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Browsing the blog archives for April, 2017.

Alert! SOS Modifications to New Motor Voter Law Destroys Transparency

CA & OR

Alert!

The passage of the New Motor Voter Program was a travesty and an assault on fair and honest elections by making it possible for people not eligible to vote to register to vote, and vote, without fear of prosecution!

Like most laws, the details of implementation were not included in the language of the bill. Now the Secretary of State is filling in the details with no guidance from the people, or their elected representatives.

At each step of the plan creation, vigilant citizens have an opportunity to react to the direction being taken, and perhaps influence the ultimate results. EIP finds several concerns with the recently announced regulations, and we need your help.

CA Secretary of State is  only accepting comments until May 1st!!

Fax or mail your letter by Monday, May 1st

Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, must RECEIVE A DELUGE OF LETTERS and FAXES from concerned citizens by this coming Monday, May 1st.

Problems with modifications of the New Motor Voter law:

  • The proposed regulations will reduce transparency because no information with respect to voters who become “inadvertently registered” to vote will be hidden and unavailable.

  • The proposed changes removal the normal requirement to retain records of inadvertent registrations that get cancelled, so we can never request the records through the Open Records Act (CA version of FOIA).

No one, not even the SOS, will be able to analyze the impact of the law on the electoral process.

California continues to handle the integrity of California elections on the ‘honor system’!!

  • The automatic voter registration relies only on the person attesting as to whether he is eligible.

  • The new law relies only on “self-cancellation” if someone is honest enough to say that they were accidentally registered.

The DMV is the only reliable database indicating who is a citizen and who is not and YET the law does not allow the SOS to access the DMV database, and does not require the DMV to verify voter eligibility.

Read the proposed regulations at:

http://admin.cdn.sos.ca.gov/regulations/elections/notice-modification-proposed-regs-ab1461.pdf

Let the SOS know that you expect better!

  • The deadline for comments is May 1st

  • Letters must be physically in the hands of the SOS office by the close of May 1st

  • Send your letter via USPS by rush delivery to:

1500 11th Street, Fifth Floor

Sacramento CA 95814

  • Or fax your letter to Mr. Padilla – FAX number: 916-653-3214

Thank you for continuing to work toward restoring integrity in our election Process!

Linda Paine
President and Co-founder
Election Integrity Project

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13th Annual Acoustic Night in Etna 4-29-17

Enjoy

Live Music      —-       Local Talent

13 Annual Acoustic Night at the Avery Memorial Theater

Saturday, April 28, 2017

7 p.m.

$10 at the door

Great local entertainment!!!

 

 

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Trump signs executive order aimed at expanding drilling in Arctic, Atlantic oceans

Dept. of INTERIOR, PRES. TRUMP, President Trump and officials

President Trump signed an executive order Friday that could lead to the expansion of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, saying it will reverse his predecessor’s Arctic leasing ban and create “great jobs and great wealth” for the country.

Trump said the executive order, titled “Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy,” will direct a “review of the locations available for off-shore oil and gas exploration” and related regulations.

“Today we’re unleashing American energy and clearing the way for thousands and thousands of high-paying American energy jobs,” Trump said in his announcement.

“Our country is blessed with incredible natural resources, including abundant offshore oil and natural gas reserves,” he said. “But the federal government has kept 94 percent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production.”

“This deprives our country of potentially thousands and thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wealth,” Trump said.

Trump, with the order, is directing his interior secretary to review an Obama-era plan that dictates which locations are open to offshore drilling, with the goal of the new administration to expand operations.

The announcement Friday is part of Trump’s promise to unleash the nation’s energy reserves in an effort to reduce reliance on foreign oil and to spur jobs, regardless of fierce opposition from environmental activists who say offshore drilling harms whales, walruses and other wildlife and exacerbates global warming.

The executive order will reverse part of a December effort by President Obama to deem the bulk of U.S.-owned waters in the Arctic Ocean and certain areas in the Atlantic as indefinitely off limits to oil and gas leasing.

It will also direct Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of the locations available for offshore drilling under a five-year plan signed by Obama in November.

The plan blocked new oil and gas drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. It also blocked the planned sale of new oil and gas drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska, but allowed drilling to go forward in Alaska’s Cook Inlet southwest of Anchorage.

Trump’s order could open to oil and gas exploration areas off Virginia and North and South Carolina, where drilling has been blocked for decades.

“This executive order starts the process of opening offshore areas to job creating energy exploration,” Trump said. “It reverses the previous administration’s Arctic leasing ban and directs Secretary Zinke to allow responsible development of offshore areas that will bring revenue to our Treasury and jobs to our workers.”

The president also said it will allow for Zinke to reconsider “burdensome regulations” that Trump said “slow job creation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/28/trump-signs-executive-order-aimed-at-expanding-drilling-in-arctic-atlantic-oceans.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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New interior secretary brings renewed hope for a road out of King Cove

Dept. of INTERIOR

Alaska news

April 27, 2017

Author:

WASHINGTON — For decades, Alaskans living on the Alaska Peninsula have been intermittently traveling to Washington, D.C., to talk to the federal government about a small, local road project.

This year, they are cautiously optimistic that the road might happen, under the guiding force of the new Trump administration.

Residents of King Cove want to build an 11-mile road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to the huge, World War II-era airport in Cold Bay. They say they’ve exhausted other options: Lives are at risk — rough weather that prevents flying out of King Cove means costly and time-sensitive air extractions are required for sick and hurt residents. And they say that the people of King Cove, especially Natives, should have the right to cross the land.

Most recently, the Obama administration said no to a road through the refuge. Then-Interior Secretary Sally Jewell cited concerns about the environmentally sensitive area and the birds that migrate to the refuge, situated in the remote patch of earth where the North Pacific Ocean meets the Bering Sea.

But President Donald Trump’s interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, is inclined to consider a new approach.

“Given the significant interest of the King Cove community, the department is reviewing the issues there and determining its best ability to address them,” said Heather Swift, spokeswoman for the Interior Department. She noted Zinke’s “priority” interest in “state and local input.”

So now the Izembek road advocates are trying several avenues for a do-over: pushing legislation through the all-Republican Congress and getting Zinke to make the change himself.

MORE

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2017/04/27/new-interior-secretary-brings-renewed-hope-for-a-road-out-of-king-cove/

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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Water squeeze in Oregon’s Klamath Basin pits ranchers against tribes, both with strong ties to the land

Agriculture, cattle, Klamath Tribe, Lawsuits, Water rights

PNP comment: This is a fairly good background article on the lawsuit and eventual settlement in favor of the Klamath Tribes being allowed to take other water right users’ water allotments away. — Editor Liz Bowen

Oregon Live.com

By Scott Learn, The Oregonian
Follow on Twitter
on July 06, 2013 at 12:00 PM, updated July 08, 2013 at 6:30 AM

SPRAGUE RIVER — A summer evening on Jim and Caren Goold’s  front porch. The river meanders through their cow pasture, a curly blue ribbon framed by foothills dotted with ponderosa pine. And, yes, the cattle are lowing.

It’s about as pastoral as a scene gets. But the upper Klamath Basin, already three months into a drought emergency, is far from peaceful this summer.

Two parties with strong ties to the land, the upper basin ranchers and The Klamath Tribes, are pitted against each other for limited water, the latest skirmish in one of the nation’s most persistent water wars. And deep historical divisions stand in the way of compromise.

In late June, a state watermaster handed Jim Goold a yellow card ordering him to shut off irrigation for the first time in his 40 years on the 617-acre ranch.

“It’s beyond frustrating,” Caren Goold says. “We have all this wonderful water going by and we can’t touch any of it.”

The Goolds worry they’ll lose pasture for 300-plus cows, their income and their ranch, where Jim’s parents are buried out back. They see a future land grab through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, with land values falling as irrigation water evaporates.

Here’s where history’s twists come in. Much of the upper basin, including the Goolds’ ranch, was once The Klamath Tribes‘ reservation land. The federal government “terminated” the tribes in 1954, a move that included cash payouts, but is widely seen as a tribal disaster.

This year, fortunes sharply changed. The state of Oregon ruled that the tribes’ “time immemorial” water rights on the former reservation remain intact, giving the tribes a firm upper hand. Last month, tribal leaders called their water rights to sustain their hunting and fishing grounds, triggering the shutoffs.

Twenty miles down Sprague River Road, at the tribes’ offices in Chiloquin, Perry Chocktoot  talks about his own attachment to the land, too. He grew up hunting and fishing here. His grandmother taught him how to smoke and can fish –110 minutes, 15 pounds of pressure.

Chocktoot, the tribes’ cultural and heritage director, says court cases and water rights decisions should have warned the ranchers what was coming. But too many of them view Indians as “drunken idiots,” he says. “And, guess what, we’re not.”

“We’re here by the gift of our creator to help the community,” he says. “That mindset has never been reciprocal. They had a chance to effectively work with the tribes, but they said not just no, but hell no.”

Dry times

Absent a judicial reprieve or a settlement, the water rights decision means irrigation with river water will be shut off to hundreds of ranchers this summer, shriveling pasture for 70,000 to 100,000 cattle.

GS.10025953A_GR.KLAMATHFALLS-02.jpgView full size

So far, state watermasters have shut off water to roughly 300 irrigators on the Sprague and Williamson rivers, with more tributaries of Upper Klamath Lake still to be evaluated.

It’s an echo of Klamath water fiasco a decade ago.

In 2001, the U.S. government cut off water to irrigators who tap Upper Klamath Lake as part of the century-old federal reclamation project. The shutoff stemmed from Endangered Species Act listings of coho salmon and two species of suckers and strict ESA requirements on federal projects.

The next year, with intervention from Dick Cheney, the farmers got water instead, and 30,000 chinook salmon died in the lower Klamath River.

That crisis pushed project farmers to negotiate with the tribes, federal and state governments and others to share water and restore riverside habitat. The 2008 Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement was coupled with a plan to remove four PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath River by 2020, which would be the largest dam removal in U.S. history.

But this year is different. Cattle ranchers above the lake, outside the reclamation project, were free to irrigate despite the ESA listings — until this year’s water rights decision.

Many of the ranchers are still fighting, in court and on the streets. On Monday, they rallied in Klamath Falls, driving cattle trucks down Main Street.

They also have challenged the water rights decisions in Klamath County circuit court, asking for a stay this summer. They say the state gave the tribes more water than they need to support hunting and fishing habitat.

The tribes’ water calls would reduce irrigation even in normal water years, the ranchers argue. State officials figure tribal rights fall well below normal streamflows, but the ranchers think the state’s flow estimates are too high.

Roger Nicholson, who leads two ranching groups, raises cattle on 3,000 acres near Fort Klamath. Some of that land came from tribal members, he says, but most has been in his family since the 1890s.

The tribes’ water calls affect his draw even on streams outside the former reservation, he says, since those flows are needed to meet the water rights the tribes won downstream.

The water rights decisions were “a travesty of justice,” Nicholson says, and the shutoffs are “an economic catastrophe beyond compare.” Affected ranches cover more than 100,000 acres, ranching groups estimate.

“It’s bankrupting a whole community,” Nicholson says.

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/07/water_squeeze_in_oregons_klama.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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LaMalfa and Garamendi Introduce Legislation to Ease Restrictions on Agricultural Construction

Agriculture, Doug LaMalfa Congressman CA

April 27, 2017

(Washington, DC) – Today, Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) announced the introduction of HR 2170, the FARM Cost Reduction Act. This bipartisan legislation would lift a de facto prohibition on construction and repair of agricultural structures in areas designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as flood risks. Under current law, areas designated as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) generally require all new, expanded or repaired structures to be raised above potential flood level. In many areas in Northern California, however, such restrictions would require raising barns and silos upwards of ten feet, adding prohibitive costs and lessening the utility of the structures.

The legislation also directs FEMA to develop a new flood mapping zone, which would be comprised of levee basins which are protected by levees that do not meet FEMA’s 100-year level of flood protection. Insurance rates in this zone would be based on actuarial risk, meaning if the levees provide a 50-year level of protection, FEMA would charge rates based on that risk level. Under current policy, if a levee does not meet the 100-year level of protection, FEMA assumes there is no protection at all, and charges rates that are structured like those that would be charged absent a levee.

LaMalfa said: “This bill keeps the North State’s farm economy growing and lowers costs for agriculture by modernizing federal flood insurance rules that currently place the same requirements on barns and silos as on suburban housing tracts. By recognizing that agricultural structures have different needs than residential neighborhoods, farmers will be able to build new barns, silos, and sheds and purchase insurance at reasonable rates. I am pleased to work with my colleague, Rep. Garamendi, and our bipartisan coalition to bring some common sense back to flood insurance requirements.”

Garamendi said: “Agriculture is the most responsible use of these floodplains because it keeps spaces open and limits development—both of which are essential to responsible flood control. Current regulations on agricultural structures pave the way for less responsible development and are actually counterproductive to decreasing flood risk. That’s why I’m proud to be working across the aisle with my neighboring Congressman, Doug LaMalfa, to improve floodplain management.”

Reps. LaMalfa and Garamendi have been longtime collaborators on this issue. They first introduced this legislation in the 113th Congress and continue to campaign for funding important local levee projects, the construction of Sites Reservoir, and other projects that will reduce flood risk and take advantage of excess surface flows to create new water to fit California’s expanding needs.

The FARM Cost Reduction Act is supported by the California Rice Commission, USA Rice Federation, American Farm Bureau Federation, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sacramento County Farm Bureau, Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau, Yolo County Farm Bureau, California Cattlemen’s Association, Dairy Institute of California, Sacramento County, San Joaquin County, Sutter County, Butte County, and the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency.

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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American Standoff documentary on Bundy is May 4, 2017

Uncategorized

Want to let you know, if you’re interested, there will be a documentary scheduled for

Thursday, May 4th

at 8pm ET, 5 p.m. on the West Coast

on the Audience Channel (239) on DirecTV regarding

the Malheur and Bunkerville standoffs.

The program is titled “American Standoff” and is sponsored by AT&T.

Here is a link to the preview on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKtJ5X3LcUE

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White House TALKERS–Trump Administration’s First 100 Days

PRES. TRUMP, President Trump and officials

AFTERNOON COMMUNICATIONS BRIEFING
April 23, 2017

THE FIRST 100 DAYS

In his First 100 Days President Trump has taken dramatic steps to undo burdensome regulations, restore law and order, bolster our military, revive the American dream, change Washington by holding it accountable, put the American worker first and confirm Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The people who put him in office can see and feel the promises he is delivering on. According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, an incredible 96% of those who supported the President in November say they’d do it again today.

By the Numbers

  • Enacted more legislation and signed more executive orders in the First 100 days than any president in a half century

  • Enacted 28 pieces of legislation, more than any other president since Truman

  • Signed 25 executive orders, the most of any 100 days in over 50 years (will be over 30 by day 100)

  • Achieved first Supreme Court Confirmation in 100 days since 1881

  • Instituted tough immigration policies that have driven illegal border crossings to a 17-year low

  • Removed more job-killing regulations through legislation than any president in U.S. history

  • Estimated savings: $18 billion annually

  • Economic optimism has been renewed, with consumer confidence reaching its highest level in 16 years

  • Ordered the toughest new rules to stop the revolving door between Washington lobbyists and government officials in history

100 Days of Accomplishments

Job Creation

  • Stronger Enforcement of Trade Guidelines

  • Approving Permits for the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines

  • Study Into Using American Material in Future Pipeline Construction

  • Withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership

  • Historic Partnership with the Private Sector

Immigration

  • Ordering a Freeze and Study of Immigration from Areas Compromised by Terrorism

  • Halting Funding to Sanctuary Cities

  • Increasing Numbers of Immigration Enforcement Personnel

  • Public Safety

  • Establishing Commission on Opioid Crisis

  • Standing with Law Enforcement Officers

  • Creating Task Force on Violent Crime

  • Tackling International Cartels

National Security

  • Targeted Strike on Syrian Airfield

  • Travel Restrictions on Select Countries Compromised by Terrorism

  • New Iran Sanctions

  • Calling for Increased Defense Spending in Budget Blueprint

  • Cost Savings on F-35’s

Cutting Regulations

  • Energy Independence Executive Order

  • Revocation of Federal Contracting Executive Orders

  • Reexamination of CAFÉ Standards

  • Review of Waters of the United States Rule

  • Creation of Regulatory Task Forces

  • Eliminating Stream Protection Rule

  • Eliminating Regulations on Extraction Companies

  • One-in-Two-Out Regulatory Reform

  • Minimizing Affordable Care Act

Helping Women/Minorities

  • HBCU Initiative

  • Canada-United States Council for the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs

  • Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act

  • Promoting Programs to Engage Women in STEM Fields

The Administration’s 100 Day Plans

  • Throughout this week President Trump will continue to deliver on his promises to the American people, from thinking big about exploration and discovery again, to protecting the farmers and ranchers that feed our country, to reasserting American power on the world stage.

  • Members of his Cabinet will travel outside the beltway, spreading the President’s message across the country.

  • In addition to launching a web page dedicated to the first 100 days, the White House will also be producing graphics, videos, and other digital content for the President’s massive online following to share.

  • Throughout the week the President, Cabinet officials, and senior White House staff will be accessible to media from the national level to the local and everything in between.

  • Officials will be available for interviews during a day dedicated to regional media and will host background briefings and receptions all week long.

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Alaska sues federal government, contending state controls riverbed, not BLM

Bureau of Land Management, CORRUPTION, Federal gov & land grabs, Lawsuits, Liberty, State gov

Free Range Report.com

April 23, 2017

In its complaint, Alaska said it gained title to submerged lands and navigable waters when it acquired statehood, unless the federal government made any claims prior. The state said the federal government based its claim to ownership on a 1984 administrative decision of the Alaska office of federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Chris Ford

Frontiersman.com

Alaska files lawsuit over Knik River ownership

WASILLA — The state of Alaska filed suit against the federal government this week over a land ownership dispute regarding submerged Knik River lands.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court on Wednesday.

According to a spokesperson from state attorney general Jahna Lindemuth’s office, Alaska wants to assert ownership after failed past attempts to have the United States recognize Alaska ownership of the riverbed.

According to documents filed in federal district court for the District of Alaska, the United States in 2015 conveyed ownership of portions of the Knik River to Eklutna Inc. On its website, Eklutna, Inc. states it owns significant holdings in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, with approximately 67,000 additional acres due to be conveyed from the Bureau of Land Management. It also owns 90,000 acres within the Municipality of Anchorage, including areas of Eagle River, Birchwood, Chugiak, Peters Creek and Eklutna.

“Such action casts a cloud a cloud over the state’s title,” legal document filings by the state said. “In bringing this lawsuit, the State of Alaska seeks to confirm and retain its right to manage its own lands and waters…the United States claims ownership of other lands in dispute vial this complaint because of its ownership of lands abutting the Knik River.”

In its complaint, Alaska said it gained title to submerged lands and navigable waters when it acquired statehood, unless the federal government made any claims prior. The state said the federal government based its claim to ownership on a 1984 administrative decision of the Alaska office of federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). That office concluded the stretch of river is not navigable.

The BLM amended the decision in 2002. In September of 2015, relying on its 2002 decision, the BLM issued a decision approving certain lands — chosen by Eklutna Inc. for conveyance to the corporation which represents approximately 175 shareholders, according to its website. It is an Alaskan corporation created under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act for the Native village with the same name.

This month, the state, BLM and Eklutna officials entered into a settlement agreement to resolve state public easement concerns. BLM has indicated it would review its decision in portions within and adjacent to the disputed bottomland areas.

“This case is an important step towards clarifying ownership and access rights for the Knik River,” Lindemuth said. “I would have preferred to avoid litigation, but the federal government refused to recognize the state’s rights to these lands and waters. We are hoping that filing litigation will spur the federal government to quickly overturn its prior decision.”

The state is also seeking to recover costs and attorney fees in the case. Federal officials have yet to respond to the court.

Alaska sues federal government, contending state controls riverbed, not BLM

 

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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Klamath Tribes terminate water compact, potentially devastating ranchers, farmers

Agriculture, cattle, Klamath Tribe, Tribes, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Free Range Report.com

April 24, 2017

In April 2014, ranchers and the Tribes signed the Upper Basin Comprehensive Agreement. The ranchers agreed to retire 18,000 acres of land or 30,000 acre feet of water and do riparian repair work on the rivers in exchange for an allotment of water each year…

At the end of February, the Tribes indicated to the ranchers they wanted to terminate the agreement…

Gerry O’Brien

Herald and News

Tribes issue water claim, ranchers fear the worst

There are few options for the Upper Klamath Basin ranchers who are now under a call for water from the Klamath Tribes, just as irrigation season is fast approaching.

The ranchers believe their livelihood is at stake and so may be much of the economy for the county. The issue affects some 300,000 acres of land and 1,000 or more ranchers north and east of Klamath Falls.

Two weeks ago, the Tribes called on its water rights for “flood plain” water on the Sprague and Williamson Rivers, which are running high due to spring runoff. The Wood River is under the same call, which is expected to take effect Monday, experts predict. All three feed into Upper Klamath Lake.

The Tribes have primary water rights, which supersede any secondary rights of the ranchers and irrigators.

The Herald and News was unable to get a comment from the tribal chairman for this story, but Chairman Don Gentry has said in the past the call was necessary now to benefit fish habitat in high water zones, basically flushing out the river to allow for new growth. That will help endangered fish, such as Lost River and short-nosed suckers, downstream.

The ranchers say that by June or July, pastures will be turning brown and those without underground wells and adequate stock water for cattle will be forced to ship cattle elsewhere for forage, an expensive proposition.

Options are limited

Ranchers hope to get the Tribes to either remove the call, or return to the bargaining table and hammer out a deal that would benefit both sides. Also, the state could join the negotiations or Congress could step in to help by pushing legislation to resolve the issue.

Those who have their water shut off, may file an appeal with the watermaster, which would put a hold on the shutoff unless the state rules otherwise. That could buy some time for the ranchers and the upper Basin irrigators are exploring that avenue.

Any federal appeal, such as seeking an injunction to the call, would be a costly proposition, experts say.

“This would not have happened if the unprecedented agreement (KBRA) produced by tribes, irrigators and conservationists had not been blocked. I stand ready to put in the work again to resolve this longstanding issue with an agreement that addresses the long-term needs of all the parties,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in an email.

(One reason the bill failed was it was tied to removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. Congressmen in Northern California were opposed to the dam removal).

Andrew Malcolm, spokesman for Rep. Greg Walden, said, “This shows the continued need for a long-lasting solution in the Basin. Greg’s been working on these issues a long time, and continues to work with stakeholders to find a solution that has the needed support with the public and in Congress.”

What the call means

A few of the ranchers and irrigators met with the Herald and News editorial board last week to lay out their concerns.

In April 2014, ranchers and the Tribes signed the Upper Basin Comprehensive Agreement. The ranchers agreed to retire 18,000 acres of land or 30,000 acre feet of water and do riparian repair work on the rivers in exchange for an allotment of water each year. That pact was linked to the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) for the lower basin that eventually failed to gain congressional approval. Without it, the agreements had no money to be carried out.

At the end of February, the Tribes indicated to the ranchers they wanted to terminate the agreement, but have yet to file formal notice of termination with the Interior Department.

“Last year, we worked under the agreement and there was no call,” said Larry Nicholson, a fourth-generation Forth Klamath rancher. He’s also a member of the Klamath Tribes. “Now there is no communication with the Tribes, and everything just fell apart. We have nothing else to give.”

The way the call works is: Any amount of water flowing above 2,190 cfs can be called on by the tribes; When flows get down to 2,190 cfs, the call ends and irrigators will be able to irrigate again. When flows hit 1,440 cfs the water is shut off for the summer.

So, once ranchers are able to turn the water back on, nearly all of them will begin irrigating as fast and as much as possible. Some experts say that could be a short window of just a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

“On the Wood, this a straight up call to shut the whole Wood River down for the summer,” said Larry Nicholson. “Unless we can come up with an agreement, it will be like a domino effect and the Wood River will be the first one to fall.”

Economic fallout

Roger Nicholson, a cousin of Larry’s, also has a longtime family ranch in the valley.

“It is going to start hurting shortly. These are Draconian instream flow levels. What adjudication has meant for us is a taking of our water,” he said. “We’re the whipping boy now.”

The economic impacts could be “a $1 billion hit” Roger Nicholson predicts. Not only will Klamath County suffer, the region will suffer, he said.

“We send cattle to the San Joaquin Valley for feed; we send them to the state of Washington as feeders and for the packing industry. I send 7,000 head alone. All that could go away,” Nicholson said. Plus, the ripple effects will be felt across the county, he warned.

Klamath Tribes terminate water compact, potentially devastating ranchers, 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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