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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, February 21st, 2012.

Six Sheriffs will hold Constitutional Event

POW, Sheriffs, Siskiyou Water Users Assoc, Support Rural America, TEA Party

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey is hosting

a Constitutional Sheriffs Panel with  FIVE

Northern California Sheriffs.

When:  Saturday, Feb. 25

Where:  Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds –

on East side of I-5 at exit 773

In Yreka  — At the very TOP of the State of California

Time:  2 p.m.

Doors open at noon with groups to share information

Sorry, concessions will not be available, except for coffee.

Several restaurants and fast food places are across the freeway and available for an early lunch

Admission is FREE. 

We will pass the donation bucket to pay for the building rental.

Sheriffs attending:

Modoc County Mike Poindexter

Lassen County Dean Growden

Trinity County Bruce Haney

Plumas County Greg Hagwood

Del Norte County Dean Wilson

Each will discuss their local issues and the Oath of Office under the Constitution

Sponsored by: 

Support Rural America,

Scott Valley Protect Our Water,

Yreka Tea Party,

Redding Tea Party Patriots and

Siskiyou Water Users Assoc.

For more information contact: Liz Bowen 530-467-3515

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In dry season, San Joaquin River restoration a sore point among farmers

Agriculture - California, California Rivers, California water, San Joaquin River, Threats to agriculture

By Mark Grossi – The Fresno Bee

Monday, Feb. 20, 2012 | 07:52 PM

This is the year east Valley farmers have dreaded. It’s one of the driest seasons in the past 100 years, and they must share precious water with the federal government to restore the San Joaquin River.

It’s a tender subject among the 15,000 farmers who irrigate with the San Joaquin. For 18 years, they fought a losing legal battle against restoring the dried river and finally agreed to cooperate in 2006.

Every year of the legal fight and every year since the agreement, they have worried about this kind of dry year during the restoration. The snowpack is a third of what it should be, and their livelihood is at stake.

“Yes, it will be hard this summer,” said Cathie Walker, who farms 600 acres of citrus in Tulare County with her brother, Kevin Riddle. “These trees can’t go without water.”

Neither can the river restoration project, which is scheduled to reintroduce salmon into the river in late December. The restoration began in fall 2009 with experimental flows of water released from Friant Dam. By 2010, the dried portions of the river had been refilled.

Restoration water releases probably will be reduced this year because of the dry winter, says the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, but they won’t be eliminated.

Farmers are preparing by re-drilling old wells, arranging to buy water from neighbors and hoping to tap underground water banks. Water districts have saved as much water as they can in reservoirs.

Now everyone waits for storms in the next six weeks, hoping for nature to help them live with the agreement they made in 2006.

But farm officials still argue details of the deal with environmentalists. A clash surfaced earlier this month on a blog by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which represented environmentalists in the long-running lawsuit over the river.

Scientist Monty Schmitt of NRDC said that the restoration program has actually helped farmers by boosting their water supplies by 100,000 acre-feet since it began in 2009. That much water is equal to about a fifth of the storage at Millerton Lake.

Schmitt’s calculations include more than 300,000 acre-feet of water made available last year because of a wet winter. Farm representatives challenged the idea, saying the extra water would have been available with or without the restoration program.

Farmers have actually lost more than 270,000 acre-feet of water to the restoration since 2009, according to the Friant Water Authority, which delivers water to farmers. There are no farm water gains coming from the restoration, says Dan Vink, general manager of the Lower Tule-Pixley Irrigation Districts in Tulare County.

“The river restoration program is not some magic bean that creates something out of nothing,” he wrote as a comment on the blog.

Emotions run deep on both sides of the issue.

For six decades, the river’s water has irrigated 1 million acres across the east Valley, which blossomed into a multibillion-dollar economy from Merced County to Kern County. Rural towns, such as Reedley, Dinuba and Lindsay, found a more stable economic footing.

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Dry year, low level threaten salmon

Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, Salmon and fish

By JULIE ZEEB -DN Staff Writer

Updated:   02/18/2012 08:29:54 AM PST

Daily News – Red Bluff, CA.

The Sacramento River Discovery Center Thursday evening program featured U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Fish Biologist Tricia Parker- Hamelberg with an update on salmon.

Sept. 30 is the benchmark for measuring water as Oct. 1 is the beginning of the new water year.

Since that time, the water storage at Shasta Dam has been high and is at 71 percent full, she said.

However, the rainfall has been low.

Redding, which normally has an average of 22 inches between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31 only received 6.6 inches for that same period this water year.

Low rainfall, combined with a reduction of water released, has left some of the salmon nests high and dry.

Redds are the nests in the gravel where salmon eggs sit under gravel between January and April. With a reduction in water released of 3,000- 7,000 cubic feet per second, there are some nests that have been left out of the water.

Water right now is very important to redds, Parker-Hamelberg said.

The frys are very fragile.

The frys, the first stages of salmon, need to stay in and be surrounded by water for a certain amount of time.

Not all eggs were laid on the same day, so how long the redds need to be covered varies, she said.

Since the rain was projected to be late in arriving, plans should have been made to take the salmon redds into consideration.

The flows of the Sacramento River were high in October and November when chinook salmon, who are in the peak of spawning season in October, were laying their eggs.

That isn’t the case now.

About 10-20 percent of the chinook redds are out of the water, Parker- Hamelberg said.

We’re especially concerned because not many came back and spawned in 2011, Parker-Hamelberg said. We are very concerned, but we know that the salmon population has fluctuations.

Frys emerge between February and June, when the flow is strong enough go downstream.

They basically go where the water takes them, Parker-Hamelberg.

Background on the Central Valley Project, which took place 1973- 1991, and the Central Valley Project Improvement Act of 1992 was given.

The purpose of the project was to balance the needs of fish and people and focused on flood control first, irrigation second and hydropower tied for third with fish and wildlife needs.

In 1992, that priority list shifted to place fish and wildlife equal to irrigation.

Through the Central Valley Project, the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program began to work with watershed groups to restore central valley streams.

The goal, which was not met, was to double the number of natural production for anadromous, or fresh-water born, fish by 2002, she said.

The Anadromous Fish Restoration Program 2001 plan was to work toward preventing fish from accessing false habitat, like near Battle Creek where a fish screen was put up to block their entry into the PG&E Coleman powerhouse.

The goal is to keep the young fish in the water and help them safely make their way down river to the bays and eventually the ocean, she said.

In 2012, the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program began year one of its redd dewatering project, focusing on keeping the redds water during the critical stage of development for the fish.

For more information on the Central Valley Project, visit www.usbr.gov/mp/cvo.

Staff Writer Julie Zeeb can be reached at 527-2153, extension 115, or at jzeeb@redbluffdailynews.com
Follow Julie on Twitter @DN_Zeeb

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Board may restrict runoff from irrigated lands

Agriculture - California, Over-regulations, State gov, Threats to agriculture

Board may restrict runoff from irrigated lands | capitalpress.com


Board may restrict runoff from irrigated lands


Capital Press

Feburary 21, 2012

YREKA, Calif. — Farmers and ranchers in northwestern California could soon face more government restrictions in the form of water runoff controls.

The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board is developing a water quality compliance program for discharges from irrigated lands in certain watersheds, including along the Klamath, Scott and Shasta rivers.

The requirements would be similar to those currently in place in other regions of California and would not include fees, at least in the beginning, said Mark Neely, the water board’s Santa Rosa-based senior engineering geologist.

“We’re one of the few regions of the state that don’t presently have an irrigated land program,” Neely said. “Generally what we’re looking at doing is coming up with a waiver that says you don’t need a permit, but you will most likely have to submit a notice of intent.”

The information required on such a notice is yet to be determined. The water board is just starting to hold public meetings on the proposal, which include planned hearings Feb. 28 here and Feb. 29 in Tulelake, Calif. More meetings will be held throughout the year, and a draft rule should be out around the start of 2013, Neely said.

The prospect of more regulations has drawn the attention of farm groups such as the California Cattlemen’s Association, which will listen in on this month’s meetings, communications director Stevie Ipsen said.

“Any monitoring or compliance costs money,” CCA president Kevin Kester said recently.

The compliance program is unrelated to the north coast water board’s continuing review of a 5-year waiver that exempts certain agricultural practices along the Scott River from sediment and temperature controls under the Clean Water Act.

Local leaders have feared a new waiver could require landowners to monitor discharges and report their activities. At a board meeting last April, landowners said their operations wouldn’t survive if they were saddled with fees for studies or fines for noncompliance.

The existing waiver was set to expire last year, and the board continued it on an interim basis until terms of a new waiver are established. The board will discuss the progress of a new waiver at its March 15 meeting in Santa Rosa, said David Leland, chief of its watershed protection division.

Public meetings

The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board will hold the following meetings on development of an irrigated lands discharge compliance program. The meetings will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Feb. 28: Holiday Inn Express, 707 Montague Road, Yreka, Calif.

Feb. 29: Tulelake Fairgrounds Arts and Crafts Building, 800 South Main St., Tulelake, Calif.




NOTE: 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

This information and much more that you need to know about the ESA,
the Klamath River Basin, and private property rights can be found at The
Klamath Bucket Brigade’s web site – http://klamathbucketbrigade.org/index.html
please visit today.

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Climate scientist admits duping skeptic group to obtain documents

Agenda 21 & Sustainable, Air, Climate & Weather

By , Tuesday, February 21, 7:47 AM

The Washington Post

A prominent climate scientist and author acknowledged Sunday night that he had obtained internal documents from a climate skeptic group under a fake identity, raising new questions over how advocates have been waging the war over public perceptions about global warming.

Peter Gleick, who studies the hydrological cycle and serves as president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security in Oakland, Calif., admitted in a piece on Huffington Post that he had tricked the conservative Heartland Institute into providing him with documents detailing their activities and donors. Last week, the climate activist Web site DeSmog Blog posted several of the documents, which quickly circulated on the Internet.

In his post, Gleick wrote that he posed as a Heartland Institute board member after he had received an anonymous document in the mail that appeared to be from the self-described “free-market think tank,” which has repeatedly sought to discredit the connection between human activity and climate change.

Gleick wrote that he sought “to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document” before sending it on to journalists and climate experts.

“In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name,” he wrote. “My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved.”

Heartland Institute President Joseph L. Bast, whose group had questioned the authenticity of at least one of the documents the DeSmog Blog had posted, issued a statement Sunday saying his group is “consulting with legal counsel to determine our next steps.”

“Gleick’s crime was a serious one,” Bast said. “The documents he admits stealing contained personal information about Heartland staff members, donors and allies, the release of which has violated their privacy and endangered their personal safety.”

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Blast called one document — which described the group as working to craft a school curriculum that would question whether the burning of fossil fuels contributed to climate change — a “forged memo.”

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Trying to ‘Stop the Bleeding’ from Environmental Overreach

Agriculture - California, Over-regulations

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) talks with PJM about his bill to battle the “Congress-created drought” that has devastated communities.

Bridget Johnson

Daily Digest

February 17, 2012 – 1:13 pm

Central California Republicans — and farmers across the state — won a small victory last night in a House committee in a battle that has seen scores of communities devastated by environmental regulatory overreach.

The Delta smelt is a tiny fish that lives is the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley River Delta. In response to the fish’s threatened status, influenced by its sensitivity to environmental conditions and the large-scale pumping operations necessary to send water south, a 2007 court order citing the Endangered Species Act severely cut back water deliveries through the agricultural Central Valley.

Legislation, lawsuits and regulation whipped up a perfect storm to stop much of the water from reaching millions of Californians.

“So the people that had the water ended up losing the water thanks to government and government regulations,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told me Thursday, taking a break in his office after the mark-up of his bill, the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act.

“And so what we’re doing, this bill, is we’re basically fixing that problem,” he said, by going back to the 1994 bipartisan Bay-Delta Accord. “We’re going back and we’re saying, let’s give the people back their state water rights.”

Nunes, a 38-year-old, five-term congressman, has long been pegged as an up-and-comer in the Republican Party. He already holds two choice committee seats, on Ways and Means and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. His office is tucked next to Speaker John Boehner’s on the first floor of the Longworth House office building.

The water crisis back home in his district has been a key priority for Nunes, who saw the region’s problems only multiply under Nancy Pelosi’s House.

“They actually passed a couple pieces of legislation that made it much worse,” he said. “They took a quarter million acre feet away there, which devastated a lot of my district.”

That’s why, he said, the Valley’s crisis is called “the manmade drought or the Congress-created drought.”

“Because it was laws passed over time that were followed by lawsuits that took the water away,” Nunes said.

The result of this regulation and decreased water supplies has been crippling in a region where agriculture accounts for $26 billion in total sales and 38 percent of the area’s jobs. More than half of the nation’s fruits, vegetables and nuts hail from California.


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More on the State’s irrigation water Permit

Agriculture - California, California water, State gov, Threats to agriculture, Water rights

PNP comment:  Check out Mark Baird’s letter regarding this issue — just a few posts down from here. — Editor Liz Bowen

North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Schedules First Subgroup Meetings

The North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board has scheduled the first meetings of the subgroups within the Stakeholder Advisory Group to develop a water quality compliance program for discharges for Irrigated Lands in the North Coast Region. A list of the first round of sub-regional meetings is listed below. CCA encourages members in these areas to attend these meetings. For more information, contact Margo Parks in the CCA office at (916) 444-0845.


Scott, Shasta, & Upper Mid-Klamath

Date: Feb. 28

Time: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Location: Holiday Inn Express

707 Montague Rd

Yreka, CA 96097


Tulelake and Butte Valley

Date: Feb. 29

Time: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Location: Tulelake Fairgrounds, Arts and Crafts Bldg.

800 S Main St

Tulelake, CA 96134


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More North State Business Leaders Endorse

Rick Bosetti, State gov

Rick Bosetti for Assembly

Rick has demonstrated he can stand up
against the regulators

(Redding, Calif.) –Today, Redding City Councilmember Rick Bosetti announced the support of seven major business owners throughout the newly drawn First Assembly District.  The North State business leaders include, John Wood, Randy Denham and Lyle Tullis of Shasta County, Frank Dal Gallo and Bob Manly of Siskiyou County, Mike Young of Lassen County, and Bill Elliot of Plumas County.

“Rick has demonstrated he can stand up against the overzealous regulators and create an environment that will help our local businesses thrive,” commented Bob Manly, owner of Black Bear Diners.  “While Sacramento tries to tax its way out of debt, we need Rick to ensure the state’s financial woes aren’t pushed on our businesses in taxes and fees—restricting our growth and our ability to create more jobs.”

In Shasta County, John Wood is President of J.W. Wood Co. and has locations in Redding, Chico, Susanville and Yuba City and is on of the premier plumbing, irrigation and HVAC suppliers in the North State.  Randy Denham is owner of S.J Denham a family owned auto dealership that has been doing business in Redding since 1930 with locations in Redding and Mount Shasta.  Lyle Tullis is owner of Tullis Inc. and is one of the most successful general engineering contractors in the North State. Specializing in grading and paving contracts, Tullis Inc. oversees many of the major road and highway projects in the area.

In Siskiyou County, Bob Manley is co-owner of Black Bear Diners, and along with his partner Bruce Dean, started with one Black Bear Diner in Mt. Shasta CA and now has over 50 locations in eight states. He understands what it requires to grow a business and create jobs.  Frank Dal Gallo has been involved in many aspects of the lumber industry for over 50 years.

In Lassen County, Mike Young is Owner of Young’s Market in Westwood California.   As owner of Young’s Market, a family business since 1957, Mike understands the issues faced by business owners in the rural areas of California.

In Plumas County, Bill Elliott is the Former CEO of Plumas Bank and a well-known and respected leader in the banking and business community, both in Plumas County and throughout Northern California.

For more information regarding Bosetti’s campaign and his endorsements for Assembly, visit www.RickBosetti.com.

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Wolf may be returning home to Oregon; Scientists say he’s now in northeast Siskiyou

Siskiyou County, Wolves

It looks like California’s first wild wolf in nearly a century may be heading back to his home state of Oregon.

The gray wolf, dubbed OR-7 by biologists, was in southern Shasta County last week. But by Monday morning he’d made his way to northeastern Siskiyou County, according to the Department of Fish and Game, which monitors the wolf through its satellite-tracking collar.

OR-7 walked 42 miles in a single stretch, according to the DFG.

The wolf’s exact location isn’t being disclosed to keep the animal safe from those wishing to harm him.

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