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Browsing the blog archives for March, 2017.

BUNDY: Malheur II – Guilty Verdicts On Misdemeanor Charges

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Courts, CRIMINAL

Redoubt News.com

The prosecution of the Malheur Protesters for misdemeanor charges was an exercise in ‘going through the motions’.

by Shari Dovale

When I sat in the courtroom and watched the Bench Trial that was ordered by Judge Anna Brown, the prosecution was completely unprepared. They had no opening statement, instead relying on a single ‘chart’ outlining who was charged with what. Even Judge Brown seemed shocked by AUSA Barrow’s seeming nonchalance.

It was made painfully clear that the prosecution of the Malheur Protesters for misdemeanor charges was an exercise in ‘going through the motions’. Judge Brown, in chastising Barrow for his lack of preparedness gave hope that she would actually look at the evidence and defense arguments and see how preposterous the charges were.

That was proven to be wishful thinking, as she handed down guilty verdicts for the four remaining defendants.

  • Jason Patrick was convicted of trespass, tampering with vehicles and equipment and destruction of government property.

  • Duane Ehmer was convicted of trespass and tampering with vehicles and equipment. Duane was found not guilty on one charge.

  • Darryl Thorn was convicted of trespass and tampering with vehicles and equipment. Darryl was found not guilty on one charge.

  • Jake Ryan was convicted of trespass and tampering with vehicles and equipment.

Their sentencing is tentatively set for May 10th.

To add insult to injury, Judge Brown berated Jason Patrick as to his nonconforming behavior. She cited examples of the day he was 10 minutes late. The train was confirmed late, and a juror was late for the same reason.

She also mentioned the day that the US Marshals would not allow him in the courthouse. The US Marshals decided to give him a hard time that day for not having his identification, which was confiscated from him when he was arrested. He had been coming into the courthouse every day of the first trial, every day of each hearing, and every day of the second trial, until that day. Judge Brown had to amend the rules on that day to issue all defendants special identification, so there would not be any further issues with the Marshals.

Patrick has never missed being at the courthouse when he was told, with these two exceptions. I can personally confirm this, as I saw him every day.

Brown continued to verbally thrash him, citing his behavior in court. However, they never mentioned that he was never charged with contempt for his behavior, therefore he must not have offended the court. She also mentioned his lack of a permanent home. Again, he never missed a court appearance, and his home is in Georgia.

She then weighed the choice of electronic monitoring or whether he should be placed into custody right there, on the spot.

Patrick made the decision for her and emptied his pockets on the defense table, removed his belt, took off his jacket and placed his hands out to be cuffed.

The US Marshals complied and booked him immediately after the hearing.

Patrick is now incarcerated in the Multnomah County jail until the sentencing hearing.

Duane Ehmer, also in the courtroom, was not taken into custody. Thorn and Ryan were represented by their attorneys.

Malheur II – Guilty Verdicts On Misdemeanor Charges

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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BUNDY: Burns Chronicles 58 – Twice Put in Jeopardy

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Courts, CRIMINAL

Redoubt News.com

Misdemeanor charges were brought to insure a conviction, should the jury have returned a not guilty verdict, as in the first trial.

Burns Chronicles 58
Twice Put in Jeopardy

by Gary Hunt
March 23, 2017

Of course, we must start with the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, as it is the “supreme Law of the Land.  The pertinent part reads:

“No person… shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”

Now, that phrase, “twice put in jeopardy” is also referred to as “Double Jeopardy”, though whichever way we choose to phrase it, the meaning is quite simple.  If you are charged with a crime, absent a mistrial or some other legitimate cause, you can only stand trial one time.

It used to be that a crime was simply stated.  If you murdered someone, then you were charged with murder.  If you murdered more than one person, then additional counts of murder were added to the charge.  You would not be charged with, say, unlawful discharge of a firearm within the limits of the city, destruction of private property if the bullet damaged something, assault, illegal possession of a weapon, or any other crimes that you may have committed while also committing murder.  You simply stood trial for murder.

If you were acquitted, that was it.  If they found additional evidence that proved that you had really committed the murder, that was too bad.  They had their chance, and they blew it.

This protection, afforded by the Bill of Rights was a prohibition against the government trying and then retrying, you until they could get a conviction.  It also precluded your being tried by one court, found not guilty, and then tried by another court in different jurisdiction, for the same crime.


So, let’s look at what has recently occurred in Portland, Oregon.  The first trial, in September and October 2016, comprised of charges arising from the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR), near Burns, Oregon.  In that trial, which included the charge of “conspiracy”, Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox, David Fry, Neil Wampler, Kenneth Medenbach, and Jeffrey Banta (Group 1), were acquitted by a jury.

Jeff Banta, Neil Wampler, David Fry and Shawna Cox

The next trial, held in February and March 2017, included the remaining defendants, Jason Patrick, Duane Ehmer, Darryl Thorn, and Jake Ryan.  This second (Group 2) trial went to the jury with the same charges as the first trial.  However, it appears that United States Attorney Billy J. Williams, concerned that after spending an estimated $100 million dollars thus far, and no conviction to show for it, opted to insure a conviction justifying the extravagant expenditure of public money.  He did so by bringing additional misdemeanor charges, not by a Grand Jury, but rather by what is known as an “information”.

The two trials were conjoined for certain portions of the respective trials (some of the testimony that also applied to the misdemeanor charges was heard by the jury).  When the felony charges went to the jury, the Court continued with a bench trial (judge only, no jury) and additional testimony with regard to the misdemeanor charges.

As a side note, the felony trial portion ended with a guilty verdict of at least one guilty charge against each defendant.

Now, we move on to the misdemeanor bench trail of the defendants.  The Judge, Anna J. Brown, who presided over the Group 1 and Group 2 jury trials was also the judge who presided over the bench trial.  This somewhat irregular practice was discussed in “Burns Chronicles No 54 – To Jury, or, Not To Jury” and decided outside of the Rules of Court.  After a few days of deliberation, she found all four defendants guilty of at least one charge.  On March 21, 2017, she filed “Legal Standards, Findings of Fact, and Verdicts on Class B Misdemeanor Charges“.  We are going to take some excerpts from that document to understand just what happened when these additional charges were brought and tried.

  1. Many individuals both within and outside of the Burns area learned of the re-sentencing decisions and strongly objected to the Hammonds’ being required to return to prison.

Well, that is what started his whole situation.  Dwight and Steven Hammond were tried, found guilty, sentenced, served their time, and then tried, again, in the appellate court, sentenced to an additional 4 years in prison, which they are currently serving.

  1. Beginning in November 2015 individuals from outside the Burns area, including Ammon Bundy who lived in Emmett, Idaho, traveled to Burns to organize a protest in support of the Hammonds. At least some of them also sought to prevent the Hammonds from being required to return to prison.

Heck, Ammon Bundy was acquitted in the Group 1 trial.  However, the inclusion of his name in this document is a stunning insight into the thought process of Judge Brown’s desire to obtain a conviction, setting aside the jury verdict, at least in her own mind, the rules of jurisprudence and the Constitution notwithstanding.

  1. As part of their ongoing protest of the re-sentencing of the Hammonds, Ammon Bundy and others, including Defendant Jason Patrick, organized and recruited people during December  2015 to participate in a protest march to take place on January  2, 2016, in Burns, Oregon, in support of the Hammonds.

The acquittal in the Group 1 trial is ignored, as this statement is made in the misdemeanor “Findings of Fact”.  So, the jury’s finding of not guilty of conspiracy is now asserted as fact in order to justify a misdemeanor conviction.

  1. In anticipation of the January 2, 2016, march, Ammon Bundy held a private meeting on December 29, 2015, at a home in Burns, Oregon.  Ryan Payne, Jon Ritzheimer, Blaine Cooper, Defendant Jason Patrick, and others were present at that meeting.  Ammon Bundy requested all attendees to leave their cellular telephones outside of this meeting so that the substance of the meeting would not be recorded.

  2. At the December 29, 2015, meeting, Ammon Bundy proposed an armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) (located approximately 30 miles south of Burns) to take place  after the protest march on January 2, 2016.  Some, but not all, of the meeting attendees agreed with Ammon Bundy’s plan.

Here, again, we enter the realm of conspiracy, which was also found by the first jury to have not been committed.  However, she manages to present this, too, as fact.

  1. Consistent with the plan developed at the December 29, 2015, meeting, Ryan Payne, Jon Ritzheimer, Defendant Jason Patrick, Blaine Cooper, Brand Thornton, Walter “Butch” Eaton, and others left Burns as the January 2, 2016, protest march was concluding. They drove in multiple vehicles to the MNWR headquarters compound.

  2. When they arrived at the MNWR headquarters compound, these individuals conducted a military-style sweep of most of the MNWR headquarters buildings to ensure that there were not any MNWR employees present. Most of the individuals who conducted the sweep, including Defendant Jason Patrick, were armed with long guns, including AR-15-type semiautomatic rifles.

  3. After sweeping the buildings, these individuals set up armed blockades at each entrance to the MNWR headquarters compound and placed armed individuals in a fire watchtower near the main entrance to the MNWR headquarters to keep lookout on the surrounding area. Those who staffed the blockades were usually also equipped with radios. By taking over the MNWR in this fashion, the armed occupiers secured the MNWR headquarters compound and controlled who could enter and remain on the premises.

  4. Due to holiday and weekend staffing there were not any employees present at the MNWR when the individuals conducted the sweep, but the MNWR was otherwise open to the public on January 2, 2016. There were, nevertheless, numerous signs around the MNWR headquarters compound that gave notice of the hours during which the MNWR was open to the public, the specified conduct that was permitted and prohibited on the MNWR, and the identified areas that were always closed to the public. Multiple signs clearly stated the MNWR was only open to the public from sunrise to sunset.

Again, the determination of the actual facts, by the first jury trial, are given, contrarily, as “Findings of Fact” in the third (misdemeanor) trial.  How can those statements be facts, in light of the jury’s findings in the first trial?  Judge Brown has presented them as facts, conjecture (accusation in the indictment), that, clearly, the jury did not find convincing.  For the record, there was only one sign, that up on Sodhouse Lane, not “multiple signs”.

MUCH  MORE  HERE

Burns Chronicles 58 – Twice Put in Jeopardy

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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Bundy: Bunkerville Defendant is FBI Informant Greg Burleson

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Courts, CRIMINAL

by Shari Dovale

March 22, 2017


The Nevada Bunkerville Protest Trial heated up today when it was unintentionally disclosed that defendant Greg Burleson has been a paid informant for the FBI since 2012.

The prosecution called FBI Agent Michael Caputo and FBI Agent Adam Nixon to the stand and, in an unusual move, the court instructed the jury that this testimony would be used only in reference to Defendant Burleson.

The prosecution attempted to be careful of how they questioned the witnesses, however, they did ask a few questions that raised eyebrows. The only defense attorney that was allowed to cross examine the agents was Burleson’s attorney, Terrence Jackson .

Jackson gave every impression that he was not aware of his client’s true status. He questioned the witnesses until they made the admissions. Over multiple government objections, and amid several small conferences with the other defense attorneys, Jackson continued to hammer at the agents with questions until they admitted to Burleson’s status as a Federal Informant.

Burleson has worked with the FBI on other cases prior to the Bunkerville Protest. Towards the end of 2015 Burleson initiated contact with the FBI. It is believed that this was the time that the scheme to plant Burleson in the prison was hatched.

Burleson has been kept apart from the other prisoners, it was said, due to medical problems. It has been reported that he has gone blind, is in a wheelchair and suffers from Diabetes. Complaints of lack of medical care have been made throughout the time of his incarceration.

Burleson was not taken from the courtroom after the shocking announcements, and no motions were requested for a mistrial. Though, this seems to be a likely case to be declared a mistrial.


As one of the defendants, Burleson had access to all pretrial conferences and defense discussions. All investigations and other evidence would have been completely available to him, and therefore, to the FBI and prosecution, as well.


What will the government do next? If this case does not get thrown out, it will indicate just how deep this corruption goes.

Bunkerville Defendant is FBI Informant

 

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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Sacramento County reeling from jury’s $107 million verdict against it in mining case

Lawsuits, Mining

March 22, 2017

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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Liz Writes Life 3-21-17

Liz Writes Life

March 21, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

At age 57, Alaska’s Mitch Seavey ran the race of his life winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 14, 2017. Mitch shattered the previous time record to steal the title of the fastest Iditarod musher from his son, Dallas Seavey, who won the 2016 Iditarod Race at age 29.

“Old guys rule,” Mitch claimed, as he recounted the 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes race after arriving in Nome. This is his third win and he is the race’s oldest champion as well as the speediest. His win is certainly impressive as the mushers started the 1,000 mile race in 40 to 50 degree-below temperatures in Fairbanks. Ugh! When Mitch pulled into to Nome, it was a warmer minus 4 degrees. Ha.

Mitch beat his son’s 2016 winning time by eight hours and said he was surprised by his dogs, who acted like they wanted to move out. He said they seemed frustrated to go slow and he was concerned because he had never traveled that fast that far, but he “let them roll!” The team averaged around 10 mph! And Mitch took all of his mandated rests.

I am fascinated by the Iditarod race, which is now run as a modern-day challenge, I believe, to keep alive past traditions and importance of sled dogs, but also preserve the best of mankind – that of serving and sacrificing to save others.

In January of 1925, children in Nome were dying. The village was infected with diphtheria and the only physician, Dr. Curtis Welch, feared an epidemic would certainly put Nome’s population of 1,400 at risk. There was an antitoxin serum that could save lives, but it was 1,000 miles away in Anchorage. Ice choked Nome’s harbor making sea travel impossible and even the most current airplanes were open-cockpit and couldn’t fly in the subzero temps. The nearest train station was 700 miles away leaving sled dogs the fastest means of transportation.

Mushers and sled dogs were intricate to everyday life, including delivering mail and supplies, so there were significant trails between villages and towns. News of Nome’s dilemma reached Alaska Territorial Governor, Scott C. Bone, who quickly recruited the best mushers and dog teams. It was decided that a round-the-clock relay to transport the serum from Nenana to Nome would be the best way to achieve the goal. In the dark of January 27, 1915, a train arrived in Nenana with the precious package of 20-pounds of serum wrapped in protective fur. Musher Wild Bill Shannon tied the parcel to his sled, gave the signal and his nine Malamutes took off in what is called the “Great Race of Mercy”.

It was 60 degrees below zero and Shannon developed frostbite in the first leg of the relay of 52 miles, before he handed off the serum. Most mushers tallied 30 miles. One of Alaska’s most famous musher was Norwegian-born Leonhard Seppala, who departed Shaktoolic on January 31st on an epic 91-mile leg. He had already rushed 170 miles from Nome to intercept the relay. Gale-whipped winds sent temps to 85 degrees below zero, but Seppala’s lead Siberian Husky “Togo” fiercely led the 19-dog team through the Norton Sound where ice threatened to break apart.

Seppala handed off the serum to Charlie Olson, who after 25 miles met Gunnary Kaasen for the second-to-last leg of the relay. Kaasen set off into a pelting blizzard, but he trusted his lead dog, Balto. At one point, a huge gust of wind flipped the sled throwing the precious serum into a snow bank. A panicked Kaasen dug into the snow and was able to find the serum. He arrived in Port Safety early on Feb. 2nd, but the next team was not ready to leave, so Kaasen pushed on to Nome covering the last 53 miles arriving on Feb. 3, 1925.

It seemed fitting on this fine spring morning to share this harsh, freezing cold story of skill, determination and ultimate kindness. Happy spring!

Hammonds

Recently, I talked with Helen Lewis, who is a first cousin to Dwight Hammond, age 76, who is serving a second trumped-up sentence in prison. It was the situation of Dwight and his son, Steven, who were charged with starting a fire that burned from their property on to BLM-managed lands in Eastern Oregon (which was a cooperative burn with the federal agency) that brought Ammon and Ryan Bundy to the Malheur National Park Refuge in Jan. 2016. There, the Bundy’s occupied the refuge in protest of the atrocities levied on the Hammonds.

After the second unjustified trial, where Hammonds were found guilty of a terrorist activity, they were released and then were expected to report to San Pablo Prison in L.A. area. Their incarceration started in early Jan. 2016 and is for five years. They had already completed their previous prison sentences and then the “terrorist” charge was brought against them.

Several months ago, Helen and her husband, Alvin, and other family members were able to visit Dwight in an open family-type room in prison. Helen said he looks good, sounds good and is doing well under the circumstances. The judge did mandate that father and son were to room together in one cell and that is luckily the case.

Dwight grew up in Siskiyou Co. in Edgewood. When he and his wife, Susie, married they then moved to Gazelle. Then they purchased their ranch in Eastern Oregon and during the last 20 years had continual problems with federal agencies.

Finicum

A fundraiser for Jeanette Finicum will be held on Friday, May 5, 2017 at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center. Jeanette is the featured speaker. She and her family are raising funds to bring a civil lawsuit against the wrongful death of her husband, LaVoy Finicum, who was shot and killed by FBI agents and snipers on Jan. 26, 2016 on a rural highway in Eastern Oregon. Tickets are $25. Call Grace Leeman at 530-598-1908 to get your tickets.

POW

Elizabeth Nielsen, Natural Resources Specialist for Siskiyou Co., will explain the CA. Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting this Thursday, March 23rd along with our usual presenters. Time is 7 p.m. at the Fort Jones Community Center.

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

# # #

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Klamath Basin Crisis.org News 3-22-17

Klamath Basin Crisis.org

KBC News

Ranchers oppose cuts to wolf compensation, predator control, Capital Press, posted to KBC 3/21/17.

Judge dismisses lawsuit against grazing on eight Oregon allotments, Oregonian, posted to KBC 3/21/17. “A federal judge has rejected environmentalist arguments that cattle grazing has unlawfully harmed endangered sucker fish in Oregon’s Fremont-Winema National Forest.”

Worst Klamath chinook run on record forecast, management option could close vast swath of fishery, Oregonian, posted to KBC 3/21/17.

Rethink (dam) Removal, The Malibu Times letter to the editor, posted to KBC 3/21/17. “The rationale for spending $160 million or so over eight years to bring down the dam and cart off the silt behind it: To allow Steelhead trout to swim another 10 miles upstream in Malibu Creek. (That is about $1.6 million per fish, I figure.)”

Judge rules groups can intervene in Cascade-Siskiyou lawsuit, H&N, posted to KBC 3/21/17

Thousands of irrigators could be eligible to join ‘takings’ suit. Forms must be submitted for compensation, posted to KBC 3/14/17

www.klamathbasincrisis.org

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USFS: The Pacific Southwest Region invites public input

U.S. Forest Service

YREKA, Calif.; March 20, 2017 – The Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) is inviting the public to help identify trails that will be part of a U.S. Forest Service effort with partners and volunteers to increase the pace of trail maintenance.

Nationwide, the Forest Service will select nine to 15 priority areas among its nine regions where a backlog in trail maintenance contributed to reduced access, potential harm to natural resources or trail users and/or has the potential for increased future deferred maintenance costs.

Region 5 manages more than 16,000 miles of trails enjoyed by 16,100,000 users each year.  In Region 5, volunteers and partner groups contributed more than 178,000 hours in maintenance and repair of nearly 2,984 miles of trails last year.

“We are counting on our fellow Californians to help us identify where maintenance is needed,” said Randy Moore, regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region. “The forest visitors who enjoy these trails year-round are the best source of information for what’s needed on the ground, and we’re counting on their expertise and willingness to help.”

Region 5 has until April 15 to submit at least three regional proposals to National Headquarters. Those proposals will be weighed against proposal submitted by other Forest Service regions.

The trail maintenance effort is outlined in the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act of 2016 and aims to increase trail maintenance by volunteers and partners by 100% by the end of 2021.

The selected sites will be part of the initial focus that will include a mosaic of areas with known trail maintenance needs that include areas near urban and remote areas, such as wilderness, are of varying sizes and trail lengths, are motorized and non-motorized, and those that incorporate a varied combination of partner and volunteer approaches and solutions.

The Forest Service manages more than 158,000 miles of trail – the largest trail system in the nation – providing motorized and non-motorized trail access across 154 national forests and grasslands. These Forest Service trails are well-loved and highly used with more than 84 million trail visits annually, helping to support mostly rural economies.

The Forest Service receives widespread support from tens of thousands of volunteers and partners each year who, in 2015, contributed nearly 1.4 million hours – a value of about $31.6 million – in maintenance and repair of nearly 30,000 miles of trails.

However, limited funding compounded by the rising cost of wildfire operations, has resulted in less than 25 percent of Forest Service trails meeting all of the agency’s standards for safety, quality recreation and economic and environmental sustainability. The remaining trails meet standard to varying degrees.

To provide ideas and suggestions on potential priority areas and approaches for incorporating increased trail maintenance assistance from partners and volunteers, contact your local Forest Service office or Regional Trail Program Manager Garrett Villanueva at gvillanueva@fs.fed.us by April 7.

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CA Natural Resources pushes, again, for control over Siskiyou rivers

California Rivers, California water, Klamath River & Dams, Salmon and fish, Scott River & Valley, Siskiyou County, State gov

PNP comment: Look at the out-of-area dictators, who want to tell Siskiyou County and its residents how we should live. — Editor Liz Bowen

Additional comment by Rex Cozallio, landowner below Irongate dam near Hornbrook, CA:

I was extremely agitated and disheartened to become aware of this proposition that would severely impact our region submitted in February by a non resident assemblywoman  out of GLENDALE, California ‘sponsored’ (paid for) by ‘Friends of the River’, and ‘supported’ by 23 more profiting ‘non-profits’ and NO OPPOSITION!  This relentless onslaught, mounting countless paid for attacks with the ever-expanding objective of effectively confiscating vested private and public property without compensation or  impacted regional input, must end.  Quickly and quietly shoved through lobbied ‘legislative process’, their obvious and successful theory is that a certain portion will sneak through before sufficient public awareness, further empowering the unelected policy-driven bureaucratic power base permitting public oppression and the further social/economic division of classes.  This ‘provision’ adds an incredible, ridiculous, and impossible-to-survive complete and unimpeded REWILDING of the affected regional rivers, particularly the Klamath, Scott, and Shasta.  It not only prescribes unrestricted ‘natural’ accretion and avulsion of riparian property, it discretionarily restricts ANY use of riparian areas within a QUARTER OF A MILE of EACH side of the rivers.

In searching for the legislation last night, the ONLY reference I could find that wasn’t an unrelated 2013 Bill of the same number, was the sponsoring ‘Friends of the River’ website.  A link within that led to the Assembly woman’s promotional page.  From multiple calls I found out the Bill I heard about last night is in Natural Resource committee ‘hearings’ TODAY.  The only other ‘opportunity’ to publically ‘respond’ will be at the next as yet unscheduled or posted Administrative/Budgetary hearing.

After talking to the ‘legislative analyst’ Michael Jered about the unnotified and most impacted regions in opposition, I was admonished on several fronts.  Unequivocally saying that failing to access the information was my and the local representatives’ fault since it was submitted in February, and that I should take up any complaints with them, he graciously allowed that I may write a letter of opposition which he could ‘place in the file’, even though it would not be acknowledged, but would be ‘available’ in the event someone ‘wanted to read it’.

He also said I could have certainly gone to Sacramento to testify to the Committee ‘if I wanted’, but of course that ‘would not be possible for today’ and any failure to go to legis.ca.gov to inform myself was ‘my problem’, and that is ‘just the way the process works’.

Telling him it did not show up on a search of that site, he assured me that it was there and I just wasn’t doing it right.  Insisting I was wrong, he went to the legis site and said ‘just look at the 2015-2016 legislation’,  at which point he hesitated and said ‘oh, I guess they haven’t posted the years legislation yet’ (in March, and this is the first he knew?).

If you wish to call him, his number is 916-319-2092, but it appears the only way to impact the progression now is to actively push to somehow track it AFTER it no doubt passes through Committee today, the point at which we would likely have been the most able to rescind.

All the Best,

Rex Cozzalio

 

CA ab975..please read time sensitive, hearing date March 20th

Date of Hearing: March 20, 2017

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES

Cristina Garcia, Chair

ABPCA Bill Id:AB 975 (

Author:Friedman) – As Introduced Ver:February 16, 2017

SUBJECT:  Natural resources:  wild and scenic rivers

SUMMARY:  Adds “historical, cultural, geological, ecological, hydrological (i.e., unique source, direction, or quantity of water flows), botanical or other values” to the values that certain rivers possess and the state should preserve.  Expands the area protected in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System (System) from immediately adjacent to the river segment to within a quarter mile of the river.

EXISTING LAW, pursuant to the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Act):

  • Declares that it is the policy of the state that certain rivers that possess extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, or wildlife values be preserved in their “free-flowing” state, together with their immediate environments, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the state. Declares that such use of these rivers is the highest and most beneficial use and is a reasonable and beneficial use of water.

  • Defines “free-flowing” as existing or flowing without artificial impoundment, diversion, or other modification of the river. (The presence of low dams, diversion works, and other minor structures does not automatically bar a river’s inclusion within the System.)

  • Requires that those rivers or segments of rivers included in the System be classified as one of the following:

    1. Wild rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted;

  1. Scenic rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped but accessible in places by roads; or

  1. Recreational rivers, which are those rivers or segments of rivers that are readily accessible by road or railroad, may have some development along their shorelines, and may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.

  • Designates several California rivers and segments thereof as components of the System.

  • Requires the Natural Resources Agency (NRA) to be responsible for coordinating the activities of state agencies whose activities affect the rivers in the System with those of other state, local, and federal agencies with jurisdiction over matters that may affect the rivers.

FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown

 

COMMENTS:

  • Author’s statement:

AB 975 brings the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System more in line with the federal system, improving state management of rivers that enjoy dual state-federal designation, and allowing for the protection of existing and future state rivers that possess additional values beyond those currently mentioned in the Act.

  • The Act. The Act was passed in 1972 to preserve designated rivers possessing extraordinary scenic, recreation, fishery, or wildlife values.  With its initial passage, the System protected segments of the Smith River and tributaries, Klamath River and tributaries, Scott River, Salmon River, Trinity River, Eel River, Van Duzen River, and American River.  The System was subsequently expanded by the Legislature to include the East Carson and West Walker Rivers in 1989, the South Yuba River in 1999, the Albion River and Gualala Rivers in 2003, and Cache Creek in 2005.  In addition, segments of the McCloud River, Deer Creek, and Mill Creek were protected under the Act in 1989 and 1995 respectively, although these segments were not formally designated as components of the System.

The Act provides a number of legal protections for rivers included within the System, beginning with the following legislative declaration:

It is the policy of the State of California that certain rivers which possess extraordinary scenic, recreational, fishery, or wildlife values shall be preserved in their free-flowing state, together with their immediate environments, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the state.  The Legislature declares that such use of these rivers is the highest and most beneficial use and is a reasonable and beneficial use of water within the meaning of Section 2 of Article X of the California Constitution.

The Act defines “free-flowing” as “existing or flowing without artificial impoundment, diversion, or other modification of the river.”  The existence of minor structures, or even major dams located upstream or downstream of a specific segment, does not preclude a river from designation.  Several rivers, such as the Klamath, Trinity, Eel, and Lower American, are included in the System despite substantial flow modifications by existing upstream dams and impoundments.

No dam, reservoir, diversion, or other water impoundment facility may be constructed on any river segment included in the System.  However, there are exemptions, which include temporary flood storage facilities on the Eel River and temporary recreational impoundments on river segments with a history of such impoundments.  NRA cannot authorize these temporary recreational impoundments without first making a number of findings.

A cornerstone of the Act is the non-degradation clause, which prohibits new projects and activities from adversely affecting the free-flowing condition and natural character of river segments included in the System.

The Act was patterned after the 1968 National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Federal Act).  The state and federal Acts share similar criteria and definitions in regard to the purpose of protecting rivers, the identification of free flowing rivers and extraordinary or outstanding values suitable for protection, establishing a study process to include rivers in the system, as well as an identical classification system.  The primary purpose of both the state and federal Acts is to prohibit new water impoundments on designated rivers.

  • Consistency with the Federal Act. The state Act differs from the Federal Act in that it does not recognize as many river values.  The additional values in the Federal Act include historical, cultural, geologic, and “other similar” values.  Federal agencies have interpreted “similar” values to include ecological, botanical, and hydrological.  When NRA studied the East Carson and West Walker Rivers they found them to have extraordinary hydrological values.  However, that value is not in the Act.  AB 975 adds the additional values considered by Federal agencies, but it also adds “other” values.  This differs from the Federal Act because it is vague compared to “other similar” values.  The author and committee may wish to consider amending the bill to reflect the Federal Act by using “other similar” values.

The Federal Act also creates protections within a quarter mile of a river in the system.  The state Act defines immediate environments to be immediately adjacent to the river, and defines river to include up to the first line of permanently established riparian vegetation.  AB 975 would align the state Act with the Federal Act by defining immediate environments to include within quarter mile of segments of the river.  This change would have the effect of directing state and local governments to act in a manner that protects the additional immediate environment.  In addition, AB 975 would provide more consistent direction for rivers in the federal System that the state manages.

  • Previous legislation.

AB 142 (Bigelow), Chapter 661, Statutes of 2015, requires, prior to the designation of the Mokelumne River, the NRA to conduct a study analyzing the suitability or non-suitability of the Mokelumne River, its tributaries, or portions of the river for addition to the System.

SB 1199 (Hancock, 2014) would have designated a 37-mile portion of the Mokelumne River in Calaveras and Amador Counties in the Sierra Nevada as a wild and scenic river.  SB 1199 was held in the Assembly Appropriation Committee.

SB 904 (Chesbro), Chapter 545, Statutes of 2004, requires state agencies to protect the free-flowing character and extraordinary values of designated rivers and to clarify that Special Treatment Areas under the Forest Practices Rules are applied to rivers classified as recreational or scenic as well as those classified as wild.

REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

Support

American Rivers
American Whitewater
Butte Environmental Council
California Water Impact Network
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
California Outdoors
California Wilderness Coalition
CalTrout
Coast Action Group
Defenders of Wildlife
Foothill Conservancy
Friends of the Eel River

Friends of the River
KIER Associates
Merced River Conservation Committee
Natural Resources Defense Council
Northcoast Environmental Center
Northern California Council International Federation of Fly Fishers
North Fork American River Alliance
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
Sacramento River Preservation Trust
Safe Alternatives For Our Forest Environment
Sierra Club California
South Yuba River Citizens League

Two individuals

Opposition

None on file

Analysis Prepared by:   Michael Jarred / NAT. RES. /

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Update on State of Jefferson —

JEFFERSON DECLARATION, Siskiyou County

Mark Baird, spokesman for the State of Jefferson movement, will be sharing information on the “lack of representation” lawsuit with the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors at their meeting on March 21, 2017. Time is 10 a.m.

Attend if you would like to know where the lawsuit stands and what the next step is likely to be.

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Siskiyou Water Users Assoc. sends letter asking for investigations — to CA. Senator Ted Gaines

Siskiyou Water Users Assoc

March 16, 2017

Senator Ted Gaines

Capitol Office State Capitol, Room 3076

Sacramento, CA 95814

Re:     CPUC Commissioner Liane Randolph

          Conflict of Interest

 Dear Senator Gaines,

As you are aware there is a matter of great significance being adjudicated at the CPUC regarding the request of PacifiCorp to have the CPUC authorize the Amended KHSA agreement signed this past year by Governors Brown of California and Oregon respectively and to approve of the transfer of four hydroelectric facilities to a newly formed non- profit corporation, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC).  PacifiCorp has asked the CPUC to authorize in addition the transfer of approx. $250,000,000 of State funds and a finding that the KRRC is qualified to receive the ratepayer surcharge trust funds as well as the State Bond money. The sole purpose of the KRRC is to destroy these hydroelectric facilities.

The County of Siskiyou Board of Supervisors and the Siskiyou County Water Users have each filed a cross Petition with the CPUC raising some very sensitive and important points including but not limited to the issue of lack of experience and background by KRRC, as well as their lack of financial strength that would insure that the project if carried out and substantial bio remediation and a catastrophic failure result could be ameliorated.   We raise these questions out of a serious concern regarding the protection and security that would be afforded to Siskiyou County and its citizens by such a novice organization.   As you know we have no voice in the process as the agencies involved have deliberately and with malice kept our County officials from being able to have a voice in the destruction to take place.

The question of a conflict of interest on the part of Commissioner Randolph is of great concern and we look to you as our Senator to get to the bottom of it.  Commissioner Randolph has recently been put into an oversight position by Governor Brown apparently to make certain that the ALJ involved is guided in the desired direction.  Commissioner Randolph in the past 30 days was selected to replace Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen as oversight on this matter.  Among other issues this is a blatant affront to all parties involved because Commissioner Randolph acted as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel at the California Natural Resources Agency and according to the record was the point person in the agency for its efforts to destroy the Klamath Dams as she was handling their efforts with regard to the Klamath River Restoration and Dam Removal process.  Furthermore it should be pointed out that the California

Natural Resources Agency is a signatory to the Amended KHSA and therefore has a vested interest in seeing that the agreement is carried out including the authorization by the CPUC to transfer PacifiCorp’s interest in the dams to the KRRC.   The Director of the Natural Resources Agency of California in order to carry out their efforts granted without reservation an amount of TWENTY-FIVE MILLION DOLLARS ($25,000,000) on October 12, 2016 as an advance on a TWO HUNDRED FIFTY MILLION DOLLAR ($250,000,000) grant to KRRC.  The grant of funds was signed by Tom Gibson General Counsel to the Agency and by Bryan Cash, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Agency. According to the amended KHSA this was a grant with no “claw back” provision.   The Amended KHSA Page 11 Clause 2 states that “KRRC shall have legal control over the disbursement of funds; disbursements are not contingent on other factors or subject to claw- back ….”.   We have only just learned of the existence of this grant as part of a package application submitted to the FERC indicating that the KRRC was financially capable of carrying out the destruction of the Klamath Dams.  I would note that the FERC has been purposely misled because without the approval of the CPUC the KRRC cannot receive the funds.

Senator Gaines, we request that you carry out an investigation of this matter as soon as possible to prevent a miscarriage of justice by the CPUC.  We would be happy to provide you with additional information as required.  Time is of the essence as this matter is before the CPUC ALJ as this is written.

Sincerely yours

Siskiyou County Water Users Assoc.

Richard Marshall

Richard Marshall

President

cc:      Michael Kobseff

          Chairman Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors

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