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Liz Writes Life 2-21-17

Liz Writes Life

Feb. 21, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA.

The U.S. Forest Service held its first snow survey on Feb. 1st in the mountains surrounding the Scott Valley. Guess what? Yep, measurements were over 130 percent higher than historic averages. Unfortunately, last week’s warm temps and rain have likely lowered that percentage, but here is a quick rundown of the first 2017 results.

Middle Boulder #1 had 61.5 inches of snow — average of 50 inches. Middle Boulder #3 was at 69 inches — average of 49.2 inches. Both of those stations are over 6,000 feet in elevation. Dynamite Meadow at 5,700 elevation feet measured 47.5 inches — average of 38.3 inches. Swampy John above Etna was 80 inches — average of 57.4 inches (5,500 feet elevation) and Scott Mt. at 5,900 feet elevation was 67.5 inches — average of 41 inches.

Once again, we have witnessed the flooding waters creating Scott Valley Lake near Fort Jones as Kidder Creek and Scott River overflowed their banks. Sure do hope the Oroville dam overflow spillway holds. Flooding is causing problems throughout the rest of the state. It is frustrating that our weather can’t even itself out instead of famine-or-feast in the rain/snow department.

There really should be many more dams and reservoirs catching this rain. Yep, the State of California has really messed up in a variety of ways, including not reinforcing the spillway at Oroville dam with rebar. Ugh!

Tea Party

The Yreka Tea Party will hold its next meeting in Fort Jones at the Community Center on Feb. 28, 2017. Time is 6:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. James Roseman, executive director of the Siskiyou Domestic Violence & Crisis Center will speak on “Erin’s Law.” There will be a short video titled: “Ending the Nightmare.” It is about child abuse, specifically exposing and working to end child sexual abuse in the U.S. The statistics are daunting with one in four girls and one in six boys being sexually assaulted before the age of 18. And it is usually by someone they trust in their family, friends, neighbors or coaches. Erin’s Law teaches children how to protect themselves. For more information, call Louise Giatto at 530-842-5443.

Memorial

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 5, 2017 for Mike Adams, who passed away last October. It will be held at the Fort Jones Community Center at 2 p.m. Please bring a dessert to share.

When he died, unexpectedly of heart problems, Mike was serving as president of Scott Valley Protect Our Water and was on the steering committee for the Yreka Tea Party Patriots.

POW

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor of Dist 5, and Preston Harris, who is project coordinator for Siskiyou RCD, spoke at the last meeting about the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act that was passed into law in 2014. Preston said 11 years of local studies show Scott River is not the primary source of the aquifer – it is supplemental. That is good news for agricultural irrigation. He added, “We are a snowmelt driven system. We are not a groundwater dependent system.”

The Scott River Groundwater Advisory Committee measures 35 wells each month as part of its groundwater study. Preston said the aquifer had recharged significantly, even before all this winter snow and rain. He added the work with Dr. Thomas Harter and U.C. Davis is a landowner-driven process and ties-in well with the California’s SGMA.

Ray said the county is on-track to meet the first step demanded by the state’s new groundwater management act, which is in June. The actual management plan must be written by 2020. The state wants to know how much water comes in and how much goes out in the sub-basin.

The next step is to form sub-basin subcommittees of landowners that will participate in developing the plan. This is huge folks. We do not want state agency bureaucrats telling us how we can use our groundwater. This process undertaken by the Siskiyou Co. Natural Resources Dept. will keep groundwater management under local control.

Ray also shared that the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife spoke to the county supervisors regarding the dreaded 1602 Permit that is needed to move gravel to obtain legal water right allotments. “Vague” describes the presentation. Several farmers asked for clarification on quickness for when emergency permits should be issued. With the high waters this year, excess gravel and debris will be a problem at headgates.

It was suggested for DFW to hold several Town Hall-type of meetings, so they could specifically answer questions from irrigators, which was taken under advisement. We shall see.

The Marijuana Ordinance is back in the news. Because California’s complicated new law was passed in the November election, the county will now need to modify its ordinance to agree with state law. Crazy as it sounds, the county allowed 12 plants to be grown by those who had prescriptions. The new state law reduces that number to just six plants — if you do not have a commercial license. Oh, and the California commercial license is not yet available.

About 25 marijuana growers attended the supervisors’ meeting and complained that they can’t get by with growing just six plants.

Forest sale

Good news! The sale of Timbervest forest properties surrounding Scott Valley from Fort Jones to Callahan did not go through. The non-profit group expected the county supervisors to support the purchase. Ray said the supervisors did not support the non-profit, because it was planning to strip the water rights and give them to California DFW, which would herd that water for fish – away from agriculture.

Bundy

Biggest news is in regards to BLM Supervisor Daniel P. Love, who is being investigated for deletion of 100s of documents before a congressional investigative committee issued a subpoena, obstruction of a congressional investigation and witness tampering. This should bode well for Bundy defense.

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

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