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Browsing the blog archives for February, 2016.

Feds allocate water for endangered fish, leave Calif. farmers high and dry

CA. Congressman Tom McClintock, Endangered Species Act, Federal gov & land grabs, Politicians & agencies, Water, Resources & Quality

– The Washington Times
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Despite wetter-than-average weather in California, some farmers are looking at another year of a zero federal water allocation even as the billions of gallons of water continue to be dumped into the ocean in order to save a three-inch fish.

The worst part for many lawmakers at Wednesday’s House subcommittee hearing is that the Delta smelt remains as vulnerable as ever after the loss of 1.4 trillion gallons of water since 2008 under the federal Endangered Species Act.

MORE

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/feb/24/obama-admin-allocates-water-fish-not-calif-farmers/

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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Oregon: Judge allows for pretrial release of Jeff Banta, one of 4 Malheur refuge holdouts

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, CORRUPTION, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs

By Maxine Bernstein | The Oregonian/OregonLive

on February 26, 2016 at 3:31 PM,

updated February 26, 2016 at 7:16 PM

A federal magistrate judge Friday allowed the release of Jeff Wayne Banta, a 46-year-old from Nevada who was among the last four holdouts to surrender at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Feb. 11.

Banta is expected to be released from custody Monday.

Federal prosecutor Ethan Knight had sought Banta’s continued detention on a federal conspiracy charge, particularly because he remained at the site long after arrests of the occupation leaders. Knight said he had concerns about Banta’s judgment.

banta.jpeg  Jeff Wayne Banta

“The simple fact that he remained at the refuge when there were orders, suggestions” by federal law enforcement to leave, should concern the court, Knight said.

But court-appointed attorney Robert Salisbury argued that Banta wasn’t one of the occupation leaders, wasn’t a member of a militia and has no prior criminal record.

“He’s quite frankly a carpenter from Nevada” who showed up at the refuge on the night of Jan. 25 after seeing a video online about the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Salisbury said.

That was the night before the arrests of Ammon Bundy and other occupation leaders, and the shooting death by state police of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, 54, an occupation spokesman who tried to flee a felony police stop.

The mood at the refuge after Finicum’s death and the initial arrests “became chaotic and downright dangerous at that point,” Salisbury said.

Banta and three others who stayed at the refuge did so partly because of their “distrust of FBI negotiators and fear that they would be killed,” his lawyer said.

Banta had recommended that the Rev. Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, come to the site to assist in a peaceful surrender, Salisbury said.  The Christian evangelist was allowed to help with the negotiations that led to the surrender.

Salisbury described Banta as a hard-working, dependable man who has family ties in Yerington, Nevada, including a brother who works as a police officer there.

Upon release, he’ll need to go to Elko, Nevada, to get his belongings from a friend’s home but plans to stay with family in Yerington, his lawyer said.

Judge Stacie F. Beckerman said the nature of Banta’s alleged offense was “incredibly dangerous,” putting law enforcement at great risk, but she allowed his release because of his family ties, lack of any criminal record and “no history of this type of activity.”

Beckerman said she’s still confounded by his decision to remain at the refuge after FBI orders to leave. She said any “rational person” would have left.

“Let’s all hope that he has learned a lesson through this,” Beckerman said.

Banta isn’t allowed to have any contact with any of the other 24 defendants in the federal conspiracy case. He also was ordered not to make any public statements encouraging unlawful activity. (Banta’s release conditions)

“Ok, thank you,” Banta told the judge.

He’s one of six defendants who have been granted pretrial release in the case. The other five are Sandra Anderson, Shawna Cox, Duane Ehmer, Joseph O’Shaughnessy and Geoffrey Stanek.

— Maxine Bernstein

mbernstein@oregonian.com
503-221-8212
@maxoregonian

http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2016/02/federal_magistrate_judge_allow.html

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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Dry February drops snowpack below normal, drought pushing toward fifth year

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather

Central Sierra snowpack at 90 percent of normal

Kings River Water Association says major storms needed to end drought

Rain possible next week

The Fresno Bee

February 26, 2016

http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article62818932.html#storylink=cpy

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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Yreka Multi-Agency Law Enforcement Operation Results in Arrests for Various Drug, Weapon, and Stolen Property Crimes

Sheriff Jon Lopey, Siskiyou Sheriff's report

Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Dept. Press Release

Feb. 29, 2016

On Friday morning, February 26, 2016, two search warrants were served simultaneously in the City of Yreka, in connection with recent burglary, theft, and other crimes related to joint investigations conducted by the Yreka Police Department (YPD) and the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO). The investigations were directly related to multiple burglary and theft cases perpetrated within the City of Yreka, as well as the burglary at Scott Valley Tire and Tackle in Ft. Jones and Guns R Us in Medford, Oregon. The YPD and SCSO’s Major Crimes’ Unit coordinated the operation and have been working closely for several weeks investigating key leads in the case, making arrests, and developing probable cause for the search warrants served during this operation.

A key lead was developed on February 17, 2016, when an YPD traffic stop was conducted and occupants of the vehicle were linked to one or more cases under investigation. The traffic stop and subsequent search of a hotel room and two vehicles resulted in three arrests. Mr. Tulsa Gregg, 32, of Yreka, was arrested for receiving stolen property, felon in possession of a firearm, and felon in possession of ammunition. Mr. Wayne Summers, 22, of Yreka, was arrested for receiving stolen property. Mr. Jean “Jeno” Wright, 26, of Yreka, was arrested for possession of stolen property.

On-going investigations led to two residences that were associated with suspects in the case. One house located in the 500 block of Annie Street and the other in the 1000 block of Sunrise Way, both in Yreka, were targeted due to links to the suspects and crimes being investigated. Search warrants were obtained for both residences based on the investigation, which were served simultaneously.

During the search warrants executed in the 1000 block of Sunrise Way, Mr. Brett Ames, 21, and Mr. Kevin Griffith, 51, and Mr. Robert Morrison, 36, were arrested. Ames was arrested for drug related charges including having a honey oil (THC Extraction Lab). Griffith was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, and Morrison was arrested for a probation violation and work release violation. Methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, and the honey oil lab were seized during the service of the search warrant and in conjunction with the arrests.

The search warrant served in the 500 block of Annie Street also resulted in arrests. Ms. Mary Taylor, 35, and Mr. Tory Nance, 21, were arrested. Taylor was arrested for possession of a billy club, possession of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Nance was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Methamphetamine and Marijuana were seized during the service of the search warrant, and several citations were also issued to other occupants of the residents for various law violations.

Upon serving the search warrant at the residence in the 500 block of Annie Street, it was determined that the living conditions inside the residence were unfit for human habitation. County Public Health was called to the residence and experts determined the residence was uninhabitable. The residence is now off limits and cannot be occupied and arrest charges can be initiated if the order is violated.

During the course of this multi-agency investigation primary suspects associated with recent commercial burglaries and thefts have been identified and stolen property has been recovered, including stolen firearms. The number of crimes, burglaries, thefts, and suspects dictate that the investigations, while successful, will result in additional follow-up, further investigation, evidentiary analyses, and may involve additional arrests in the near future.

There are still a number of firearms that have not been recovered. According to Sheriff Jon Lopey, “This was a highly successful multi-agency law enforcement operation. The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has been working closely with the Yreka Police Department and other agencies to solve these criminal cases. It has truly been a team effort and Chief Brian Bowles of the Yreka Police Department, his investigators, and all participating federal, state, and local agencies working with us during the conduct of these investigations and the service of high-risk search warrants today deserve great credit for their diligence in pursuing the many investigative leads that led to the arrests, seizure of evidence, recovery of stolen property, and detection of several unrelated crimes.

A number of agencies worked together to conduct this operation under the leadership of SCSO and YPD Chief Bowles. The participating agencies included the SCSO Special Response Team, SCSO Major Crimes’ Unit, YPD field and Detective personnel, United States Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers, Siskiyou Unified Major Investigation Team, Siskiyou County Probation Department, California State Parole, North State Marijuana Investigation Team, California Department of Justice, Bureau of Investigations, and the California Highway Patrol.”

These crimes are still under investigation and it is imperative that stolen property, especially stolen rifles and handguns stolen in some of the burglaries be taken off the street. Anyone with information about Yreka burglaries, thefts or related crimes is urged to contact YPD at (530) 841-2300. Anyone with information about Siskiyou County crimes, including the burglary and thefts is urged to contact the SCSO Dispatch Center at (530) 841-2900.

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Klamath Basin Crisis News 2-29-16

Klamath Basin Crisis.org, Wolves

News from Klamath Basin Crisis.org

Go to the KBC web page and link to each article —

www.klamathbasincrisis.org

Matthew 5:3-10 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for the shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Sent by Frank Tallerico 2/28/16

Public meeting discussing Japanese Tule Lake Committee lawsuit to shut down Tulelake / Newell airport, by KBC News 2/28/16.

* The Tulelake/Newell Airport Controversy..Letter from Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors to Modoc County Board of Supervisors, posted to KBC 2/28/16. “The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors is writing to express it’s appreciation and support for Modoc County in its ongoing role in the operation of the Tulelake Municipal Airport in Newell. In particular, we understand the necessity of keeping the airport open and secure by installing necessary perimeter fencing…”

HERE for page regarding Japanese Committee wanting airport to be removed so they can reenact the WWII Japanese relocation center, feeling that this is “sacred” land.

Japanese ‘Stop the Fence’ Facebook Page
Japanese lawsuit – Writ of Mandamus

Modoc County Press Release: Opportunity for Public Comments and Questions & Update: Tulelake Airport Stakeholder Meetings, posted to KBC 2/28/16. Mitch Crosby, Modoc Co Rd Dept: “This press release invites the public to be involved by sharing comments and concerns and provides an avenue for asking questions about the stakeholder process. Feel free to share this information with anyone that may be interested.”

 

Bill to shield cop who killed LaVoy Finicum falters in Senate, H&N, posted to KBC 2/28/16. “Finicum, 54, was killed Jan. 26 along a wooded stretch of highway 20 miles north of Burns…”

 

Our Urban-Rural Divide Deepens, Senator Doug Whitsett newsletter, posted 2/28/16.

Yamsi Ranch calving complicated by lone wolf on the perimeter, H&N 2/28/16. “about 15 calves had been born. Jerri said they are planning to birth calves from each of the ranch’s 450 female cows.What they did not plan on was keeping a 24-hour watch on the cows because of one very persistent wolf… the standard barrage of non-lethal wolf deterrents have not fazed OR-25.”

Environmentalists sue for more rules to protect sage grouse, H&N, posted 2/28/16.

KBC NOTE:

Since we at KBC News are now officially a “stakeholder” representing resource users in Klamath, Siskiyou and Modoc Counties, in Oregon and California, who are serviced by our airport and effected by the survival of agriculture in our communities, we welcome your letters of support for the airport: kbc@klamathbasincrisis.org

* They should also be sent to:
Mitch Crosby
Modoc County, County Road Commissioner
mitchcrosby@co.modoc.ca.us
530-233-6412

www.klamathbasincrisis.org

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Brandon Criss will speak at Yreka Tea Party Patriots meeting 3-1-16

Siskiyou County, TEA Party

Yreka Tea Party Patriots

Meeting for Tuesday, March 1st

6:30 PM

at the Covenant Chapel Church
200 Greenhorn Rd. Yreka

Brandon Criss
Running for Re-election for District 1 Board of Supervisors

Contact Louise for more information at 530-842-5443

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Oregon candidate exposes social, economic catastrophe caused by federal control in Josephine County

Bureau of Land Management, CA & OR, CORRUPTION, Economy, Elections, Federal gov & land grabs, Forestry & USFS, Oregon governments

drygulch

February 26, 2016

An Open Letter to Presidential Candidates from Josephine County, Oregon

By Toni Webb, candidate for Commissioner of Josephine County

TO: Candidates running for President of the United States

This letter is to inform you of the struggles faced by the people of Josephine County, Oregon, due to ongoing problems with the federal government’s control of our public land, including our once-productive forests. Bad policies and misguided management by federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, have left our rural county economically and socially devastated. I hope that you, as candidates for President of the United States, will seriously consider why the effort to transfer the ownership and control of public lands back to western states, like Oregon, is so critical to our survival.

I am from Josephine County, Oregon.

Because of federal land-taking, we now have a broken county with a median household income less than the State of Mississippi.  My father owned a sawmill here in the 1940’s; anyone who wanted to work could easily find a job. In the 1960’s, Josephine County had 53 sawmills; the revenue for Public Safety was around $18 million per year. Josephine County, Oregon, has relied on the use of our natural resources for Public Safety, Education, and necessary Public Projects. We now live under the constant threat of having to close the jail; and this July we will receive our last congressional subsidy of $4.3 million. Use of our resources has declined to the point that we are now an impoverished county largely dependent on welfare and government social services.

Earlier this month—the last remaining sawmill in our county closed indefinitely because they could not get enough logs to fill orders. We’ve gone from 19 sheriff’s patrols to a budget for only three patrols by this summer. Our County government laid off 127 people in 2012; 90 of those people were in the Sheriff’s Department.

All promises from the Federal government to Josephine County have been broken.  The government has not honored its commitment in the 1937 O&C Act, and the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service have incrementally reduced the timber harvests for two decades.

The BLM and Forest Service close vital roads throughout the county, so that we can’t put out forest fires. Those agencies then refuse to let us log the burnt areas and derive some income from the catastrophe. Management of our lands by Washington, DC, has proved to be a disaster to our county, both in terms of revenue for necessary services and in terms of modern forest management practices for sustainability.

The EPA runs roughshod over our private and public lands; overly-zealous environmental activists derive much of their income from government grants.  Environmental groups consistently portray logging as environmentally-destructive “clear-cutting”, when in fact, timber companies in Oregon are well-known for responsible, sustainable forest management.

With this loss of use of our land to generate revenue and provide jobs, come many of the predictable social problems, as indicated below: drug abuse, health problems, rise in student dropout rates, children living in poverty, increased homelessness, and reliance on welfare subsidies. This is the result of not having control and benefit of our county land.

Poverty in Josephine County has reached the point that we cannot pass a property tax levy to fund public safety.  Having barebones public safety negatively impacts our ability to retain and attract businesses and qualified workers.

We would appreciate having the support of our presidential candidates for the transfer of our lands from federal mismanagement. We need your help to prevent further loss and to reverse the losses that have plunged our county into poverty.  No matter which candidate emerges from the Presidential race, we will be looking to support the candidate who will be in favor of transferring the control of public lands to the states.  If you want to restore the promise of America, start with Josephine County and help us help ourselves.

Thank you and Best Wishes,

Toni Webb

Josephine County, Oregon

IMPORTANT FACTS

Josephine County, Oregon, population:  84,000   Area: 1,642 sq. miles

68% of Public Land is controlled by the Federal Government

josephine1

Outmigration of younger population, who cannot find work.

Influx of seniors, largely from out-of-state, attracted by the low property tax ($.58 per thousand in the county, outside the City of Grants Pass).

-24% of the county population is over 65 years old.

-30% of children in Josephine County live in poverty; 20% of adults 18-64 live below the poverty line.

-65% of the children eligible for free/reduced cost lunches.

-Increased homelessness and reliance on welfare subsidies.

Drug abuse – #1 in Oregon for Rx drug abuse (seniors selling Opioids to supplement income). Rampant heroin, methamphetamine drug use. Approximately 125 babies born each year at hospital with drug addiction.

High school dropouts – 30-36% dropout rate throughout county. Misuse of funds allocated to school district. Dropout rate has not changed in 30 years.

Unemployment – 11%, estimated to be 20% in 18-30 age group. Rise in young people working part-time and growing marijuana.

Largest % employers: schools, health care, and social assistance.

County Health Ranking: 29th out of 33 counties in Oregon. High level of obesity-44% of adult population has chronic high blood cholesterol. 23% of children, grades 1-3, have rampant tooth decay; 62% of lower income children have at least one cavity.

josephine2

Reposted by Reagangirl.com  2/26/16

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U.S. Water: Circuit Court rules it has jurisdiction on WOTUS

Agriculture, Clean Water ACT - EPA, Federal gov & land grabs, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Western Livestock Journal

Feb 26, 2016

—Stay against implementation of the rule to remain in effect

When it comes to court cases and legal maneuvering, things move slowly and big milestones can look like pebbles on the outside. When it comes to the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule—called the Clean Water Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—every pebble along the court road has the potential to change the course of this massive case, however.

Last Monday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear the massive combined case against the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) over their WOTUS rule, which was finalized in May 2015 and went into effect in late July of the same year. Following implementation, dozens of states and industry groups filed lawsuits against the EPA and the Corps. These suits were consolidated and were examined by the Sixth Circuit Court, but before the judges could examine the case on its merits, they had to first handle the question of if the circuit courts, as opposed to the district courts, were the legally appropriate venue.

“The [Clean Water Act] provides that certain specified actions of the EPA administrator are reviewable directly in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. Because of uncertainty about whether the agencies’ adoption of the Clean Water Rule is among these specified actions, parties challenging the rule have filed petitions in both district courts and circuit courts across the country,” described the court opinion document by Judge David McKeague.

The three judges came to a 2-1 conclusion regarding the question of jurisdiction. McKeague and Judge Richard Griffin concluded that the case against WOTUS is most appropriately heard by the circuit courts rather than the district courts. Judge Damon Keith held the dissenting opinion. For more detail on the judges’ opinions, see the “Decisions” section on page 9.

What this means

This conclusion has a number of impacts, some of them convoluted and not all of them agreed upon by various sources. First and foremost, it means the Sixth Circuit Court may now proceed to hearing the consolidated WOTUS case on its merits; i.e., to determine if the EPA was out of line in creating and implementing WOTUS.

Attorney Karen Budd- Falen of Budd-Falen Law Offices told WLJ that the Sixth Circuit Court will hear the case.

“We are absolutely happy to keep this decision in the Sixth Circuit,” she added. “I don’t know if I’d use the words ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal,’ but they’re certainly going to be much more open to arguments about excess government jurisdiction than a lot of the other circuits.”

“Today’s decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to hear challenges to the WOTUS rule is a positive development for Alabama and the other states seeking to overturn the overly broad EPA rule,” said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange in his office’s reaction. Alabama was one of numerous states that brought suit against the EPA over WOTUS.

Damien Schiff, a principal attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation, opined following the jurisdictional ruling that “the case probably won’t advance to the merits any time soon if the petitioners seek en banc review of the today’s jurisdictional ruling.”

Exactly how far-reaching the jurisdictional decision is seems to be unsettled, however. While other sources seemed to imply the jurisdictional question was answered, Peggy Kirk Hall— Associate Professor of Agricultural and Resource Law at Ohio State University— outlined a more limited reach in her analysis of the decision.

“The court’s decision on jurisdiction applies only to the states within the Sixth Circuit—Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. Given the range of reasoning in the Sixth Circuit’s decision, other federal courts could reach differing decisions on the question of which court has jurisdiction over the cases. If so, we can expect a request for the United States Supreme Court to review the jurisdictional issue.”

A response by the office of the South Dakota Attorney General also pointed out that this jurisdictional ruling will not halt ongoing litigation in the district courts. Schiff pointed out the same.

When asked about the possibility of the case going to the Supreme Court, Budd-Falen said it is a potential reality. Specifically speaking about the case against WOTUS, she explained that—regardless of which direction the case might go—it could be appealed to the Supreme Court. The problem is that the Supreme Court only chooses to hear a small minority of the cases put before it. Should the Sixth Circuit Court rule against the EPA, however, she thought it more likely that the Supreme Court would take up such an appeal.

“Not necessarily because the court rules in favor of the government, it’s just that those cases are usually seen as higher profile or more important cases.”

She also predicted the outcome of this year’s election could have a big impact on what happens after the Sixth Circuit Court rules on the merits of the WOTUS case.

MORE

https://wlj.net/article-12649-circuit-court-rules-it-has-jurisdiction-on-wotus.html

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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Groups sue over grazing on California coast

Agriculture - California, cattle, Federal gov & land grabs

Western Livestock Journal

Feb. 26, 2016

—Resident ranchers fear for the future of agriculture

Just a year after officials with California’s Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS) garnered national headlines by shutting down an oyster farm within its borders, three anti-grazing groups have filed suit, contending that the ranchers who graze the property just north of San Francisco should be removed as well.

The suit however, filed against the National Park Service (NPS) earlier this month by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), Western Watersheds Project (WWP), and the Resource Renewal Institute (RRI), does not call for an immediate end to grazing. Instead, it criticizes PRNS management of wildlife, including the resident elk herd, and accuses them of favoring ranching interests over environmental concerns.

The groups claim that PRNS is violating federal law by failing to conduct adequate environmental studies before renewing grazing leases, and demands that the seashore halt its lease renewal process pending the reevaluation of its 36-year-old operating plan to account for the environmental consequences of grazing.

“The Point Reyes National Seashore is a national treasure,” said Huey Johnson, RRI President, in a recent press release. “The Park Service has delayed comprehensive planning and environmental analysis for decades, depriving the public of the right to weigh in on appropriate uses and activities in the park. This lawsuit is a last resort to get the Park Service to do its job.”

While the claim follows a now familiar pattern employed by antigrazing groups to challenge grazing on public lands throughout the West, both ranchers and PRNS officials are quick to point out that the relationship between government and ranchers on the seashore differ significantly from the traditional public land scenario.

“There is a very clear history here that our opposition is failing to recognize,” says rancher Kevin Lunny. “This is a national seashore. We are a unit under the National Park Service, but we are not a park.”

Lunny points out that PRNS was originally created with the intent of preserving the livestock operations that had inhabited that portion of seashore for generations. In 1962, with rumors of a major highway and the threat of urban encroachment from nearby San Francisco looming, ranchers along the seashore struck a deal with the government in an effort to retain their livelihoods. Under the agreement, NPS would buy the ranchers property, thus preserving it as open space. They would then lease the property back to the rancher, allowing them to continue as they had, without fear of urban development.

Between 1962 and 1972, NPS spent more than $20 million purchasing ranch land, which was then leased back to the original owner. While the lease agreements varied from one property to the next, the maximum term was 25 years or the lifespan of the original owner, whichever was longer.

While a few lifetime leases are still operational, most have lapsed over the past 50 years, to be replaced by short-term leases, renewed every 5 or 10 years. Today, PRNS encompasses roughly 90,000 acres, 28,000 of which remains grazing land for both beef and dairy cattle. A total of 24 families operate these ranches, 18 of which reside full-time on federal property.

According to PRNS Spokeswoman Melanie Gunn, under the law that led to the creation of PRNS, the short-term leases are granted at the discretion of the secretary of the interior. While the litigation groups interpret this as a clear sign that grazing is not a legal obligation of PRNS, ranchers contend that the intent of the law was always to preserve both the habitat and the ranchers.

“These people were ranching here before the park was here,” says Gunn. “When the park was established, a big part of the reason this region was not already developed was because the ranchers were here. That was acknowledged in our enabling legislation.”

Despite this assurance, says Lunny, events in recent years have led to suspicion among some of the producers that PRNS is not as amenable to ranching as it once was. “The relationship has been tenuous,” says Lunny. “NPS has made some steps recently that are clear threats to ranching.”

Among these, the December 2014 closure of an oyster farm was perhaps the most concerning to the ranchers. The oyster farm, which was also leased by Lunny, existed on the PRNS under a similar agreement to the ranches. However, PRNS refused to renew the lease, citing environmental concerns and the desire to convert the area to a wilderness. The ensuing legal battle lasted years, and ultimately grabbed the national spotlight. It was finally ended in 2014 when the Supreme Court refused to hear the case, and then Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar officially denied the lease.

“The truth did not prevail, and the oyster farm had to go,” says Lunny. “[NPS] got away with reinventing history and unilaterally kicking out a historic farm use.

MORE

https://wlj.net/article-permalink-12647.html

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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Siskiyou Co: Irrigation district participates in groundwater recharge program

Agriculture - California, Scott River & Valley, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

PNP comment: Farmers have known for 100 years that utilizing irrigation ditches in the off-season helps recharge the groundwater table. Greenies do not like this type of program, because their goal is to destroy the environment. — Editor Liz Bowen

 

By Damon Arthur of the Redding Record Searchlight

A Siskiyou County irrigation district is the first water agency in the state to take part in a new groundwater recharge program.

Under the program, the Scott Valley Irrigation District can divert 5,400 acre-feet of water from the Scott River during the rainy season when the river is running high. The district can divert water from the river until March 31.

The district uses the water to flood select areas in the valley, where it can then percolate into the ground and recharge the amount of water stored underground.

Some sections of the Scott River dry up during the summer and fall. State and local officials hope raising the water table in the valley will mean the river will continue to flow rather than dry up during the summer.

More water in the river should benefit chinook and coho salmon that spawn in the river, according to the California Water Board.

“We have been talking about doing this kind of thing for a long time,” said Jim Morris, a board member for the district.

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http://www.redding.com/news/local/irrigation-district-participates-in-groundwater-recharge-program-2c9c5cb1-9b92-4cb0-e053-0100007ffdc-370299151.html?utm_source=Email&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_content=&utm_campaign=TopHeadlines_Newsletter

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