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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Thursday, April 26th, 2012.

Siskiyou Farm Bureau water lawsuit to go to trial

California water, Dept. Fish & Game, Greenies & grant $, Karuk Tribe on Klamath, Property rights, Ranch life, Salmon and fish, Scott River & Valley, Shasta River, Siskiyou County, Threats to agriculture, Water rights

PNP comment: We discussed this lawsuit at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting tonight and many of us plan on attending. — Editor Liz Bowen


Capital Press

YREKA, Calif. – The Siskiyou County Farm Bureau’s lawsuit challenging California Department of Fish and Game restrictions on irrigation is set to go to trial next week.

Pretrial motions are scheduled to be heard at 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 30 in the Siskiyou County Courthouse. The trial is set to begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 1, with Superior Court Judge Karen Dixon presiding.

The local Farm Bureau filed suit last year, contending that Fish and Game is violating Scott and Shasta valley landowners’ water and property rights for requiring permits for irrigators.

“Obviously we’re anxious to move forward with the trial so we can resolve this issue once and for all for the agricultural water users in Siskiyou County,” said Darrin Mercier, a local property-rights attorney representing the Farm Bureau.

“Right now they are under threat of enforcement, both civilly and criminally, for the mere act of exercising their water right until this issue is resolved, or face the daunting possibility of getting a permit.”

The state waived its right to a jury trial, so the two sides agreed to let Dixon adjudicate the case without a jury, Mercier said.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office, which is defending the lawsuit, does not comment on pending cases, spokesman David Liu said.

The suit asks the court to prevent the state agency from enforcing what the plaintiff calls DFG’s “new” interpretation of state Fish and Game Code Section 1602, which the agency has argued requires landowners to obtain expensive permits for simple diversions.

The suit asserts that farmers need declaratory relief or they could face misdemeanor charges and civil and criminal penalties of more than $25,000 per violation.

To obtain streambed alteration and incidental take permits on their own, landowners would have to pay fees and environmental review costs that could fall between $11,000 and $28,000, a water official has said.

The suit was filed as San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith was set to invalidate a much cheaper watershed-wide permit the DFG offered to landowners in the two valleys in 2010. Goldsmith ruled the agency didn’t prepare the permits in accordance with environmental laws.

Last summer, Siskiyou County Superior Court Commissioner JoAnn Bicego denied a motion by the Karuk Tribe, Klamath Riverkeeper and two other environmental groups to intervene in the local Farm Bureau’s lawsuit.


Siskiyou County Farm Bureau: www.siskiyoucountyfarmbureau.com

California Department of Fish and Game: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/

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LaMalfa Forest Fire Protection Bill Passes Key Committee

CA Sen Doug LaMalfa, Forestry & USFS

PNP comment: This is truly good news for a change. Thank you Senator LaMalfa. — Editor Liz Bowen


Small Property Owners Exempted from Timber Harvest Plan Requirements

(SACRAMENTO) – Senator Doug LaMalfa (R – Richvale) today announced that Senate Bill (SB) 1541, which exempts smaller property owners from Timber Harvest Plan requirements and allows them to harvest smaller trees in order to pay for fuel reduction, passed out of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water with unanimous support.

“This exemption has allowed thousands of acres to be made fire-safe at little or no cost to property owners or taxpayers,” said LaMalfa. “Cutting red tape and enabling property owners to make their lands fire-safe themselves is a much better approach than simply raising taxes on rural residents.”

LaMalfa originally authored the Forest Fire Protection Exemption in 2004 in the form of Assembly Bill 2420, but the exemption is set to expire in January of 2013.  The exemption allows the harvest of smaller trees in order to fund the removal of dead trees, brush and other debris that would fuel a forest fire’s spread. Property owners using this option are exempted from filing cumbersome Timber Harvest Plans, which generally cost thousands of dollars to prepare.

“The state should be working toward smart forest management practices that promote forest health and fire safety, not the default approach of increasing taxes,” LaMalfa added. “In addition to fire prevention benefits, allowing trees to be cut for lumber and other uses helps fuel our state’s economy. California still needs wood products, and we simply can’t import them all from other states or even other countries.”

Senator Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing the fourth Senate District including Shasta, Tehama, Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Siskiyou, Sutter

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Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce Endorses Rick Bosetti for Assembly

Rick Bosetti

He has been a tireless proponent of job retention and growth in the North State

(Redding, Calif.) – Today, the Rick Bosetti for Assembly Campaign is proud to announce the endorsement of the North State’s largest business advocacy group, the Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce.

“Vice Mayor Bosetti has a long history of working with and for the business community in Shasta County,” said Patrick Waller, Chairman of the Board, Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce.  “He has been a tireless proponent of job retention and growth in the North State and has the record to prove it.”

The Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce is an association of approximately 1,000 businesses organized to improve the business climate and contribute to the economic health of its membership and the Greater Redding area.

The Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce joins a growing list of hundreds North State businesses and individuals supporting Rick Bosetti for Assembly, including Shasta Association of Realtors, Sierra Pacific Industries, the Shasta Builders Exchange, Black Bear Diners, and Roseburg Forest Products.

After playing in the Major Leagues, Rick returned to Redding and began his career in the technology industry in 1983 and became a small business owner. His business specialized in computer systems, integration services, hardware support and maintenance.

For more information and a complete list of endorsements, visit www.rickbosetti.com.

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Taking Liberties: Local farms in fight to stop growing regulation

Federal gov & land grabs, Ranch life, Threats to agriculture

PNP comment: This is happening throughout the nation. Rural America is under attack. We must stand up and say “NO MORE” or all will be lost. — Editor Liz Bowen


Published April 26, 2012


Marlene Stasinos believes the best food is local food.

“It’s more healthy. It’s less processed,” she says as she walks from her farm stand toward her home in Haverhill, Mass. “It’s just better for you when you eat it.”

Stasinos’ family has been farming in and around Haverhill for three generations, but she says backyard farming is under attack.

“It’s tough to grow local when the regulations stop you,” she said.
Last year, Stasinos and her husband Chris were raising eight pigs on her 139-acre hay farm. Then the local Board of Health stepped in.

“They told us no,” she recalls. “We couldn’t believe it.”
She says the board told her her barn was too close to the road and too close to her home.

“This barn has been here for 200 years,” she said, pointing out that for most of that time, it housed livestock. “They used to build barns close to the main road to make it easier to get the meat to market.”

Haverhill rules require livestock be kept more than 100 feet from a home and more than 300 feet from a property line.

“If every farm in Haverhill followed those rules,” Stasinos said. “There would be no farms left.”
She says local rules and regulations make growing local untenable.

“Unfortunately, it’s going to put us out of business,” she said. “We are not going to be able to continue farming if the regulations keep squeezing us.”

Hogwash, says attorney Arthur Aidala, who says regulations are necessary whenever you’re raising animals.

“These are animals people are going to eat and people are living right next to,” he says. “You have to regulate them.”

But not allowing eight pigs on 139 acres?

“No one is saying they can’t raise the pigs,” countered Aidala, “what we are saying is if you are going to raise the pigs, we want you to maintain certain standards so that everyone’s health and safety is secure.”

Peter Carbone of the Haverhill Board of Health agrees. “This is a work in progress,” said Carbone, who said the town is debating the issue. “There could possibly be a vote in May.”

Haverhill and Carbone have come under fire from farming groups throughout Massachusetts who say if Haverhill’s rules are adopted by other towns, it will be the end of local farming.

First they get rid of pigs,” said Rich Bonnano, president of  the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation, “then they’re going to come after chickens, then maybe beef.”

Bonnano says Haverhill set its rules with no idea about what it takes to raise animals. He says the town and other towns like it will end up with no local food.

“It’s an attack on the buy local movement,” he said.

Carbone says he is just concerned about people’s health and safety.

“Pigs aren’t a risk to anybody’s health,” counters Stasinos, who says, “over-regulation is the real health problem.”

“We won’t be able to grow food if they keep over-regulating us,” she said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/26/taking-liberties-buy-local-grow-where/?test=latestnews#ixzz1tDWqjkD0

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News on Home Guard working for our soldiers in Afghanistan

Veterans & soldiers

 Home Guard – Siskiyou County

Senator Doug LaMalfa hits a home run for soldiers

 I received a e-mail from Sergent Hatton this morning asking me to see if I can find some California flags for the 132nd. They don’t have any to fly. I called State Senator Doug LaMalfa’s office in Sacramento and told them. Nancy Stewart said they will make it happen.

A few minutes later I received a e-mail from Nancy saying that Senator LaMalfa would be honored to send five California Flags. The flags will be mailed today.

Dan Dorsey, Mt. Shasta

Chairman of Home Guard – Siskiyou County

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(California) State Water Resources Control Board News

Agriculture - California, Julie Kay Smithson - research property rights, Julie Kay Smithson -property rights research, Water, Resources & Quality

From: propertyrights@earthlink.net
Sent: 4/26/2012 10:03:34 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time

Thank you to Julie Kay Smithson for sending this out.

CWSRF – Clean Water State Revolving Fund

FFY – Federal Fiscal Year

IUP – Intended Use Plan

April 26, 2012

NOTICE – Our Website will undergo maintenance from 5 PM Friday, April 27, 2012, through the weekend. During this time, you may experience service disruptions. We apologize for this inconvenience. Please check back on Monday, April 30th.(posted April 23, 2012)


Clean Water State Revolving Fund FFY 2011/2012 Intended Use Plan (posted 4/25/12)

UC Davis Nitrate in Groundwater Report for Tulare Lake Basin/Salinas Valley – Workshop May 23rd (posted 3/6/12)

2006 Bay-Delta Plan Update (posted 2/29/12)

Statewide Vector Control Permit – Proposed Amendment (posted 2/8/12)

Bay-Delta Plan Review – Supplemental Notice of Preparation issued for Next Phase (posted 1/25/12)

More Announcements …

Julie Kay Smithson, researcher since 1999. Subscribe today & receive carefully researched property rights / natural resources research delivered to your inbox! propertyrights@earthlink.net Websites: http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org http://propertyrightsresearch.blogspot.com http://wigglesblueheeler.blogspot.com & http://tips2ussavethem.blogspot.com Also: http://ourcommunitynewspaper.com

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Farmland lease bids hit new record

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, Federal gov & land grabs, Klamath River & Dams


Lease prices for refuge plots are a barometer for coming farming season 


H&N Staff Reporter

April 26, 2012

H&N photo by Joel Aschbrenner    Farmland on the Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National

Wildlife refuges is managed both to benefit agriculture and wildlife.

     Setting a record for the second consecutive year, Klamath Basin farmers will pay about $4.4 million this year to lease 21,000 acres of federally owned farmland around the Lower Klamath and Tule Lake national wildlife refuges.

   The lease bids, up from a record $3.9 million last year, can be a barometer for the Basin’s agriculture industry, said Mike Green, lease lands program manager with the Bureau of Reclamation’s Klamath Basin area office. When commodity prices are strong and irrigation water is available, bids increase for the lease lands, he said.

   Prices for the Basin’s staple commodities, such as beef, alfalfa, grain and potatoes, have been up, some at record levels. Water availability was in question for much of the winter, but wet weather in March and April resulted in above average snowpack and a full Upper Klamath Lake.

   The lease lands are reclaimed former lake beds, managed for the benefit of birds and agriculture.

   Securing a lease

   Each spring, farmers submit sealed bids to farm tracts of the federal land. For some, it’s a chance to expand their farming operation. For others, young farmers especially, it provides a chance to secure hard-to-come-by plots.

   This year, hundreds of farmers bid on 41 tracts of land totaling 6,450 acres. The largest plot, a 312-acre tract in Tule Lake’s Sump 2 area, went for nearly $104,000. Each tract comes up for bid every f ive years, unless a farmer does not renew the annual lease.

   At the bid opening earlier this month, about a dozen farmers sat around a table of coffee and doughnuts at the local BOR office, listening to Green call out bid after bid. Some feverishly scribbled numbers, keeping track of bids on the land they sought, hoping none would outbid them.

   The winning bids averaged $206 per acre, up 9.8 percent from the previous year, according to the BOR.

   Sid Staunton, of Tulelake, has been farming potatoes and grain on the lease lands since the early 1980s. The lease lands around Tule Lake are the most valuable, he said, because they are high in organic material and are in the lowest spot in the Basin, where water naturally flows.

   “It’s some of the richest ground in the Basin,” Staunton said.

   Good for young farmers

   Rodney Cheyne, a 24-year old farmer who bid unsuccessfully on several tracts this year, said he expected strong commodity prices to drive the bids up, but was surprised by how much some farmers offered.

   The BOR’s lease land program, because it’s public, gives producers a rare look at what their competitors are paying for land, Green said. Private landowners often use the bids as a price indicator for leasing their own farmland, he said.

   While Cheyne didn’t win any bids this year, he plans to farm grain on lease lands on which he bid in previous years. For young farmers like Cheyne who don’t yet have their own land, the BOR’s lease lands are valuable because, unlike private lease lands, no one can buy the land out from under them.

   “Nobody can take it away from you,” he said. “Nobody can offer more money and get it away from you.”

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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Montague water district pitches in for coho

Salmon and fish, Shasta River

Montague water district pitches in for coho – Yreka, CA – Siskiyou Daily News



By John Bowman

Siskiyou Daily News

April 26, 2012

John Bowman   The Montague Water Conservation District

last week released additional water from Dwinnell Dam to

help threatened coho migrate out of the Shasta River on

their way to the ocean.

Lake Shastina, Calif. — Coho salmon juveniles may have an easier time migrating out of the Shasta River on their way to the ocean this year. On Friday, the Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District (RCD) and the Montague Water Conservation District (MWCD) collaborated to release additional water from Lake Shastina for a 16-hour period in an attempt to aid the fish on their downstream migration.

Monitoring efforts on the Shasta River in the recent past have shown that outmigrant juvenile coho salmon – known as smolts – have sustained high mortality while migrating out of the upper Shasta River from Dwinnell Dam to the confluence of Parks Creek.

This migration difficulty is believed to be due to low flow, which has three negative effects:
• It is hard for smolts to move over obstacles such as beaver dams or logs jams when low flows have no natural way to increase when spring rains occur but are impounded by reservoirs;
• Lower flows require fish to travel through shallow water which can increase the risk of predation; and
• Shallow water heats up quickly if the daytime temperatures are high, especially early in the season when vegetation that would normally shade the water has not leafed out.

These cumulative effects mean that low flow situations can be deadly for fish whose instincts tell them to head downstream, in contrast to fish hatched this year, which will stay in the river for another year and have the option of moving upstream to cold water refuges.

On April 12, PIT tagged juvenile coho from brood year 2010 (hatched in spring of 2011) were detected and observed rearing in the upper Shasta River. After rearing in fresh water for over a year, these fish are now ready to migrate downstream to the ocean.

Studies have shown that this migration typically peaks around the new moon (this year, April 21).

Local resource managers and scientists were ready for that peak and decided to take action to assist the migration in order to minimize mortality and hopefully increase returning adults when the 2010 brood-year returns to spawn in 2013.

The release

To achieve an increased water release, the Shasta Valley RCD worked with the MWCD and agencies to coordinate a plan to increase upper Shasta River flows by 30 cubic feet per second (cfs) in an attempt to move fish safely downstream. Once the fish reach the Nature Conservancy’s property, natural flows increase below the confluence with Parks Creek. Big Springs Creek also joins the river just downstream from Parks Creek. The combined effects of these major tributaries offer sufficient flow and cold water temperatures to see the fish safely down to the Klamath River.

The MWCD increased flows from Dwinnell Dam by 10 cfs per hour, beginning at 3 p.m. on Friday and continuing until 6 a.m. on Saturday. The release was then ramped down to the original flow by 10 cfs per hour until 8 a.m. on Saturday.

California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) staff, in anticipation of the release, also notched beaver dams on the upper Shasta to ensure fish passage over them.

Following the release, CDFG will monitor the effects of the increased flows on habitat, juvenile fish movement and mortality.

Sensor arrays are in place to track PIT tagged fish as they move in the river and head downstream.

“We hope to show that the increased flows will lessen the mortality observed in past years,” a press release from the RCD stated. “Hotter weather is predicted on Friday and Saturday and we are monitoring to see if the additional water aids in keeping upper Shasta River water colder, thus reducing additional stress and/or the possibility of mortality due to increased water temperature.”

According to the RCD, results of the effort to track outmigrating coho will be available soon. These results will help define the effects of the flow release and gauge the success of this experimental cooperative effort to aid the annual outmigration of coho.

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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War on Terror Declared Over; Environmental Justice War Now Begins

Federal gov & land grabs, Op-ed

Town Hall.com

Bob Beauprez

An official for the State Department made it official, “The War on Terror is over.”

It would seem that Barack Obama would have wanted to make the rather significant announcement himself, but instead the proclamation was made by an unnamed State Department official to Michael Hirsch of the National Journal.

Whew!  That’s good news for sure.

I wonder if the Obama Administration also sent a memo to the 50 Foreign Terrorist Organizations identified by the State Department that the clock has run out – the game is over – take your suicide bomber vest and go home?

We’ve all come to know their names:  Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Palestinian Islamic Jihad , Al-Shabaab, etc.

Now that the War on Terror has come to an end, look for an announcement that the Department of Homeland Security will be eliminated.  DHS should no longer be necessary since fighting the War on Terror was the stated reason for creating the new agency in the first place.

In defining the Mission for DHS, Sec. 101 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 says “The primary mission of the Department is to…prevent terrorist attacks within the United States.”  The short mission statement uses the word “terrorist” or “terrorism” six times. (See below)

No more War on Terror, no more DHS, no more Janet Napolitano…would that also mean we could go back to the good old days of airport security when we could keep most of our clothes on before boarding a plane?

One can hope, but don’t hold your breath.




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