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Browsing the archives for the Salmon and fish category.

CA Natural Resources pushes, again, for control over Siskiyou rivers

California Rivers, California water, Klamath River & Dams, Salmon and fish, Scott River & Valley, Siskiyou County, State gov

PNP comment: Look at the out-of-area dictators, who want to tell Siskiyou County and its residents how we should live. — Editor Liz Bowen

Additional comment by Rex Cozallio, landowner below Irongate dam near Hornbrook, CA:

I was extremely agitated and disheartened to become aware of this proposition that would severely impact our region submitted in February by a non resident assemblywoman  out of GLENDALE, California ‘sponsored’ (paid for) by ‘Friends of the River’, and ‘supported’ by 23 more profiting ‘non-profits’ and NO OPPOSITION!  This relentless onslaught, mounting countless paid for attacks with the ever-expanding objective of effectively confiscating vested private and public property without compensation or  impacted regional input, must end.  Quickly and quietly shoved through lobbied ‘legislative process’, their obvious and successful theory is that a certain portion will sneak through before sufficient public awareness, further empowering the unelected policy-driven bureaucratic power base permitting public oppression and the further social/economic division of classes.  This ‘provision’ adds an incredible, ridiculous, and impossible-to-survive complete and unimpeded REWILDING of the affected regional rivers, particularly the Klamath, Scott, and Shasta.  It not only prescribes unrestricted ‘natural’ accretion and avulsion of riparian property, it discretionarily restricts ANY use of riparian areas within a QUARTER OF A MILE of EACH side of the rivers.

In searching for the legislation last night, the ONLY reference I could find that wasn’t an unrelated 2013 Bill of the same number, was the sponsoring ‘Friends of the River’ website.  A link within that led to the Assembly woman’s promotional page.  From multiple calls I found out the Bill I heard about last night is in Natural Resource committee ‘hearings’ TODAY.  The only other ‘opportunity’ to publically ‘respond’ will be at the next as yet unscheduled or posted Administrative/Budgetary hearing.

After talking to the ‘legislative analyst’ Michael Jered about the unnotified and most impacted regions in opposition, I was admonished on several fronts.  Unequivocally saying that failing to access the information was my and the local representatives’ fault since it was submitted in February, and that I should take up any complaints with them, he graciously allowed that I may write a letter of opposition which he could ‘place in the file’, even though it would not be acknowledged, but would be ‘available’ in the event someone ‘wanted to read it’.

He also said I could have certainly gone to Sacramento to testify to the Committee ‘if I wanted’, but of course that ‘would not be possible for today’ and any failure to go to legis.ca.gov to inform myself was ‘my problem’, and that is ‘just the way the process works’.

Telling him it did not show up on a search of that site, he assured me that it was there and I just wasn’t doing it right.  Insisting I was wrong, he went to the legis site and said ‘just look at the 2015-2016 legislation’,  at which point he hesitated and said ‘oh, I guess they haven’t posted the years legislation yet’ (in March, and this is the first he knew?).

If you wish to call him, his number is 916-319-2092, but it appears the only way to impact the progression now is to actively push to somehow track it AFTER it no doubt passes through Committee today, the point at which we would likely have been the most able to rescind.

All the Best,

Rex Cozzalio

 

CA ab975..please read time sensitive, hearing date March 20th

Date of Hearing: March 20, 2017

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES

Cristina Garcia, Chair

ABPCA Bill Id:AB 975 (

Author:Friedman) – As Introduced Ver:February 16, 2017

SUBJECT:  Natural resources:  wild and scenic rivers

SUMMARY:  Adds “historical, cultural, geological, ecological, hydrological (i.e., unique source, direction, or quantity of water flows), botanical or other values” to the values that certain rivers possess and the state should preserve.  Expands the area protected in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System (System) from immediately adjacent to the river segment to within a quarter mile of the river.

EXISTING LAW, pursuant to the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Act):

  • Declares that it is the policy of the state that certain rivers that possess extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, or wildlife values be preserved in their “free-flowing” state, together with their immediate environments, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the state. Declares that such use of these rivers is the highest and most beneficial use and is a reasonable and beneficial use of water.

  • Defines “free-flowing” as existing or flowing without artificial impoundment, diversion, or other modification of the river. (The presence of low dams, diversion works, and other minor structures does not automatically bar a river’s inclusion within the System.)

  • Requires that those rivers or segments of rivers included in the System be classified as one of the following:

    1. Wild rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted;

  1. Scenic rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped but accessible in places by roads; or

  1. Recreational rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are readily accessible by road or railroad, may have some development along their shorelines, and may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.

  • Designates several California rivers and segments thereof as components of the System.

  • Requires the Natural Resources Agency (NRA) to be responsible for coordinating the activities of state agencies whose activities affect the rivers in the System with those of other state, local, and federal agencies with jurisdiction over matters that may affect the rivers.

FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown

 

COMMENTS:

  • Author’s statement:

AB 975 brings the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System more in line with the federal system, improving state management of rivers that enjoy dual state-federal designation, and allowing for the protection of existing and future state rivers that possess additional values beyond those currently mentioned in the Act.

  • The Act. The Act was passed in 1972 to preserve designated rivers possessing extraordinary scenic, recreation, fishery, or wildlife values.  With its initial passage, the System protected segments of the Smith River and tributaries, Klamath River and tributaries, Scott River, Salmon River, Trinity River, Eel River, Van Duzen River, and American River.  The System was subsequently expanded by the Legislature to include the East Carson and West Walker Rivers in 1989, the South Yuba River in 1999, the Albion River and Gualala Rivers in 2003, and Cache Creek in 2005.  In addition, segments of the McCloud River, Deer Creek, and Mill Creek were protected under the Act in 1989 and 1995 respectively, although these segments were not formally designated as components of the System.

The Act provides a number of legal protections for rivers included within the System, beginning with the following legislative declaration:

It is the policy of the State of California that certain rivers which possess extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, or wildlife values shall be preserved in their free-flowing state, together with their immediate environments, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the state.  The Legislature declares that such use of these rivers is the highest and most beneficial use and is a reasonable and beneficial use of water within the meaning of Section 2 of Article X of the California Constitution.

The Act defines “free-flowing” as “existing or flowing without artificial impoundment, diversion, or other modification of the river.”  The existence of minor structures, or even major dams located upstream or downstream of a specific segment, does not preclude a river from designation.  Several rivers, such as the Klamath, Trinity, Eel, and Lower American, are included in the System despite substantial flow modifications by existing upstream dams and impoundments.

No dam, reservoir, diversion, or other water impoundment facility may be constructed on any river segment included in the System.  However, there are exemptions, which include temporary flood storage facilities on the Eel River and temporary recreational impoundments on river segments with a history of such impoundments.  NRA cannot authorize these temporary recreational impoundments without first making a number of findings.

A cornerstone of the Act is the non-degradation clause, which prohibits new projects and activities from adversely affecting the free-flowing condition and natural character of river segments included in the System.

The Act was patterned after the 1968 National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Federal Act).  The state and federal Acts share similar criteria and definitions in regard to the purpose of protecting rivers, the identification of free flowing rivers and extraordinary or outstanding values suitable for protection, establishing a study process to include rivers in the system, as well as an identical classification system.  The primary purpose of both the state and federal Acts is to prohibit new water impoundments on designated rivers.

  • Consistency with the Federal Act. The state Act differs from the Federal Act in that it does not recognize as many river values.  The additional values in the Federal Act include historical, cultural, geologic, and “other similar” values.  Federal agencies have interpreted “similar” values to include ecological, botanical, and hydrological.  When NRA studied the East Carson and West Walker Rivers they found them to have extraordinary hydrological values.  However, that value is not in the Act.  AB 975 adds the additional values considered by Federal agencies, but it also adds “other” values.  This differs from the Federal Act because it is vague compared to “other similar” values.  The author and committee may wish to consider amending the bill to reflect the Federal Act by using “other similar” values.

The Federal Act also creates protections within a quarter mile of a river in the system.  The state Act defines immediate environments to be immediately adjacent to the river, and defines river to include up to the first line of permanently established riparian vegetation.  AB 975 would align the state Act with the Federal Act by defining immediate environments to include within quarter mile of segments of the river.  This change would have the effect of directing state and local governments to act in a manner that protects the additional immediate environment.  In addition, AB 975 would provide more consistent direction for rivers in the federal System that the state manages.

  • Previous legislation.

AB 142 (Bigelow), Chapter 661, Statutes of 2015, requires, prior to the designation of the Mokelumne River, the NRA to conduct a study analyzing the suitability or non-suitability of the Mokelumne River, its tributaries, or portions of the river for addition to the System.

SB 1199 (Hancock, 2014) would have designated a 37-mile portion of the Mokelumne River in Calaveras and Amador Counties in the Sierra Nevada as a wild and scenic river.  SB 1199 was held in the Assembly Appropriation Committee.

SB 904 (Chesbro), Chapter 545, Statutes of 2004, requires state agencies to protect the free-flowing character and extraordinary values of designated rivers and to clarify that Special Treatment Areas under the Forest Practices Rules are applied to rivers classified as recreational or scenic as well as those classified as wild.

REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

Support

American Rivers
American Whitewater
Butte Environmental Council
California Water Impact Network
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
California Outdoors
California Wilderness Coalition
CalTrout
Coast Action Group
Defenders of Wildlife
Foothill Conservancy
Friends of the Eel River

Friends of the River
KIER Associates
Merced River Conservation Committee
Natural Resources Defense Council
Northcoast Environmental Center
Northern California Council International Federation of Fly Fishers
North Fork American River Alliance
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
Sacramento River Preservation Trust
Safe Alternatives For Our Forest Environment
Sierra Club California
South Yuba River Citizens League

Two individuals

Opposition

None on file

Analysis Prepared by:   Michael Jarred / NAT. RES. /

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Alaska: It’s time for the 3 C’s of Alaska seafood: crab, coho and cod

Salmon and fish

PNP comment: Still lots of coho salmon to eat, legally, in Alaska. No, coho should not be listed to the Endangered Species Act as the species is alive and doing well. — Editor Liz Bowen

Anchorage Daily News

Food and Drink

It’s time for the 3 C’s of Alaska seafood: crab, coho and cod

  • Author:
  • Updated: 3 hours ago
  • Published Jan. 31, 2017

As the calendar turns to February, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council is thinking about the three Cs. In a seafood-centric place like Alaska, the three Cs are crab, coho and cod.

AMCC is kicking off its Catch of the Season program with a pop-up market at the council’s Anchorage office, 106 F St. It is selling the three Cs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and Feb. 9-10. The sales are first come, first served.

“We decided to kick-off our year with a pop-up market so new and returning customers would have an opportunity to meet our Anchorage-based team,” said Jen Leahy, AMCC communications and engagement manager. “Our customers support Catch of the Season primarily for two reasons: they’re excited about the incredible quality of the seafood and they want to feel more connected to the people behind the product.

“This is also a great time of year for us to help Alaskans top off their freezers with local seafood. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we figured folks might be interested in special treats like Norton Sound red king crab legs or the Taku River coho fillets, which get their clean, pure flavor from a technique called pressure bleeding. We decided to round out this offering with our jig-caught Pacific cod, which is extremely versatile and a great value. For those of us who have concerns about factory-farmed meat, wild cod is a great alternative to chicken. It’s my go-to protein for weeknight meals.”

The Norton Sound red king crab is $250 for a 10-pound box; the Kodiak Jig Seafoods Pacific cod fillets come in 3- to 4-pound packages for $7 per pound; and the Taku River coho fillets come in 2- to 4-pound packages for $11 per pound. The coho packages include a single fillet.

“There are some logistical constraints to doing a seafood offering during the winter, which is why this initial offering is limited to Anchorage,” Leahy said. “Rather than pre-ordering seafood in larger share sizes — that’s the standard model for community supported fisheries — our pop-up market allows us to offer more options to our customers. So instead of purchasing 20 pounds of cod, they might opt to buy two packs of cod fillets and try a of coho fillet. Or maybe they just want one box of king crab legs.

“It’s a nice way for Anchorage customers to try something new, feel more connected to their food, and learn more about AMCC and our work to keep Alaska’s fisheries healthy.”

https://www.adn.com/alaska-life/food-drink/2017/01/31/its-time-for-the-3-cs-of-alaska-seafood-crab-coho-and-cod/

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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San Joaquin Valley: 600 salmon will cost region $250 million

Salmon and fish

600 fish will cost 209 region $250 million

Manteca Bulletin

A state bid to increase the net annual number of new fish on three rivers that provide the economic lifeblood for the Northern San Joaquin Valley threatens to cost thousands of jobs with a permanent yearly economic loss of $250 million out of the pockets of the region’s 1.5 million residents.

It is why the South San Joaquin Irrigation District is imploring those that will be impacted by the plan — farmers, residents, developers, businesses, and cities — to make their concerns known at a State Water Control Board public input meeting on Friday, Dec. 16, at the Stockton Civic Auditorium starting at 9 a.m.

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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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Fish disease prompts river flushing

Air, Climate & Weather, California water, Endangered Species Act, Federal gov & land grabs, Hypocrisy, Klamath River & Dams, Salmon and fish, Trinity County, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: While it is commendable to want to help inland resident trout, low summer flows are the typical type of summer environment they live in — and do survive. Anyone claiming there is a need to artificially pulse the rivers — in hot August and September — are buying into the lie that it helps salmon.

It actually targets and stimulates the salmon that are happily playing in the ocean to start swimming inland, when there is not sufficient water flows for them. (Pulsing artificially suggests that the autumn rains have arrived  — of which they have not!)

So the salmon will begin swimming up river, when the trouts’ disease and the back-to-normal low water flows will greatly endanger the lives of the salmon. What a bunch of disgusting bunk and fraudulent science pulsing truly is. Why would anyone want to bring the salmon up river before the real autumn rains naturally raise the water flows? — Editor Liz Bowen

 

By Damon Arthur of the Redding Record Searchlight

Posted: Yesterday 6:58 p.m.

To prevent an outbreak of a deadly fish-killing disease, federal officials plan to begin tripling the amount of water flowing out of Lewiston Dam and into the Trinity River.

Starting Thursday, the amount of water coming out of Lewiston Dam will increase from 450 cubic-feet per second to about 1,300 cfs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dam.

The Trinity River flows into the Klamath River and the higher flows in the Trinity are meant to aid salmon and trout in the Klamath.

Federal officials and others are worried about an outbreak of a disease called ich, which spreads among fish crowded into slow-moving pools of warm water in the river. The higher flows from the Trinity are supposed to flush out the lower Klamath with cooler water and reduce crowding among the fish.

A small number of fish have become infected in “extremely warm water” in the Klamath, said Michael Belchik, a senior fisheries biologist for the Yurok Tribe, which is based on the Klamath River.

An ich outbreak in 2002 killed some 35,000 salmon and steelhead trout in the river.

“We take this threat to our fish very seriously, and we’re looking at every option to protect our fish,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke, Yurok Tribe chairman. “We don’t want to go through another catastrophe like the fish kill in 2002, and we will do anything we can to avoid that outcome this year.”

The Klamath Fish Health Assessment Team, which monitors fish fitness in the river, rated danger in the stream on Wednesday at “yellow” because of unfavorable physical and chemical conditions in the stream.

There are four “levels of readiness,” for the river, starting at green, the lowest level and best conditions for fish. Levels increase to yellow, orange and red, which means a fish kill is imminent or underway, according to the team’s website.

During the past several years of warm summer weather and drought, the higher releases from Lewiston Dam have been an annual event in August and September.

This year’s higher flows, which could go as high as 3,500 cfs, are expected to last until late September.

David Coxey, general manager of the Bella Vista Water District in Redding, said sending more water down the Trinity River means there will be less water for cities and agriculture in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.

Nearly all the municipal water districts in the Redding area get water through the bureau.

“It’s disheartening how our supply reliability continues to erode,” Coxey said.

There is also less hydropower generated when more water is sent down the Trinity River, Coxey said.

Water is shipped via large pipes from Lewiston Lake to Whiskeytown Lake, where it is used to also generate power at the Carr Powerhouse. The water is then shipped by pipe again from Whiskeytown to Keswick Reservoir, where power is generated again at the Spring Creek Powerhouse.

Higher flows into the Trinity and Klamath rivers also ultimately mean less water flowing into the Sacramento River to aid endangered winter-run chinook salmon that spawn in the river in Redding, Coxey said.

“This is a discouraging decision that further hurts the salmon over here,” he said.

# # #

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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Alaska: 20 years after dad’s victory, Anchorage man wins Seward Silver Salmon Derby

Salmon and fish

PNP comment: Hum, coho are not on the federal Endangered Species Act list in Alaska — only in Northern California. This article proves the coho are indeed plentiful. — Editor Liz Bowen

Alaska Dispatch News

  • Author:
  • Updated: 12 hours ago
  • Published 13 hours ago

The Hanson family – 81-year-old Otto, 57-year-old David, 55-year-old Mike – was about to call it a day Friday afternoon while fishing for silvers in Resurrection Bay.

It was 2:20 p.m., they had been on the water for more than eight hours and they had caught just one coho. Mike was ready to head back to shore.

“I reeled in and said, ‘Are we gonna call it good?’ Dad said, ‘Let’s give it another 25 minutes.’

“He said to keep fishing till 2:45,” Mike said. “I hooked it at 2:37.”

On his last-gasp cast, Mike Hanson hooked the winner of the 61st annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby.

His 16.22-pound fish, caught with a hoochie at Tonsina Point, came on a big anniversary for the Anchorage family. An Alaskan might call it a silver anniversary.

Twenty years ago, Otto won the 1996 derby with a 17.42-pound coho.

“Leading up to this there was a whole lot of conversation, sort of a focus that this was the 20-year anniversary and hoping he would win again,” Mike said. “In 20 years from now maybe one of my children can win it.”

Don’t bet against it. The derby has been very good to the Hansons, who head to Seward every August.

“This is our Olympics,” Mike said.

Otto, who spends more time at his Ninilchik cabin than his Anchorage home, has been a derby regular for about 50 years. He arrives in Seward a week before the derby starts to procure the family a prime beachfront camping spot, Mike said.

More

http://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/fishing/2016/08/21/20-years-after-dads-victory-anchorage-man-wins-seward-silver-salmon-derby/

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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Judge: Plan for restoring Northwest salmon runs not enough

CORRUPTION, Courts, Dams other than Klamath, Salmon and fish
 

PNP comment: Looks like the destruction of 4 Klamath dams are not the only dams the Greenies want to destroy. In the Klamath situation, demolishing the 4 hydro-electric dams will only cause huge environmental devastation with 100s of tons of toxic sediment washing down river contaminating the river bed, the water ruining salmon runs for years. — Editor Liz Bowen

GENE JOHNSON

Associated Press

May 4, 2016

SEATTLE (AP) — A massive habitat restoration effort by the U.S. government doesn’t do nearly enough to improve Northwest salmon runs, a federal judge ruled Thursday, handing a major victory to conservationists, anglers and others who hope to someday see four dams on the Snake River breached to make way for the fish.

In a long-running lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon in Portland, Oregon, rejected the federal government’s latest plan for offsetting the damage that dams in the Columbia River Basin pose to salmon, saying it violates the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

It was the fifth time since 2001 that the court has invalidated the government’s plans, and rulings in the case show increasing impatience with federal agencies, including NOAA Fisheries, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. In his 149-page opinion, Simon found that for the past 20 years, the agencies have focused on trying to revive the basin’s 13 endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead runs by restoring habitat without compromising the generation of electricity.

“These efforts have already cost billions of dollars, yet they are failing,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, he said, federal agencies have “done their utmost” to avoid even considering breaching the Snake River dams — despite strong suggestions to do so by Judge James Redden, who oversaw the case from 2001 to 2011.

Among those who sued the government are the Nez Perce Tribe and the state of Oregon; conservation groups including the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, American Rivers and Columbia Riverkeeper; and fishing organizations including the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.

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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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Klamath Basin: Water pact crumbles in Congress after years of work

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, California water, Endangered Species Act, Federal gov & land grabs, KBRA or KHSA, Klamath County, Klamath River & Dams, Oregon governments, Property rights, Salmon and fish, Scott River & Valley, Shasta River, Siskiyou County, State gov, Threats to agriculture, Tribes

PNP comment: Destruction of the four hydro-electric Klamath dams and the resulting affect it would have on water rights in Oregon and California should have never been part of the KBRA. The Counties of Siskiyou and Oregon in a Bi-state Alliance asked that Klamath dam removal be taken out of the KBRA, but the stakeholders would have nothing to do with it. Demolition of Klamath dams will set a precedent that Congress was not willing to do and, more importantly, had nothing to do with irrigation in the Klamath Project as they store their water as part of the “reclamation” project. Please understand that the KBRA could have moved forward, but Klamath dam removal should not have been part of the agreement. It is environmentally ludicrous to take out the Klamath dams. The dams provide needed flood control, summer water flow sustainability for fish; and grow millions of salmon through the Irongate Fish Hatchery. — Editor Liz Bowen

By Jeff Mapes | The Oregonian/OregonLive

on December 19, 2015 at 10:00 AM, updated December 19, 2015 at 10:02 AM

For years, the Klamath Basin water agreement was a feel-good story about racial reconciliation, environmental recovery and the power of working together.

It was an uplifting sequel to the huge protests by farmers during an irrigation shutoff in 2001 and the death of thousands of salmon in the overheated waters of the Klamath River a year later.

After years of negotiation, ranchers, farmers and tribes in the Klamath Basin on the border of Oregon and California reached a water-sharing agreement that included the bold step of removing four aged dams on the Klamath River to restore the health of one of the West’s main salmon-producing waterways.

It became clear this week, however, that there won’t be any storybook ending, at least that anyone can see now.

Congress once again failed to pass legislation implementing the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and its associated pacts. The agreement is set to expire Jan. 1, and nobody’s quite sure what’s going to happen next.

“We collectively as a society missed an opportunity here, and I don’t think we’ll have it again,” said Greg Addington of the Klamath Water Users Association, one of the main players in the saga. “What it means for us in a nutshell is more continued uncertainty.”

The inspiring tale that attracted so much attention masked the fact that not everyone was singing Kumbaya. The agreement never sold well either in solidly Republican Klamath County or on the California side of the border, where the idea of removing dams and tilting the scale toward environmental and tribal purposes was regarded suspiciously.

“They try to say the community is for it, and it’s not true at all,” said Klamath County Chairman Tom Mallams, noting that almost all successful candidates in the area run against the agreement.

Legislation implementing the basin agreement has languished in Congress in the years since Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger staged a celebratory signing in Oregon’s Capitol in 2010.

Among western Republicans, the idea of removing the dams has been viewed with great suspicion, even though the aged structures are relatively small hydroelectric producers, aren’t used for irrigation and have major fish-passage problems. PacifiCorp, which owns the dams, has agreed to remove them instead of going through the uncertainty and huge expense of relicensing them.

But congressional critics have long fretted that it could create a precedent for fulfilling environmentalist fantasies for widespread dam removal in the West.

Republican Rep. Greg Walden, who represents the Oregon side of the basin, kept a careful distance from the agreement, particularly when it came to dam removal. In the last year, he softened his rhetoric about removing dams and has been negotiating with Oregon’s two senators, Democrats Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, on legislation to move the agreement forward.

But those talks came to an end two weeks ago after Walden unveiled a legislative draft that left out dam removal and called for turning over 100,000 acres of federal land to Klamath County and to California’s Siskiyou County.

Walden, suggesting that the dams could potentially be taken out through the regulatory process, said he was trying to figure out a creative way to build support for the agreement among his fellow Republicans.

In the short run, Walden’s proposal appeared to drive away Wyden and Merkley. They said the idea of turning federal forests over to the counties was a nonstarter in the Senate. The omnibus spending bill — once seen as a potential vehicle for Klamath Basin language – passed Friday, and Congress went home for holidays.

“We’re going to continue to work to find a solution that works for the people in the basin and that can be passed in the House and signed into law,” said Walden spokesman Andrew Malcolm. “We’re looking for a viable resolution.”

The senators released their own statement Friday, saying they hope they can make progress when Congress returns next month – but it’s clear they expect Walden to drop his more controversial ideas if anything is going to happen.

“We are hopeful that a path forward can still be found,” the senators said, “if there is an immediate commitment to put aside unnecessary and unrelated policy disputes and instead work toward legislative action first thing in January on an earnest attempt to implement the locally developed agreements.”

The path is getting rockier. One of the three tribes that signed the agreement – the Yuroks in California – have backed away from it, and Addington said some of the groups on the farm side are starting to peel away as well.

A PacifiCorp official told the Capitol Press, an agricultural newspaper, that the company will now seek to relicense its dams. Conversely, WaterWatch, a Portland-based environmental group that never supported the agreement, argues the dams can’t be brought up to modern standards and that it hopes to force their removal through the federal regulatory process.

Meanwhile, Addington said irrigators will probably have to unleash their lawyers to go into court to fight the Klamath Tribes over water rights in the upper basin. The tribes won a 2013 ruling that they hold the superior water rights, but there are still avenues for appeal.

Don Gentry, the Klamath tribal chairman, agreed that more litigation looms.

“We’re going to be basically back in court with one another,” Gentry said, “and that’s a difficult thing. But we have to represent our interests as best we can.”

Gentry noted that many of his tribal members are feeling restless. While they’ve lived within the terms of the agreement for five years, “we haven’t gotten any closer to all the things we want.”

The various signatories to the agreement are planning a conference call Dec. 28 to talk over what might happen next. Addington and Gentry say they hope the good will the signatories have built up over the years while help them continue to negotiate.

One thing everyone hopes for is a good water year to help smooth over conflicts.

In the meantime, Gentry said, supporters of the Klamath agreement are feeling shell-shocked.

“As one person said today,” he explained in a telephone interview, “we’re still going through the stages of grief.”

–Jeff Mapes

jmapes@oregonian.com

503-221-8209

http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2015/12/klamath_basin_water_pact_crumb.html#incart_email

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News from Klamath Basin Crisis.org

KBRA or KHSA, Klamath Basin Crisis.org, Klamath River & Dams, Salmon and fish

KBC News

Please go to the the Klamath Basin Crisis.org page to find the direct links to these articles:  You can also find the entire Capital Press article in the post directly below this one.

www.klamathbasincrisis.org

As Congress dithers, parties becoming resigned to KBRA’s demise, Capital Press 12/17/15. “(Klamath) tribal chairman Don Gentry: “…We’ve been honoring the KBRA since 2010. It’s been five years, and our native fisheries and Lost River and shortnose suckers are in worse condition now than when we signed the agreements…”

HOWEVER:

Reclamation Announces Increased Numbers of Lost River and Shortnose Sucker Fish in the Klamath Project, BOR 12/17/15. “Bureau of Reclamation biologists found the largest number of juvenile Lost River and shortnose sucker fish since fish salvage operations began on the Klamath Project…the late 1990s”

www.klamathbasincrisis.org

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As Congress dithers, parties becomeing resigned to KBRA’s demise

Karuk Tribe on Klamath, KBRA or KHSA, Klamath Tribe, Salmon and fish, Tribes

PNP comment from Siskiyou Water Users Assoc. President Richard Marshall:

Folks,

If you haven’t seen this yet. A very important article by the Capitol Press Tim Herndon environmental reporter. Note that this copy came by way of Ed Sheets then from Tom Mallams and Joe Watkins. You can see Ed Sheets email list of who’s who in the KBRA world. You should take a good look at Ed Sheets email list. Not yet time to celebrate and when we do, it will probably be short lived. However it is a historic turning point in what has been a long struggle to this point. What is right may yet win the day. We need to take advantage of this change to build positive points for retention of dams and we need to attack the scientific quality of the DOI efforts. The California Water Board is now taking center stage with the proposed EiR on water quality. Next the FERC battle may come into play. It also may be time to develop a defensible water policy in Siskiyou County by way of the Siskiyou County Water and Flood Control District.

Regards to all

Richard

— Assitional Comment by Editor Liz Bowen:  Congress is not dithering. The House Natural Resources Committee does not like the idea of destroying well-maintained green-energy dams like the Klamath River dams. For years, the Natural Resources Committee members and stated they will not appropriate the millions needed to demolish the dams. Just a point of clarification on a a very sore subject. So I disagree with this headline, but appreciate Tim for writing the article. Also, please remember that the County of Siskiyou was shut out of the KBRA process, which was ignorant and arrogant since 3 of the 4 hydro-electric dams were in Siskiyou County  and over 190 miles inland with over a million-salmon producing hatchery at Irongate Dam that was marked for demolition. — Editor Liz Bowen

As Congress dithers, parties becoming resigned to KBRA’s demise

Tim Hearden
Capitol Press
Dec. 17, 2015

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — While Congress dithers over the Klamath Basin’s water agreements, the parties to the nearly 6-year-old deals are becoming resigned to their likely collapse at the year’s end.

A panel of federal and state officials, tribal members, environmentalists and other participants in the 2010 accords has set a conference call for Dec. 28 to discuss termination of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement — an ominous date for the deals’ proponents and a light at the end of a long tunnel for their detractors.
PacifiCorp, whose plan to remove its four hydroelectric dams from the Klamath River sparked much of the controversy, is now resuming its effort to relicense the dams, company spokesman Bob Gravely said.
With the Karuk Tribe — a key water right holder on the Klamath River — already having walked away from the pacts and the Klamath Tribes signaling their intention to do so, some of the irrigation districts that had signed on are also ready to walk away, said Greg Addington, the Klamath Water Users Association’s executive director.
The result could be what many growers and others in the basin have been dreading — a return to drastic irrigation shutoffs and cutbacks and protracted court battles over water rights.
“Our members have made it clear,” said tribal chairman Don Gentry, whose Klamath Tribes have the most senior of water rights in the Upper Klamath Basin. “We’ve been honoring the KBRA since 2010. It’s been five years, and our native fisheries and Lost River and shortnose suckers are in worse condition now than when we signed the agreements.
“We agreed to provide water at certain levels with the idea that legislation would move forward,” he said.
Congress’ inaction
Bills to authorize removal of the dams have languished in Congress since 2011. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., a longtime opponent of dam removal, unveiled an eleventh-hour draft bill on Dec. 3 to move forward on other aspects of the agreements while putting approval of dam removal in the lap of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Walden’s bill won praise from Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, who said proposed federal land transfers to the Klamath Tribes in exchange for waiving senior water rights “are ideas I could strongly support in order to move forward.”
However, the bill received a cool reaction from proponents of the Klamath agreements, who have warned that water-sharing components of the pacts could crumble if Congress doesn’t authorize the package — including dam removal — before the end of the year.
So far, no efforts have been made to merge Walden’s bill with one by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., which includes dam removal but has failed to advance beyond the upper chamber’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee. And lawmakers don’t appear to be in any hurry to get a bill passed.
“We had hoped people would agree to remain at the table” into 2016, Walden spokesman Andrew Malcolm said. “We’re hoping that what will work for people on Dec. 31 will still work on Jan. 1 or Jan. 2.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office did not return a call from the Capital Press seeking comment about a timeline for moving Walden’s bill forward.
The 42 signatories of the pacts that included the dam removals as well as water-sharing and numerous conservation efforts in the basin already renewed the agreements once, in late 2012. However, looming deadlines lend more of a sense of urgency this time, proponents say.
“I think this time is different,” said Glen Spain, northwest regional director for the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations. “We’re a short period of time … from deadlines when this is all supposed to happen. We’ve done everything that’s been required in this, including finding non-federal money for dam removal.”
Contingency plans

Already, regulatory agencies are resuming the task of reviewing PacifiCorp’s dam-relicensing application, which the company has estimated would cost at least $300 million and leave the company exposed to other costs from litigation and added water quality regulations. Under the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, the cost to PacifiCorp’s ratepayers would be capped at $200 million.
Trust funds from surcharges to PacifiCorps customers for dam removal have amassed more than $100 million, which will either be refunded or used to meet relicensing conditions if the Klamath agreements die, Gravely said.
The Karuk Tribe and other proponents of removing the dams have vowed to urge the state water boards to deny PacifiCorp’s relicensing applications under the Clean Water Act, which would force the dams to be removed anyway. But such a denial would be unprecedented, Gravely said.
Meanwhile, local opposition to dam removal has become more entrenched in the Klamath Basin as opponents have been elected to majorities on the Klamath County Board of Commissioners and several irrigation district boards.
“I’d like more time,” said Addington, whose KWUA represents irrigation districts in the Klamath Reclamation Project. “I for one and my organization would say we want to salvage this thing, and we’d be ready to have a conversation about that. But the Yurok Tribe has made it clear that it wants to move in a different direction … and the Klamath Tribes have made a similar statement.
“I just think we risk a harder-line element saying collaboration didn’t work” if the parties try to keep the agreements together, he said.
Looming crisis
Without the water pacts in place, growers in the Upper Klamath Basin could face another water crisis this spring like the one they encountered in 2013, when a total shutoff of irrigation water prompted landowners to begrudgingly work out their own water-sharing agreement with the tribes that was also contingent on the dams being removed.
While project irrigators have a stipulated settlement with the tribes that will remain even if the KBRA dies, the lack of an agreement could put more pressure on those growers’ water supplies, too, as more water for fish is sought under the Endangered Species Act, Addington said.
As to whether any future agreement could be salvaged from the wreckage, Addington said he’s unsure.
“Either … the KBRA is going to be a footnote in the interesting history of water in the Klamath Basin, or it’ll be the next step to something bigger,” Addington said. “I think it’s too early to say.
“I hate football analogies, but I feel like we got to the goal line and were just not able to punch it in,” he said. “We’ve got a House bill out there and a Senate bill out there … I just wish the folks in Congress would do what all the parties did, which is to lock themselves in a room and get it done. It’s the season of miracles, so who knows?”

# # #

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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