana cultivation charges with a bail set at $75,000.00.

Sheriff Jon Lopey said, “This was a great example of interagency cooperation and coordination and a case of good police work generated from a citizen’s tip.  We appreciate the team effort from the many participating agencies and the assistance from the citizen that made this significant drug seizure and the ensuing arrests a reality.  The Sheriff’s Office and law enforcement partners seized over a ton of marijuana from the property and vehicle.”

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office’s Marijuana Eradication Team would like to remind the public to be vigilant and aware of their surrounding when conducting outdoor activities on public and private lands of Siskiyou County, especially rural, remote areas of the county.  Generally, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have seen an increase in the number of illegal marijuana cultivation sites within various regions of California on public and private land areas.

Although many illicit grow sites have been encountered on Forest Service land areas, more sites are being located in rural private land areas such as leased ranches and farms.  Suspicious activities observed or plastic conduit, water lines, generators, marijuana plants or odors, large amounts of trash, armed people in non-hunting areas, farm implements, fertilizer, chemicals, or strange behavior or “out-of-place” attire worn by people observed in these areas are possible indicators of illegal marijuana grow sites and should be reported immediately to the Marijuana Eradication Team directly by calling 530-842-8328, or 530-842-8328.

A precise location and descriptions of your observations, including locations, vehicles, and suspects are always helpful. Anonymous tips or messages are also welcome.  Secret witness rewards are available for information leading to successful arrests and ensuing investigations.  You may also contact Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch 24 hours a day at 530-841-2900.

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Authorities cite ‘excessive’ numbers of plants when raiding medical marijuana gardens


By Record Searchlight staff

  • Posted October 6, 2012 at 7:03 p.m.

Authorities around California have been raiding medical marijuana gardens on private lands, saying the “excessive” size of the grows show they’re not medicinal.

Investigators say the use of smaller, private illegal gardens are growing here in the north state, too.

“It’s probably quadrupled in the last two years,” said Sgt. Barry Powell, head of the Shasta County Marijuana Investigative Team.

He said it’s also posing problems for investigators, who have to spend much more time to bust much smaller grows.

Read it:


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