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Liz Writes Life 1-31-17

Liz Writes Life

Jan. 31, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

The State Water Resources Control Board meeting was well attended. Nearly 200 people showed up at the Miner’s Inn last Thursday night. Thank you to the many local folks who did indeed give comment on the clean water aspect of the Environmental Impact Report needed for the application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to relicense four hydro-electric Klamath dams from PacifiCorp to the new non-profit Klamath River Renewal Corporation. A super majority of the comments were heartfelt and truthful statements about the devestation that will occur to water quality and the environment from the huge amount of sediment that will pollute and impact the Klamath River if the dams are removed.

Right out the chute, the Shasta Tribe gave the Water Board an ultimatum invoking the state’s statutory obligation to address their concerns regarding any California Environmental Quality Act process – of which the relicensing of the dams will need. The Shasta Tribe was recognized by the Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors, last November, as the correct Native American Tribe indigenous to most of the Siskiyou County area including the Klamath River.

Michael Kobseff, chairman of the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors’ Board, read a four-page document citing significant violations by the Water Board, including the fact the state board staff did not contact the county about the new date of this meeting after the first meeting was canceled earlier in January. Oops, I wonder why the state agency would do that?

Also Michael brought up the procedural problems regarding the state using a bogus tax roll that was created for the economic analysis and ultimately claimed the removal of the dams wouldn’t economically affect the county. What a dastardly deed by the state!

Ray Haupt, our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Supervisor, challenged the Water Board staff claiming it is in violation of a Supreme Court Ruling, which identified the Army Corp of Engineers and the EPA as the agency of jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act on navigatable waters that affect two states. Oops, the state may be out of its jurisdiction?

Ray told me he was impressed so many people were well-prepared in their comments citing specific issues. He said it is important to get the specific issues of concern into the “record”; as that will make the agency have to address them in its resulting document. If the issues raised are not fully addressed — that is when a lawsuit is worth the time and effort.

POW

Because it canceled its meeting in January, Scott Valley Protect Our Water will hold its next meeting on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center at 7 p.m. Water will be a main discussion item as Supervisor Haupt will be there to explain about the FERC relicensing of the four Klamath hydro-electric dams issue.

Also, Preston Harris will talk about the Scott Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee, levels of groundwater in 2016 and becoming complaint with the California Stainable Groundwater Management Act. Ray will explain the situation at the county level.

Erin Ryan, field rep for Congressman Doug LaMalfa, will also be in attendance. She told me some good news. Our congressman met with Ryan Zinke, a congressman from Montana, who has been tapped by President Donald Trump for Secretary of the Interior. He has yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, but the good news is that Zinke said, “We don’t tear down dams, we build dams.” That is a huge change from the previous destroy-the-environment attitudes of Sally Jewell and many Interior bureaucrats.

Erin will likely have more great info from Congressman LaMalfa, so get your New Year started right by attending the Feb. 9, 2017 meeting.

Finicum

The meeting with LaVoy Finicum that never happened went off without a hitch in John Day Oregon Saturday night. Shari Dovale reported, on Redoubt News.com, about 900 patriots from throughout the West showed up to the Grant Co. Fairgrounds. LaVoy, a rancher from Nevada, was shot and killed in an ambush roadblock by FBI and Federal Marshals on Jan. 26, 2016, when he was driving to a meeting in Grant Co. Oregon.

During the Jan. 28, 2017 meeting, LaVoy’s wife, Jeanette, attended to discuss the wrongful death civil lawsuit the family is putting forward. Several of LaVoy’s grown children, grandchildren, his parents and siblings were also in attendance.

Kate Dalley, a radio personality, spoke on Truth in Media. This topic was appropriate as the Bundy and LaVoy situations have literally been blackballed from national news. Last January, I heard Lou Dobbs on Fox News strongly question the federal agencies on the LaVoy and Bundy situation. He commented on two days and then the following week there was nothing. I believe Lou was told to hush it up.

I was surprised to learn that Malheur Refuge defendants Jeff Banta, Shawna Cox, Kenneth Medenbach and Neil Wampler were present sharing information and asking for prayers for the next round of defendants preparing for trial in Nevada. I thought they had remained in custody even though they were found non-guilty in the Oregon trial, this past fall, along with Ryan and Ammon Bundy, who continue to be incarcerated — now in Nevada.

 The Keynote speaker was KrisAnn Hall, a Constitutional Attorney and teacher. She spoke here in Siskiyou County several years ago.

One fundraiser held during the evening tugged at my heartstrings. It is to raise money for 7th and 8th grade students from John Day to travel to Washington D.C. and present President Donald Trump with a letter requesting the pardon of Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond. I sure hope this occurs. What a great way to bring attention to the travesty dealt the Hammonds, especially when they had already served an outrageous original sentence.

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

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