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Liz Writes Life 1-10-17

Liz Writes Life

Jan. 10, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

Snow, cold and rain: No one can deny that it is winter in Siskiyou County. Hope everyone has extra food, gallons of water, medicines, wood, other fuel, blankets and emergency items on hand. With another week of storms, I sure do hope the supply trucks for our grocery stores and gas stations are able to travel and arrive safely.

Thank you to the state and county crews that have been working around the clock plowing snow and slush. I think the state crew from our Hwy 3 must have been over helping clear the closed I-5 freeway on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week as a plow didn’t get by our place until late Wednesday afternoon. They worked on and off for several days and nights trying to get caught up. I saw a county plow truck at daylight over on East Callahan Road, for several mornings, so they were able to be out working in their jurisdictions.

After several years of drought and “soft” winters, it is easy to forget that we can get hammered here. It is that darned cold and zero-type temps that add to the mess, when water pipes end up frozen.

Pacific Power, police, firemen and women, other emergency personnel, store managers, employees and neighbors have also been busy providing aid. So a big thank you goes out to all the “good folks” who help people. Most of the time you are quiet heroes, but you are appreciated even if we don’t always know who you are or what you do!

Klamath dams

The Klamath dam scam continues into 2017, but it seems to be easier to read between the lines as long as you can get a hold of the information. Be sure to check sources and facts before believing the loud voices from the Greenie groups and some Tribes. The dams are not coming out – not yet! The many regulatory processes that must occur have not been tackled – not yet!

But, working on the Environmental Impact Report, called EIR, has finally come to the top of the pile. This is where the science and facts should make our points for saving the dams.

Tonight, Jan. 10, 2017, the State Water Resources Control Board is holding one of several meetings regarding the EIR that must be accomplished before the four Klamath hydro-electric dams can be removed. The meeting will be held at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center in Yreka from 5 to 7 p.m.

Specifically, the State Water Board will be taking “public comment” on the Clean Water Certification aspect of the EIR. All comments for this issue must be into the State Water Board by February 1, 2017. If you would like to email or mail-in a comment, contact Siskiyou Co. Natural Resources Specialist Elizabeth Nielsen for the state board’s correct address or email. Her phone is 530-842-8012.

Because of the huge weather system coming in today, you may want to call Elizabeth to see if the meeting is canceled, before you head out to it.

What kicked-off this meeting? The State Water Board and FERC, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, received an application for the hydro-electric power license transfer back in Sept. 2016 by the newly-formed non-profit Klamath River Renewal Corporation called KRRC. The KRRC has replaced the KBRA (Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement) which dissolved the last day of 2015. Since then many of the same players from the KBRA have held secret meetings and in 2016 formed the KRRC. Players in the KRRC include bureaucrats from state and federal agencies, Greenie groups and Tribes.

Most of the secret KRRC – non-announced – meetings held last year were discovered and supervisors from Siskiyou County and Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office were able to attend along with leaders from Siskiyou Water Users and area agriculture. At several meetings, those not on the “destroy the Klamath dams” bandwagon found they were not welcome, but our fearless leaders stayed anyway.

Guess what? Today’s meeting was announced on Dec. 22, 2016, but somehow Siskiyou County was not notified until just before New Year’s Eve. Yep, for some reason some KRRC players do not want to include Siskiyou Co. even though they did set up a meeting here in Yreka. Yes, many of us have loudly complained when meetings regarding the Klamath dam removal have not been held here.

The next interesting item is that the KRRC application for the hydro-electric license transfer was not correctly and completely filled-out. Oops. So, according to investigations made by Siskiyou County, FERC has not made a decision on the license transfer. Accordingly, FERC will not make a decision on the license transfer to KRRC until at least mid-March. One would think that the application must be correctly completed before a decision could be made. I wonder when KRRC will complete the application? Hum, I also wonder why they didn’t fill it out correctly the first time?

I have been told that the county is compiling its comment regarding the Clean Water Certification of the EIR and that the newly-elected Chairman Michael Kobseff will deliver it at tonight’s meeting as official comment.

It is estimated that millions of cubic yards of sediment has built up behind the Klamath dams. The KBRA nor the KRRC have addressed the water and environmental damage that it will create, when the dams come tumbling down. As far as I know, even the tyrannical Environmental Protection Agency has not addressed the issue. But for a correct EIR to be accomplished the huge sediment issue better meet the stringent EPA regulations.

POW meeting

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will hold its first meeting of the year on Thursday, Jan. 26. Ray Haupt, our Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5, is already on the agenda with several items to discuss and Erin Ryan, field rep for Congressman LaMalfa reported that she will attend.

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

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