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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, February 3rd, 2017.

PLF, farmers, and ranchers challenge state’s ‘endangered’ listing of gray wolf

Agriculture - California, Lawsuits, Liberty, Wolves

Press Release from Pacific Legal Foundation

Jan. 31, 2017

SACRAMENTO, CA;  January 31, 2017:  The California Fish and Game Commission has neglected sound scientific analysis, undermined sensible wildlife protections — and violated state law — by unjustifiably adding the gray wolf to the state’s list of “endangered” species.


Damien M. Schiff
Principal Attorney

So argues a lawsuit filed today by Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of the California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and the California Farm Bureau Federation.  Filed in California Superior Court, the lawsuit challenges the commission’s listing of the gray wolf under the California Endangered Species Act.  The listing took effect on January 1, 2017, a little over a year after a divided commission approved it on a controversial 3-1 vote.

WATCH A TWO-MINUTE VIDEO

A listing based on flimsy evidence and deliberate undercounting

The lawsuit challenges the gray wolf listing as illegal on three grounds:

1) The listing is based on flimsy evidence.  The listing process was triggered by a single wolf crossing the Oregon border in 2011 — and that wolf has since wandered out of California.  Never before has a listing been initiated by a single animal’s occasional wanderings into the state.  This is why the state Department of Fish and Wildlife recommended against listing.

2)  Regulators undercounted the gray wolf’s numbers.  In violation of the California ESA, the commission looked only at the wolf’s numbers in California, ignoring healthy wolf populations elsewhere.  Indeed, the wolf’s overall status has improved to the point that the federal government is moving toward removing the species from its own “endangered” list.

3)  The gray wolf is not covered by the law.  The California ESA is limited to native species and subspecies.  Yet the gray wolves addressed by this listing are originally from Canada; they represent a subspecies that was never historically present in California.

PLF statement:  The listing is bad science, bad policy, and bad law

“The Fish and Game Commission took a big bite out of its own credibility with this unjustified listing,” said PLF Principal Attorney Damien Schiff.  “The agency managed to label the gray wolf as ‘endangered’ only by myopically and illegally ignoring its populations outside California.

“Moreover, the listing is destructive as a matter of public policy,” Schiff continued.  “To begin with, it creates dangers for Northern California ranchers, farmers, and their local economies.  If gray wolves begin to establish themselves after a long absence from California, regulators should be working with landowners on balanced policies that can protect sheep, cattle, and people with minimal harm to wolves.  Instead, the rigid regulations under an ‘endangered’ listing hamstring property owners and make cooperative solutions impossible.

“Gray wolves were already protected as a ‘non-game mammal,’ an arrangement that allowed flexible control,” he added.  “In contrast, the ‘endangered’ listing makes it next to impossible for landowners to get permits even to physically remove a wolf that is threatening their animals. Even state officials would run into red tape if they were to try to capture or kill a wolf.

“Finally, this listing means California wildlife could end up as wolf prey,” Schiff said.  “It is ironic, and outrageous, that by wrongly moving to safeguard a non-native wolf species, the state is endangering animals that are native to the state and that regulators should be protecting.”

The listing harms members of both Farm Bureau and CCA

The California Cattlemen’s Association is a nonprofit trade organization representing California’s ranchers and beef producers in policy matters.  CCA has 34 county affiliates and over 2,400 members, including more than 1,700 cattle producers.  California Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest farm organization, composed of 53 county farm bureaus representing more than 48,000 agricultural, associate, and collegiate members in 56 counties.

MORE

https://www.pacificlegal.org/release-1-31-17-gray-wolf-cca-1-1482

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Scott Valley Protect Our Water will meet Feb. 9, 2017

POW

Scott Valley Protect Our Water

meeting from January was postponed and will be held

Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017

Fort Jones Community Center

Fort Jones, CA

7 p.m.

Major discussions on water, including meeting CA. new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

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CA. Dist. 1 Congressman Doug LaMalfa is new chairman for House Committee of Natural Resources, including Indian Affairs

Doug LaMalfa Congressman CA, Federal gov & land grabs

PNP comment: This is really good news, especially for Siskiyou County! Wow! — Editor Liz Bowen

LaMalfa Takes Subcommittee Gavel: Announces Subcommittee Assignments for 115th Congress

 

(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after receiving his subcommittee assignments for the 115th Congress, including chairmanship of the House committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs.

LaMalfa said: “I’m very pleased with my committee assignments for the 115th Congress and I feel that they give me the best opportunity to get a great deal accomplished for California’s 1st district. I will get to continue my work on the Agriculture and Natural Resources committees to protect and create rural jobs while joining the Transportation and Infrastructure committee at a critical time to make a lot of improvements to California’s crumbling highways and water storage systems. I am excited to chair my first subcommittee in Congress and I look forward to a very busy term where we will get a lot done for the state of California and our Nation.”

 

A full breakdown of Rep. LaMalfa’s committee assignments for the 115th Congress is as follows:

House Committee on Natural Resources

Ø  Chairman of the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs

Ø  Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans

House Committee on Agriculture

Ø  Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit

Ø  Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry

House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

Ø  Subcommittee on Water Resources and Development

Ø  Subcommittee on Aviation

Ø  Subcommittee on Highway and Transit

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District including, Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.

 

###

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Liz Writes Life 1-31-17

Liz Writes Life

Jan. 31, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

The State Water Resources Control Board meeting was well attended. Nearly 200 people showed up at the Miner’s Inn last Thursday night. Thank you to the many local folks who did indeed give comment on the clean water aspect of the Environmental Impact Report needed for the application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to relicense four hydro-electric Klamath dams from PacifiCorp to the new non-profit Klamath River Renewal Corporation. A super majority of the comments were heartfelt and truthful statements about the devestation that will occur to water quality and the environment from the huge amount of sediment that will pollute and impact the Klamath River if the dams are removed.

Right out the chute, the Shasta Tribe gave the Water Board an ultimatum invoking the state’s statutory obligation to address their concerns regarding any California Environmental Quality Act process – of which the relicensing of the dams will need. The Shasta Tribe was recognized by the Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors, last November, as the correct Native American Tribe indigenous to most of the Siskiyou County area including the Klamath River.

Michael Kobseff, chairman of the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors’ Board, read a four-page document citing significant violations by the Water Board, including the fact the state board staff did not contact the county about the new date of this meeting after the first meeting was canceled earlier in January. Oops, I wonder why the state agency would do that?

Also Michael brought up the procedural problems regarding the state using a bogus tax roll that was created for the economic analysis and ultimately claimed the removal of the dams wouldn’t economically affect the county. What a dastardly deed by the state!

Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Supervisor, challenged the Water Board staff claiming it is in violation of a Supreme Court Ruling, which identified the Army Corp of Engineers and the EPA as the agency of jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act on navigatable waters that affect two states. Oops, the state may be out of its jurisdiction?

Ray told me he was impressed so many people were well-prepared in their comments citing specific issues. He said it is important to get the specific issues of concern into the “record”; as that will make the agency have to address them in its resulting document. If the issues raised are not fully addressed — that is when a lawsuit is worth the time and effort.

POW

Because it canceled its meeting in January, Scott Valley Protect Our Water will hold its next meeting on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center at 7 p.m. Water will be a main discussion item as Supervisor Haupt will be there to explain about the FERC relicensing of the four Klamath hydro-electric dams issue.

Also, Preston Harris will talk about the Scott Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee, levels of groundwater in 2016 and becoming complaint with the California Stainable Groundwater Management Act. Ray will explain the situation at the county level.

Erin Ryan, field rep for Congressman Doug LaMalfa, will also be in attendance. She told me some good news. Our congressman met with Ryan Zinke, a congressman from Montana, who has been tapped by President Donald Trump for Secretary of the Interior. He has yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, but the good news is that Zinke said, “We don’t tear down dams, we build dams.” That is a huge change from the previous destroy-the-environment attitudes of Sally Jewell and many Interior bureaucrats.

Erin will likely have more great info from Congressman LaMalfa, so get your New Year started right by attending the Feb. 9, 2017 meeting.

Finicum

The meeting with LaVoy Finicum that never happened went off without a hitch in John Day Oregon Saturday night. Shari Dovale reported, on Redoubt News.com, about 900 patriots from throughout the West showed up to the Grant Co. Fairgrounds. LaVoy, a rancher from Nevada, was shot and killed in an ambush roadblock by FBI and Federal Marshals on Jan. 26, 2016, when he was driving to a meeting in Grant Co. Oregon.

During the Jan. 28, 2017 meeting, LaVoy’s wife, Jeanette, attended to discuss the wrongful death civil lawsuit the family is putting forward. Several of LaVoy’s grown children, grandchildren, his parents and siblings were also in attendance.

Kate Dalley, a radio personality, spoke on Truth in Media. This topic was appropriate as the Bundy and LaVoy situations have literally been blackballed from national news. Last January, I heard Lou Dobbs on Fox News strongly question the federal agencies on the LaVoy and Bundy situation. He commented on two days and then the following week there was nothing. I believe Lou was told to hush it up.

I was surprised to learn that Malheur Refuge defendants Jeff Banta, Shawna Cox, Kenneth Medenbach and Neil Wampler were present sharing information and asking for prayers for the next round of defendants preparing for trial in Nevada. I thought they had remained in custody even though they were found non-guilty in the Oregon trial, this past fall, along with Ryan and Ammon Bundy, who continue to be incarcerated — now in Nevada.

 The Keynote speaker was KrisAnn Hall, a Constitutional Attorney and teacher. She spoke here in Siskiyou County several years ago.

One fundraiser held during the evening tugged at my heartstrings. It is to raise money for 7th and 8th grade students from John Day to travel to Washington D.C. and present President Donald Trump with a letter requesting the pardon of Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond. I sure hope this occurs. What a great way to bring attention to the travesty dealt the Hammonds, especially when they had already served an outrageous original sentence.

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

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Water, water everywhere in California – and not enough reservoir space to store it

Air, Climate & Weather, California Rivers, California water

PNP comment: This article does not take on the political question of “Why isn’t there more storage available?” It missed the mark touted by the headline, but there is good info about water levels. — Editor Liz Bowen

 Feb. 2, 2017

After five years of drought, could California really have so much rain and snow there’s no room to store all the water?

The answer – as the state’s water picture careens from bust to boom – is yes.

One month into an exceptionally stormy 2017, river flows though the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have been so powerful that the massive pumps that ship north-state water to Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley have roared at full throttle for weeks. The federal and state pumping stations near Tracy delivered more water in January than in any month in the last 12 years, according to a Sacramento Bee review of data supplied by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

With more rain and snow in the forecast, the pumps could stay at capacity for the next week or two. But pump operators probably will have to dial back because they’re starting to run out of space in key reservoirs south of the Delta, said John Leahigh, who oversees day-to-day water management for the State Water Project, which delivers supplies to water agencies throughout California.

“This is definitely a 180 that we’ve done in terms of water supply,” Leahigh said.

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article130352819.html#emlnl=Morning_Newsletter#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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Utah lawmakers advance pushback resolutions on Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments

Federal gov & land grabs

PNP comment: Yay, go for it Utah !!! – Editor Liz Bowen

Deseret News.com

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s pushback against two presidential monument designations 20 years apart advanced Thursday with Senate committee votes that approved resolutions to undo the most recent and drastically shrink the other.

Both resolutions, which have already passed in the House, now go to the full Senate for a vote.

http://deseretnews.com/article/865672485/Utah-lawmakers-advance-resolutions-on-Bears-Ears-Grand-Staircase-Escalante-monuments.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

HCR12, sponsored by Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, proposes to shrink the 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to no more than a half-million acres. It was heard before the Senate Business and Labor Committee, which voted 5-1 to approve the measure.

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