By Tom Rickard Sr.
Siskiyou Daily News
Letter to the Editor
June 1, 2012
Copco Lake — The article written by Mr. Knight and published in the Siskiyou Daily News on May 23 is more of the same rants from the left.
If Mr. Knight attended any of the four meetings that Dr. Houser spoke at, he would have not made the statements that he has.
Yes, the original complaint that Dr. Houser had was that the press release was going to be presenting facts that he felt were not based on the studies and the science that he and his team had developed. He felt that this press release was not consistent with his findings and that it was totally biased for dam removal. Many of the facts that were quoted were not right so he refused to sign off on it.
He did state that dam removal was an option but that he felt it was the last option that should have been considered and that more studies should be done in order to make the correct decision. After all, you will not be able to replace the dams if it is found that it was a mistake to take them out.
Dr. Houser was asked to speak at our meetings and as with many other speakers, his airfare was paid for.
Mr. Knight’s comment about Dr. Houser getting into fields that he is not an expert in is totally false. All of the meetings were handled in a professional manner and when asked a question that was not in his field of expertise, he kindly told the person asking the question that he did not want to speculate on a field that he was unfamiliar with.
When Mr. Knight talks about not going with the facts, there could be nothing more away from the facts than to state that the Department of Interior has handled this whole issue in a very transparent and open decision-making process. Ask the people who were not included in the original talks, like Siskiyou County.
In mentioning what the scientific facts tell us, he mentions that it is not a political issue but an economic one. We have attended almost all of the meetings regarding the dam removal issue and not one time did Pacific Power or any other agency ask the ratepayers what they wanted. We are being charged $1.90 per month on our Pacific Power bill right now for dam removal as well as all of their ratepayers, even though nothing has been finalized. This money is supposed to cover our share of the cost of taking out the dams. Maybe someone should have asked if we would be willing to pay $10 per month to keep the dams in. The rate payers are now and have always been secondary to what the environmentalists and their agenda wants.
The 4,600 jobs that Mr. Knight mentions coming to Siskiyou County are smoke. If you look at the history of what is happening in this country to the promised jobs by the current administration, you will find that these infrastructure jobs are going to the Chinese. Take a look at the current re-building of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, there were over 3,500 jobs available and most of them went to the Chinese. Hard to believe? Take a look at the piece that Diane Sawyer of ABC did a couple of weeks ago about buying American and keeping the jobs in the USA. The unions, when questioned, said yes that this was true. It seems that we as Americans do not have enough qualified welders, etc., to fill the jobs. Anyone think that maybe we should be training our people to handle this work?
If Mr. Knight would check on the quality of the water leaving Iron Gate reservoir compared to the water entering he would find that the dams act as settling ponds and that the water is much cleaner on the exit. He also mentions that the dams do not help with flood control. Maybe he should check with the people who live down river.
There is also no mention of the extreme value that the lakes provide for fire suppression. CDF uses these lakes to draw water from almost every year during the fire season.
My final comment to Mr. Knight is that it is obvious that your ox is not getting gored. You live in a beautiful spot and there is no federal agency or group of people trying to destroy your life or your lifestyle.
We used to consider ourselves environmentalists and were members of most of the groups, i.e.: California Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, etc., but these groups have been taken over by the extreme element and they no longer serve the common person.
Congratulations to Dr. Houser for standing up for his principals. It cost him his job, but wouldn’t it be great if there were more Dr. Housers out there?
Maybe our country would not be in the mess that it is in.
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