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Liz Writes Life 6-20-17

Liz Writes Life

June 20, 3017

Liz Writes Life

Last week was wonderful for gardening – warm, but not too hot! I’ve been harvesting spinach, but need to move a little faster as this first batch is starting to seed-out. Young lettuces are ready and I can’t believe how fast the radishes grow!

The carrots are coming up and will need to be thinned in a few weeks. Bugs must have eaten one of the watermelons and a major big leaf of the other. It doesn’t seem to be growing, so I planted more watermelon seeds. The five cantaloupes were only an inch high, so I decided to Miracle Gro nearly everything including the impatiens, vinca, zinnia, Sweet William, ice plant and the cosmos. Wow, the ice plants really like it here and are already putting out flowers. The vinca not so much as two plants have died. Ugh!

Pulled about 40 garlic bulbs and placed them under the pine tree to dry. About half are quite large. I did give them a shot of Miracle Gro in April and should have given them another in May.

The snow peas are producing well, but we don’t care for this variety as they are not very sweet and are stringy at medium-size. I usually plant the Oregon Sugar Snap Peas and didn’t this year. I can’t find the package, so I don’t know what variety these are, but I am definitely going back to the Oregon Sugar Snaps.

The corn really liked the Miracle Gro and seemed to shoot up overnight. They are about eight inches high. I better get the second crop in the ground.

More POW

Here is a bit more on the June 1, 2017 Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting. Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, told us the Shasta Valley Buske Ranch that was purchased by The Nature Conservancy may now be sold to CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Apparently, TNC claimed it was trying to raise cattle, but had sold its water rights to DFW for fish in the Shasta River. Ray said that cattle don’t do well without water for pasture. Yep, that is true. So, now TNC ranch is likely to sell at a greatly reduced price, because of the loss of property value of no water rights. Was this planned?

The situation is not good for Siskiyou County as there will be less county taxes from the sale and DFW has not paid taxes on its land holdings for at least 12 years. Several years ago, the state legislature did provide (in the budget) for the state DFW to pay taxes to counties, but Gov. Brown seized the monies for another project.

There are significant properties held by the State of California in Siskiyou County that include several large wildlife areas that used to be ranches, two fish hatcheries – Iron Gate and Mt. Shasta – and I can’t recall what else.

Erin Ryan, from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office, said they have been working to help farmer John Duarte, who is facing a $2.8 million fine. Duarte purchased 450 acres to plant wheat. He knew some areas were seasonal wetlands and had it mapped out. He planted the grain, but in Feb. 2013 the Army Corps of Engineers and the California Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board issued orders to stop work claiming Duarte had violated the Clean Water Act by not obtaining a permit to discharge dredge or fill material into seasonal wetlands that are considered “waters” of the United States.

Duarte then sued Army Corps and the state alleging they violated his right to due process and did not allow him to a hearing. The U.S. Attorney’s Office counter-sued and the U.S. district judge agreed with Army Corps, which is asking for the $2.8 million in civil penalties. Don’t know how they came up with that number?

An attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation is fighting for Duarte and says that this is the first time a farmer has needed a permit to plow fields. If this situation stands and Army Corp and the CA. regional water agency are able to flex their muscles, farming in California will be greatly affected. Permits are costly.

Erin said that Congressman LaMalfa is adamant Army Corp cannot regulate farming practices. Farming has exemptions from the Army Corp regulations and plowing a field is one of them.

Next POW meeting is June 29 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m.

Timber lands

Late last week, Ray Haupt told me that much of the rest of the Timbervest properties did sell. Escrow is closed and Ecotrust Forest Management has purchased lands ranging from Sugar Creek at the south end of Scott Valley, around behind Etna, below the Marble Mt. Wilderness and to Fort Jones. He has spoken to EFM and learned they do manage timber and have allowed grazing allotments in some of their other properties.

I looked up on the internet and this is how EFM described itself: Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM) is a forestland investment management and advisory services company. We manage land on behalf of investors and forestland owners to enhance forest health and productivity, and to produce a diverse array of forest products and services including timber, biomass, carbon, and improved habitat and water quality.

Good news

Recently, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue launched an Interagency Task Force with representatives from 22 federal agencies. This is in keeping with President Donald Trump’s executive order to make “rural” America great again. The task force must find ways to increase jobs, housing and education opportunities in rural communities, but even more importantly remove burdensome regulations. Well-known names like Ben Carson, Sec. of Housing and Urban Development, and Rick Perry, Sec. of Energy were in attendance voicing their commitment to the task at hand.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 6-13-17

Liz Writes Life

June 13, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

Fire tax

Yep, rural Siskiyou homeowners are receiving their “bill” to pay the controversial Fire Prevention Fee that some of us allege is a fire tax, because it was passed in the state legislature by a mere majority instead of two-thirds vote that is legally needed to create a tax.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc. has taken on the class action lawsuit against the state and recently announced it has reviewed and classified 12,000 pages of documentation obtained from CalFire through discovery. This information regarding inspections of property or lack of inspections or any particular service exchanged for the “fee” will be helpful in their case. Many people sent in written testimony that will also be used for the massive “Motion for Summary Judgment” based on the undisputed facts gathered from CalFire’s own documentation. Howard Jarvis is hoping for a decision this summer, but if the ruling goes against CalFire, you can bet it will appeal.

When this fire tax came down back in 2011, Howard Jarvis told us to send “protest” applications called “Petition for Redetermination” as a way to possibly retrieve back the fees we have been paying – if the class action lawsuit is successful.

For several years, we sent in the protest applications. Two years ago, Howard Jarvis said that if anyone had sent in the Petition for Redetermination, at any time, we no longer need to send in the form. Apparently, our name is on the “list”.  So, you no longer need to send in your form, but you must pay the “fee” within 30 days or interest begins to accrue.

Garden

Whew, good thing the cloud cover continued over Sunday night or we could have had a frost. Sunday morning, I was surprised at how low the snow line was on Mt. Bolivar. It turned cold. I had gathered, buckets, old pots, blankets, sheets and canvas to cover the five-inch tall corn, potatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, sunflowers, peppers, barely-up basil, radishes, bok choy, tomatoes, impatiens and several other annual flowers. Didn’t have to use them. Yay!

The garlic is starting to die back on its own. I pulled two and one was really good sized. It will be hot by next weekend, so I’ll wait ‘til then to harvest and put them out to dry under the pine tree.

POW

Here is more from the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting held June 1, 2017.

Mark Baird reported that 600 State of Jefferson supporters attended a Rally at the California State Capitol on May 31, 2017 to show favor of a lawsuit filed by Citizens for Fair Representation against the State of California. The lawsuit cites the fact that rural areas in California have far fewer elected representatives in the assembly and senate and thus have a huge lack of representation.

The lawsuit was filed the first week of May and the Citizens have received a response from the state claiming the lawsuit is frivolous and without merit, so California has filed a motion for dismissal.

Mark said the Citizens were ready for that move. Several motions will now go back and forth with a hearing set for August as the lawsuit does continue to go forward at this point.

Richard Marshall, President of the Siskiyou Co. Water Users Assoc., said his group filed a statement to the California Public Utilities Commission on a variety of issues. One of those issues is the fact that the new Klamath River Renewal Corp. is a non-profit and as such is not a valid organization to accept $450 million in government monies for destruction of the four Klamath hydro-electric dams.

SCWUA also questions the liability issue regarding PacifiCorp: After years of operation, how can PacifiCorp absolve itself of liability once the dams come out?

Richard also sent a letter to Dept. of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke asking him to meet with SCWUA, Siskiyou County and CA. Congressman Doug LaMalfa.

Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, announced that the county is again looking for a new county counsel. The recently hired, Brad Sullivan, has departed. Apparently, it was not a good fit.

Ray and Michael Kobseff, Chairman of the Siskiyou Supervisors’ Board, were asked by the board of the Farmers Ditch, in Scott Valley, to attend a meeting with CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife employees, including Neil Manji the Regional Manager. The Farmers Ditch members have been having problems with DFW allowing them to receive their legal water allotments.

Ray pointed out that the latest diversion “fix” by DFW included placing giant boulders across the Scott River, which he observed is actually a “take” of coho under the Endangered Species Act. “The fish can’t pass over the boulders,” said Ray, who added that State Assemblyman Brian Dahle and Senator Ted Gaines have been invited up to see the mess made by DFW. Wow, good move!

Ray, Michael and Natural Resources Specialist Elizabeth Nielsen were invited to a private meeting with a few KRRC board members. Michael explained the political fallout regarding the previous Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, where both Siskiyou and Klamath Counties held advisory measures and the voters overwhelmingly approved that the four Klamath hydro-electric dams should remain intact and functioning.

Then, Ray explained the KRRC is not immune from ESA violations and that no environmental impact studies or reports have been done correctly, which, in reality, will set the project on its heels. When questioned by KRRC why it didn’t know about this sooner, Ray said Siskiyou Co. has previously brought these same concerns up time and time again — and has been ignored. Apparently, the KRRC individuals seemed to finally “get it” that formidable government regulations have been ignored and that will truly be a problem. Oops, maybe they should listen better!

More next week –

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 6-6-17

Liz Writes Life

June 6, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Thank you to all the folks that went out of their way to stop by our yard sale on Saturday. We were surprised about the amount of Trinity and Shasta Valley yard salers that drove over Scott Mt. or Gazelle Mt. and started their treasure-finding trek at the south-end of the valley.

The day was a very pleasant experience. Folks were considerate, talkative and showed up with smaller cash denominations. It was fun to visit with old friends like Mary Rose Periera and her husband. I don’t remember their last name – we’re talking Etna High School time period — and made friends with new neighbors down the road.

I heard it was “a zoo” in Etna and other areas. Sure hope everyone found that special treasure.

Garden

Soil temps must have been just right, because many of the seeds we planted on Sat. May 27th are up with two green leaves. There are two zucchini along with corn, some cucs, radish, bok choy and spinach. Picked several cups of snow peas and made a stir fry and the garlic looks about ready pull up to dry. The potatoes that the freeze knocked back, a month ago, are nearly 10 inches tall.

It took some doing, but I improved the soil and got my flowering plants in by the pine tree. I have also decided to bring in coneflower and coreopsis from outside the fence and, boy, has that been a job digging the rocky ground and adding some decent soil and a bit of manure. But, the coneflowers are in.

World War II

The tide truly turned for the Allies fighting the Nazi’s on Tuesday, June 6, 1944. I have written about D-Day before, but each year I am humbled by the incredible organization, coordination and execution it took for such an invasion. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and the other leaders certainly knew there would be many casualties. I can’t imagine the courage it took for the military leaders down to the private soldiers to commit to the operation. But, wars are brutal and the battles must be fought; and this one had to be successful for freedom to win out over domination and evil.

Here are a few quick facts about D-Day: The invasion did not take place where Nazi’s expected, but on five beaches in Normandy, France. They were code named: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The original date for the attack was on June 5th, but bad weather in the English Channel forced the postponement. More than 13,000 aircraft began flying at midnight into occupied territory chalking up 14,674 sorties from the Allied forces by 8 a.m.

More than 5,000 ships supported the 160,000 troops across the channel. Minesweepers cleared the way for the crafts carrying men, vehicles and supplies. Allied casualties were estimated at 10,000 killed, wounded or missing in action: 6,603 Americans, 2,700 British and 946 Canadians.

Last week, we remembered our service men and women from all wars on Memorial Day. Let us stop a minute, today, and send a prayer of “thank you” for those who fought on D-Day and continued on for a year pushing the fascist Nazi’s back until the European victory was won in May 1945.

POW

Lisa Nixon, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 4, reported on the ad-hoc county-wide cannabis committee at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting last Thursday. She said it has turned out to be an “incredible experience” working with the varied-interest group. Lisa said under California law, the county can ban all outdoor growing or can regulate commercial outdoor grows. California state agencies are not yet up-to-speed regarding licensing, but expects to have its commercial growing permits available Jan. 1, 2018.

The new recreational cannabis law was approved by California voters last November and commercial growers are demanding to know if the County of Siskiyou Co. will permit them to grow here.

At odds is the huge black market industry that is severely impacting our county. Lisa said the black market growers are violating nearly every land use regulation and causing tragic environmental abuses. She feels the black market industry must be eradicated — as many of us do.

Lisa said the individuals on the ad-hoc committee have been willing to negotiate and been quite respectful. The commercial growers, on the committee, say they want to undertake the process in steps and legally abide by the permits and regulations. Believe it or not, there are 20 different categories of permits that could be used by the county. A pilot program of a few types of commercial grows is being considered as a compromise for 2018.

Several members from the audience spoke up against Siskiyou Co. allowing commercial grows. Lisa responded by saying that is the crux of the problem and discussing the pros and cons of opening the door to commercial grows will be the basis for the all-important decision that must be made this year or California’s rules will run the show. Currently, it is legal for up to six plants to be grown indoors in Siskiyou Co.

Next week I’ll cover more from the POW meeting.

Clarification

It has been brought to my attention that on the internet I have been referred to as a “Sovereign Citizen Journalist.” I don’t know what that is and have never labeled myself as such. This label is erroneous. I have been writing for newspapers since 1976 and have always considered myself a reporter or simply a journalist. I do not consider myself a Sovereign. I am a citizen of the United States, a resident and registered voter in the State of California and Siskiyou County. I felt that I should clarify the matter. I am truly grateful and proud to be an American.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 5-30-17

Liz Writes Life

May 30, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

For those who don’t know, today is the real Memorial Day. Yep, that’s right, at least for me. Originally, Memorial Day was May 30th, but not for long. I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Time for recollection — sometime in the 1960s, I remember my Dad picking a large bunch of fragrant, lavender lilac blossoms. It was a Saturday and I had gone with him up to the Sullivan ranch that he leased for his Hereford cattle herd. It is up Wildcat Creek near Callahan. The dry hillside yard in front of the old white vacant Victorian Sullivan house boasted huge lilac bushes in full bloom.

Now, my Dad wasn’t much on flowers, so I guess that’s one reason why I recall this day. It was also fairly warm and I think I was allowed to ride the entire trip to our home in Etna in the back of his pickup. Yep, a real treat with the wind blowing against my face, sitting with several dogs – their tongues hanging out! Oops, a no-no nowadays. But, you gotta understand that my Dad never drove very fast at that stage of his life even on Hwy 3.

Then, I remember being at my Grandma Dillman’s home on Wagner Way in Etna and I think a batch of giant red peonies were also picked. What is odd, as childhood memories go, I don’t recall going to the Etna Cemetery to place the flowers. My Grandpa George Dillman was buried there, along with my Dad’s siblings: Bob, Con and Clista Dillman. Hum, a bit of melancholy nostalgia with question marks.

For quite a few years, I have been putting fabric flowers on family and friends’ graves. Now, my Grandma Dillman, Dad, Mom, more of Dad’s siblings and a lot of Fowler relatives are resting there as well. I buy 25 flowers and try to make them stretch as my way to remember my family. This year, I chose the color red and also red, white and blue. They are stunning!

Our cemeteries are beautiful in Scott Valley. The American Legion Perry Harris Post #260 places hundreds of American flags on veterans’ graves. Thank you to all who take care of our cemeteries and those who remember to place flowers, whether they are fabric or real.

Because Memorial Day seems to have sort of lost its real significance, I decided to look it up on the Internet.

Apparently, placing flowers on graves of loved ones has been done since ancient times. But, it was the huge loss of over 600,000 soldiers in the American Civil War that affected nearly every family and community in the USA. It was first known as Decoration Days and specifically honored soldiers, who had died. In some rural mountain areas of American South, extended families still hold family reunions, religious services and or picnic dinners to honor their soldiers.

Following the assassination, in April 1865, of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, commemorating an honored loved one seemed to take on a new cultural significance. Women took the leadership role of establishing a formal practice of decorating graves; and many African Americans — those former slaves — gave huge significance to the observance of Decoration Day after the Civil War.

By 1882, the name had gradually changed to Memorial Day. But, believe it or not, Memorial Day was not declared the official name by federal law until 1967. A few years later, another congressional law took effect in 1971 changing the day from May 30th to the last Monday in May to create a three-day holiday.

Because of that Memorial Day in my early years, I still watch to see if the lilacs and red peonies will be blooming on May 30th. Once again, this year, the lilacs were way ahead of schedule and were about to pop open at my house, when that cold frost killed them on May 7th. My peonies actually started blooming in mid-May and the blooms on one bush are falling down. Nope, didn’t happen this year, but I have a nice memory.

Garden

It took all last week to finish planting the garden. We got the first crop of corn in, along with cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, sunflowers, pumpkins, spinach, radishes, bok choy and another Chinese-type cabbage. The green beans were planted two weeks ago. Oh, I ate several snow peas – raw — and pulled two bunching onions for a dinner, cuz I ran out of onions.

My eyes were bigger than my energy level, as I purchased more flower plants than I normally do. I planted a garden corner of alyssum, ice plants, zinnia, vinca, begonias and transplanted several cosmos for the back. The Shasta daisies are starting to bloom there. Hoping for a pretty spot!

Weekend

Larry Alexander tells me there will be two huge sales during the Scott Valley-wide Yard Sale weekend. (We are having one too! Want an old cider press?) An auction of antiques and collectables will be at The REC in Fort Jones at 1 p.m. on Sat. June 3rd. On Sun. June 4th, a ranchers, farmers and construction equipment auction will be held at the old Marlahan Ranch, now called, Clary Rose Farm, at 1 p.m.

On Friday, June 9th a Community Fire Season Preparedness meeting will be held at The REC at 5 p.m. with a complimentary barbecue followed by speakers sharing vital fire info.

POW

Speakers for the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on Thurs. June 1st will be Siskiyou Co. Supervisors Lisa Nixon, from Dist. 4, and Ray Haupt, Dist. 5, Erin Ryan from Congressman LaMalfa’s office and Richard Marshall, President of Siskiyou Water Users. It will be held at the Fort Jones Community Center at 7 p.m. Bring a dessert to share as we eat before, during and after.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 5-23-17

Liz Writes Life

May 23, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Support Memorial Day by attending one of the honor guard services by the local American Legion Perry Harris Post #260 next Monday. The Callahan Cemetery service is at 10 a.m., Etna Cemetery at 11 a.m. and Fort Jones Cemetery at noon. And remember to thank our veterans!

Garden

Well, I feel really dumb as much of our garden has yet to be planted. With this heat, the seeds would certainly germinate quickly. But, alas we are waiting on the rotor-tiller to get fixed. Meanwhile, I spent a couple days irrigating iris and other perennials that I had ignored. The orange Oriental poppies are starting to bloom with a few purple iris and the California poppies are beautiful with the flowering lavender lupine.

The six red cabbages and six broccoli plants that we planted several weeks ago are doing well, but something is eating the top of some onions, darn it.

Forestry

I need to mention that Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, attended an American Forest Resource Council Conference in Washington last month. He was asked to be on a three-member panel with two county commissioners from Idaho and Montana. He told the April Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting, that 200 industry leaders in the timber business were in attendance. The three-member panel explained how rural counties and communities have been hard-hit because of the loss of a local timber economy.

Mills have moved to metropolitan areas and the forestry industry leaders do not always see the economic fall-out from the gigantic loss of the timber industry on public lands in rural areas. Ray and the other panel members explained this has caused a social mess. With the loss of jobs, rural counties experience more social abuses of drugs, alcohol, elderly, domestic and an increase in crime.

“My goal is to replace the spotted owl (poster) with one of abused children,” said Ray at the Protect Our Water meeting. He also said the panel’s goal was to reconnect counties with the timber industry and educate lobbyists who work in WA. D.C.

There are several lawsuits over local timber harvest sales, including the Westside Fire Recovery Plan, that Ray encouraged Siskiyou Co. to support with amicus briefs, which are a friend of the court. Since Ray has been in office, these lawsuits that our county has supported have been successful providing a ray of hope for more active forest management.

The next Protect Our Water meeting will be Thurs., June 1, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. I will have the agenda for you next week.

Trials

Last week, I discussed the inhumane treatment that Ammon Bundy, and possibly other inmates, received in the privately-contracted federal Southern Nevada Detention Facility in Pahrump. And that a protest rally dubbed “Liberty Camp” had set up across the highway from the facility. Although the campers are only staying 14 days, so they would not need a permit, the local sheriff visited the camp and informed them they must get a permit or leave.

When the word got out, a neighboring landowner told the campers they could moved to his property, which is in back of the prison. It is actually a better situation, but hot Nevada winds are not making life easy. Food and supplies have been donated to the campers and the residents of Pahrump seem to be supportive of the group trying to expose inhumane and torturous treatment inside the facility.

But to keep things interesting, detention facility guards have filed multiple false reports claiming the protesters are violating prison space by stepping across boundary lines onto prison property or that protestors slapped a moving prison bus. The protesters are videoing their every move and can prove these reports are not true.

The camp participants are making daily treks around the compound in their “Jericho March” and continue to raise money. Guess that would be a bit intimidating to the prison guards. In one video, I saw Jeanette Finicum on LaVoy’s horse, joining the march. To send support letters or care packages or funds, the address is: Camp Liberty, 1776 East Mesquite Ave., Pahrump, NV 89048.

Camp Liberty has raised over $25,000 for the defense of Ammon Bundy.

Camp leaders are also encouraging supporters to call elected officials and the detention facility administrator saying they have heard of inhumane treatment of inmates in the facility. Nicely ask them to look into the situation.

Janice Killian, facility administrator, 775-751-4500 or fax 775-751-8763.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval: 775- 684-5670.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions: 202-514-2001.

U.S. Nevada Senator Dean Heller: 702-388-6605

U.S. President Donald J. Trump: For comments call 202-456-1111 or switchboard is 202-456-1414.

Here is an update on the trials or re-trails. Prosecutors said they will not re-file charges on Todd Engel or Greg Burleson again on the trial where the jury was deadlocked this spring. Both were found guilty on lesser charges and will be sentenced in July. But, additional “terrorism” enhancements will be asked for Engel, who was found guilty of two charges. A possible 30 years in prison could come from these enhancements.

Burleson was found guilty of 8 of 10 charges and faces a possible 57 years in prison. He was a government informant, so it looks like he has been left high and dry. The other four defendants in the hung jury trial will be re-tried the end of June.

The second group of defendants include Cliven Bundy. But this trial will not begin until after this re-trial of the first group, so it may be October until Cliven’s trial starts.

Then there is a third tier of the Nevada Bunkerville defendants, who most likely will not see their trial until spring of 2018. Talk about a lack to a speedy trial, along with all the other atrocities that have occurred!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 5-16-17

Liz Writes Life

May 16, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Apparently, I have a lot to learn about growing plants in a cold frame. Quickly, we found that the lid must be up during most days in April and May, because it easily gets too hot. And, except for the few dramatic hot nights we had two weeks ago, it must be closed at night. Jack built the cold frame in mid-April and we planted an Early Girl tomato plant and cucumber seeds. Only one cucumber seed came up. I also planted parsley seeds, but none have appeared.

The snow-line dropped to 4,500 feet on Saturday morning, May 6th. The plants did fine in the cold frame, but Sunday morning the freezing cold must have been several hours long as both the tomato and cucumber were burned a bit. The cuc was only 2 leaves big. Yep, pretty tiny. So, we are now covering the tomato and cuc in the cold frame with buckets, when it may freeze and the double covering is working.

During those hot days and nights, I put the three red solo cups of two-inch tall cucumbers under the pine tree to get acclimated. But on May 5th, I thought they would need more protection and put them in the cold frame, instead of bringing them in the house. (They gotta get tough, you know!) Well, the cold on Sunday morning burned those cucs pretty good. I brought them in the house to perk them up, but they are not going to make it.

The rhubarb was huge, so I harvested it last week. There was about 25 pounds of rhubarb and, yes, to Jack’s relief I gave most of it away. I did make some jam using strawberry Jello, but I cooked the rhubarb sauce down too far, before adding the Jello. It is really gooey. Tastes great, but it is very thick and sticky! So, I’ll make sure it is a bit juicy next time. Ugh!

Jefferson

A rallying cry will be held by the Citizens for Fair Representation at the California Capitol in Sacramento on Wed., May 31, 2017. State of Jefferson supporters are planning the rally that will be held at 11 a.m. A bus has been chartered that will leave Yreka Wal-Mart at 5:45 a.m. on May 31st the cost is $35 per person. To ride the air conditioned bus and join the rally, call Louise Gliatto at 530-842-5443 or Pauline Cramer at 530-468-2680. The group needs 55 riders to secure the bus, and, unfortunately, the deadline is very short – tomorrow, Wednesday, May 17th. So call immediately for your seat on the bus.

The Citizens for Fair Representation submitted a lawsuit complaint to the CA. Secretary of State Alex Padilla last Tuesday, May 9, 2017. The rally is to show support for fair representation in our legislative elections.

POW

Because of the Memorial Day holiday, Scott Valley Protect Our Water will hold its next meeting on Thursday, June 1, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Lisa Nixon, Siskiyou Co.  Supervisor for Dist. 4, will be there to speak about the ad-hoc Cannabis Committee she is serving on. There will be discussion and possible action on the report from the ad-hoc Cannabis Committee today at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting. So by June 1, there should be even more info for Lisa to share.

Bundy

Two weeks ago, we learned that rancher Ammon Bundy was tortured in the Pahrump (Nevada) Federal Detention Center – prison. He was shackled around his ankles and handcuffed holding his arms behind his back, then placed in a three-foot by three-foot shower stall and left for 13 hours. No food or water or bathroom breaks. When he was released by several swat team members that were dressed in full tactical gear, he was stripped naked put on the floor, inspected and told to raise his arms above his head. He was not able to do it, so they did it for him! His legs were bleeding from the shackles and he could barely walk.

Then he was put in a tiny solitary confinement cell – naked — again. Guards finally stuffed his undergarments through the food slot. Through a phone call, Ammon was able to relate this latest inhumane treatment. He was told by the guards they intended to leave him in the stall for 72 hours and, if still alive, to be taken to a medical room where an I.V. would have been inserted to keep him from dying from dehydration. In the phone call, he certainly sounds disoriented from pain, abuse and possibly hypothermia.

I don’t understand this type of dreadful treatment, especially when civilians are afforded protections from inhumane treatment and attack through the international Geneva Convention.

Ammon has been acquitted of felonies in the Portland, Oregon trial; and the first trial for the April 2014 Bundy ranch stand-off against the BLM was a mistrial, this year, in Las Vegas. Ammon has been incarcerated for more than 400 days, denied bail and, certainly, the right to speedy trials.

Shari Dovale, writer for Redoubt News.com, wrote an article and released the phone call through a video that has now had more than 92,000 views. As a result, a call-to-action has gone out to rally in Pahrump and protest Ammon’s torture. The federal government responded by locking down the prison and refusing all inmates any visitors over that weekend.

Also, something that is curious is the Facility Leader (new title for prison superintendent) was removed, during the past two weeks, and a new woman is now at the helm

I don’t know who is leading the protest, but it looks to be grass roots driven. Campers can stay for 14 days, without a BLM permit. So the organizers hope more people will show up. It is a peaceful protest across the highway from the prison and local businesses have donated porta-potties and water.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 5-2-17

Liz Writes Life

May 2, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, California

Remember to get your tickets for the fundraiser for Jeanette Finicum, who is speaking this Friday night, May 5th at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. and Cowboy Barbecue by Dave Tyler is at 6:30 p.m. Call Grace Leeman at 530-598-1908 to get your tickets.

Parade

It is the final countdown to the Scott Valley Pleasure Park Rodeo that will be held this Sunday, May 7th. The California High School Rodeo Dist. 1 Finals will be held Friday night and Saturday at the Etna rodeo grounds.

Jim Hendricks will serve as the Grand Marshal of the Rodeo Parade. Jim has supported the rodeo through years’ of donations to the Rodeo Queen Contest and buckles. But, his biggest donation is the use of his property next to the rodeo grounds as he has allowed parking for decades. It is so handy to be able to use a neighbor’s property for the twice-a-year parking.

Thank you Jim! Look for Jim this Sunday. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m.

Drew Travis, Chairman of the Rodeo Parade, will take late entries this week — if you call right at away. His number is 530-468-2410.

POW meeting

Erin Ryan, from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office, brought some good news to the Scott Valley Protect Our Water last Thursday night. Earlier that day, our congressman was able to meet and discuss issues in his district with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. LaMalfa’s office had quickly written up a letter explaining the basic reasons the four hydro-electric Klamath dams should not be destroyed and he handed to him during the three hour visit. LaMalfa included the fact that previous Sec. of Interior Sally Jewel’s agreement to take out the dams was faulty and should be rescinded.

Speaking of Sec. Zinke, he is already re-evaluating the recent expansion of National Monuments after President Trump signed an executive order “to end an egregious abuse of executive power and give that power back to the states and the people where it belongs,” said Trump, adding, “The Antiquities Act does not give the federal government unlimited power.” Wow and yea!

Our recent Siskiyou/Cascade expansion by previous President Obama may get looked at. It was an expansion of a little less than 100,000 acres, which is the threshold number. But the controversial Bear’s Ears in Utah is certainly in the bulls’ eye as Utah legislators have fought that expansion tooth and nail.

Also on Sec. Zinke, he is taking another look an 11-mile road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska that Sally Jewel denied. Residents of King Cove have asked – for years – for the short road to be allowed so they can better utilize a World War II-era airport for health, safety and economic reasons. My goodness, thousands of acres are off-limits in Alaska. I sure don’t see how an 11-mile road could damage the environment, especially at the expense of a local village.

Erin also told us that LaMalfa and Congressman John Garamendi, a Democrat, have introduced legislation that would lift a de facto prohibition on construction and repair of agricultural barns in areas designated by FEMA as flood risks, which would be a huge benefit to costs incurred by farmers during floods.

There was sad and disturbing news, though. Erin said the town hall meetings have been difficult. Even his staffers have felt threatened. I think it was the Oroville meeting, where she was holding the microphone for questions from the audience members and the people around her were yelling and near to rioting. It was very scary, she said.

The Redding Town Hall turned out to be a bit safer as the county sheriff or Redding Police Chief asked for backup from the CHP. She reminded us that Gov. Jerry Brown had stopped the use of CHP by the congress folks at these town halls, but through the local law enforcement they were able to get their help. Isn’t that outrageous for our governor to do that? Talk about leaving things to get out-of-hand!

Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, shared a variety of items. First, he said, the jail situation may have some new life. Like many other counties, Gov. Brown had designated $27 million for a new jail. But, when Siskiyou Co. couldn’t come up with the additional needed funds, it had to return the $27 million to the state. Well guess what? The other rural counties ended up doing the same thing, so Gov. Brown has changed his tune and Siskiyou supervisors have been told he will give the $27 million back. So the county is looking at other lower-cost options.

The application for the county to serve as the Groundwater Management Agency for Siskiyou County has been submitted to the state of California. Of course, the Karuk Tribe is contesting it, but our supervisors will oppose them, Ray said. The deadline for the application regarding the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act is due in June. I have read several news articles where other counties are scrambling to get in its application, so Siskiyou is certainly ahead of schedule.

Ray also explained more on the Conservation Easements and why they are problematic for the county. Some groups are purchasing land to turn into C.E.s and then sell the water rights to the state agencies. This drops the land value, tremendously, for the next purchaser and provides less tax receipts for the county.

Then some non-profits, like The Nature Conservancy, which owns a large ranch in Shasta Valley has now decided to sell the entire ranch to CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. It previously sold its water right to the DFW. But, the problem with DFW is that it is supposed to pay taxes to the county on its lands. It has been more than 12 years, since the state has done that!

More next week —

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

 

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Liz Writes Life 4-18-17

Liz Writes Life

April 18, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden

The peas are three-inches tall. This is the best germination we have had. Usually we have to replant them. This year, they are actually too close and need to be thinned. Something did chew on three of them eating off the leaves. Hum, don’t know what.

The spinach came up pretty good, but the lettuces didn’t do so well. Need to replant them. I finally decided to plant the onion starts that I purchased over a week ago. There were 90 to 100 of them, so we will need to remember to eat green onions next month to thin them down a bit.

There are a few potato hills still in the ground. We better get them out and use a few to plant as seed potatoes. The garlic is a foot-tall and the three groups of bunching onions are just as high and bunching.

Several folks reported their asparagus is doing well. Ours is way behind and is barely poking up. None are peeking up on the older group. And the rhubarb – last year at this time, I had harvested a big batch. It does look healthy and some stalks are thick, but it is only about 18-inches tall. So, I will give it a few more weeks. The Fowler lilac is budding-up. Sure do hope the couple of frosts that we had didn’t take them out. A few friends are worried they lost their apricot and other fruit crops. Siskiyou spring is always a wait-and-see?

Water

We are now into irrigation season. Most decrees state April 1st is the starting date for obtaining legal water rights, but some are for April 15th. Some decrees also allow for year-round use of water rights for domestic and or stock water. Believe it or not, there are fields where the ditch conveying water is the only available water for livestock, so those water rights are important.

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor Dist. 5, learned that the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (previously called DFG) began flying the Scott River last week. It was mentioned they may be looking for flood and high-water damage along with checking out diversions, but who knows. Ray said the county asked if Elizabeth Nielsen, the Natural Resource Specialist, could fly along with them and the request was denied. Oh! Why?

In the past there have been some not-so-nice situations as the CA. DFW has flown below the 500-foot level violating airspace laws and spooking livestock — sometimes looking like harassment. So Ray wants to know if any planes or helicopters are violating the 500-foot airspace regulation or intimidating livestock. Try to obtain a tail number. Ray’s phone number is 530-925-0444.

Land sales

It’s a done deal. Timbervest sold two pieces of property in the south-end of Scott Valley. They were purchased by Western Rivers Conservation group. Spokesman for the group, Peter Colby, told me that escrow closed on April 3, 2017. The group obtained a three-year loan to purchase the properties and Peter said they are actively looking for someone or group to sell the properties to. Now that is interesting – a conservancy flipping land for profit?

One of the properties is the Bouvier ranch located off the Cecilville Road outside of Callahan. The ranch includes 1,600 acres of timber and cattle grazing pasture that is irrigated through water right allotments. There is a domestic and livestock water right for year-round use on the lower ditch.

Peter said he has contacted the Scott River Water Trust asking if it is interested in purchasing the ranch. There is talk of stopping the use of the water right allotments on July 15th. I told Peter that wouldn’t work, because the rancher who has been leasing the grazing area will need to irrigate through the heat of July and August to keep the pasture growing for his cattle. But, apparently the conservancy believes fish will need the water in Scott River. It is likely to turn into a heated discussion, although Peter told me the conservancy wants to find a “good balance” for water use. Because of the high snow pack in the mountains, surface water should be plentiful this year. Yet, already “they” are trying to curtail agriculture use. Frustrating.

The other piece of property is 640 acres (square section) and was Timbervest’s most eastern track on Scott Mt. It is filled with timber and goes up to the Trinity Divide. Peter said the conservancy hopes to sell this to a timber company.

I asked Peter about the Callahan Water District and their water right from East Boulder Creek that does cross the Bouvier ranch property. He said they have no desire to interfere with the district’s water right. Good news.

The other group Peter has talked to about purchasing the Bouvier ranch property is the Siskiyou Land Trust, which is based in Mount Shasta. Several land owners in Scott Valley are working with the Siskiyou Land Trust and have put land into its conservancy. This is another divisive topic. Ray Haupt was recently interviewed on the topic of Conservation Easements by Daniel Webster. That 13-minute youtube can be found on my Liz Bowen.com site.

But we are not done yet!

Ray told me that two blocks of Timbervest are now in escrow and may be purchased by the Eco Trust Forest Management group. This track of land starts at Wildcat Creek and takes in the forested lands north to Etna and Quartz Valley under Big Meadows. Ray actually met with a spokesman of the purchasers last week and explained the need for good neighborly relations regarding range grazing allotments and actively managing the trees. This group may also be looking into resale or doing Conservation Easements.

POW

Learn more at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting April 27th at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 4-11-17

Liz Writes Life

April 11, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Etna Rodeo

The Scott Valley Pleasure Park Rodeo will be held on Sunday, May 7, 2017. From my research into the history of the rodeo, (I served on and off the rodeo board for 25 years) several rodeos had been held previously to the one on Sunday, May 4, 1947. But, for some reason, using the first Sunday in May as the annual date stuck. It was in 1948 that a handful of men and one woman decided to form the Pleasure Park Association and actually went so far as to obtain a 501 c 7 non-profit status with the state.

Ranchers had been playing horse polo since the early-1930s in Scott Valley and in 1945 George Dillman, his son Hearst Dillman, and local druggist Gleason Balfrey purchased 12 acres from Kenneth Depew down by Etna Creek to flatten-out for polo games. It was rocky and sandy from previous floods. At times, temporary bucking chutes had been built to buck out horses – just for fun.

In 1947, three local teens asked the polo players if they could put on a rodeo. Jim Johnson, Jasper Landi and Tom Webster were those enthusiastic teens. Several sturdy bucking chutes were made and gossip flew. Local folks decided to show up and watch the teens try their hand at bucking-out horses between polo matches. The rodeo events were quick-paced compared to the polo games and, through popular opinion, it was decided to hold another rodeo the next year.

The board of directors listed on the 1948 Articles of Incorporation were: W.D. “Pinky” Mathews, Fred P. Browne, Ruth Gepford, George R. Dillman, Roy Mason, Robert A. Dillman and Frank Bryan – all of Etna. Records point to George Dillman as the president, who was quoted by the weekly “Western Sentinel” newspaper for all residents to enjoy using the Pleasure Park grounds.

An arena was built inside the huge polo field, which was still huge and horse races were run between rodeo events on the resulting track. In the early days, folks drove their cars and parked around the arena to watch. Jerry Reynolds remembers helping his grandfather build huge rough-cut lumber grandstands. The lumber certainly created a lot of splinters as it usually took my mom hours – it seemed like – to remove them from my hands, arms and legs after playing at the rodeo grounds, when I was a kid.

Those grandstands, corrals and fences were destroyed during the 1964 flood. After deliberation, the directors in 1965 decided to hold a “benefit” rodeo at the Yreka Fairgrounds. Gene Selby was the president. The next year’s board decided to take the plunge and purchase land from Jess McNames and rebuild the rodeo grounds. I recall practicing with our horse drill team in spring of 1966, while people from our community worked on building the present arena and grandstands. Loggers with big equipment helped out the ranchers and friends with the huge job.

Over the past 70 years, many folks have worked and donated their talents to making the Pleasure Park Rodeos and activities successful. What a great family tradition it has become — for all walks of life.

Entries

Secretary Jaclyn Boyce will be taking rodeo event entries from contestants on April 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call her at 530-340-5527. To get your kids in the Calf Riding and Mutton Bustin’, you need to call on those dates as well.

This is truly a rodeo-weekend, as the California High School Rodeo Association District #1 Finals will be held on Friday and Saturday, May 5-6 at the Pleasure Park grounds.

Rain and snow

I see where Gov. Jerry Brown has declared the “drought” is over, but is still keeping water restrictions and conservation measures in place. It was sure convenient for state agencies to take control of water use, but one-size-fits-all was the not the realistic way to deal with the drought throughout the state.

The Sierra Nevada Mts. have certainly taken on historic amounts of snow, which provide municipal and agricultural water for most of the state. As of last Saturday, the Dept. of Water Resources reported the year-to-date average sits at 205 percent above normal for the water year. Yea!

Locally, the Klamath National Forest April 1 snow surveys showed an above average snow pack in the south and west mountains bordering Scott Valley. Scott Mt. reported the highest percentage with 121 percent of average snow. Middle Boulder 3 near Mt. Bolivar at 6,200 feet elevation boasted 110 percent with 63.7 inches and Swampy John above on Salmon Mt. at 5,500 feet elevation was at 100 percent of its 66 year average of surveys.

GSA

I was not able to attend the Siskiyou Board of Supervisors meeting last week, but was happy to learn the supervisors approved the agenda item to send in an application to become a Groundwater Sustainability Agency, instead of the State of California mandating our Siskiyou groundwater.

Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Supervisor, told me that he explained to the packed room of concerned constituents that he actually didn’t like going down this path. He wants property owners to have control over their groundwater. But with the state threatening to take control of groundwater basins and his constituents asking for protection from the state, he voted for the Siskiyou Co. Flood Control and Conservation District to take the lead in working with the four subbasin groups in the county.

Finicum

Tickets are still available for the Jeanette Finicum dinner fundraiser on Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center in Yreka. Jeanette will be speaking and the funds will go to help her bring a civil lawsuit for the wrongful death of her husband, Lavoy, when he was killed by FBI agents in Eastern Oregon on Jan. 26, 2016. Tickets are $25. Call Grace Leeman at 530-598-1908.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou Co. and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Liz Writes Life 4-4-17

Liz Writes Life

April 4, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News

Senate Bill 54 is causing a stir throughout the state. On March 29, 2017, it received its third amendment vote in the state senate committee and is headed to the senate floor for a vote. To become law, it will need to also pass the assembly and then signed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Proponents want the bill to pass, which will make California a “sanctuary” state creating a showdown that will be in direct opposition to federal and state law.

Basically, existing California law says that when arresting someone who may not be a citizen of the United States, the arresting agency shall notify the appropriate agency of the United States to take charge of any deportation matters. SB 54 will repeal this and create a lack of communication among law enforcement agencies.

Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey told me the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors were “courageous” on Feb. 21, 2017, when they voted 4-1 to uphold the U.S. and California Constitutions and continue to comply with federal immigration laws. In other words, our county supervisors did not designate Siskiyou a “sanctuary” jurisdiction.

Sheriff Jon agrees. He said he has taken an oath to uphold both the U.S. and California Constitutions and is worried how county law enforcement will be able to interact with federal agencies regarding arrests of illegal aliens if SB 54 becomes law.

“When we encounter illegal aliens we are to assess that crime and we need to have that discretion – often times there are gray areas like drug trafficking or burglars or thieves that may not be considered violent, but we should be free to cooperate with federal authorities and enforce the law,” Sheriff Jon said. He is not happy that state legislators are interfering and affecting the abilities of county sheriffs.

“Currently, we have to enforce the federal, state and local laws and a sheriff should be free to make those decisions as they are public health and safety issues. We need to do the right thing and protect our citizens,” he explained.

The California State Sheriffs’ Association is also frustrated and voted to oppose SB 54. Just last week, L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell voiced specific opposition, because it would limit involvement by law enforcement agencies in any federal immigration enforcement action. This creates a real problem when the county jails are housing inmates, who might be subject to deportation, according to Sheriff McDonnell.

The problem isn’t only in California as recently, Sheriff Jon attended a Western State Sheriffs’ Association meeting, where a high-priority on-going discussion is figuring out how to effectively deal with criminal illegal aliens.

And, it isn’t just sheriffs who are raising an alarm.

Last week, a group of elected officials and mayors in San Diego County announced they will organize opposition to SB 54.

El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells called a press conference on March 29, 2017 and announced a new group called “Mayors for Safe Cities.” He explained that SB 54 will not prevent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from doing deportation raids, but that ICE would not have the help of local or state police. ICE agents will also be banned from entering county jails to interview inmates suspected of living in the U.S. illegally. Mayor Wells added that this will likely allow more violent illegal felons back onto the streets than protect non-violent and innocent immigrants.

State Senator Kevin De Leon authored SB 54 and represents Senate District 24, which encompasses downtown and East Los Angeles. De Leon wields power as the State Senate leader Pro Tem. SB 54 will most likely pass the senate and the question is: Will the assembly be willing to stop the bill?

Sediment

One of the biggest complaints by our county, the Siskiyou Water Users Assoc., other groups and individuals — regarding the proposed removal of the four hydro-electric Klamath dams — is the tremendous amount of sediment that will be released from behind the dams. The millions of cubic feet of sediment will affect water quality, kill fish and salmon runs and do incredible damage to the environment.

For verification of these accusations, we only need to look north to the state of Washington where two large dams were removed in 2012 and 2014 – the Elwha dam that was only five miles up the Elwha River and the Glines Canyon Dam that was 13 miles up the Elwha River. The Dept. of Interior is the lead agency, but it is the National Park Service that is being unresponsive to resulting affects by excess sediment.

The city of Port Angeles with a harbor on the Strait of Juan de Fuca is having problems with its water intake and treatment facility from too much sediment that is still flowing from the removal of both dams.

An article published in the Peninsula Daily News, last week, explains the city council has tried to obtain information about the contract with a Freedom of Information Act and during the past nine months, the Park Service has not responded. So Port Angeles is now threatening a lawsuit.

The Park Service pledged to maintain the amount and quality of water available to the city and its residents through the city’s municipal and industrial water rights under the 1992 Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act and again in the contract for dam removals. With the dramatic increase in sediment, the city has found problems with its treatment facility and an unresponsive Park Service.

The newer intake and treatment facilities were built to treat much of the estimated 3.4 million cubic yards of sediment released by dam removal, but has not been adequate.

My internet friend, Pearl Hewett, is a voice against the removals of those dams. She has seen first-hand several feet of mud-sediment flow into the National Park campgrounds and roads each winter. It doesn’t look like the environmental damage is stopping.

Yep, very interesting information indeed.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.

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