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Liz Writes Life 4-18-17

Liz Writes Life

April 18, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden

The peas are three-inches tall. This is the best germination we have had. Usually we have to replant them. This year, they are actually too close and need to be thinned. Something did chew on three of them eating off the leaves. Hum, don’t know what.

The spinach came up pretty good, but the lettuces didn’t do so well. Need to replant them. I finally decided to plant the onion starts that I purchased over a week ago. There were 90 to 100 of them, so we will need to remember to eat green onions next month to thin them down a bit.

There are a few potato hills still in the ground. We better get them out and use a few to plant as seed potatoes. The garlic is a foot-tall and the three groups of bunching onions are just as high and bunching.

Several folks reported their asparagus is doing well. Ours is way behind and is barely poking up. None are peeking up on the older group. And the rhubarb – last year at this time, I had harvested a big batch. It does look healthy and some stalks are thick, but it is only about 18-inches tall. So, I will give it a few more weeks. The Fowler lilac is budding-up. Sure do hope the couple of frosts that we had didn’t take them out. A few friends are worried they lost their apricot and other fruit crops. Siskiyou spring is always a wait-and-see?

Water

We are now into irrigation season. Most decrees state April 1st is the starting date for obtaining legal water rights, but some are for April 15th. Some decrees also allow for year-round use of water rights for domestic and or stock water. Believe it or not, there are fields where the ditch conveying water is the only available water for livestock, so those water rights are important.

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor Dist. 5, learned that the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (previously called DFG) began flying the Scott River last week. It was mentioned they may be looking for flood and high-water damage along with checking out diversions, but who knows. Ray said the county asked if Elizabeth Nielsen, the Natural Resource Specialist, could fly along with them and the request was denied. Oh! Why?

In the past there have been some not-so-nice situations as the CA. DFW has flown below the 500-foot level violating airspace laws and spooking livestock — sometimes looking like harassment. So Ray wants to know if any planes or helicopters are violating the 500-foot airspace regulation or intimidating livestock. Try to obtain a tail number. Ray’s phone number is 530-925-0444.

Land sales

It’s a done deal. Timbervest sold two pieces of property in the south-end of Scott Valley. They were purchased by Western Rivers Conservation group. Spokesman for the group, Peter Colby, told me that escrow closed on April 3, 2017. The group obtained a three-year loan to purchase the properties and Peter said they are actively looking for someone or group to sell the properties to. Now that is interesting – a conservancy flipping land for profit?

One of the properties is the Bouvier ranch located off the Cecilville Road outside of Callahan. The ranch includes 1,600 acres of timber and cattle grazing pasture that is irrigated through water right allotments. There is a domestic and livestock water right for year-round use on the lower ditch.

Peter said he has contacted the Scott River Water Trust asking if it is interested in purchasing the ranch. There is talk of stopping the use of the water right allotments on July 15th. I told Peter that wouldn’t work, because the rancher who has been leasing the grazing area will need to irrigate through the heat of July and August to keep the pasture growing for his cattle. But, apparently the conservancy believes fish will need the water in Scott River. It is likely to turn into a heated discussion, although Peter told me the conservancy wants to find a “good balance” for water use. Because of the high snow pack in the mountains, surface water should be plentiful this year. Yet, already “they” are trying to curtail agriculture use. Frustrating.

The other piece of property is 640 acres (square section) and was Timbervest’s most eastern track on Scott Mt. It is filled with timber and goes up to the Trinity Divide. Peter said the conservancy hopes to sell this to a timber company.

I asked Peter about the Callahan Water District and their water right from East Boulder Creek that does cross the Bouvier ranch property. He said they have no desire to interfere with the district’s water right. Good news.

The other group Peter has talked to about purchasing the Bouvier ranch property is the Siskiyou Land Trust, which is based in Mount Shasta. Several land owners in Scott Valley are working with the Siskiyou Land Trust and have put land into its conservancy. This is another divisive topic. Ray Haupt was recently interviewed on the topic of Conservation Easements by Daniel Webster. That 13-minute youtube can be found on my Liz Bowen.com site.

But we are not done yet!

Ray told me that two blocks of Timbervest are now in escrow and may be purchased by the Eco Trust Forest Management group. This track of land starts at Wildcat Creek and takes in the forested lands north to Etna and Quartz Valley under Big Meadows. Ray actually met with a spokesman of the purchasers last week and explained the need for good neighborly relations regarding range grazing allotments and actively managing the trees. This group may also be looking into resale or doing Conservation Easements.

POW

Learn more at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting April 27th at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m.

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

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