Liz Writes Life 5-24-16

May 24, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Garden

OK, OK, I know that some of you thought we were crazy to plant our garden the first week of May. Yes, it froze Friday morning – May 20th. I was up at 2-ish and checked the temps and it was 31 degrees, so it was a long five-hour freeze. We had covered all the plants and, guess what, they made it! Shock! Even the cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon and corn made it. The cucs were two-inches tall and the corn was three-inches. Only four watermelons were just coming up. I really was surprised that the seeds germinated in just a week after we planted. Guess the soil was plenty warm. The potatoes are six to 10 inches high (didn’t get covered) and made it as well. So I feel pretty lucky!

POW

Scott Valley Protect Our Water supporters meet this Thursday, May 26, 2016 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Please bring a dessert to share as we eat before, during and after the meeting.

Preston Harris from the Scott Valley Groundwater Advisory Committee will share the ground water levels from 30 wells throughout the valley. This is a program initiated by the Scott River Watershed Council and the Resource Conservation District 10 years ago. Wells are monitored for static ground water levels every month providing factual information about how the groundwater works in the interconnected Scott River system.

Also speaking at the Scott Valley POW meeting will be Erin Ryan, from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office, Richard Marshall, president of the Siskiyou Water Users Assoc. and Siskiyou Co. Supervisor Ray Haupt, from Dist. 5, will bring us up-to-date on water and fire issues.

Dance

The REC in Fort Jones is sponsoring its monthly dance this Friday night, May 27th at 8 p.m. $10 admission at the door. Pizza and beer are available starting at 5 p.m. Live music is by “The ‘B’ Side”, a local band.

Lion

A friend called to let us know a mountain lion is in our neighborhood. He was spotted on Sugar Creek Road in broad daylight and didn’t have any fear. Also, one dog was attacked and taken to the veterinarian with major injuries. So be careful in the Callahan area.

Initiatives

Recently, Town Hall meetings have been held by county supervisors Grace Bennett and Brandon Criss, along with Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey, regarding Initiatives T, U, S and R that are up for a vote in the Primary Election June 7th.

The county leaders explained the initiatives and are asking for a “yes” vote.

Sheriff Lopey said Initiative T provides for stronger enforcement of the county marijuana ordinance. He related the county has been inundated with a new criminal element purchasing land and blatantly growing marijuana for commercial purposes. Last year, the sheriff’s dept. estimated there were over 300 of these kind of illegal grows and, although the county passed the marijuana ordinance to stop huge outdoor grows, sheriff said his detectives now estimate over 1,000 commercial plantations are being planted! The commercial criminal element is certainly out-of-hand and is affecting neighbors in these areas.

Initiative U is about keeping the growing of smaller numbers of legal medical marijuana plants (Proposition 215) indoors or in small greenhouses.

For Initiative S, Sheriff Lopey is asking for help on the $9 million short-fall for the cost of building the new jail. The county has received a one-time grant from the state of $27 million and the land has already been purchased and developed on the East side of Yreka. Sheriff Lopey believes this jail will meet the needs of the county for many years and is asking for a half-cent in local sales tax. Actually, in January of 2017 a quarter-of-a-cent sales tax will be removed (as it has met its goal), so it will only be a quarter-penny sales tax increase from what we now pay. The $9 million is expected to be obtained within the next five to six years and would then be removed from county sales taxes.

Initiative R is for North County voters only. It is asking for $5 tax on each land parcel, with a habitable house, to go towards purchasing much-needed search and rescue equipment for volunteer fire departments and emergency vehicles. The South County already has such a tax in place.

Westside

Luckily, the legal injunction brought by the Karuk Tribe, EPIC and KS Wild was not granted last week, which means the harvesting of burned trees and the Westside Fire Recovery Project will continue. Yay! Siskiyou Supervisor Ray Haupt said the county has worked diligently and collaboratively to see the recovery project move forward. He praised a citizens’ panel the board of supervisors put in place early in 2015, which worked closely with KNF Supervisor Patty Grantham; along with tremendous support from American Forest Resource Council and Congressman Doug LaMalfa.

Yes, there has been opposition to the recovery of the 2014 Westside fires, but thanks to the continued support by Siskiyou County, USFS and these groups there has been success.

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

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Liz Writes Life 5-17-16

May 17, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, Ca

Garden

Wouldn’t you know it! As soon as I suggested planting the garden, we had a frost. But, we went ahead a planted much of it including tomato and bell pepper plants. They will be covered later this week as the NOAA weather shows it getting down to 36 or 37 and that is just too close to 32 degrees for me. We also planted seeds of cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, corn, zucchini, spinach, lettuce and a bit of parsley and basil. We did decide to put-off planting the green beans for a week or two. No matter when they are planted, it seems they always start to produce during fair week in August.

Volunteer cosmos and four o’clocks (flowers) were looking pretty thrifty at an inch tall, so I transplanted them in three different flower beds and bought a six-pack of inpatients and celosia to put in the front part of the beds. Also, been busy trying to get the crabgrass out of several spots to transplant lemon balm. I really enjoyed it as a tea last winter and didn’t dry enough, so I want to remedy that situation.

Now, I just need to get the soaker hoses laid out as I had to hand-water much of my wild garden. Oh, the iris are beautiful and an orange poppy popped out. I see they have been blooming in the rest of the valley for several weeks.

Shirley Gilmore treated me to a tour of her rocky hillside and it is fabulous with so many flowers blooming, both wild and domestic, and her patches of iris are gorgeous.

Veterans

A tribute to our U.S. veterans will be held this Saturday, May 21st at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds in Yreka. This is the 8th annual Siskiyou Co. Armed Forces Day and is sponsored by the Siskiyou Co. Veterans’ Leadership Council and Siskiyou Co. Veterans Services Office.

All veterans and their families are invited to attend. There will be a free breakfast for veterans starting at 8 a.m. and a ceremony honoring veterans of all eras will begin at 11 a.m. This year the keynote speaker will be the Adjutant General of the California National Guard, Major General David Baldwin.

The public is also invited to the event to show support for veterans. Lunch will also be available, which will also be free to veterans.

Bundy

Ranchers Cliven, Ammon, Ryan Bundy and 20 others are still in jail wading through the very slow federal court system. It looks like they are still in isolation as well. But last week, Cliven’s attorney announced in open court in Las Vegas, he is suing the federal judge handling his criminal case. The judge is Gloria Navarro. The case involves Cliven’s stand-off with the federal agents that were stealing and killing his cattle in April of 2014 at his Clark County, Nevada ranch.

Cliven and his attorney believe that Judge Navarro’s position is in conflict with her previous job working as a prosecutor for Clark Co. District Attorney’s Office, which had dealings with rancher Bundy previous to April 2014.

Cliven’s legal complaint accuses President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and one of Reid’s sons of plotting to steal Bundy’s property. It was Harry Reid, when he was U.S. Senate Majority Leader, who recommended Navarro for the U.S. Federal Judge position and Obama who nominated her. She was confirmed by the Senate in May 2010.

Cliven and 18 other defendants have pleaded “not guilty” to the charges brought by the federal government. Those charges stem from the April 2014 incident and include conspiracy, obstruction, weapon, threats and assault charges that could bring the equivalent of life in prison.

What adds intrigue to the situation is that Harry Reid owns property near the Bundy ranch. Cliven’s attorney stated that Reid was working with Chinese interests to build a solar power plant and it is Reid’s son, attorney Rory Reid, who was negotiating the deal.

Cliven’s attorney also argued during the open court detention hearing that Cliven’s constitutional rights are being violated and all charges should be dismissed. Apparently, that argument was ignored by Judge Navarro. The judge did set a date of May 25, 2016 to rule whether she will step aside.

LaVoy Finicum

There was some interesting news out of Arizona last week as 13 state legislators signed a letter urging the Oregon Governor Kate Brown to live up to her statements questioning FBI involvement in the murder of rancher, LaVoy Finicum, during the alleged “traffic stop’ of the Eastern Oregon Bundy situation in January 2016.

The letter signed by Arizona State Rep Bob Thorpe demanded Gov. Brown ensure a “full, complete and transparent investigation’ that examines treatment of Americans exercising their protected rights of free speech and peaceable assembly.” Good for them.

POW

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will meet May 26, 2016 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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Liz Writes Life 5-10-16

May 10, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Snowpack

Those warm temps throughout April diminished the good snowpack in our mountains. The May 1st snow survey by the Klamath National Forest employees shows a total average of 19 percent of the historical average. The water content is at 21 percent of the historical average. This is way down from last month’s April 1st snow survey of 90 percent of historical average snowpack and 97 percent in water content.

 Middle Boulder #1 at 6,600 feet elevation measured 20.6 inches of snow and the average is 52.9 inches giving it a 39 percent of average. Dynamite Meadow at 5,700 feet elevation was absent of snow and the average for May 1st is 22.1 inches giving it a big fat zero percent. Also lacking any snow was Scott Mt. at 5,900 feet, while it has a historical average of 26 inches.

The good news for the City of Etna is that Swampy John on Salmon Mt. still had 22.2 inches at the 5,500 feet elevation giving it a 42 percent of the historical average of 53 inches.

At least, we received a significant amount of snow that has melted into the valley groundwater. And the good rains we enjoyed this past week certainly came at the right time.

Garden

I checked the May forecast and even the June weather. Neither month shows any major drops in temperatures. The few nights that it may freeze, we should be able to protect our plants by covering them. At least that is what I am thinking. So, we have decided to plant our summer garden this week. The spring peas are looking great at nearly two feet high, the cabbages are doing well and the spinach is outgrowing the lettuce. The onions that wintered-over are growing tall and putting on seed pods. I am not sure if they are going to create a bulb or not. Maybe we’ll cut out the stalk with the seed pod in hopes that will push the growth back into the bulb. Guess this is an experiment. Will let you know the outcome.

POW

Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5, reported at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting held April 28, 2016 about the county board’s meeting with Neil Manji, Regional Manager for the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (used to be Dept. of Fish and Game). Manji had sent a letter to the county regarding the 1602 Streambed Alteration Permit. The county supervisors demanded clarification on the definition of “substantial” as this is the crux of the Farm Bureau litigation.

To understand how to comply with current state law an irrigator must know what a “substantial” diversion of water really is. Ray said an acceptable answer was not given, rather the DFW consistently referred to the interpretation in their letter. The DFW believes that any irrigator using water from a stream or a river is subject to making a notification to the agency, so DFW can make a determination of what is “substantial” for any required permits, while allowing the diversion to continue under the 1602 regulations until DFW makes a determination.

Ray believes DFW should honor the court-ordered decree schedules as the legal amount a rancher is authorized to use. The decree also ensures minimum fish flows for any given year and that compared to the amount diverted must be the test of substantial. Any other seasonal interpretation alters the court’s mandated water use. Ray added that he thoroughly understands the DFW’s desire to regulate the ESA requirements, season-to-season, but to date the two bodies of law are not being equally applied by the multiple agencies involved.

Manji did say that he does not wish to stop the irrigation process, but DFW does expect a phone call from all diverters before headgates are opened.

Ray told us the local DFW Wardens want to communicate more with farmers and ranchers, so trust may be rebuilt locally. Sure do hope that can be accomplished.

The Siskiyou Supervisors responded to DFW with more questions, including asking for clarification on the three Supreme Court cases that DFW cited giving the agency control over streambed alterations that were specific to actually moving gravels with heavy equipment and not just the continued use of a permitted structure like headgates or flash boards.

The DFW claims that opening a headgate is altering the streambed. The county and most farmers and ranchers disagree.

Recently, CA. Senator Jim Nielsen presented a legislative bill that would have protected the 55,000 small agricultural water diverters throughout the state from the 1602 Permit, but it was voted down in committee. Bummer — because for now the term “substantial” remains elusive.

Ray said that if anyone has interactions with DFW Wardens on this subject to let him know, so he can continue to be an advocate and press DFW for practical solutions that support our agricultural operations.

This 1602 Permit situation is still sticky and continues to be a moving target.

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

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Liz Writes Life 5-3-15

May 3, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Dance

Good old-fashioned fun will be had in Sawyers Bar on Saturday, May 21st, when Chet and Earlene McBroom play fiddle and honky-tonk piano with family and friends as the Salmon River Snipers band. Chet told me that he and Earlene are “old” (in their 80s), but if they can get up on the stage they will play for their customary four hours or more. I’m not sure on the price of admission, but just listening to their music will be worth it. And the dancin’ is great too!

The Salmon River Volunteer Fire and Rescue will hold a fundraiser hot dog feed starting at 6 p.m. This all takes place at the Sawyers Bar Community Center in the heart of the old mining town. Expect about an hour drive, to be safe, from Etna over the mountain to Sawyers Bar.

Wolf meeting

Several individuals looked into the wolf workshops that were being held last week throughout the county and found they were being sponsored by a non-profit 501(c)3 pro-wolf group out of San Diego. So a number of folks decided to attend the workshop held at the Montague Community Center last Saturday, just to let this group know that they didn’t appreciate the “California Wolf Center” coming in to Siskiyou County to tell residents and ranchers how to get along with wolves.

Yep, it was a protest, but it remained peaceful. Even leaders of the Shasta Nation attended and told the workshop presenters that the Canadian gray wolf is not a native of California and should not be in Siskiyou County. Canadian gray wolves are plentiful in Canada, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Oregon. There are even hunting seasons on them to manage the exploding populations.

After explaining why they didn’t appreciate a non-profit pro-wolf group coming to Siskiyou, more than 15 people walked out leaving a handful to listen to the seven-hour propaganda.

I don’t know why this California Wolf Center would be so bold as to think they could teach us how to live with the threat of another predator. Even California Fish and Wildlife, back when it was California Fish and Game, admitted that California is over-run with predators of bear, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats and foxes. I specifically remember a game warden telling me back in 1999 that California didn’t need any more predators.

All I can think of is that the California Wolf Center needed to hold workshops as part of a grant application to keep their monies coming in. When you look them up their website, it states it is a “one-of-a-kind, conservation, education and research center dedicated to wolf recovery in the wild. They are a statewide organization with staff and volunteers throughout California striving to pave the way for the return of wolves in California. Founded in 1977 to educate the public about wildlife and ecology, the Center is currently home to several packs of gray wolves, some of which play an important role in educational programs. These wolves serve as ambassadors representing wolves in the wild.”

Oh, and another interesting statement from Erin Hunt, a conservation associate at the center – she is quoted as saying, “Once they (wolves) get a taste for beef, we have to remove them before they’re trapped or killed. Right now, we’re removing them faster than we’re releasing them.”

Now that is a telling statement. Wow! Sounds like there are already too many wolves and even the Center needs to “manage” the growing “wild” populations.

Sheriff

Jon Lopey, our Siskiyou Co. Sheriff, spoke at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting last week in Fort Jones. He explained why the county needs a new jail saying, “we’re trying to put crooks in jail, but the jail is always full.”

Sheriff said the crime rate in California is very alarming and has also increased in Siskiyou County, but the jail is so over-crowded that he has to decide which inmates are the least violent to release, when there are new arrests.

Measure “S” will be on the Siskiyou County California Primary Election Ballot on June 7. This measure is asking for a half-cent sales tax throughout the county to pay for the $9 million needed for the jail. The county has received a $27 million grant for funding of the jail, but there is this $9 million shortfall. When the $9 million has been accumulated, the half-cent sales tax will be removed.

Lopey shared the variety of rehabilitation programs he is utilizing, including working with probation, mental health and work services, but for him the alarming increase in violent offenders is a “public health and safety issue.” He urged support of Measure “S”. If it doesn’t pass and the county is not able to obtain the $9 million needed, the county will lose the $27 million grant. He and others are concerned over the potential liability of the problems with the current jail.

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

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Liz Writes Life 4-26-16

April 26, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Lots going on this week.

POW meeting

Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey will be the key speaker at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting this Thursday, April 28, 2016. Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5, Mark Baird and Erin Ryan, from Congressman LaMalfa’s office, will also share important issues. Please bring a dessert to share as we eat before, during and after.

Topics include the marijuana initiative that is on the June 7 Primary Election Ballot; the new attorney Larry Kogan, who is working on the Klamath water issues; and CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife 1602 Permit.

Dance

The REC in Fort Jones is holding its monthly live band dance with “The ‘B’ Side” on Friday, April 29th from 8 to 11 p.m. Pizza and beer is available for social hour at 5 p.m. Cost is $10 per person.

Taco Feed

Remember the Mt. Bolivar Grange is holding a Taco dinner Friday, April 29 in Callahan from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s a fundraiser for the Grange!

Country music

Ramblin Jack Elliot, a two-time Grammy winner, will be playing at the Yreka Community Theater on Friday, April 29th at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Carl Schwindeman and Bill Lachennayer will open for Jack.

Rodeo

Rodeo weekend in Etna kicks-off with the California High School Rodeo Finals for Northern California on April 29-30 at the Scott Valley Pleasure Park Rodeo grounds on Island Road. Admission is free to the High School Championship Rodeo starting at 4 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday.

A Rodeo Round-Up Barbecue will be held at 6 p.m. at Dotty’s with live music and dancing. Get your tickets at Dotty’s. The Etna Rodeo Parade is at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday and Cowboy Church with Pastor Drew Travis at 11-ish at the softball field.

At 1 p.m., kids events of Mutton Bustin’ and Calf Riding starts the 68th Annual Pleasure Park Rodeo. There will be a new format for the popular Wild Saddle Cow Riding with a “show down” for the fastest times to compete for champion buckles and a chance to compete at the 2016 Siskiyou Golden Fair Championship in August.

Garden

Sure was embarrassed on Saturday morning, when we woke to white frost and 30 degrees. Earlier in the week, Jack planted two Armenian cucumber plants that friends gave us. They were nearly two feet long and the temps were so warm, we decided to plant them. They transplanted well, but we didn’t cover them Friday night after those rains. Well, the good news is that the frost must not have been long enough, because they made it. One leaf is burned. That’s all. Whew! That’s the problem with trying to get gardens started in April and May in Scott Valley. You never know when freezing temps will hit.

Attorney

A newly-hired attorney is bringing a passionate level of ability to the Klamath water issue. Larry Kogan was hired by the Klamath Irrigation District (KID) over in the Klamath Falls-Tulelake area of the Klamath Project. KID needs to replace the worn-out flume, which supports the C-Canal that provides water to over 53,000 acres of farmland. KID farmers are under the Bureau of Reclamation Klamath Project and needed to sign a contract with the BOR Director Therese O’Rourke Bradford regarding the costly project. Unfortunately, the BOR director was driving a hard-bargain with demands that couldn’t be met by the farmers; then threatening to shut-off all of their irrigation water. Bradford would not negotiate. So KID hired Kogan to remedy the situation. This all happened in the past two months.

Luckily, California Congressman Doug LaMalfa also became involved to support farmers in his district. Water from KID irrigates fields in Tulelake area. His field rep Erin Ryan attended several meetings with Kogan and is up-to-speed on the situation. Last Thursday, Erin and Mark Spanagle, who also works for the congressman, attended a BOR meeting in Sacramento with Kogan. Erin reports that the meeting was more than interesting and is quite impressed with Kogan, who also met with the BOR Pacific Regional Director explaining Klamath BOR’s demands were unacceptable.

Shockingly, on Friday, the Klamath BOR office announced that its Director Therese O’Rourke Bradford was leaving her post! Wow, I guess Kogan and the congressman’s staff were able to show the Pacific Regional Director the error of Bradford’s ways. I have never seen a federal agency make a move so fast.

Erin said she is pleased over the situation, because KID should now be able to negotiate a contract that will be in line with the 1956 and 1983 contracts. More is going on behind the scenes and Erin will explain at the Protect Our Water meeting on Thursday.

Remember, BOR established the Klamath Project specifically to grow food to feed America. For the first 80 years of the project, BOR was a friend to the up to 1,400 farmers in the 225,000 acre land reclamation. Now, as a federal agency, its new goal seems to be to destroy agriculture. Go figure!

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

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Liz Writes Life 4-19-16

April 19, 2016

Liz Writes Life

 Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Dam rally

It certainly was exciting for so many dam supporters to show up to the rally last Tuesday. We had close to 200 people standing on the Siskiyou Co. Courthouse steps for the photo-op, including county supervisors Grace Bennett and Ray Haupt. Those in the front row held the banner that stated: We the People of the State of Jefferson hereby declare the premise and signing of the Klamath Hydro Settlement Agreement to be invalid. We dispute the authority of the signers, the integrity of the science and the promised benefits of dam removal. In the creation of the KHSA, public input was prevented, congress and county supervisors were circumvented and the true stakeholders were ultimately silenced. Let it be known on this 12th day of April 2016 that common sense has been restored. We the undersigned declare that the Klamath Dams will not be removed!!!

Yep, it was a spoof. We mocked California and Oregon governors that signed the newest agreement. But we believe that our “agreement” holds as much water as the dignitaries’ does. A big “thank you” goes to Erin Ryan, field rep for Congressman Doug LaMalfa, for coming up with the idea. She did so with the congressman’s blessing. Hooray for our congressman and his great staff who are working so hard to help save the Klamath dams!

Taco Feed

On Friday, April 29th the Mt. Bolivar Grange, in Callahan, will hold a taco dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. Cost is $10 individual or $20 a family. This is in conjunction with the Grand Opening of the Callahan Emporium under new ownership. I’ve heard there will be a band or two playing at the saloon on Friday night. So, there will be lots of excitement in Callahan.

POW meeting

Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey is the key speaker for the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on Thursday, April 28th at 7 p.m. at the Fort Jones Community Center.

Snowpack report

The April 1st report of the snowpack in Western Siskiyou County and Eastern Shasta Valley were not as bad as I thought it would be. The mountain areas surrounding Scott Valley averaged around 90 percent of the average with a very high water content of 97 percent average.

To the East, the Goosenest Ranger District boasted a bit above average with 51.7 inches measured, when the average was 49 inches. It also had a high water content of 130 percent of average! Last year, this same spot that is measured in Goosenest did not have any snow. It was dry as a bone.

The surveys are conducted by employees of the Klamath National Forest the first of Feb., March, April and May on specific sites that have been monitored for years. The oldest is Middle Boulder 1 southwest of Mt. Bolivar, which dates back to 1946 and is 6,600 feet in elevation. The average snowpack is 71.4 inches for April 1. This year it measured 68.4 inches. Last year, it measured 1.3 inches of snow.

This year, Box Camp in the Marbles showed the most snow at 107 inches with an average of 87.2 inches at the 6,440 foot elevation. Box Camp has been measured since 1978. Last year it measured 1.2 inches of snow!

Swampy John above Etna on Salmon Mt. boasted 88 percent of average at the 5,500 foot elevation with 70.3 inches compared to an 80-inch average. Last year, no snow was measured at Swampy John. At least, there is a decent amount of snow at our higher levels this year. Whew!

Garden

Boy, it did warm up on Sunday. On Saturday, I planted two kinds of lettuce and spinach, so I expect a good germination! The asparagus is growing and Jack brought in a handful. I ate half of them raw. We did break out the barbecue to cook some chicken and he threw the rest of the asparagus on the grill. I put a dab of olive oil on them and it was pretty darned good.

Sure do wish I had insight on how many frosts we will get in May. Most of us are probably itching to plant stuff that could get hammered with a late May or June frost. Oh, the challenges of gardening in Scott Valley!

Bundy

We have been learning that the Bundys and those that were arrested with them in February have not been treated well in jail. Ammon told the judge during a hearing last week that he was handcuffed for 23 hours and not fed when he was first incarcerated. Several weeks ago, the wife of one of the other protesters reported her husband was handcuffed, beaten and left in a cell for two days. From what I can learn, it looks like the Bundys and compatriots are still being kept in isolation, although most have been taken from Portland, Oregon to detention centers in Nevada.

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

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Liz Writes Life 4-12-16

April 12, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Rally

Today at 1 p.m. in front of the Siskiyou Co. Courthouse, a rally will be held to show support for saving the Klamath dams from destruction. An “agreement” to save the dams will be available for all “stakeholders” to sign. Anyone who shows up and cares about saving the dams is a stakeholder.

This rally is real, but we (dam savers) are doing it to spoof the signing of the newest Klamath Hydro-electric Agreement by Oregon and California Governors Brown, Dept. of Interior Secretary Sally Jewel, a few Tribes and PacifiCorp last week.

On the surface, the signing by important people looks ominous and legit. But, they have not followed the legal process. The County of Siskiyou has been ignored and congress cannot be ignored. I say their photo-op that has hit national and international newspapers is a farce. It uses the process of: If we say it loud enough and long enough, everyone will believe it.

The reality is that there are “powers-that-be” that want the dams out. But, the truth is that this is NOT a done deal. Our Siskiyou Supervisors immediately sent a letter to the Governor Browns letting them know a lawsuit is on its way. So, the fight to save the Klamath dams is not over.  And we can also play the game of being loud and repetitive. Let’s all repeat: “Save the dams!” Join us at 1 p.m. today. Let’s have some fun with this.

Correction:

Last week, I wrote about Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Dist. 5 Supervisor, discussing the Westside Fire Recovery Plan at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting. He was disgusted that the process to complete the plan had taken so long – nearly a year and a half. I became confused about the different agencies that were involved. It is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that he said dithered and delayed the process. The agency didn’t meet its own deadline on the biological assessment regarding the spotted owl. That deadline was 90 days. Then NOAA Fisheries decided to delay its biological assessment on the coho salmon. Both agencies held up the process. The Klamath National Forest is the lead agency and needed the cooperation of these other federal agencies.

Interesting thing: Even after the dithering, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is still the target of the Karuk Tribe, which has filed a lawsuit to try and stop the recovery by the Westside Fire Plan.

Caucus

The Siskiyou Co. Republican Central Committee is holding a caucus to elect members for each county district, who will then serve on the county central committee. This is the first time a caucus will be used for the election process in Siskiyou (that we know of). All registered Republicans in Siskiyou County are eligible to run for these positions. The term for the position is four years.

The caucus will be held Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center at 1 p.m.

If you wish to run for a Central Committee position, please submit a letter with a short bio, your address, district you live in and phone number prior to 5 p.m. April 27.  Send to SCRCC, P.O. Box 744, Yreka, CA. 96097. During the election process all registered Republicans who attend this caucus will be eligible to vote, which will be by secret ballot.

If you are not registered or registered as a Republican and would like to run for a position on the central committee, there is still time to stop by the Siskiyou Co. Clerk’s Office and register. You are welcome to call me for more info.

Rodeo contestants

Entries for the Scott Valley Pleasure Park Rodeo will be April 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Rodeo events are: Ranch Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, Open Team Roping, Mix Team Roping, Calf Roping, Girls Barrel Race, Girls Breakaway and Wild Saddle Cow. Please call in your entries, including Youth Mutton Bustin’ and Kid’s Calf Riding, to Secretary Jaclyn Boyce at 530-340-5527 on April 14 and 15.

The 68th Annual May Rodeo will be held on Sunday, May 1, 2016 starting at 1 p.m. with kids events. The Etna Rodeo Parade is at 10:30 a.m. Call Drew Travis to enter the parade at 530-468-2410.

Garden

About a month ago, I purchased a six-pack of cabbages and got them planted two weeks later. I decided to give them a shot of Miracle Gro this weekend. One packet of peas came up pretty well, but only four made it from the snow peas. They are about four inches tall. Jack transplanted them into one spot and they are doing well. The garlic and over-winter onions look great and some asparagus really started shooting up last week. Boy, the rhubarb is happy at almost two feet tall.

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

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Liz Writes Life 4-5-16

April 5, 2016

­Liz Writes Life

 Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

First, I will report on the rest of the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting held March 26th in Fort Jones. Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for Dist. 5, said that the Karuk Tribe has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trying to stop the Westside Fire Recovery Project. The county supervisors voted 5-0 to join as interveners to stop this lawsuit. One sale has been sold since the Klamath National Forest finalized the project.

Ray explained to the group that the Westside Recovery Project is only four percent, let me repeat that, it is only four percent of the entire area that burned several 100,000 acres in western Siskiyou County in 2014. This project only involves infra-structure protection for roads and homes. The Klamath National Forest dithered for nearly 18 months in delaying the decision to recover the burned-over area. As a result, a significant 40 percent of the trees are not merchantable. Ray believes this will be an economic blow to the county for the next 50 years.

Ray and Siskiyou Co. Board Chairman Grace Bennett attended the public meeting by the “secret” group that is continuing to work to destroy the Klamath dams. Grace read a statement from the county against dam removal and Ray backed her up by saying the county will not participate in the group’s illegal process. He did add that this most recent endeavor to establish a “shell” entity, with a non-profit number, to purchase the dams from PacifiCorp is the most dangerous he has seen. Unfortunately, right now the White House administration will not hold federal agencies to their own rules and will look the other way. Yep, this is a major part of the problem.

Ray also explained that the Karuk Tribe is lobbying the state legislature for aboriginal hunting rights on four herds of elk in the Marble Mt. Wilderness Area. But, the area has been proven, under the 1851 Treaties, to be Shasta Nation territory not Karuk. Uh, ooh.

Also conflicting is that Karuk leadership engaged Assemblyman Jim Wood, a Democrat for CA. Assembly Dist. 2 to introduce the bill. Wood is not the assemblyman for Siskiyou County. Brian Dahle is Siskiyou’s assemblyman. The bill is AB 1792 and if passed, will change Section 332 of the Fish and Game Code relating to hunting giving the Karuk exclusive hunting rights to the local elk herds for subsistence, cultural or religious ceremonies.

Since this was expressed as a cultural need, Ray questions if the Karuk Tribal members will be hunting with traditional weapons or utilizing modern technical weapons of cross-bows or guns?

He also is concerned about the welfare of the program that has successfully re-established elk in Western Siskiyou County. It was a cooperative program with the U.S. Klamath National Forest, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Rocky Mountain Elk, timber companies and other groups. Should one non-native tribe be the only group to reap what a cooperative environmental program created?

There is also concern that the recent introduction of non-native Canadian wolves into Siskiyou County will negatively affect the elk herds – also jeopardizing the cooperative re-introduction elk program.

Mark Baird attended the dam removal meeting held in Sacramento as well. He told the “secret” group that new Klamath Hydro-electric Settlement Agreement does not extinguish water rights and that the area where the Klamath dams are located is Shasta land not Karuk.

Regarding the Jefferson Statehood situation, Mark said a campaign was launched in January where Jefferson supporters sent 1,000s of letters and phone calls to California legislators asking for legislation to create a new state. No response was received from any of the 120 state legislators, including Dist. 1 Assemblyman Brian Dahle or Dist. 1 Senator Ted Gaines.

As a result, the Jefferson Committee has hired attorneys, who are preparing to sue the State of California for lack of representation. Remember, of the 80 assembly people and 40 senators elected at the state level, only five are elected from Northern California counties proving there is a nearly non-existent voice for Northern rural counties in the state legislature.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey will be the keynote speaker at the next Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on Thursday, April 28, 2016. Time is 7 p.m. at the Fort Jones Community Center. He will be talking about the marijuana ballot initiative and the new jail funding.

Wolves

Finally, there was some management of the wolf populations last week. Four wolves were actually shot and killed by wildlife officials in northeast Oregon after five attacks on livestock killed two sheep and four head of cattle. Sure didn’t take long for the invading Canadian gray wolf to increase in numbers. Yep, they just keep growing and growing and growing.

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

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Liz Writes Life 3-29-16

March 29, 2016

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

 The Fort Jones Community Center was packed with over 100 Siskiyou residents as CA. Dist. 1 Congressman Doug LaMalfa spoke during the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting last week. He covered a myriad of topics from the craziness in Washington D.C. to the hypocrisy of issues surrounding the threat of Klamath dam destruction and praised our Siskiyou leaders for their dedication.

The congressman said that too much water is flowing into the ocean and more water must be stored in California. Shasta Dam reservoir looks great and is nearly to the top, but it is the only one in the state as other dams are not nearly as full. There have been complaints that those dams are releasing too much water.

When referring to the secret meetings of the newly-created Klamath dam destruction group, LaMalfa was disgusted at the private meetings being held. “Government people are involved and they are doing it on government time,” he said, and has demanded government officials stop their involvement.

He is upset that California Governor Jerry Brown is pushing for a 24 cent tax per gallon on gasoline and diesel; then to make matters worse, the state’s newest scheme is to place a vehicle mileage tax on all drivers.

“This will hurt rural folks the most,” said LaMalfa, adding that it’s not enough to have wolves expand into the county, “your dams ripped out and they take your water. You are the tip of the spear, once again,” he said. “We are always thinking about you.”

LaMalfa has been working closely with Siskiyou Co. Supervisor Ray Haupt on forestry and Westside Fire Recovery Project and is disgusted that the Westside Plan has taken so long to be implemented.

“Everyone knows the forests are constantly growing board feet out there – we can heart it! We should be utilizing this huge increase of timber,” he said. And to the recovery of burned trees, LaMalfa lamented, “What’s new about salvage on a fire?”

He is frustrated that it took over a year and a half for the Westside Fire Recovery to be completed and will be questioning U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell about the slow process during hearings this week in D.C.

Speaking of hearings, LaMalfa asked pointed questions to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel and her Deputy Secretary Mike Connor last month during WA. D.C. hearings — about the secret Klamath dams meetings. Sounded like he was able to put them on the hot seat! He also added that it is illegal to have a bi-state agreement, such as this new shell entity without the approval of congress. LaMalfa also believes that the City of Yreka needs to be attending the secret meetings, because its water supply from Fall Creek is part of the Klamath River system and will be affected.

One question to LaMalfa was about U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump. Would he vote for him? LaMalfa said his first two candidate choices have been knocked out of the game, but he will vote the party line. LaMalfa said he believes Trump, who is currently the leading candidate, would have to work with congress; and congressional people will educate him regarding these pressing issues. He added that Republicans need to be elected to the U.S. Senate and the House to strengthen the conservative vote.

It takes 60 senators to get most bills passed, LaMalfa explained, and there are only 54 Republicans right now. Getting six Democrats to cross the line for a bi-partisan vote is difficult.

The congressman was asked if congress was looking into the FBI and the killing of rancher LaVoy Finicum in Eastern Oregon in January. He responded, “It sure looks like an execution.”

LaMalfa has talked with Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz about the situation, who is quite critical of BLM law enforcement. Chaffetz and three other Utah Congressmen recently introduced a bill that would strip BLM and USFS of their power to police federal lands. That police power would be turned over to county sheriffs. Chaffetz claims the growth of police powers has distracted the agencies from their main mission, which is the managing of federal lands. Because of tyrannical attitudes of many of these federal law enforcement agents, they are no longer trusted by many citizens. Yep, that’s a pretty gutsy bill.

Toward the end of the meeting, LaMalfa said he has a deep love for what is right and what is good. That is what he works to achieve. He worries about the coarseness of language and rough protests creating a degradation of our society. He gives a significant amount of short speeches during the Thursday morning open mic on the House Floor working to educate his fellow law makers on the issues plaguing rural Californians.

Next week, I’ll share info from the rest of the Protect Our Water meeting.

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

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Liz Writes Life 3-22-16

March 22, 2016

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Hooray to the Siskiyou County Veterans Leadership Council for sponsoring the “Welcome Home” Vietnam Veterans event last Saturday in Yreka! Tim Grenvik, recently retired Siskiyou Co. Veterans Service Officer, reported that more than 200 barbecue lunches were served to the participants and families. This was the third year for the event with speeches and presentations. A big “thank you” to our Vietnam vets for attending and allowing us honor you for your service.

Protect Our Water

For those that want to know what is going on in Washington D.C. and the “secret” group trying to take out the Klamath dams, please attend the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting this Thursday, March 24, 2016. It is held at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Congressman Doug LaMalfa is our featured speaker, along with Siskiyou Co. Dist. 5 Supervisor Ray Haupt and Mark Baird, State of Jefferson spokesman. Should be lots of good info.

Dance

Time to dance to live music of The ‘B’ Side this Friday, March 25, 2016 from 8 to 11 p.m. at The REC in Fort Jones. Start socializing early with beer and pizza at 5 p.m. $10 at the door.

Drought

The Yreka Tea Party Patriots will hold an interesting meeting tonight as there will be a video on why rain won’t fix California’s water crisis. I’ve seen quite a few headlines from newspapers south of us stating the drought is a government-made drought – because California won’t build more reservoirs to store rain and snow melt. Time is 6:30 p.m. at the Covenant Chapel Church, 200 Greenhorn Rd. in Yreka.

Garden

Rain and warm weather are working magic – the peas are popping up. February was so warm that we decided to plant peas a month early. I think it was around Feb. 18th  that we planted sugar snap and snow peas. The lettuce I planted and covered with a plastic tub are not doing as well. The last time I checked, there were weeds growing and no sign of lettuces. I’ve had good luck planting them this way in past years. Don’t know what’s wrong as the ground was plenty damp. Guess I’ll have to plant another batch.

Decided to get some cabbage plants and start acclimating them. Accidently left the six-pack outside Saturday night, but the rain was probably really good for them and it didn’t freeze.

Secret meeting

Leaders from Siskiyou County attended and spoke at the amended Klamath Hydro-electric Settlement Agreement meeting last Wednesday, March 16, 2016 in Sacramento. This is the group that was meeting in secret, until Congressman LaMalfa and his staff exposed the pro-Klamath dam removal organization. I want to thank our county supervisors Grace Bennett and Ray Haupt for attending and speaking, in support of our dams, and our other grassroots leaders. I received several reports from the meeting and the discussions afterwards. This pro-dam removal group of about 45 people (many are lawyers) include “officials” in federal and state agencies. The lead attorney for PacifiCorp is more than willing to sell the four Klamath dams to a “shell” entity.

The same arguments for and against dam removal continue. But, here are two questions? What is the real reason for demolishing the dams? Yes, water allocations need to be decided, but these four dams really do not affect ranchers in the Upper Klamath Basin or the 1,200 farmers in the federal Klamath Project. Helping salmon populations is a ruse. Who will benefit the most if the dams come out?

Bundy

Last week, a U.S. Magistrate Judge denied bail to Cliven Bundy, 69, who was arrested at a Portland airport in late January. Bundy’s charges of federal conspiracy and (alleged) assault stem from his armed standoff against BLM and other federal agents in April of 2014 at his Nevada ranch.

It is odd that the feds failed to arrest Cliven during the following two years. Why wait until now? He had flown to Portland soon after his sons were arrested in Eastern Oregon and his friend, LaVoy Finicum, was shot and killed by federal or United Nations law enforcement.

Cliven declined to enter a plea to the 2014 charges, so the judge entered a not-guilty plea for the defendant. Cliven’s defense lawyer says that Cliven is being held illegally for challenging authority and is a political prisoner in the United States. A court date was set for May 2nd, but is likely to be pushed back due to complications with other indictments of individuals involved with the April 2014 and January 2016 Bundy situations.

There are at least two dozen other co-defendants that have been arrested in Oregon, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma and New Hampshire by the federal government, who are allegedly involved with Bundy and other BLM situations. Looks like the right to a speedy trial is off the table.

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

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