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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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Liz Writes Life 3-28-17

Liz Writes Life

March 28, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Our peas are up about an inch high and it is time to get onion starts in the ground. Yep, after the dark snowy winter, gardening season will soon be upon us. Sure do love the bright color that spring bulbs and flowers bring.

Water

April 4, 2017 is an important day to support Siskiyou County in its application to the State of California as a Groundwater Sustainable Agency. The county needs to be in control of our groundwater and if the GSA application is not approved, the state will take over control of our groundwater — immediately. Ugh.

Elizabeth Nielsen, Siskiyou County Natural Resources Specialist, did a thorough job explaining the new state law regarding groundwater at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting last week. This situation is a bit ominous. If the county does not create its own Groundwater Sustainable Agency and submit its application for that agency by June 30, 2017, the State Water Board will intervene to manage groundwater extraction activities in Siskiyou County. The State Water Board will have the power to assess fees for its involvement and will levy fees of $100 per well and in unmanaged areas the cost will be $10 per acre foot per year if the well is metered and $25 per year if not the well is not metered. Yep, this is scary and costly. Oh, and will start on July 1, 2017!

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

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

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

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

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

Scott Valley Plan

At the Protect Our Water meeting last week, Ray explained the basics of the Scott Valley Plan. It was hashed-out during the 1970s and in Nov. 1980, the county supervisors adopted the plan. Custom and culture was a major feature of the Scott Valley Plan. It is restrictive regarding zoning. The emphasis was on agriculture and open space for future land use decisions and development. The plan was developed by a self-appointed citizen’s committee that held 21 public meetings from 1978 to 1980 and also went through the dreaded CEQA process.

As a summary, Ray explained the plan’s major points: No high density development; development is only to occur near other developed areas; fire, ambulance and public services should not be over-burdened with any population increase; all uses of land should be compatible with neighboring lands; and intensive development is not to occur on the valley floor. The maximum population of Scott Valley should not be over 20,000. Control and style of growth was the major reason for placing the zoning restrictions.

I will add that the JH Guest Ranch is certainly outside the Scott Valley Plan. In my opinion, the gradual expansion of JH guests were ignored by the county back in the 1990s. Ray said the supervisors are working to see the ranch is reeled back and conforms to the zoning codes.

Wolf

Wolf-lovers are ecstatic. Young wolves from the Shasta Wolf Pack have been found across the state line in Nevada. The wolves were spotted west of Black Rock Desert in November.

This is the concern for those of us, who are not lovers of wolf population expansion. Without management of a hunting season, the wolf population will continue to grow affecting wildlife prey populations and attacks on livestock. The “plan” was to allow the Canadian Gray Wolf population to naturally expand from Idaho into Oregon and California through protection of the Endangered Species Act. Yep, it is working.

Erin’s Law

To learn more about helping children stand-up to sexual abuse, attend the Yreka Tea Party Patriots’ meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Covenant Chapel Church, 200 Greenhorn Rd. in Yreka. Siskiyou Co. Superintendent of Schools, Kermith Walters, will present the program that is being implemented in our schools.

Zinke

The Siskiyou Co. Water Users Assoc. sent a letter supporting Siskiyou County’s invitation to the newly appointed U.S. Sec. of Interior, Ryan Zinke, asking him to visit Siskiyou Co. and to oppose the destruction of the four hydro-electric dams in the Klamath River. President Richard Marshall cited the 2010 advisory vote by Siskiyou Co. where nearly 80 percent of the residents oppose dam removal and Klamath County’s vote last year where 75 percent opposed dam removal.

Wow, that would be wonderful for Sec. Zinke to visit Siskiyou and see first-hand the damage that dam removal would do to our environment.

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 3-21-17

Liz Writes Life

March 21, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

At age 57, Alaska’s Mitch Seavey ran the race of his life winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 14, 2017. Mitch shattered the previous time record to steal the title of the fastest Iditarod musher from his son, Dallas Seavey, who won the 2016 Iditarod Race at age 29.

“Old guys rule,” Mitch claimed, as he recounted the 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes race after arriving in Nome. This is his third win and he is the race’s oldest champion as well as the speediest. His win is certainly impressive as the mushers started the 1,000 mile race in 40 to 50 degree-below temperatures in Fairbanks. Ugh! When Mitch pulled into to Nome, it was a warmer minus 4 degrees. Ha.

Mitch beat his son’s 2016 winning time by eight hours and said he was surprised by his dogs, who acted like they wanted to move out. He said they seemed frustrated to go slow and he was concerned because he had never traveled that fast that far, but he “let them roll!” The team averaged around 10 mph! And Mitch took all of his mandated rests.

I am fascinated by the Iditarod race, which is now run as a modern-day challenge, I believe, to keep alive past traditions and importance of sled dogs, but also preserve the best of mankind – that of serving and sacrificing to save others.

In January of 1925, children in Nome were dying. The village was infected with diphtheria and the only physician, Dr. Curtis Welch, feared an epidemic would certainly put Nome’s population of 1,400 at risk. There was an antitoxin serum that could save lives, but it was 1,000 miles away in Anchorage. Ice choked Nome’s harbor making sea travel impossible and even the most current airplanes were open-cockpit and couldn’t fly in the subzero temps. The nearest train station was 700 miles away leaving sled dogs the fastest means of transportation.

Mushers and sled dogs were intricate to everyday life, including delivering mail and supplies, so there were significant trails between villages and towns. News of Nome’s dilemma reached Alaska Territorial Governor, Scott C. Bone, who quickly recruited the best mushers and dog teams. It was decided that a round-the-clock relay to transport the serum from Nenana to Nome would be the best way to achieve the goal. In the dark of January 27, 1915, a train arrived in Nenana with the precious package of 20-pounds of serum wrapped in protective fur. Musher Wild Bill Shannon tied the parcel to his sled, gave the signal and his nine Malamutes took off in what is called the “Great Race of Mercy”.

It was 60 degrees below zero and Shannon developed frostbite in the first leg of the relay of 52 miles, before he handed off the serum. Most mushers tallied 30 miles. One of Alaska’s most famous musher was Norwegian-born Leonhard Seppala, who departed Shaktoolic on January 31st on an epic 91-mile leg. He had already rushed 170 miles from Nome to intercept the relay. Gale-whipped winds sent temps to 85 degrees below zero, but Seppala’s lead Siberian Husky “Togo” fiercely led the 19-dog team through the Norton Sound where ice threatened to break apart.

Seppala handed off the serum to Charlie Olson, who after 25 miles met Gunnary Kaasen for the second-to-last leg of the relay. Kaasen set off into a pelting blizzard, but he trusted his lead dog, Balto. At one point, a huge gust of wind flipped the sled throwing the precious serum into a snow bank. A panicked Kaasen dug into the snow and was able to find the serum. He arrived in Port Safety early on Feb. 2nd, but the next team was not ready to leave, so Kaasen pushed on to Nome covering the last 53 miles arriving on Feb. 3, 1925.

It seemed fitting on this fine spring morning to share this harsh, freezing cold story of skill, determination and ultimate kindness. Happy spring!

Hammonds

Recently, I talked with Helen Lewis, who is a first cousin to Dwight Hammond, age 76, who is serving a second trumped-up sentence in prison. It was the situation of Dwight and his son, Steven, who were charged with starting a fire that burned from their property on to BLM-managed lands in Eastern Oregon (which was a cooperative burn with the federal agency) that brought Ammon and Ryan Bundy to the Malheur National Park Refuge in Jan. 2016. There, the Bundy’s occupied the refuge in protest of the atrocities levied on the Hammonds.

After the second unjustified trial, where Hammonds were found guilty of a terrorist activity, they were released and then were expected to report to San Pablo Prison in L.A. area. Their incarceration started in early Jan. 2016 and is for five years. They had already completed their previous prison sentences and then the “terrorist” charge was brought against them.

Several months ago, Helen and her husband, Alvin, and other family members were able to visit Dwight in an open family-type room in prison. Helen said he looks good, sounds good and is doing well under the circumstances. The judge did mandate that father and son were to room together in one cell and that is luckily the case.

Dwight grew up in Siskiyou Co. in Edgewood. When he and his wife, Susie, married they then moved to Gazelle. Then they purchased their ranch in Eastern Oregon and during the last 20 years had continual problems with federal agencies.

Finicum

A fundraiser for Jeanette Finicum will be held on Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center. Jeanette is the featured speaker. She and her family are raising funds to bring a civil lawsuit against the wrongful death of her husband, LaVoy Finicum, who was shot and killed by FBI agents and snipers on Jan. 26, 2016 on a rural highway in Eastern Oregon. Tickets are $25. Call Grace Leeman at 530-598-1908 to get your tickets.

POW

Elizabeth Nielsen, Natural Resources Specialist for Siskiyou Co., will explain the CA. Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting this Thursday, March 23rd along with our usual presenters. Time is 7 p.m. at the Fort Jones Community Center.

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 3-14-17

Liz Writes Life

March 14, 2017

Liz Writes Life

During the last two weeks, I have mentioned that Western Rivers Conservancy is considering purchasing the Timbervest properties on the west and south edges of Scott Valley. I learned from Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, and then Peter Colby, who is the spokesman for the conservancy, that the only properties the conservancy is interested in are at the south end of Scott Valley. They are specifically the Bouvier property located in the South Fork of the Scott River–Cecilville Road area and an eastern piece on Scott Mountain.

I had forgotten that Timbervest is willing to sell parcels of land. Apparently, it isn’t an all-in-one-lump land sale. I believe a few properties have been purchased in the northern end of the valley — not by a conservancy. Ray said that no bidders were successful in the first go-round in the area below Big Meadows. I am sorry for any confusion.

Garden

Last week, we decided to pull-up the five onions and found they were bunching onions. These must have grown from seed that I planted last year. They made it through the cold winter without having extra mulch put on them for protection. So that is good to know. Jack decided to dig up the last three feet of carrots. About half of them were in good shape, so he washed them up and brought them in the house. Some were too large and pithy, so he chopped those up with the shovel and left them for mulch.

The daffys are starting to bloom and actually needed a sip of water yesterday, because of our warm weather. I also gave some water to the violets and blue and pink lungwort that is starting to bloom.

Still didn’t get the lettuces or spinach planted. Maybe this week!

Snow survey

The U.S. Forest Service employees conducted the March 1st snowpack survey and found the snow was well above average in the mountains to the south and west of Scott Valley. More good news is that the snowpack is even denser than it was Feb. 1st.

I’ll mention the highest ones: Middle Boulder 3, established in 1948 at the 6,200 foot elevation, saw 84.5 inches of snow with an average of 60 inches making an historic average of 141 percent.

Boasting the highest percentage at 148 of historic average was Scott Mt. at 75.5 inches, where the average is 51.1 inches at the 5,900 foot elevation.

Swampy John, above Etna on Salmon Mt., is holding well at 126 percent of historical average with 89.5 inches over the average of 71 inches.

At the state level, California snow surveyors in the Sierra Nevada say the snowpack is close to setting records. Snow measured extremely high at 185 percent of the historical average. Hum, hopefully Gov. Jerry Brown will declare the five-year drought is over!

Forestry

Ray Haupt, and Lisa Nixon, Dist. 1 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, recently attended a meeting with a number of other rural county supervisors as part of the Sustainable Forest Action Coalition. The coalition is impressive as it is focusing on social-economic problems (and solutions) caused by the loss of our major rural resource industry – timber harvest. The website is worth checking out: sfacoaliton.com.

I know Ray is a huge supporter of active forest management to improve forest health, so I asked Lisa what she thought of the meeting. She said the group is currently assembling data relating to the socio-economic effects of forest management plans and projects; and vigorously advocating the development and implementation of forest management work.

Lisa said the data on forest-dependent communities is staggering. Rural livelihoods that relied on timber harvest were demolished. She also mentioned that recreation and eco-tourism has not even begun to fill the economic void. I agree as I heard this mantra throughout the 1990s and it never materialized. I also agree with Lisa that “humankind is, after all, part of the food chain, and I believe we are at the top. We deserve at least some consideration.” Way to go, Lisa!

Sounds like involvement in this coalition is a really good thing. Thank you Lisa and Ray for advocating for socio-economic justice for rural communities.

POW

Elizabeth Nielsen, Siskiyou Co. Natural Resources Specialist, will be speaking at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on Thurs., March 23, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Elizabeth is up-to-her-neck in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, called SGMA, that was signed into CA. law in 2014. It requires groundwater resources to be managed by local agencies throughout California. The local agencies are to develop and implement Groundwater Sustainability Plans by 2022, but the first deadline for a study plan is June of this year. Yep, Elizabeth is hustling.

She told me there are four groundwater basins in Siskiyou County that are subject to SGMA, the Shasta, Scott and Butte Valley Basins, and the Tule Lake Subbasin. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors and Flood Control District have taken active roles to meet the requirements of SGMA and ensure that these four groundwater basins are managed on a local level with input and support from the citizens of Siskiyou County, who depend on this vital resource.

To really get a good understanding of SGMA and how it will affect you, please attend the Protect Our Water meeting. Ray will be there to answer SGMA questions and will also discuss the Scott Valley Plan pertaining to JH Guest Ranch expansion and the Timbervest and (possible) conservancy purchase.

Finicum

Guess what? Five FBI agents are being investigated for lying and covering-up about the LaVoy Finicum shooting. There were additional bullets fired that were not included in the original reported count. Oops! The saga continues.

The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is underway. Check it out at: Alaska Dispatch News.com or Pie N Politics.com

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 3-7-17

Liz Writes Life

March 7, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Snow covered the blooming purple violas this weekend, several times, and something has eaten, at least one of the primroses. We decided to plant snow peas last week, before this round of storms hit, and I also made a good-sized 4 x 4 foot seedbed for lettuces and spinach. Spinach will take up the bulk of the space as just a quarter of that will grow lots of lettuce for May and June.

Wolf kill

The threat from wolves is getting closer as the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife confirmed the death of a calf on private property in neighboring Jackson County. On Feb. 25, 2017, ODFW confirmed the attack was from a wolf as the internal organs and entrails were ripped out and bite puncture wounds creating deep tissue damage were found at the armpit of the calf. This is follows the typical attack from a wolf. Plus there were wolf tracks around the dead calf and no other predator animal tracks.

It just breaks my heart to think of our livestock being threatened and killed by yet another predator. There are already enough bears, mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats in California. Actually, back in the late 1990s, game wardens in the CA. Dept. of Fish and Game (it was Game back then) told me they were not pushing for the introduction of wolves into California simply because California had too many predators.

Timbervest property

I thought there would be more info on the Western Rivers Conservancy purchasing the vast amount of Timbervest property on the west to south sides of Scott Valley. I haven’t learned much more, except Peter Colby is continuing to pressure the county and other groups to support its bid. If the conservancy purchases the property, water right holders will need to pay close attention to the possibility of losing some availability of their water allotment.

JH Ranch

The saga does continue for the Friends of French Creek, who will be asking the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors to hold strong in enforcing the current permit that JH Ranch Mountain Resort is operating under. JH Ranch has been trying to expand its operation with a new permit application, which would increase the number of clients they can house at one time. Friends of French Creek believe the current level of 387 clients is taxing the environment and invading neighbors privacy. They have been actively opposing JH’s expansion plans.

Cal Fire also has to approve JH’s expansion permit because of fire and emergency access requirements. In a nutshell, French Creek or Miner Creek Roads are not wide enough for fire engines to pass each other on certain narrow areas of the road; and that would put everyone in the French Creek area in grave jeopardy if there was a forest fire. It would be extremely difficult to safely evacuate 387 occupants at JH, plus the surrounding neighbors. As a result, last year, Cal Fire did not approve the expansion of JH’s permit.

So, it appears JH does not like Cal Fire’s objection and is now suing Cal Fire. Cal Fire has held firm saying JH must abide by the same fire and emergency requirements as everyone else.

At the same time, JH has continued to obtain more housing permits for 15 single family residences, 12 dormitories and nine tents providing beds for 172 employees. Wow! Previously, JH obtained an Employee Housing permit for seven units allowing for seven beds in 2015. So, it looks like JH is dead-set on continuing its expansion no matter what.

Hage saga

Attention ranchers and property rights supporters: The Wayne Hage battle received a blow last week, when a federal judge ordered Wayne N. Hage to pay $587,000 and remove his livestock from federally-managed Nevada lands. Hage was given 30 days to pay penalties, fines and grazing fees racked up from Nov. 2004 to June 2011. His deadline is March 31, 2017.

More than 25 years ago, federal agencies and courts began doing battle against Hage’s father, Wayne Hage, who butted heads with the U.S. Forest Service over his water rights for his Nevada ranch. The original Wayne Hage died in 2006. Soon after, the Hage family finally won his case in court. But that didn’t last. Eventually, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Hage family.

The younger Hage is working on an appeal against this recent decision, where Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro, in Las Vegas, ruled the federal grazing permits held by Wayne Hage did not transfer to his estate or to his son — an extremely detrimental decision for ranch owners. The federal judge also banned the Hage family from grazing livestock on any public land administered by USFS or BLM. Hage said he does not have any cattle on public lands.

This does not bode well for ranchers that have water rights or grazing permits on public lands. Sorry for the bad news.

Bundy

March 2nd, wrapped up the second week of testimony of government witnesses in the first Bundy Ranch stand-off trial being held in Las Vegas. The surprise for me is that the federal agents were told to stand-down on April 11, 2014 – the day before the tension-filled stand-off occurred on April 12, 2014. Three government agents testified they maintained their position, throughout the night, fully anticipating a bloody gunfight the next day.

None of the three officers, on the stand explained, why they were ordered to engage the protestors after being told at least twice to stand down, abandon their efforts to round up private cattle on federal land and leave.

April 12th was the climax where several hundred armed federal agents came face-to-face with over 100 Bundy Ranch armed supporters. This should be good for the defense as the government certainly escalated the situation. Check out Pie N Politics.com for more.

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 2-28-17

Liz Writes Life

Feb. 28, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Two days after I reported, in last week’s column, that the local Timbervest properties were not going to be purchased by a non-profit group, Siskiyou Co. Dist. 5 Supervisor, Ray Haupt, received an email saying the non-profit was indeed going ahead with purchasing the properties – without the support of the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors. Ray told me that Peter Colby, the spokesman for the Western Rivers Conservancy, told him the non-profit would aggressively pursue the properties that range from Fort Jones on the west side of Scott Valley around and into the Callahan area.

Ray was not happy with the news and said Western Rivers Conservancy “is in for a fight” from Siskiyou County as Colby has bluntly told the county supervisors its intention is to take the water rights allotments and shepherd that water down the Scott River just for fish. Under California Water Law, when a water right user does not use his water (usually for irrigation), it can then be utilized by the water right holders below.  Hum, this does not sound very neighborly!

Colby’s is not the first non-profit to challenge state water law in this manner. The Nature Conservancy is doing the same thing in Shasta Valley. It actually gave or sold the water rights, to a ranch it purchased, to CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Yes, DFW is trying to shepherd the water the same way. Guess these non-profits think they can color the water – maybe red – to keep it from being utilized by other water right owners!

But, the saga doesn’t stop there. Earlier last Thursday, Shirley Gilmore called me to tell me that a man called her last fall about the Callahan Water District’s water rights. Callahan residents’ only water source is from East Boulder Creek. The man talking to Shirley said he was representing a group that was planning on buying the Timbervest properties and would then take the water rights away from the Callahan Water District. Talk about threatening!

After communicating with Shirley, Ray said he and Michael Kobseff, who is chairman of the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors Board, were already talking to our county CAO and counsel about the situation.

Stay tuned, I think there will be more on this saga next week!

Native Daughters

A wonderful Tea Party was held by the Native Daughters of the Golden West last Saturday at the Etna High School multi-purpose room. It was filled with beautifully decorated tea sets, scrumptious sandwiches, cookies and 100 smiling women. Three Etna FFA young ladies worked as servers.

The theme for this year’s event was one-room school houses in Scott Valley. Believe it or not, more than a dozen raised their hands when asked who had attended a one-room school house.

Historical pictures, and several ladies, shared stories of attending one-room school houses. Melanie Fowle and Carol Maplesden attended a school house at the south end of the valley — about 15 years apart. Both rode a horse to school and tucked their dresses inside their jeans during the ride or changed at school into the mandatory dress.

Of course, our last operating one-room, turned into a two-room, school was Quartz Valley, which closed just a few years ago.

Mike Adams

Remember, a memorial will be held this Sunday, March 5, 2017 for Mike Adams at the Fort Jones Community Center at 2 p.m. Mike died unexpectedly last October and was serving as president of Scott Valley Protect Our Water and on the Yreka Tea Party Patriots steering committee. Please bring a dessert to share.

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will hold its next meeting on Thur. March 23, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center at 7 p.m. Andrew Hurlimann is now the president.

Garden

Early in February we were out of potatoes, so Jack was able to locate where a plant had been. He scraped off the several inches of mulch and dug up six pounds of really big Russet potatoes. Only one had a sorta-soft spot from freezing. About a week later, during one of those really warm days – when it wasn’t raining – he used the push-plow and worked-up half of the garden to discourage weeds.

A week ago, we went out and raked up a bunch of pine needles and I found a whole bunch of my Jessie Hammond daffodils along side of the house. They are about eight-inches tall and will likely be blooming by mid-March. This year, Easter is late on April 16. I hope they will still have flowers. It was so warm that we worked in our t-shirts, but only for that one day. Jack also pruned back the two hardy rose bushes.

The rhubarb is just starting to peek through the soil and Jack dug some carrots last week. They are still pretty good although several were tangled and pithy and got tossed in the compost pile.

Last month, the three-inch tall garlic stems had some yellow on them. I guess from the snow and cold, but now they are about seven-inches tall and green. And I see the red-flowered bee balm that my brother and his wife gave us is coming back.

A spring fling hit me, when I stopped by the feed store — I bought three blooming primroses. Took nearly a week to get them planted and they have already been snowed on twice. That got me in the mood for more flowers, so I grabbed my favorite grubbing hoe and started digging out the bunch grass and weeds under the pine tree. Only about three-quarters got dug up and my good intentions have not mustered enough gumption to get the other six-feet worked up. I must say the soil was perfect for grubbing – not too wet and not too hard. My goal is to plant more four o’clocks, cosmos and transplant coreopsis into that flower bed.

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 2-21-17

Liz Writes Life

Feb. 21, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

The U.S. Forest Service held its first snow survey on Feb. 1st in the mountains surrounding the Scott Valley. Guess what? Yep, measurements were over 130 percent higher than historic averages. Unfortunately, last week’s warm temps and rain have likely lowered that percentage, but here is a quick rundown of the first 2017 results.

Middle Boulder #1 had 61.5 inches of snow — average of 50 inches. Middle Boulder #3 was at 69 inches — average of 49.2 inches. Both of those stations are over 6,000 feet in elevation. Dynamite Meadow at 5,700 elevation feet measured 47.5 inches — average of 38.3 inches. Swampy John above Etna was 80 inches — average of 57.4 inches (5,500 feet elevation) and Scott Mt. at 5,900 feet elevation was 67.5 inches — average of 41 inches.

Once again, we have witnessed the flooding waters creating Scott Valley Lake near Fort Jones as Kidder Creek and Scott River overflowed their banks. Sure do hope the Oroville dam overflow spillway holds. Flooding is causing problems throughout the rest of the state. It is frustrating that our weather can’t even itself out instead of famine-or-feast in the rain/snow department.

There really should be many more dams and reservoirs catching this rain. Yep, the State of California has really messed up in a variety of ways, including not reinforcing the spillway at Oroville dam with rebar. Ugh!

Tea Party

The Yreka Tea Party will hold its next meeting in Fort Jones at the Community Center on Feb. 28, 2017. Time is 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. James Roseman, executive director of the Siskiyou Domestic Violence & Crisis Center will speak on “Erin’s Law.” There will be a short video titled: “Ending the Nightmare.” It is about child abuse, specifically exposing and working to end child sexual abuse in the U.S. The statistics are daunting with one in four girls and one in six boys being sexually assaulted before the age of 18. And it is usually by someone they trust in their family, friends, neighbors or coaches. Erin’s Law teaches children how to protect themselves. For more information, call Louise Giatto at 530-842-5443.

Memorial

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 5, 2017 for Mike Adams, who passed away last October. It will be held at the Fort Jones Community Center at 2 p.m. Please bring a dessert to share.

When he died, unexpectedly of heart problems, Mike was serving as president of Scott Valley Protect Our Water and was on the steering committee for the Yreka Tea Party Patriots.

POW

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor of Dist 5, and Preston Harris, who is project coordinator for Siskiyou RCD, spoke at the last meeting about the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act that was passed into law in 2014. Preston said 11 years of local studies show Scott River is not the primary source of the aquifer – it is supplemental. That is good news for agricultural irrigation. He added, “We are a snowmelt driven system. We are not a groundwater dependent system.”

The Scott River Groundwater Advisory Committee measures 35 wells each month as part of its groundwater study. Preston said the aquifer had recharged significantly, even before all this winter snow and rain. He added the work with Dr. Thomas Harter and U.C. Davis is a landowner-driven process and ties-in well with the California’s SGMA.

Ray said the county is on-track to meet the first step demanded by the state’s new groundwater management act, which is in June. The actual management plan must be written by 2020. The state wants to know how much water comes in and how much goes out in the sub-basin.

The next step is to form sub-basin subcommittees of landowners that will participate in developing the plan. This is huge folks. We do not want state agency bureaucrats telling us how we can use our groundwater. This process undertaken by the Siskiyou Co. Natural Resources Dept. will keep groundwater management under local control.

Ray also shared that the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife spoke to the county supervisors regarding the dreaded 1602 Permit that is needed to move gravel to obtain legal water right allotments. “Vague” describes the presentation. Several farmers asked for clarification on quickness for when emergency permits should be issued. With the high waters this year, excess gravel and debris will be a problem at headgates.

It was suggested for DFW to hold several Town Hall-type of meetings, so they could specifically answer questions from irrigators, which was taken under advisement. We shall see.

The Marijuana Ordinance is back in the news. Because California’s complicated new law was passed in the November election, the county will now need to modify its ordinance to agree with state law. Crazy as it sounds, the county allowed 12 plants to be grown by those who had prescriptions. The new state law reduces that number to just six plants — if you do not have a commercial license. Oh, and the California commercial license is not yet available.

About 25 marijuana growers attended the supervisors’ meeting and complained that they can’t get by with growing just six plants.

Forest sale

Good news! The sale of Timbervest forest properties surrounding Scott Valley from Fort Jones to Callahan did not go through. The non-profit group expected the county supervisors to support the purchase. Ray said the supervisors did not support the non-profit, because it was planning to strip the water rights and give them to California DFW, which would herd that water for fish – away from agriculture.

Bundy

Biggest news is in regards to BLM Supervisor Daniel P. Love, who is being investigated for deletion of 100s of documents before a congressional investigative committee issued a subpoena, obstruction of a congressional investigation and witness tampering. This should bode well for Bundy defense.

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

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BOR is a bad player — Liz Writes Life 2-14-17

Liz Writes Life

Feb. 14, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

A devastating flood disaster along the Klamath River was avoided last weekend — and it was because Siskiyou Co. Supervisors, officials and employees instantly jumped into high-gear.

Siskiyou Co. Natural Resources Specialist Elizabeth Nielsen quickly relayed a Press Release that she found on the county’s Office of Emergency Services website last Friday morning. It was from the Bureau of Reclamation and stated that BOR had lost a lawsuit and was immediately releasing a gigantic pulse of water into the Klamath River. What?

The pulse was to be released at noon on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 with an increase from the 4,000 cfs to 9,600 cfs over a four day period. This would be on top of an already flooding Klamath River that had closed Hwy 96 above Happy Camp. There was over a foot-and-a-half of water over the highway at Granite Point on Friday morning.

Elizabeth immediately contacted our five county supervisors and CAO, who then started burning up the cell phone lines. Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Supervisor, admitted to me that he was pretty upset. His constituents were in the direct line of this potential disaster. He contacted PacifiCorp to see if they would actually allow the huge water increase on top of a flood stage. He was told it was out of their hands as BOR decrees the flows. Ray’s next phone call was to Erin Ryan, office staff for Congressman Doug LaMalfa. Erin immediately contacted LaMalfa’s Washington D.C. staff, who went to work calling federal officials with the BOR.

Ray told me that Michael Kopseff, Chairman of the Siskiyou Supervisors, first calls were to Assemblyman Brian Dahle and State Senator Ted Gaines offices for help. Terry Barber, Siskiyou Co. CAO, began alerting county departments and started the legal process to shut-down BOR’s pulse flow.

Ray kicked his fire knowledge into gear knowing that fire-type folks are year-round emergency personnel. Tom Mopas, Seiad Valley Fire Chief, provided Ray with on-the-ground info of the raging Klamath River and let him know that high waters were within six-inches of flooding homes on Walker Creek. Ray was able to relay that our congressman and his staff were at a dead run contacting the decision-making BOR officials.

According to the BOR officials in Klamath Falls, the pulse of water had already been released from Upper Klamath Lake. But, Ray believed it could be slowed through the use of the dams between Klamath Falls and Iron Gate dam near Hornbrook. The phone calls continued. Ray talked with his contacts in Cal-Fire. Cal-Trans booted-up even more and CHP officers were part of the emergency alerting process to river residents.

Ray finally received a response from California State Regional BOR Director late in the afternoon. He was told that BOR would not increase the river flow above flood stage with their pulses. Nature also helped out. Rain had stopped, freezing temps slowed the runoff Friday night and sunshine brightened Saturday’s morning. Catastrophic disaster was averted.

Ray said it is “unconscionable” the county was not notified by BOR — through the county CAO’s office. Neither was Humboldt County notified, well other than Ray, who asked the Siskiyou Cal-Fire chief to contact the Humboldt Cal-Fire chief.

Ray has found the lawsuit and read where the judge’s order gave complete discretion of pulse release timing to BOR!

So, who in their right mind would order a doubling of the release of water from the Klamath dams on top of a flood event? Who wouldn’t follow a basic protocol to contact officials in Siskiyou and Humboldt Counties? It is not just unconscionable, it is outrageous!

What is more outrageous is that after writing the above information on Sunday night, I learned of a news article in the Herald and News in Klamath Falls dated Feb. 9, 2017 – one day before Friday. It reported that BOR would be ramping-up the water release on Feb. 10, 2017, because the judge issued the lawsuit order on Feb. 8, 2017. And this was to “take advantage” of the increased flow event of rain-on-snow conditions.

The article also stated: “United States District Judge William H. Orrick ordered Reclamation to implement “winter-spring flushing flows designed to dislodge and flush out polychaete worms that host C. Shasta”. The increased flow event was planned in coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Yurok, Karuk, Hoopa Valley and Klamath Tribes, Klamath Project water users, state and other fisheries experts, and PacifiCorp.”

I would think that at least one person in these groups would be smart enough to suggest the pulse could wait a few weeks, so homes and highways would not be flooded and damaged. This lapse of judgment boggles the mind.

The positive note from this situation is the teamwork and instant hustle of our county governing officials, CAO and county staff. It is truly comforting to know this group of people really does have a high-level of concern for the welfare of its citizens. Thank you to Ray and supervisors, county department heads, fire fighters, law enforcement and all emergency services. Thank you!

For those of you who think I am laying it on a little thick – it wasn’t very many years ago that I didn’t believe there was enough concern or teamwork or hustle or connections to federal and state officials to have stopped this catastrophic disaster. (Doug LaMalfa played a major roll with his influence on BOR.) There has been a good change in much of our county’s governing and attitude and I truly appreciate it.

The Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting was well attended last week. I’ve run out of room to discuss it in this week’s column. Let’s just say the groundwater levels are doing well and the water studies will certainly aid local control of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Plan. I will share the good news next week.

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

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