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Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, March 10th, 2017.

Many Central Valley farms to get full federal water supplies

Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, California water

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced full federal water allocations for at least some parts of the Central Valley, including the Friant Division, where many citrus growers went without water in 2014 and 2015.

Tim Hearden

Capital Press

Published on March 1, 2017 10:00AM

Last changed on March 1, 2017 12:00PM

Shasta Lake was 85 percent full and at 117 percent of its historical average as of Feb. 27. Full reservoirs and abundant snowpack have enabled the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to give full water allocations to many farmers in the Central Valley.

Tim Hearden/Capital Press

Shasta Lake was 85 percent full and at 117 percent of its historical average as of Feb. 27. Full reservoirs and abundant snowpack have enabled the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to give full water allocations to many farmers in the Central Valley.

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SACRAMENTO — Full reservoirs and an abundant snowpack have enabled the Central Valley Project to promise full allocations of water to many valley farms, federal officials announced Feb. 28.

Citrus growers in the eastern San Joaquin Valley’s Friant division will get 100 percent of their contracted supplies after most went without federal surface water in 2014 and 2015 and received 75 percent last year.

“We are extremely pleased with that announcement,” said Laura Brown, director of government affairs for the Exeter-based California Citrus Mutual. “We were expecting it with all the rain we’ve had.”

Among others promised their full supplies are customers of the Central San Joaquin Valley Conservation District and Stockton East Water District and urban customers in the Sacramento area and eastern San Francisco Bay area served by water from the American River.

Settlement contractors on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers were told in mid-February they would get their full supplies based on the volume of inflow to Shasta Lake, officials said.

The agency will wait until mid-March to determine other allocations, including those for the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, which only received 5 percent last summer despite late-season storms that provided more water elsewhere.

Several factors will determine the remaining allocations, said Ron Milligan, a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation operations manager in Sacramento. They include the state Department of Water Resources’ third manual snowpack survey, which was set for March 1, as well as reservoir levels and hydrologic conditions, he said.

But Milligan and other federal officials acknowledged in a conference call with reporters that the delay is also partly caused by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s failure to complete its fisheries’ temperature management plan for Shasta Lake. The plan could require more water to be kept in the lake this summer to provide cold water for federally protected winter-run chinook salmon.

“Growers are making their planting decisions now,” said Ryan Jacobsen, the Fresno County Farm Bureau’s chief executive officer. “Farmers cannot make choices on what might be an allocation … They need real numbers.”

Jacobsen said Westside growers aren’t expecting a full allocation, which he said is “unacceptable” considering that snowpack levels in most areas are more than 150 percent of normal and outflow from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta has totaled more than 24 million acre-feet since October. Hundreds of thousands of acres on the Westside have been fallowed in recent years because of a lack of water.

But Pablo Arroyave, Reclamation’s acting Mid-Pacific regional director, said the lack of an allocation for the Westside now doesn’t mean the area won’t get water. He said the agency will take advantage of the current hydrology to try to get as much water as possible to districts.

A substantial amount of CVP water is already in storage south of the Delta, and federal share of the San Luis Reservoir west of Los Banos, Calif., is expected to be full within the first week of March, officials said.

Given the large snowpack and high river flows this year, much of the water already in storage will be available for delivery to CVP contractors this spring and summer, they said.

For the CVP overall, this was the first year of widespread 100 percent allocations for agriculture since 2006, officials said. The Friant Division’s supply comes as Millerton Lake near Fresno was at 82 percent of capacity and 126 percent of normal as of Feb. 27, prompting dam operators to boost releases to make room for a big anticipated snowmelt.

The full allocation applies to the division’s Class 1 customers, or the most senior landowners, while customers may take Class 2 supplies as long as the ramped-up releases from Millerton Lake continue, the bureau noted in a news release.

The bureau typically announces its initial allocations in mid-February, although it waited until April 1 last year to take into account anticipated storms in March while giving informal reports to water districts, spokesman Shane Hunt said at the time.

The 2016-17 water year has been “extreme” so far, prompting Reclamation to take “an approach to the announcement of CVP water allocations this year that differs from our historic practice,” Arroyave said. In future years, the agency will strive to release initial allocations for all water users in February, he said.

The State Water Project initially allocated 20 percent of contracted supplies in late November and has so far upped its anticipated deliveries to at least 60 percent of requested supplies. The last time the project’s 29 contracting agencies got their full allocations was in 2006.


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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March 1, 2017: Siskiyou snowpack is 125 percent of average

Air, Climate & Weather

FORT JONES, CA – The Klamath National Forest has completed the March 1st snow surveys. These measurements are a part of the statewide California Cooperative Snow Survey program, which helps the State forecast the amount of water available for agriculture, power generation, recreation, and stream flow releases later in the year.
The March 1 snow measurements for 2017 are vastly improved compared to the last several years.  Winter started early in Scott Valley and the Marble Mountains with snow falling as early as September and accumulating since October.  Regular snow has fallen since that time, with few impactful melting periods.  An above average snow pack was surveyed in February.

March data has continued to be above average compared with historic data at the same locations.  According to the current measurements, the snowpack is at 125% of the historic average snow height (snow depth) and at 125% of the historic average Snow Water Equivalent (SWE, a measure of water content) across the Scott River watershed survey points.

These data are very similar to last month’s data, however, the snowpack has become slightly denser.  Historically, the snowpack reaches its annual maximum by late-March/early-April.

Snow surveys are conducted monthly during the winter and spring months (March-May). Forest Service employees travel to established sites in the headwaters of the Scott River watershed to collect information about snow accumulation in the mountains of the Klamath National Forest.  The newest measuring site at Scott Mountain has been monitored for 31 years; the oldest site at Middle Boulder has been monitored for 71 years.  Some sites are located close to Forest roads with good access, while others require hours of travel by snowshoe and/or snowmobile.

The height of snow and SWE are measured by a snow sampling tube with a cutter end that is driven through the snow pack, measuring depth. The snow core is then weighed to determine the water content (SWE). The information is forwarded to the State of California, where the data is compiled with other snow depth reports and becomes part of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys program.

The data is managed by the California Department of Water Resources; more information is available on their website at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/current/snow/index.html.

All news releases, including past snow survey results, are posted on the Klamath National Forest’s website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/newsarchives/klamath/newsarchive.

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The Latest: California snowpack nearing record depths

Air, Climate & Weather, California water

 By The Associated Press

The Latest on California’s snowpack (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

California surveyors say the Sierra Nevada snowpack is close to setting records after five years of punishing drought.

Officials said Wednesday the snowpack’s water content measured at 185 percent of normal. A year ago, it was 84 percent of normal.

The snowpack is vital because it provides one-third of the state’s water to homes and farms when it melts in the spring and summer.

Frank Gehrke, the state’s chief snow surveyor, said the snowpack in some places is nearing levels last seen in 1983.

State climatologist Michael Anderson calls the current levels historic, especially in the central and southern Sierra Nevada, where double the normal amount of snow has fallen.



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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16 Reasons why you shouldn’t live in California


16 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Live In California

By Stephen Frank on Mar 09, 2017 08:05 pm

Let me give you a few of the reason I believe you should not live in California. Highest taxes in nation SB-1 takes away the right to parent your children Illegal aliens are protected, people like Kate Steinle are ignored AB 109, Prop.47 and 57 gives protections to criminals while innocent folks are forced to […]

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Shopping Malls going out-of-business


A Third Of All U.S. Shopping Malls Are Projected To Close As ‘Space Available’ Signs Go Up All Over America

By Stephen Frank on Mar 09, 2017 08:20 pm

The economy is changing.  Thanks to the union led $15 minimum wage and the ObamaCare scam, business can not afford to hire the people they need.  Wendys, the burgher place, is going to either fire or not hire at least 3,000 people.  In their place will be kiosks, to take orders and payment—no human is […]

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Scott Valley Protect Our Water meets 3-23-17


Scott Valley Protect Our Water

will meet

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fort Jones Community Center

7 p.m.

Water will top the agenda

Elizabeth Nielsen, Siskiyou Co. Natural Resources Specialist will give a presentation on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and how Siskiyou County is working to keep control LOCAL!

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor Dist 5, will also attend and answer questions.


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Liz Writes Life 3-7-17

Liz Writes Life

March 7, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Snow covered the blooming purple violas this weekend, several times, and something has eaten, at least one of the primroses. We decided to plant snow peas last week, before this round of storms hit, and I also made a good-sized 4 x 4 foot seedbed for lettuces and spinach. Spinach will take up the bulk of the space as just a quarter of that will grow lots of lettuce for May and June.

Wolf kill

The threat from wolves is getting closer as the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife confirmed the death of a calf on private property in neighboring Jackson County. On Feb. 25, 2017, ODFW confirmed the attack was from a wolf as the internal organs and entrails were ripped out and bite puncture wounds creating deep tissue damage were found at the armpit of the calf. This is follows the typical attack from a wolf. Plus there were wolf tracks around the dead calf and no other predator animal tracks.

It just breaks my heart to think of our livestock being threatened and killed by yet another predator. There are already enough bears, mountain lions, coyotes and bobcats in California. Actually, back in the late 1990s, game wardens in the CA. Dept. of Fish and Game (it was Game back then) told me they were not pushing for the introduction of wolves into California simply because California had too many predators.

Timbervest property

I thought there would be more info on the Western Rivers Conservancy purchasing the vast amount of Timbervest property on the west to south sides of Scott Valley. I haven’t learned much more, except Peter Colby is continuing to pressure the county and other groups to support its bid. If the conservancy purchases the property, water right holders will need to pay close attention to the possibility of losing some availability of their water allotment.

JH Ranch

The saga does continue for the Friends of French Creek, who will be asking the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors to hold strong in enforcing the current permit that JH Ranch Mountain Resort is operating under. JH Ranch has been trying to expand its operation with a new permit application, which would increase the number of clients they can house at one time. Friends of French Creek believe the current level of 387 clients is taxing the environment and invading neighbors privacy. They have been actively opposing JH’s expansion plans.

Cal Fire also has to approve JH’s expansion permit because of fire and emergency access requirements. In a nutshell, French Creek or Miner Creek Roads are not wide enough for fire engines to pass each other on certain narrow areas of the road; and that would put everyone in the French Creek area in grave jeopardy if there was a forest fire. It would be extremely difficult to safely evacuate 387 occupants at JH, plus the surrounding neighbors. As a result, last year, Cal Fire did not approve the expansion of JH’s permit.

So, it appears JH does not like Cal Fire’s objection and is now suing Cal Fire. Cal Fire has held firm saying JH must abide by the same fire and emergency requirements as everyone else.

At the same time, JH has continued to obtain more housing permits for 15 single family residences, 12 dormitories and nine tents providing beds for 172 employees. Wow! Previously, JH obtained an Employee Housing permit for seven units allowing for seven beds in 2015. So, it looks like JH is dead-set on continuing its expansion no matter what.

Hage saga

Attention ranchers and property rights supporters: The Wayne Hage battle received a blow last week, when a federal judge ordered Wayne N. Hage to pay $587,000 and remove his livestock from federally-managed Nevada lands. Hage was given 30 days to pay penalties, fines and grazing fees racked up from Nov. 2004 to June 2011. His deadline is March 31, 2017.

More than 25 years ago, federal agencies and courts began doing battle against Hage’s father, Wayne Hage, who butted heads with the U.S. Forest Service over his water rights for his Nevada ranch. The original Wayne Hage died in 2006. Soon after, the Hage family finally won his case in court. But that didn’t last. Eventually, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Hage family.

The younger Hage is working on an appeal against this recent decision, where Chief U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro, in Las Vegas, ruled the federal grazing permits held by Wayne Hage did not transfer to his estate or to his son — an extremely detrimental decision for ranch owners. The federal judge also banned the Hage family from grazing livestock on any public land administered by USFS or BLM. Hage said he does not have any cattle on public lands.

This does not bode well for ranchers that have water rights or grazing permits on public lands. Sorry for the bad news.


March 2nd, wrapped up the second week of testimony of government witnesses in the first Bundy Ranch stand-off trial being held in Las Vegas. The surprise for me is that the federal agents were told to stand-down on April 11, 2014 – the day before the tension-filled stand-off occurred on April 12, 2014. Three government agents testified they maintained their position, throughout the night, fully anticipating a bloody gunfight the next day.

None of the three officers, on the stand explained, why they were ordered to engage the protestors after being told at least twice to stand down, abandon their efforts to round up private cattle on federal land and leave.

April 12th was the climax where several hundred armed federal agents came face-to-face with over 100 Bundy Ranch armed supporters. This should be good for the defense as the government certainly escalated the situation. Check out Pie N Politics.com for more.

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

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California is having its wettest year since 1895

Air, Climate & Weather, California water

California is having its wettest year since 1895

Los Angeles Times

California is having its rainiest water year since record-keeping began in 1895 — a phenomenon that has lifted tens of millions of residents from drought, according to government records.

It has rained 27.81 inches across the state, on average, from Oct. 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information reported. A water year begins on Oct. 1.

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Bundy: FBI agents under investigation for possible misconduct in LaVoy Finicum shooting

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

PNP comment: This is not too bad of an article for the typically-left OregonLive. But, it does need to be remembered that Ryan Bundy still has a bullet in his arm and he was sitting in the passenger seat of the vehicle. It is now believed that LaVoy left the vehicle to draw FBI sniper fire away from those who were in the vehicle. — Editor Liz Bowen

By Les Zaitz |

The Oregonian/OregonLive
Email the author
on March 08, 2016 at 10:10 AM, updated January 26, 2017 at 12:15 PM

BEND – An FBI agent is suspected of lying about firing twice at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum and may have gotten help from four other FBI agents in covering up afterward, authorities revealed Tuesday.

The bullets didn’t hit Finicum and didn’t contribute to his death, but now all five unnamed agents, part of an elite national unit, are under criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. Inspector General Michael Horowitz is leading the independent inquiry.

The remarkable disclosure came as a team of local investigators released findings that two state troopers shot Finicum three times in the back during the chaotic scene at a police roadblock Jan. 26. One bullet pierced his heart, an autopsy showed.

A prosecutor ruled the fatal shooting was legally justified, saying state law allows use of deadly force when officers believe a person is about to seriously injure or kill someone. Finicum kept moving his hands toward a pocket that contained a loaded handgun. Although he was shot from behind, Finicum had a trooper in front of him armed with a Taser who was thought to be in danger.

Robert ‘LaVoy’ Finicum’s death is investigated: What was found

Finicum, 54, an Arizona rancher, was one of the leaders of the Jan. 2 takeover of  the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns.

Investigators gave no details to explain why the one FBI agent, a member of the Hostage Rescue Team, wouldn’t report the two shots. They also didn’t indicate what his four colleagues did to warrant investigation other than saying it was related to conduct after the shooting.

“The question of who fired these shots has not been resolved,” said Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Portland. The federal agency is cooperating with the inspector general’s investigation, he said at a news conference.

The revelation is certain to inflame suspicions about Finicum’s death and shake confidence in the FBI, which came under intense fire for botched handling of violent sieges at Ruby Ridge in Idaho and Waco, Texas.

Some supporters have claimed Finicum was shot while surrendering, that he was unarmed and that he was shot nine times. The sheriff in neighboring Grant County, Glenn Palmer, described the police operation as an “ambush.”

Finicum’s family said in a statement a month ago that he was “executed in cold blood” and accused police agencies of deliberately misleading the public about what happened. His widow, Jeanette Finicum, didn’t retreat from that stance after watching the news conference.

“My husband was murdered,” she said in a statement.

The attorney for Ammon Bundy, the occupation’s now-jailed leader, found the  news of the FBI shots troubling.

“I’m going to have to go back and reconsider all the conspiracy theories that I’ve written off,” said the lawyer, Mike Arnold.

Investigators had planned to release police reports, interview transcripts, photographs, the autopsy report and new video to allow the public to evaluate the police findings in Finicum’s death.

But they ended up releasing only one video and 19 photographs, citing the new criminal investigation for the change in plans. They also withheld the names of the involved troopers and FBI agents, saying they’ve tracked up to 80 threats against them, mostly on social media.

Document: Text of announcement of findings

The shooting happened after police stopped a Jeep and a pickup carrying the key figures of the occupation along a remote stretch of U.S. 395 north of Burns.

Finicum was driving the truck that carried carried Ryan C. Bundy, 43, Ryan W. Payne, 32, Shawna Cox, 59, and Victoria Sharp, 18. In the Jeep behind them was driver Mark McConnell, 37, Brian D. Cavalier, 44, and Ammon Bundy, 40, the public face of the occupation. They were bound for a community meeting 100 miles north of the refuge in John Day.

Officer statements and cellphone video taken by Cox from inside the truck showed that Finicum repeatedly ignored police orders, first at the traffic stop and then after he crashed trying to elude officers. He nearly ran over an FBI agent before stalling in a roadside snowbank.

What happened in just seconds after that crash could lead to criminal charges against the FBI agents.

Cox’s video showed that one shot hit the truck’s left rear passenger window as Finicum stepped out. At the time, Finicum appeared to have his hands at least at shoulder height.



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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