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Browsing the archives for the Oregon and Water category.

What’s Going on In Oregon – Militia Take Over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge In Protest to Hammond Family Persecution

Agriculture, Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, cattle, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Federal gov & land grabs, FIRES, Lawsuits, Liberty, OCCUPY whatever, Oregon and Water, Oregon governments, Over-regulations, Police State or SWAT teams, PRAYER, Property rights, PROTESTS, Ranch life, Threats to agriculture, Water rights

PNP comment: This article on “The Conservative Tree House.com” blog provides the truthful time-line in the Hammond verses BLM situation and the federal agency’s egregious actions. It is plain to see that the feds have coveted the Hammond ranch land and persecuted the family for decades hoping to obtain the property. The situation has now been escalated by the Nevada Bundy ranch family, Oath Keepers and militia (typically U.S. retired military) in creating an extremely difficult situation. Federal courts will not be kind. They have proven that with the terrible “terror” accusation and verdict of 5 years in prison for Dwight and Steven Hammond. Please read this article as it will provide you with the nuances needed to understand these sad and frustrating events. Meanwhile, please PRAY there will be a peaceful solution. — Editor Liz Bowen




Full Story on What’s Going on In Oregon – Militia Take Over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge In Protest to Hammond Family Persecution…

Grab a coffee, because this is soup-to-nuts.

Many people will awaken today to the news of approximately 100 to 150 armed militia taking control of a closed Wildlife Park Headquarters, and not know the full back-story – so here it is:

burns 4burns 5

The short summary is:  in an effort to draw attention to a ridiculous arrest of a father and son pair of Oregon Ranchers (“Dwight Lincoln Hammond, Jr., 73, and his son, Steven Dwight Hammond, 46,) who are scheduled to begin five year prison sentences (turning themselves in tomorrow January 4th 2016), three brothers from the Cliven Bundy family and approximately 100/150 (and growing) heavily armed militia (former U.S. service members) have taken control of Malheur Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in the wildlife reserve.  They are prepared to stay there indefinitely.

Here’s the long version: including history, details, links video(s) and explanations:

Hammond Family

Hammond Family

HISTORY: (aa) The Harney Basin (were the Hammond ranch is established) was settled in the 1870’s. The valley was settled by multiple ranchers and was known to have run over 300,000 head of cattle. These ranchers developed a state of the art irrigated system to water the meadows, and it soon became a favorite stopping place for migrating birds on their annual trek north.

(ab) In 1908 President Theodor Roosevelt, in a political scheme, create an “Indian reservation” around the Malheur, Mud & Harney Lakes and declared it “as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds”. Later this “Indian reservation” (without Indians) became the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

(a) In 1964 the Hammonds purchased their ranch in the Harney Basin. The purchase included approximately 6000 acres of private property, 4 grazing rights on public land, a small ranch house and 3 water rights. The ranch is around 53 miles South of Burns, Oregon.

(a1) By the 1970’s nearly all the ranches adjacent to the Blitzen Valley were purchased by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and added to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge covers over 187,000 acres and stretches over 45 miles long and 37 miles wide. The expansion of the refuge grew and surrounds to the Hammond’s ranch. Being approached many times by the FWS, the Hammonds refused to sell. Other ranchers also choose not to sell.

(a2) During the 1970’s the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), took a different approach to get the ranchers to sell. Ranchers were told that, “grazing was detrimental to wildlife and must be reduced”. 32 out of 53 permits were revoked and many ranchers were forced to leave. Grazing fees were raised significantly for those who were allowed to remain. Refuge personnel took over the irrigation system claiming it as their own.

(a3) By 1980 a conflict was well on its way over water allocations on the adjacent privately owned Silvies Plain. The FWS wanted to acquire the ranch lands on the Silvies Plain to add to their already vast holdings. Refuge personnel intentional diverted the water to bypassing the vast meadowlands, directing the water into the rising Malheur Lakes. Within a few short years the surface area of the lakes doubled. Thirty-one ranches on the Silvies plains were flooded. Homes, corrals, barns and graze-land were washed a way and destroyed. The ranchers that once fought to keep the FWS from taking their land, now broke and destroyed, begged the FWS to acquire their useless ranches. In 1989 the waters began to recede and now the once thriving privately owned Silvies pains are a proud part of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge claimed by the FWS.

(a4) By the 1990’s the Hammonds were one of the very few ranchers that still owned private property adjacent to the refuge. Susie Hammond in an effort to make sense of what was going on began compiling fact about the refuge. In a hidden public record she found a study that was done by the FWS in 1975. The study showed that the “no use” policies of the FWS on the refuge were causing the wildlife to leave the refuge and move to private property. The study showed that the private property adjacent to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge produced 4 times more ducks and geese than the refuge did. It also showed that the migrating birds were 13 times more likely to land on private property than on the refuge. When Susie brought this to the attention of the FWS and refuge personnel, her and her family became the subjects of a long train of abuses and corruptions.

(b) In the early 1990’s the Hammonds filed on a livestock water source and obtained a deed for the water right from the State of Oregon. When the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) found out that the Hammonds obtained new water rights near the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge, they were agitated and became belligerent and vindictive towards the Hammonds. The US Fish and Wildlife Service challenged the Hammonds right to the water in an Oregon State Circuit Court. The court found that the Hammonds legally obtained rights to the water in accordance to State law and therefore the use of the water belongs to the Hammonds.*

(c) In August 1994 the BLM & FWS illegally began building a fence around the Hammonds water source. Owning the water rights and knowing that their cattle relied on that water source daily the Hammonds tried to stop the building of the fence. The BLM & FWS called the Harney County Sheriff department and had Dwight Hammond (Father) arrested and charged with “disturbing and interfering with” federal officials or federal contractors (two counts, each a felony). He spent one night in the Deschutes County Jail in Bend, and a second night behind bars in Portland before he was hauled before a federal magistrate and released without bail. A hearing on the charges was postponed and the federal judge never set another date.

(d) The FWS also began restricting access to upper pieces of the Hammond’s private property. In order to get to the upper part of the Hammond’s ranch they had to go on a road that went through the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge. The FWS began barricading the road and threatening the Hammonds if they drove through it. The Hammonds removed the barricades and gates and continued to use their right of access. The road was proven later to be owned by the County of Harney. This further enraged the BLM & FWS.

(e) Shortly after the road & water disputes, the BLM & FWS arbitrarily revoked the Hammond’s upper grazing permit without any given cause, court proceeding or court ruling. As a traditional “fence out state” Oregon requires no obligation on the part of an owner to keep his or her livestock within a fence or to maintain control over the movement of the livestock. The Hammonds intended to still use their private property for grazing. However, they were informed that a federal judge ruled, in a federal court, that the federal government did not have to observe the Oregon fence out law. “Those laws are for the people, not for them”.

(f) The Hammonds were forced to either build and maintain miles of fences or be restricted from the use of their private property. Cutting their ranch in almost half, they could not afford to fence the land, so the cattle were removed.

(g) The Hammonds experienced many years of financial hardship due to the ranch being diminished. The Hammonds had to sale their ranch and home in order to purchase another property that had enough grass to feed their cattle. This property included two grazing rights on public land. Those were also arbitrarily revoked later.

(h) The owner of the Hammond’s original ranch passed away from a heart attack and the Hammonds made a trade for the ranch back.

(i) In the early fall of 2001, Steven Hammond (Son) called the fire department, informing them that he was going to be performing a routine prescribed burn on their ranch. Later that day he started a prescribed fire on their private property. The fire went onto public land and burned 127 acres of grass. The Hammonds put the fire out themselves. There was no communication about the burn from the federal government to the Hammonds at that time. Prescribed fires are a common method that Native Americans and ranchers have used in the area to increase the health & productivity of the land for many centuries.

(j) In 2006 a massive lightning storm started multiple fires that joined together inflaming the countryside. To prevent the fire from destroying their winter range and possibly their home, Steven Hammond (Son) started a backfire on their private property. The backfire was successful in putting out the lightning fires that had covered thousands of acres within a short period of time. The backfire saved much of the range and vegetation needed to feed the cattle through the winter. Steven’s mother, Susan Hammond said: “The backfire worked perfectly, it put out the fire, saved the range and possibly our home”.

(j1) The next day federal agents went to the Harney County Sheriff’s office and filled a police report making accusation against Dwight and Steven Hammond for starting the backfire. A few days after the backfire a Range-Con from the Burns District BLM office asked Steven if he would meet him in town (Frenchglen) for coffee. Steven accepted. When leaving he was arrested by the Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup and BLM Ranger Orr. Sheriff Glerup then ordered him to go to the ranch and bring back his father. Both Dwight and Steven were booked and on multiple Oregon State charges. The Harney County District Attorney reviewed the accusation, evidence and charges, and determined that the accusations against Dwight & Steven Hammond did not warrant prosecution and dropped all the charges.

(k) In 2011, 5 years after the police report was taken, the U.S. Attorney Office accused Dwight and Steven Hammond of completely different charges, they accused them of being “Terrorist” under the Federal Antiterrorism Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. This act carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of death. Dwight & Steven’s mug shots were all over the news the next week posing them as “Arsonists”. Susan Hammond (Wife & Mother) said: “I would walk down the street or go in a store, people I had known for years would take extreme measures to avoid me”.

(l) Shortly after the sentencing, Capital Press ran a story about the Hammonds. A person who identified as Greg Allum posted three comments on the article, calling the ranchers “clowns” who endangered firefighters and other people in the area while burning valuable rangeland. Greg Allum, a retired BLM heavy equipment operator, soon called Capital Press to complain that he had not made those comments and request that they be taken down from the website. Capital Press removed the comments. A search of the Internet Protocol address associated with the comments revealed it is owned by the BLM’s office in Denver, Colorado. Allum said, he is friends with the Hammonds and was alerted to the comments by neighbors who knew he wouldn’t have written them. “I feel bad for them. They lost a lot and they’re going to lose more,” Allum said of the ranchers. “They’re not terrorists. There’s this hatred in the BLM for them, and I don’t get it,” The retired BLM employee said. Jody Weil, deputy state director for communications at BLM’s Oregon office, indicated to reporters that if one of their agents falsified the comments, they would keep it private and not inform the public.

(m) In September 2006, Dwight & Susan Hammond’s home was raided. The agents informed the Hammonds that they were looking for evidence that would connect them to the fires. The Hammonds later found out that a boot print and a tire tracks were found near one of the many fires. No matching boots or tires were found in the Hammonds home or on their property. Susan Hammond (Wife) later said; ” I have never felt so violated in my life. We are ranchers not criminals”. Steven Hammond openly maintains his testimony that he started the backfire to save the winter grass from being destroyed and that the backfire ended up working so well it put out the fire entirely altogether.

(n) During the trial proceedings, Federal Court Judge Michael Hogan did not allow time for certain testimonies and evidence into the trail that would exonerate the Hammonds. Federal prosecuting attorney, Frank Papagni, was given full access for 6 days. He had ample time to use any evidence or testimony that strengthened the demonization of the Hammonds. The Hammonds attorney was only allowed 1 day. Much of the facts about the fires, land and why the Hammonds acted the way they did was not allowed into the proceedings and was not heard by the jury. For example, Judge Hogan did not allow time for the jury to hear or review certified scientific findings that the fires improved the health and productivity of the land. Or, that the Hammonds had been subject to vindictive behavior by multiple federal agencies for years.


Full Story on What’s Going on In Oregon – Militia Take Over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge In Protest to Hammond Family Persecution…

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Galice Miners File Challenge Against Oregon Anti-Mining Legislation

Mining, Oregon and Water

According to the complaint, the State of Oregon is in violation of Federal Law

April 23rd, 2013

Grants Pass, OR – Southern Oregon’s oldest profession is currently under attack by legislation that is currently being considered by the State Legislature. For over 160 years, especially during hard economic times, people in Southern Oregon have looked to the area’s hills and streams for an income, gleaning gold and other valuable minerals from the land through hard work and sheer determination. In 1872, the United States Congress granted the People of the United States with a protected right to go upon certain tracts of the nation’s vast Public Domain to search for and to extract valuable minerals such as gold, silver, copper and platinum.

As the Second Pan American Scientific Congress explained it in 1917, “This was the first instance where a sovereign broke away from the old regalian right and voluntarily ceded to her citizens as a gift, all her mineral wealth on the sole condition that the citizen should go out and possess it.”

Indeed, Congress had “revolutionized the whole land policy of the Government, abdicating in the name of the Nation its authority and jurisdiction over the richest mineral possessions on the face of God’s earth”, for the sake and welfare of its citizens.

In Oregon, this unique right of the American people is currently being threatened by the introduction of several senate bills, SB 401 and SB 838. The bills, which were introduced by Senator Alan Bates (D-Ashland) and subsequently passed by the Senate Environmental and Natural Resources Committee which is chaired by Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D-Portland) and vice-chaired by Bates seek to ban placer mining on certain waterways and place a five year moratorium on all motorized mining inside the State of Oregon. The legislation is also being supported by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.

After most elected officials turned a deaf ear toward their concerns, miners within the Galice Mining District, which was organized in 1853 in what is today a portion of Josephine County, Oregon, voted unanimously on April 7th, 2013 to take legal action against Bates, Dingfelder, Kitzhaber and also Senator Peter Courtney who is the President of the Oregon State Senate. The miner’s lawsuit calls for a preliminary injunction against the anti-mining bills and requests that the federal government intervene to assess the legality of the proposed legislation.

“It’s our position that the legislation is patently unlawful,” said Kerby Jackson, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Galice Mining District. “We believe that the senate bills intend to usurp the will of Congress and are in violation of the 1872 Mining Act and the Oregon Admission Act of 1859, as well as Contract, Property and Supremacy Clauses of the United States Constitution and certain provisions of the Oregon State Constitution. We also believe that Mr. Bates and the other respondents are engaging in criminal behavior that is intended to violate the rights of miners in this state.”

“Federal law is clear,” Jackson said, “states and local governments may not ban locatable mineral mining”.

The case is being heard by the United States District Court based in Eugene, Oregon.

For more info, contact: kerbyjackson@mail.com


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Oregon Senator Doug Whitsettt on Water Rights in Oregon

Agriculture, OR Senator Doug Whitsett, Oregon and Water, Oregon governments, Water, Resources & Quality

Hundreds of legislative proposals are drafted (LC Draft) for Oregon State Agencies by the attorneys at Legislative Counsel each legislative session. This year, the Oregon Water Resources Department (Department) has asked for LC drafts on six or more legislative proposals. At least three of the concepts should be of significant interest to all those who use the waters of the state.

LC 657 proposes to establish Department authority to change the name on a water right certificate and to establish a fee to fully pay for that service.

The name on a water right certificate is usually the name of the person, or entity, that first claimed the water right, and that originally made the improvements required to receive the permanent certificate. It has long been understood that water rights appurtenant to the land are transferred to the new land owner when the land is sold. However, the name on the certificate is usually not changed when the land irrigated by that water right is purchased.

A recent Oregon Supreme Court decision suggests that the owner of the water right is the name of the person or entity on the certificate, rather than the owner of the land to which the water right is appurtenant.

The proposed change would allow current landowners to pay to secure the water right certificate appurtenant to their land in their own name. The LC draft is not entirely clear whether the Department would have authority to change the name on a certificate without being requested to do so, or what course the Department would take if the requested name change is contested.

The change would also better enable the Department to communicate with water right holders, to improve compliance with water measurement requirements, and to clarify where to send the bill for the Department’s proposed new tax on the use of water.
LC 659 would establish a water right management tax to be charged to each of Oregon’s 85,000 holders of Oregon water rights. The tax would apply to all agricultural, industrial, municipal and in stream water rights.

The Department expects that a significant number of privately owned water rights will be abandon by their holders rather than pay the new annual tax on water. The draft is not clear on who would pay the fee for Oregon’s myriad in-stream water rights.
This tax would extract about $12 million per biennium from Oregon water users. The revenue is to be used to generally support the Department’s activities.

The concept assumes that anyone holding a permit, certificate or decree would be subject to an annual fee of $100 per water right, with a cap of $1,000 for all but municipal customers. Apparently the tax cap would not apply to municipal water rights because municipal systems have a base of rate payers that allows them to pass the cost of the water tax on to their customers.

LC 661 would expand the current water right transaction fee-schedule and then make it permanent.

The draft language increases the current fee schedules by about 13 percent across the board. It also adds a couple of additional new fees “to bring consistency” to the overall fee schedule. The Department alleges that the double digit fee increase is needed to account for increased Department costs.

In the event that this bill does not pass, a sunset clause in the current fee schedule authorization would automatically cause the fees to revert back to the amounts charged by the Department in 2003.

The recent adoption of Oregon’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy has the potential to significantly increase the regulatory activities of the Water Resources Department. Many irrigators and legislators have wondered how the Department planned to fund those activities. The answer appears to be double-digit fee increases and a new perpetual tax on the use of the waters of the state.

Please remember, if we do not stand up for rural Oregon, no one will.

Best regards,


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Give Us Our Land Back

Agriculture, Federal gov & land grabs, Forestry & USFS, Oregon and Water, Oregon governments

Citizen Coalition Requests Federal Lands to Be Returned to the Counties

LEBANON, OR – May 25, 2012

An Oregon citizens coalition calling themselves Give Us Our Land Back is petitioning the US Congress to return ownership of federal land in Oregon to the counties of Oregon.

All US Forest Service, Bureau of Management, and National Park Service lands in Oregon will be given back to the counties, if the “Petition To De-Federalize Oregon Lands” is successful.

The online petition is at http://giveusourlandback.org.

In an letter on the website, Give Us Our Land Back executive director Mike Dubrasich wrote, “The Federal Government is trustee of 53% of the landbase of Oregon, and they have violated that trust exceedingly.

“The Federal Government has denied the rights of Oregonians to care for and steward our own forests, watersheds and rangelands; imposed fees and duties on us for use of our own public lands; erected locked gates and refused entry to the People of Oregon into our own public lands; burned vast tracts, incinerating the wealth of Oregon; destroyed our wildlife; polluted our air and water; fouled our streams; introduced exotic pests — and in so doing our homes, businesses and communities have become bankrupted, our schools, roads and public safety have been threatened, and our economy has been crippled.”

“The best stewardship arises from local ownership and jurisdiction. We residents of Oregon know our environment, appreciate and understand our watersheds, forests, and rangelands, and wish to assume responsibility for our own environment — which is our birthright, heritage, and legacy to future generations.”

“Oregon is not a colony. We are a state with the same rights, responsibilities, and equal footing with every other state in the Union. … In order to rectify this untenable situation, we have prepared a petition to the U.S. Congress, respectfully requesting redress of our grievances by returning ownership of our public lands to the Counties.”

The goal of Give Us Our Land Back is not privatization. “We wish public lands to remain public, but owned and managed by counties, not the Federal Government”.

“The justifications for transferring title of federal lands back to the counties are constitutional, pragmatic, and ethical,” stated Mr. Dubrasich. “The land rightfully belongs to the residents. We can do a far better job of stewardship and resource conservation of our local environment than any Washington DC bureaucracy. Justice is best served by local control.”

Give Us Our Land Back is collecting signatures from across the U.S. To date citizens from 25 states have signed the Petition to De-Federalize Oregon Lands.


Additional information may be obtained from:

Mike Dubrasich, Exec Dir
Give Us Our Land Back
33862 Totem Pole Rd.
Lebanon, OR 97355

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Video – Scientist Paul R. Houser Ph.D. speaking in Yreka, CA on May 7

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, Bi-State Alliance, CA & OR, California Rivers, California water, Clean Water ACT - EPA, Endangered Species Act, Federal gov & land grabs, Good websites, KBRA or KHSA, Klamath County, Klamath River & Dams, Oregon and Water, Oregon governments, Over-regulations, PacifiCorp, Paul R. Houser Ph.D. scientist, Salmon and fish, Sham Science, Siskiyou County, State gov, Threats to agriculture, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Thank you Robert Exter of Redding Tea Party for this youtube video. It is much appreciated.  — Editor Liz Bowen

Cal-Ore Bi-State Alliance invited Dr. Houser out to the Klamath and Siskiyou area of the Klamath Basin to visit and speak May 5-9, 2012.

It was well worth the time for EVERYONE involved.

On May 7, 2012, renowned scientist, Paul R. Houser, Ph.D. spoke to 300 Siskiyou County citizens and explained why he filed a serious “whistleblower” complaint with the federal Office of Special Council after being “fired” by the federal Dept. of Interior.

What was the federal officials’ issue with Dr. Houser?

He questioned the PROCESS that was used to promote destruction of four hydro-electric dams on the Klamath River AND cited flawed science and politically-based conclusions regarding salmon restoration in the Klamath Basin.

In this video, Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey introduces Dr. Paul R. Houser to a crowd in Yreka, CA.

Before being fired, Dr. Houser was the top scientist in the federal government charged with “integrity review” of science projects within the Dept. of Interior.


Please check back as a PAGE will soon be dedicated to Dr. Houser on Pie N Politics.com

Also check out Dr. Houser’s website at:


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Schedule of Reduction of Sheriff’s Office Services

Oregon and Water, Sheriff Gil Gilbertson

PNP comment: Budget losses are hitting Josephine Co. in Oregon. If there is NO money, few services can be provided. — Editor Liz Bowen


Published on Friday, 25 May 2012 09:11

Starting today, May 25th, in anticipation of a looming $7.5 million dollar budget shortfall, many Sheriff’s Office divisions and services will be reducing or ceasing operations.

The drastic decrease in the fiscal year 2012-13 budget, and subsequent years’ budgets, is a result of the federal government’s decision to terminate federal timber payments, commonly known as Oregon & California (O&C) funds.



As of 4 p.m. today, the sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit will cease operations. Current, open criminal cases have been referred to the District Attorney’s Office, but there will be no further investigative follow-up done by sheriff’s detectives.


The Records Division, which fields non-emergency phone calls and completes many state-required functions, will close. Non-emergency reports may be submitted by citizens online at www.jocosheriff.us/report, but the reports will simply be logged for information. There will not be any deputy follow-up or investigation.


As of May 29th, the Civil Division will be reducing its hours to Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m.


Patrol services will decrease from 20 hours a day, 7 days a week to 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. The total number of patrol personnel will decrease from 24.5 to 6. Of the remaining six, one is a sergeant and three are contracted by other entities.

Contract deputies’ primary responsibilities are to those entities that pay their salaries â€- namely, the City of Cave Junction, the Bureau of Land Management and the Oregon State Marine Board. Therefore, their availability to respond to areas outside their contracts will be extremely limited.

Considering the quantity of high priority calls that this office receives, it is clear that patrol will only be able to respond to life threatening incidents.

Sheriff’s deputies will respond to life threatening calls only during patrol hours of operation, which are not being publicized for safety reasons. There are no funds available for call outs, so sheriff’s deputies will not be available to respond after hours.

If you call 911 after hours, and it is a life threatening situation, Oregon State Police will provide a limited response that involves eliminating the current threat.

Sheriff’s patrol deputies will be spread thin, and their response, even in life threatening situations, may be delayed.

As such, the Sheriff’s Office regretfully advises that, if you know you are in a potentially volatile situation (for example, you are a protected person in a restraining order that you believe the respondent may violate), you may want to consider relocating to an area with adequate law enforcement services.

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Marcia Armstrong explains connection with whistleblower Paul R. Houser Ph.D.

Endangered Species Act, Federal gov & land grabs, KBRA or KHSA, Klamath River & Dams, Oregon and Water, Paul R. Houser Ph.D. scientist, Politicians & agencies, Salmon and fish, Sham Science, Threats to agriculture, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality, Whistleblowers

Ridin’ Point

By Marcia H. Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor – District 5


“Klamath Whistleblower” Part 1 of 2:

Recently, Paul Houser, Ph.D. met with the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors (BoS) to discuss the science of the Klamath dam removal studies. Houser has a degree in hydrology and is an expert in hydrometeorology. He is currently a Professor at George Mason University.  He was the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BoR) Science Advisor and his duties included advice on peer review and scientific integrity.

In September of 2011, Dr. Houser was asked to review a press release and summary of the dam removal science. In his review, he felt that the documents were biased and the science was being spun or manipulated to support dam removal. Houser commented that science informs decisions and decision-makers should get a realistic summary of the risks.

When he transmitted his concerns, he was advised not to create a document that would be discoverable by Congress or a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA.) It was also indicated that his disclosure was not welcome because the Secretary of Interior wanted the dams removed. It became clear to Dr. Houser that the decision to remove the dams had already been made and the science was being manipulated to support a predetermined outcome.

Despite making his concerns known in writing, they were never addressed. The press release was changed slightly, but not the summary of the science. The BoR recategorized his position as probationary and eliminated his travel, training and mentoring. In February 2012, his Supervisor gave him the option of resigning or being terminated. He chose the later and has filed a complaint raising issues of biased science and scientific integrity with the Inspector General for Whistleblower Protection. The following Monday, the Secretary of Interior delayed the anticipated announcement on his decision whether or not to remove the Klamath dams, stating that Congress had not yet passed legislation giving him the authority to do so.

Citing examples of manipulated science to the BoS, Houser pointed out that the dam removal EIS/EIR (Environmental Impact Statement/Report) claims an expected 81.4% increase in Chinook population. The expert scientific panel actually indicated an expected possible increase of as much as 10% in chinook spawners due to 10 different factors, including water quality and significant restoration work in the tributaries. The 81.4% figure came from an un-peer reviewed report by a contractor, which had a huge range of uncertainty.

When asked by the BoS about his opinion concerning dam removal, Houser pointed out core water quality and temperature issues in the Upper Klamath that were limiting factors to salmon. He also expressed concern about the impacts of the sediment flush. He said that he believed that removing the dams was at best – risky, and at worst – tragic. One of the real issues is that the BoR failed to consider logical alternatives to dam removal, such as truck and haul or the fish bypass. Also, his Supervisor had been a long time lobbyist for Trout Unlimited, which posed an ethical conflict of interest.

Houser talked about how paid science can reflect the purchaser’s agenda. The wording of a hypothesis given to a scientist by an agency drives the science and can result in bias if it fails to consider all the options.  The government’s failure to do social and economic impact analysis also leads to imbalanced decisions and the failure to recognize trade-offs.

He talked about his concerns over how the dams would be breached and the remaining slow release of eroded fine sediment that would affect the river for years afterward. According to Houser, the habitat in the Upper Basin is not even good habitat for salmon and steelhead. He agreed with Supervisor Kobseff that a trial test of released hatchery salmon in the Upper Basin would be a prudent experiment before removing the dams. Houser also agreed that truck and haul was not a radical alternative and that it was being used in other rivers.

State Responsibility Area (SRA) Fire Prevention Benefit Fee: There will be a hearing by the CA Board of Forestry on the proposed draft permanent State Responsibility Area (SRA) fee on May 23 at the Shasta County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 1450 Court Street, from 1-4 p.m.  As it currently stands, fee bills of $150.00 per per habitable structure are set to be sent to property owners on August 7. Property owners within the SRA and also within the boundaries of a local agency that provides fire protection services shall receive a reduction $35.00 per habitable structure. Written comments on the permanent regulations can be submitted anytime to the Board of Forestry at board.public.comments@fire.ca.gov or  Mr. George Gentry, Executive Officer , Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, P.O. Box 944246, Sacramento, CA 94244-2460

Ridin’ Point

By Marcia H. Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor – District 5


“Klamath Whistleblower” Part 2 of 2: 

Recently, Paul Houser, Ph.D. met with the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors (BoS) to discuss the science of Klamath dam removal. Houser was the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BoR) Science Advisor and his duties included advice on peer review and scientific integrity.

According to Dr. Houser, politics has no place in science and if you are trusting science from the BoR, it comes with a political agenda. The expert panel reports were rather good in expressing the uncertainty and the risk of the impacts of dam removal. It was decision-makers higher up that were trying to change the science to match their political agenda. Houser also expressed some concern about the peer reviewers selected to review the science. In one case, a dam removal engineer was selected as a reviewer – bringing a possible predetermined bias and conflict of interest.

Supervisor Grace Bennett expressed concern that removal of the dams would eliminate their function as “settling ponds” in cleaning the river. Houser indicated that the water quality in the Upper Basin was impaired by phosphorus from volcanic soils. Studies have shown how the dams have cleaned up water quality. Without them, the poor water quality at Keno will be the water quality for the entire river. He also indicated that in the Upside down nature of the Klamath River, the Trinity River’s contribution to cold, clean water is extremely important. It appears to be treated as a separate river, instead of a vital part of the Klamath River system.

Houser had concerns for the toxicity of the sediment behind the dams. He said that it contained chemicals that had been used in the past that don’t break down easily. Once the dams are removed, a layer of from one to six feet of sediment would be deposited on the streambed downstream of the dams. The dam removal EIS/EIS (Environmental Impact Statement/Report) assumes that most of the sediment will stay in place. As has been shown with old mill dams in the Shenandoah, erosion over the years can caused a legacy of water quality problems into the future.

Surprisingly, there has been very little push back from his allegations from supporters of dam removal. When he was challenged to a debate by an environmentalist, he answered that he was going to argue in favor or scientific integrity and asked if the challenger was going to argue in favor of scientific misconduct.

In the delta smelt lawsuit, each side had its own scientists. The irrigator’s scientists tried to convince the judge that the fish’s needs allowed for flows to farmers. The agency’s scientists tried to convince the judge that every drop of water was needed for the fish. It was obvious what the biases were and the judge had to decide between them. He blasted the federal scientists. He told them that they were being paid by the tax payer and were obligated to look at all sides, good or bad, and provide unbiased and balanced information upon which to base a decision.

In the case of the Klamath, Houser indicated that the local scientists he had spoken with are disgusted with what has happened with science on the Klamath. Houser would like to do an independent peer review and take a look at what we do know and what we still need to know.

Supervisor Bennett indicated that the local fish passage idea had been turned down out of hand by the CA Dept of Fish and Game and BoR. Houser stated that the fish passage idea looked like a good creative idea if it would deliver fish to suitable habitat. Engineering makes sense in other areas with high tech elevators, etc., why not on the Klamath?

Natural Resource Specialist Ric Costales asked whether or not working in a hotbed of political pressures was just par for the course for scientists. Houser indicated that the Klamath was particularly egregious because the Secretary had made the decision to remove the dams years before in 2009 and had implemented a process masquerading as a scientific process to justify it.

County Counsel Tom Guarino stated that the BoS had long been concerned about the quality of Klamath science and had insisted that reference to the President’s March 9, 2009, Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on “scientific integrity” be included in the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement. Dr. Houser indicated that, as BoR advisor for scientific integrity, he was required to follow these Presidential orders.

In regard to his formal complaint to the Inspector General for Whistleblower Protection on the scientific bias and lack of integrity, Houser stated that he had also included Siskiyou County’s concerns raised in its comments on the dam removal EIS/EIR



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KBRA agenda part of the new world order

Agenda 21 & Sustainable, Agriculture, Agriculture - California, Endangered Species Act, Federal gov & land grabs, Greenies & grant $, KBRA or KHSA, Op-ed, Oregon and Water, Salmon and fish, Threats to agriculture


KBRA agenda part of the new world order   

Herald and News

Letter to the Editor

March 13, 2012

   Why are so many farmers against the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement? Could be they read it. The KBRA does not state farmers   will receive sustainable water for irrigation or reasonable electrical costs. What page, which paragraph in that long controversial document does it state anything about helping farmers?

   Where are reporters getting their information? Read the document. Lawyers and lobbyists who drafted it behind closed doors claimed to represent farmers, but weren’t working in our behalf. They have their own agenda. We were set up and sold out.

   Don’t be misled. The document is available at the library. Ask for the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement for the Sustainability of Public and Trust Resources and Affected Community.

   I believe this is part of the new world order, a United Nations agenda whose aim is to destroy this great nation by taking down another of our industries. We need to get out of the U.N. It no longer serves the purpose for which it was created. It is being used against us by our enemies.

   When America can’t produce its own food, the UN could declare an embargo. No country would be allowed to ship food to us until we give up our guns. Then not only farmers, but we all would lose our freedom.

   The Endangered Species Act has become a tool to assert control over public and private lands rather than address legitimate concerns. Fossil records make it clear extinction is part of a natural evolutionary process.

   Failure to recognize this has meant wasting money on recovery programs doomed to failure. The taxpayer has been paying for all of these fish studies and dam removal studies to no avail.

   Too many people have lost jobs and more will if this insanity continues. Hopefully, Congress will refuse to continue to fund this nonsense.

   Bob King

   Klamath Falls farmer



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Fish-finding mission

Oregon and Water, Salmon and fish

Survey of Ashland Creek reveals young steelhead, coho and cutthroat trout

March 5, 2012

By Mark Freeman

Mail Tribune

ASHLAND — Tom Ziemba was never quite sure what lurked in the gurgling stream behind the back fence of his Ashland home. “I knew there were fish in Ashland Creek, but I had no idea what they were,” Ziemba says.

Then he became the one-man volunteer squad to monitor a fish trap placed in the stream behind his house, and since December he’s caught, counted and released young steelhead, coho salmon and cutthroat trout.

Two weeks ago, he was pleasantly splashed by an 181/2;-inch adult steelhead he released from the trap. “I couldn’t believe it,” he says. “I hadn’t caught a fish that good in a couple years.”

This three-month-old trapping effort on lower Ashland Creek is providing the latest proof that urban streams here are home to wild salmon and steelhead despite living under the heavy footprint of the city.

Adult fall chinook salmon were discovered in September spawning in Bear Creek gravel within the confines of Ashland’s North Mountain Park for the first time in 30 years. That same month, biologists sank an underwater camera in an Ashland Creek pool within Lithia Park and streamed video of young wild steelhead finning about to the wonder of park visitors.

And now a new Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife survey of lower Ashland Creek is turning up evidence that a creek that serves as everything from the park’s aesthetic anchor to part of the city’s sewer system can still produce wild fish.

“It may be a sewer, but it’s a pretty healthy sewer, based on what we’re seeing,” says Chuck Fustish, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist inventorying urban streams throughout the upper and middle portions of the Rogue River basin. “It’s somewhat surprising.”

Like many tributaries of Bear Creek, Ashland’s namesake creek has the community’s fingerprints all over it.

It is the showcase of Lithia Park, and the source of the city’s drinking water and even some hydroelectric power. But the creek also is siphoned for irrigation, captures surface runoff from city storm drains, has degraded riparian zones, at times becomes contaminated with E. coli bacteria in summers, and is used to flush effluent from the city’s water-treatment plant.

But the creek has a role in the life cycles of wild steelhead and wild coho, as well. While serving as spawning and year-round rearing habitat, it also provides refuge for small fish fleeing a roiling Bear Creek during freshets.

It wasn’t until Fustish ventured to the park during nearly triple-digit temperature days in September and sank the camera into the pool that the creek’s secrets were revealed.

Read it at:


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Klamath legislation jeoparadizes rights and resources

Endangered Species Act, Federal gov & land grabs, Hoopa Tribe, Klamath County, Klamath River & Dams, Klamath Tribe, Op-ed, Oregon and Water, Property rights, Threats to agriculture

Klamath legislation jeopardizes rights and resources – Times-Standard Online


Klamath legislation jeopardizes rights and resources

Hayley Hutt

For the Times-Standard

February 2, 2012

The Times-Standard’s “Klamath draft report released; Thompson: ‘Time for Congress to act is now’” article mistakenly recites that the 2010 Klamath Agreements “represent the best way forward for the Klamath River Basin and its communities.” If it sounds too good to be true, that is because it is.

There is no mention of the KBRA costs. Rep. Thompson’s HR 3398 would bill taxpayers $800 million for the benefit of the few and at great cost to tribal rights and resources. These are additional costs above the “estimated cost of dam removal” of $291.6 million, only part of which is paid by the PacifiCorp customers who have benefited from the fish-killing dams. Far from blessing the Agreements as “the best way,” the draft Secretarial Overview report actually says that the KHSA is in “the best interest of PacifiCorp” and its customers.

The Hoopa Valley Tribe and other California tribes that declined to sign the Klamath Agreements strongly support removal of the obsolete dams of the Klamath Hydroelectric Project. Dam removal will help struggling fish species. But the Klamath Agreements block the normal relicensing process that will produce dam removal. Because the secretary has a government-to-government relationship with the tribes, it is important that the draft report advise the secretary of the tribes’ own views of the proposed action, not just the opinions of third parties as to what may be “best” for Indians. But the tribes’ views are missing from the draft report.

Tragically, the Klamath Agreements do nothing toward eliminating toxic algae blooms that poison the river. To survive, reintroduced fish must be trapped and trucked around Keno Dam (a dam that will remain in place). In response our comments on the Interior Department’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, the federal agencies responded that ecological restoration was “an alternative to the KBRA,” one which is not proposed or analyzed in the EIS or new draft report.

The draft report repeatedly asserts that implementation will increase annual production of adult Chinook salmon over 80 percent beginning in 2020 with dam removal. This is very misleading. That claim ignores the offsetting impact of closure of the Iron Gate Hatchery, which would occur eight years after dam removal. As stated in the Biological Assessment for the KHSA and KBRA: 53,400 adult Chinook salmon from IGH would not be available… Assuming the Proposed Action would result in an additional 41,000 adult Chinook salmon in the ocean within eight years after removing the Klamath dams, there would be a net loss of about 12,400 hatchery adult Chinook salmon.

There is no funding or commitment that the lost hatchery production will ever be replaced. Thus, instead of an increase of annual Chinook salmon production, the Klamath Agreements portend a decrease in harvestable fish available to tribal fishermen.

The adverse effects of HR 3398 on California species and tribes should warn members of Congress against supporting this sweetheart deal. Our right to Klamath River flows to support our fish-based economy was established by the United States even before the Klamath Tribes’ treaty; our rights have no less standing in law.

Resolving the problems of the Basin does not require terminating the federal government’s trust obligations to protect downstream tribes’ water and fishing rights and does not require the biased solution represented by the Klamath Agreements and Rep. Thompson’s HR 3398. We applaud senators Wyden and Feinstein and Representative Walden for standing back from the flawed approach of HR 3398, an approach that is blocking timely dam removal.

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