Liz Writes Life 6-30-15

June 30, 3015
Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Congressman Doug LaMalfa is holding a Town Hall meeting tomorrow evening in Weed at 6 p.m. It will be held at the City Hall at 500 Main Street. He toured the terrible Boles Fire last September and likely hopes to see the rebuilding that is going on and address the fire and other issues plaguing the North State. Congressman LaMalfa works hard to stay in contact with the many constituents and communities in his district. Please attend, if possible.
Garden
I pulled the rest of the garlic and laid it under the pine tree to dry with the first batch. The oregano was ready to harvest and I did so in three different batches putting each batch of fresh oregano on stems in a pillow case, which was then put to dry in the back seat of my car and even rolled down the windows part way to let some of the heat out. They dried in about three days.
My husband picked the nice cauliflower and boy was it tasty, especially after smothering it with a mayo-mustard cheddar cheese sauce! The lettuce is getting tough, but is still surviving this heat. And the corn, well the old-timers said that corn should be knee-high by the Fourth of July, and ours is past my rear-end – no short-people comments! Yep, this warm spring and now very hot summer is making the garden grow.
Two friends bragged about having ripe tomatoes for nearly a month. Roy Hammer uses a green house and Vonita Bishop said she put her tomatoes in at least a month sooner than normal and uses the wall-o-waters to protect them from cold nights. I have not had good luck with the wall-o-waters, but really should try using them again.
Roy mentioned that the Fort Jones Farmer’s Market will open on July 7th at the Babe Ruth Baseball Field. Be there on time at 5:30 p.m. to get first pick.
POW
The Etna Farmer’s Market was in full-swing at Dotty’s last Thursday night, when I drove by on my way to the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting. Yep, it was hot, but there were checking it out.
We had a good turnout at our POW meeting including field reps from Assemblyman Brian Dahle’s office, Bruce Ross; and Erin Ryan from Congressman LaMalfa. Our Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor Ray Haupt also spoke and the Chairman of the Klamath County Commissioners, Tom Mallams, even drove over three hours to attend and speak about the drastic water issues affecting farmers in the Klamath Project and the Upper Klamath ranchers.
President Mike Adams said the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (also known as DFG) appealed San Bernardino Judge Ochoa’s decision that allowed suction dredge miners back into the river and won. So DFG is not backing down and has actually cited a number of the small dredge miners here in Siskiyou County.
Mark Baird explained the June 10th support (and situation) that helped several Scott Valley ranchers move some river gravel to protect their legal property right of water flowing into the Farmer’s Ditch. The diversion point on Scott River was destroyed in the January high-water and the ranchers had been trying for months to obtain a 1600 permit that would have allowed them to get in the river and fix their ditch and diversion point. The CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (DFG) has drug its feet and not issued the permit within its own allotted time schedule. This is what many state and federal agencies are doing. Remember that justice delayed is justice denied.
Currently, meetings are being held on the situation. Siskiyou Co. Sheriff Jon Lopey told me that he went out last week to actually see the small amount of work was done to obtain the legal water. I sure hope this can be settled in an affable manner.
Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams said the water issues in the Klamath Project and Upper Klamath area are extremely contentious and have divided communities and friends. There has been significant amount of threats leading to the equivalent of blackmail to get ranchers and farmers to agree to the KBRA (Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement) and two other agreements — with the promise of water. Now those promises are being broken as more and more water curtailments are occurring. Mallams said that notices just went out from the State of Oregon demanding 44 agricultural wells in the Upper Klamath be shut off by the property owners. One of those notices is for his well and he said that he will not comply. I know Tom, personally, and will keep you all updated on this situation.
This POW meeting went for three hours, our longest yet, so I will share more info from it in next week’s column. Stay tuned.
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 6-25-15

June 23, 2015
Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, Siskiyou, California

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will meet this Thursday, June 25, 2015 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. There will be updates on water issues, both local and statewide, according to President Mike Adams. Mark Baird will discuss senior and junior water rights. Siskiyou County Supervisor Ray Haupt will explain how the spotted owl listing to the Endangered Species Act (nearly 30 years ago) has devastated Siskiyou communities and economies. Erin Ryan, from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office, will also share new information. Bring a dessert as we eat before, during and after.
The REC
On Friday night, June 26th, two bands will rock The REC from 8 to 11 p.m. The “B” Side will open for Stonewash and dancin’ will be expected. The REC is located at 11236 on N. Hwy 3 in Fort Jones. Admission is $10 per person and the doors open for socializing at 5 p.m.
Garden
Yep, my husband picked three zucchini Friday and I made a stovetop casserole. It needed fresh tomatoes and, of course, we didn’t have any. So I used a half-pint of Italian tomatoes that I canned in 2013. I fried chopped onion and sliced zucchini in organic canola oil added dried basil, parsley and oregano, then the herbed tomatoes and sliced Monterey Jack cheese on top. Put the lid on to let it melt together and served it with barbecue steak along with the last of my homemade sourdough bread that I toasted with butter and garlic salt.
The green beans are coming up. So I think I have found my problem – I’ve been planting them too deep. One plant did get the tops eaten off by something, but the others are strong and sturdy. At least four cantaloupes are up from the last planting, whew, the one plant that came up last month just won’t produce enough for us. Jack also picked a broccoli. The last cauliflower looks really good and will need to be picked soon too.
Pulled half the garlic and laid them out to dry under the pine tree. Some are nice size. I was hoping the 20 plants that I left in the ground would grow a bit more, but the tops are starting to turn yellow, so I think they are done growing and should pull them.
Two friends reported to me on their garden. Candy Cook-Slette grinned while telling me about the big cucumbers that she has been picking and Ann Ohlund touted eating a ripe Sweet 100 Cherry tomato — and I drooled. They admitted starting their plants in greenhouses several months ago, but it goes to show that we can produce fresh vegetables for a longer than just a Scott Valley summer season.
Got to say that my poor old mostly-ignored rose bushes are spouting gorgeous red and orange blooms. I’ve been irrigating my now wild and very natural flower garden and it is nice to have the color of orange day lilies, bright pink lamb’s ears, daisy-like fever few the early Shasta Daisies.
Saw mill
I am really excited about Fruit Growers Supply Company and the saw mill they are building on the outskirts of Yreka. This week, I was able to speak with John Ernst, the mill manager, and learned there are over 50 contractors helping to build the mill plus 24 employees hired through employment services or Fruit Growers.
John said they are gearing up for a slow and safe start of the mill in August and estimates there will be 44 full-time employees. The mill is a full-service operation with logs coming in and lumber going out.
John said that Fruit Growers recently did a study and found what is called “waste wood” could be utilized and processed into smaller-size lumber for pallets. This waste wood includes small diameter trees from their plantations, thinning from harvests and fire restoration; plus the tops of harvested trees. Fruit Growers believes there will be sufficient supply to keep the mill in operation using product from its own properties and product from adjacent properties — both public and private. Fruit Growers also owns an affiliated pallet manufacturing facility in Visalia, California that will utilize pallet-sized lumber produced at the Yreka saw mill.
Folks, this is really good news and will certainly help our local economy.
Terry Salvestro, timber lands manager for Fruit Growers in Hilt, told me that Fruit Growers is shipping close to half a million board feet per day off the 2014 Beaver Fire on the Klamath River. The company was able to obtain a Cal-Fire Emergency Notice that allows salvage of substantially damaged timber lands, while still meeting all the state regulations protecting the environment. They began harvesting the dead and damaged trees in September 2014 as soon as it was safely possible to do so. It is so great to see the logging trucks go by my house!
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 6-16-15

June 16, 2015

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, Siskiyou, California

Two weeks ago, I was pretty frustrated. Not one of the green beans had popped up, so I carefully dug down several inches in the soil and actually found a bean. It was beginning to grow leaves and the roots were an inch long. I replanted it in hopes that there were lots more just like it about to spout up. After waiting 10 more days there were no signs of any beans coming up. So on Saturday, I planted another batch. Don’t know what the problem is, but I didn’t plant these as deep.

Could have picked the sugar peas sooner, but wasn’t paying attention. Thinned the cucumbers to 16 plants and they are really growing. My husband noticed that two zucchini set on and are growing so fast they may be ready to eat by this weekend. The garden plants really liked that hot weather last week, but I didn’t!

Thank you to Carol White for bringing me two cabbages. We have been making coleslaw and stir fry. It sure is good!

POW

Scott Valley Protect Our Water will hold its next meeting on Thursday, June 25th at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Please bring a dessert, if you can, as we eat before, during and after to keep our strength up while talking politics!

To finish up my report on last month’s POW meeting, Richard Marshall discussed how the U.S. Department of Interior seems to be tactically working to single out groups and push for support of the dreaded KBRA – the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. Part of the problem is John Bezdek, an attorney for the DOI, has been meeting with county groups and organizations trying to get them on board with the KBRA. Apparently, the Modoc County Cattlemen’s Association and the Modoc County Supervisors approved support of the KBRA, which includes the destruction of the four hydro-electric Klamath dams.

Our Siskiyou County Supervisors have not been influenced to any of Bezdek’s demands and remains a strong force against the KBRA and Klamath dam removal.

George Webb also shared about the Sugar Pine Mine and its problems with the BLM – Bureau of Land Management. George said that things are at a standstill as the situation is working through its way through BLM’s internal Administrative process. Yep, that will take forever. The miners asked for a court hearing regarding their application for the decades-old mine and BLM is continuing to stall.

Good news

Folks wanting to sell at Farmer’s Markets here in Siskiyou County got a big boost by way of a reduction of a water-testing permit fee – all due to a few people that decided to fix things.

Local vendor Michelle Rush has been stewing about the newest permit fee, since a Cottage Food Operators law was passed at the state level two years ago regarding baked and canned goods that are made at home. Each county decides on the cost of the fee and Siskiyou’s Planning Dept. set the water-testing portion of the fee at $289.

Michelle says that many vendors don’t make much of a profit as it is and the additional Operators water-testing fee kept her out of the game last year. She couldn’t afford it.

After thinking on the situation, she decided to go to our newly-elected Dist. 5 County Supervisor, Ray Haupt, with her frustration. Michelle had learned that the significant part of her higher fee was to pay for testing of her well water. Vendors who live within city limits do not have to pay for testing of the water. Supervisor Haupt felt her concern was legitimate and went to the (newly-appointed) Planning Director Greg Plucker to discuss the issue. Michelle submitted a letter with statistics and facts showing how much lower the permit fees were in surrounding counties.

Director Plucker looked into the actual costs of water testing and deemed Siskiyou’s Cottage Food Operators Permit fee could and should be lowered. It is now only $50 for the outside-city-limits well-water-testing portion of the fee. The initial Permit fee is $45.

“I can live with a $95 fee,” said an elated Michelle, who sells garden vegetables, pies, jams and jellies during the short Farmer’s Market season in Scott Valley. Michelle hopes that more growers and artisan vendors will be able to afford the lowered fee and join the Farmer’s Market that is open from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Thursday at Dotty’s in Etna.

Michelle praised both Supervisor Haupt and Director Plucker for caring enough to dig into the problem and finding a “fix” so quickly. It only took six days!

I would also like to say “thank you”. It is truly great to have people in our local government, who care and are so responsive to a citizen’s concern. Also, “thank you” Michelle for deciding to do something about the problem.

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 6-9-15

June 9, 2015
Liz Writes Life

Yippee, yahoo! Finally, we have a winner of the Triple Crown horse race with American Pharoah winning the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. I just loved how Jockey Victor Espinoza kept him checked, yet in the lead for over half the race, and then gave him the go. And boy did he go – winning by over five lengths. There is just something magical about a horse race, especially when your favorite horse wins.

Wedding

It was such fun to see and visit with Congressman Doug LaMalfa and his Field Rep. Erin Ryan at Theo Dowling and David Johnson’s wedding on Saturday in Scott Valley. Yep, Theo and Doug are good friends from the agriculture world. Theo worked for the Public Lands Council, which promotes multiple-use of federally-managed lands and was working in Washington D.C., when Doug was elected in 2012 as our CA. Dist. 1 U.S. Representative.

Friends, old and new, visited with our congressman and he took several photos of the happy couple. Doug told me that he believes our area is special. Hum, I think Siskiyou is his favorite county, but let’s keep it a secret and not brag to the other counties!

Speaking of Erin Ryan, she will be sharing information on the corruption that has been uncovered at the Oakland Office of the Veterans Administration at the Yreka Tea Party Patriots meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. The meeting is at the Covenant Chapel Church on 200 Greenhorn Road in Yreka. Erin is always full of great information and delivers with twists of humor.

Next week on June 16th at the Yreka Tea Party Patriots, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor Ray Haupt will provide an update on the spotted owl fiasco that has stopped harvest and thinning of our over-grown forests.

Speaking of Ray, he called me last week to share one of his Aunt Myrtle’s sauerkraut recipes. He said to take a Dutch oven and simply smother a pork roast with sauerkraut then bake for five hours. I think he was bragging a bit on his German ancestry. I have German ancestry too, but I don’t have an Aunt Myrtle’s sauerkraut recipe. Thanks for sharing, Ray.

Garden

Because it warmed up so much several weeks ago, I cut open the bottom of the peat pots, where I had started the watermelon and cantaloupe and planted them in the garden. It has been several years, since I used peat pots and I was having a hard time regulating the water to them. I am happy to say that several watermelon plants have already emerged, but not the cantaloupe.

The rhubarb has re-grown so much I am shocked – in just a week. It won’t be long until it will need harvesting again. Also can’t believe how much the potatoes, tomatoes and onions have grown; and the third crop of lettuce has caught up to the first.

I’ve got a dirty job to do this week. Yep, there are twice as many cucumber plants than I need. It is really hard to pull out the plants, when I have fretted about them for over a month. But I only want 15, so I’ll just have to get tough and do it. Ugh.

Fire tax bills

Siskiyou County finally received the newest annual installment of the Fire Prevention Fee bills of which most of us refer to as the California Fire Tax. The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc. is continuing its lawsuit against the state on this $150 fee. It is slowly moving through the courts.
So, once again, Howard Jarvis recommends that each taxpayer send in the demand for a refund – if Jarvis wins the suit. Until then, Jarvis says it is important to pay the fee, so you will not receive a fine. The refund form can be found online at: Fire Tax Protest.org. Click on the big blue button to the right that says “Complete Petition”. This will take you to another link to click to print out the one-page form.

POW

More on our May 28th Protect Our Water meeting: Andrew Hurlimann told us about the dilemma the Farmer’s Ditch legal water right users are having in getting the diversion from Scott River fixed – after the January 2015 high water took it out. Farmers have been able to get water, but the ditch diversion needs to be improved.

Andrew also shared about the Tactical Gun Owners class that he took and said it was well worth the $100 to learn how to handle several kinds of guns in various situations. Distinguished Firearms Instruction will hold two more Tactical Gun classes in late September including a Women’s Only class. Rick Deruyter, Distinguished Firearms owner and class instructor, is also holding a California Concealed Weapon’s class on June 28th. Openings are still available. Call Rick at 530-524-7594 to get signed up.

POW will hold its next meeting June 25th at the Fort Jones Community Center at 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 6-2-15

June 2, 2015
Liz Writes Life

Garden

Harvested about 20 pounds of rhubarb and gave most of it to a friend, who wanted to fill her freezer. Some folks claim that you should not cut rhubarb, but harvest it by grabbing the base of the stalk and pulling it away with a twist. I was able to do that to some stalks, but ended-up cutting quite a few. I haven’t had any problem as new stalks seem grow back just fine. Maybe, it is because our soil is so porous and it doesn’t get a chance to rot. I don’t know.

Wow, the corn started coming up in six days and there are now over 30 cucumber plants. This last-ditch effort to get more peas to grow is working as several have popped-up. The five plants that grew from the first planting in March are about to bloom. Never did get any pea plants from the April planting.

Received a phone call from Carol White, in Scott Valley, asking about my recipe for sauerkraut. Mine comes from the book “Putting Food By” and is only 6 tablespoons of salt to 10 pounds of sliced cabbage. The book says to layer it. I usually put in two-inches of sliced cabbage, then sprinkle a tablespoon of salt; tamp it down a bit with a potato masher and then do another layer. Anyway, Carol planted the cabbage plants in late winter and they are big enough to harvest and she is hungry for sauerkraut. She has made it before, but wanted to check out my recipe.

Carol also had really good luck this winter growing chard, kale and spinach. She said that she covered them every night with the white frost-protection blanket and it certainly provided significant protection.

Flag Day

Flag Day is June 14th, but the public is invited to commentate Flag Day on June 13th at the veterans section of Evergreen Cemetery in Yreka at 10 a.m. The Marine Corps League Siskiyou Detachment will conduct a brief ceremony and include a proper flag retirement. Services will be provided by the Marine Corps League, American Legion, and Veterans Commission. Any unserviceable flags can be dropped off at Yreka Ace Hardware or the Veteran Service Office at 105 E. Oberlin Rd. Yreka.

More regulations

Must say I am disgusted with the federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), which ignored bipartisan opposition and over one million public comments and finalized its rule to massively expand federal jurisdiction over water and private property. Through “The Waters of the United States” rule, navigable waters just received an outlandish new definition that can now include intermittent streams, vernal pools, irrigation ditches and ponds. (Rain puddles!)

Our Dist. 1 California Congressman Doug LaMalfa sent out a press release of his disappointment explaining that Congress never approved the rule and there is no federal law that authorized this newest EPA’s action. He advocates that federal funding should be stripped from the EPA’s proposal and the “EPA should be reminded that congress writes our nation’s laws, not unelected bureaucrats.” Hooray for our Congressman.

This change in navigable definition has been a worry for several decades. I was just as upset when Scott River received the designation of “navigable” by the federal agencies. Now we know why, because anything that is considered “navigable” can be regulated by the feds.

POW meeting

President Mike Adams explained the situation with the little suction dredge miners and the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (Game). Game Wardens are harassing dredgers that have put their equipment into the river on their legal claims and even arrested one, because he wouldn’t sign the citation. Wardens took him to the Siskiyou Co. Jail, but apparently it was full and he was released. The arrest was a misdemeanor.

The Happy Camp-based New 49ers are filing an injunction against the DFW regarding its lack of obeying San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Ochoa’s recent decision that maintains the DFW does not have jurisdiction over mining claims in federally-managed lands. Interesting turn of event that’s for sure.

Dist. 5 County Supervisor Ray Haupt spoke about the field trip he had been on most of the day. The Council of Environmental Policy from the White House was here with Forest Service officials to view the wildfire aftermath from last summer’s lightning storms. Many of us have provided public comment on the “Westside Recovery Project” asking for immediate harvesting of the timber to speed recovery. Of course, the Greenies seem to like burned trees and charred soils, so they are fighting the process that could expedite thinning and fuel-loading treatments. It was significant that the federal-level of the Council of Environmental Policy showed up to, hopefully, help with this process.

Ray also provided information on the new marijuana ordinance, the unanimous code enforcement vote by the supervisors and why the jail really is below state regulations and a new one must be built.

I’ll share more on the POW meeting next week.

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 5-26-15

May 26, 2015
Liz Writes Life

A big “thank you” goes out to the groups that held ceremonies honoring our soldiers and veterans on Memorial Day. The American Legion Perry Harris Post #260 members outdid themselves, again, as they placed over 1,000 red, white and blue USA flags on white crosses on graves throughout the valley and even over in Salmon River. Chaplin Chet McBroom told me that more than 400 were placed in the Etna Cemetery, which is where the Post also raised a veterans’ wall several years ago. Flags are placed on the graves of all U.S. military before Memorial Day and taken down the following week. That is quite a job. The cemeteries were beautiful with lots of fresh silk and real flowers placed on many graves by family and friends. . It is good to remember and appreciate our loved ones and veterans.
Garden
Tom Pease called last week to brag that he picked ripe tasty strawberries. I was surprised, cuz he lives in Siberia, oh, I mean Quartz Valley. He explained that the plants receive full sun and are planted on the south side of his garage/shop that provides lots of protection from winter weather. Tom said he does have wire mesh over them to keep the varmints and dogs out.
Our poor asparagus outside the garden hasn’t been irrigated for two years, but several plants have produced stems. I like to eat them raw. My husband experimented by putting a few on the barbecue with steak and they are really tasty. Because of the possibility of reducing our water usage and garden area, yet I really want some asparagus in the future, we planted six roots inside the garden fence last week. Yep, garden season is underway.
Last week’s rains have been a God-send. We had planted a bunch of five-year old cucumber seeds. They were still germinating well last year, but I decided to plant about 50 seeds even though I only want 15 plants for eating, dill pickles and bread n butter pickles. They started poking up Sunday night. Yay!
With such great moisture in the ground, we planted green beans, corn and peas (again) last weekend. I am starting the watermelon, cantaloupe, basil, parsley and cabbage in little peat pots. Oh, the cabbage plants that I bought are producing cauliflowers! Oops. The plants didn’t look like they had been stunted, but they are growing a cauliflower and are less than a foot tall.
So, I decided to plant several cabbages from seed. Hopefully they will still mature by October. I ran into friend Peggy Heide, who told me that she neglected to harvest her cabbage last fall, but decided to check it out during the winter months. After pulling back several ugly layers of leaves, the cabbage was just fine. Hum, I may not make much sauerkraut this year and pick the cabbage as we need it.
Forest Tour
In learning more about the possibility of establishing pre-fire-lines and wide shaded-fuel-breaks on ridge-tops as a preventive tool in stopping catastrophic wildfires, I spoke with Terry Salvestro this week. He is the timber lands manager for Fruit Growers Supply Company based in Hilt.
Terry attended the Forest Tour on May 7th hosted by private landowner Richard Hartshorn in the Horse Creek watershed. Hartshorn and other neighbors are looking to save their area from fire, which they were threatened by last summer. They believe that building a five-mile-long fire-line with a 400 to 500-foot wide shaded-fuel-break along the ridge through Klamath National Forest and the privately-held lands of Fruit Growers could just be the trick.
Terry said the Beaver Fire, last year, burned extremely hot and fast into Fruit Growers lands making it difficult for fire fighters to stop the lightning-caused fires. He agrees that pre-planning and strategies are a major key to slowing and stopping fire.
“It would be a shame if Fruit Growers and the USFS didn’t utilize Richard’s efforts,” said Terry, “because he has already provided vegetation management that is a logical tie-in.”
Terry then explained Fruit Growers plan: “After salvage is completed on the Beaver fire, Fruit Growers will re-plant all areas of the burn and manage strategic locations as shaded-fuel-breaks by increased tree spacing and managing fuels. This will allow firefighters opportunity to construct defendable fire-lines at these locations. Mechanical tree thinning will be conducted to construct similar fuel-breaks in other areas of our ownership over time as we feed our small log sawmill now under construction in Yreka. The ridge between FGS and the Hartshorn property will be a high priority.”
Water
Scott Valley Protect Our Water meets this Thursday, May 28th at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Please bring a dessert to share as we eat before, during and after.
We have another great line up of speakers including Ray Haupt, Siskiyou Co. Dist. 5 Supervisor, and newly-elected POW President Mike Adams.
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 5-19-15

May 19, 2015
Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, Siskiyou County, California

Drama! There’s been plenty of it at our house lately trying to decide if we should cover the tomato, pepper and zucchini plants. The one night we did cover, there was a pretty good frost in the morning. Whew, good decision. The next night was warmer, so we didn’t cover and at 5:30 a.m. I woke feeling like that might have been a bad decision. I looked out the window to check the roof of the little pump house and half of it had a skiff of frost. So there was the dilemma: Do I put on my jeans and coat and go out and cover? Nope, I didn’t do it and … nothing was burned. Not even the foot-tall potato plants were frost-burned. Wow. Nice.
Last week, we planted the cherry and six Ace tomato plants. They had to get tough fast, cuz we haven’t covered them at all. So what is the drama you ask? Well, it is questions like: Is it really going to rain tonight, cuz if it doesn’t and it clears off to bright stars – after a rain – it is likely to freeze or at least frost hard. Guess the smart thing to do would be to cover every night, but the plants have really enjoyed these last few days and nights of rain and drizzles. Thank you to all who have prayed for rain. It worked!
Contest
High School students in the North Siskiyou schools are invited to compete for $200 prize in an essay contest sponsored by the Siskiyou Co. Republican Women Federated. The theme is: What does the American phrase “We the people” mean? Oops, the deadline is Wed. May 20, 2015 — tomorrow. Hurry and give Kathy Bergeron a call at 842-3652 for the correct info and mailing address. Some of the best writing is written in the “last minute” crunch.
The Republican Women are also offering a $100 prize to 8th graders in the North Siskiyou schools. This topic is: What does the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States mean to you? If you know an 8th grader let them know they could win $100. Deadline is also May 20, 2015.
Forest Tour
Richard Hartshorn welcomed 30 folks to a tour of his property on May 7th. Richard and his neighbors are trying to save their Horse Creek watershed on the Klamath River from burning-up and have proposed to start at Hartshorn’s cleaned-up forest land and then build a fire-line with a 400 to 500-wide shaded fuel-break for five miles through the Klamath National Forest to the privately-owned lands of Fruit Growers.
It is like day and night to view the Hartshorn’s clean, literally, no brush with a variety of ages of trees, beautiful forest and then look across the property boundary-line to the unmanaged, Manzanita brush-filled, tree-chocked mountainside in the KNF. Hartshorn said the over-grown USFS lands are a huge threat and wants to stop potential fire-caused destruction – by pre-putting in the fire line with shaded fuel breaks.
I talked with Horse Creek resident Rudy Murieen, who believes the only way to save the watershed from fire is to build the fire lines and wide fuel-breaks along the ridge tops. Rudy also believes they must be built now, before lightning hits. Once a fire starts in the dry, brushy trees, it moves extremely fast — too fast to get ahead of the fire, he said.
Rudy is a timber faller, who has also dozed-in miles of logging roads, skid roads, fire lines and water bars and believes that the “ridge-top shaded fuel breaks” should be built throughout the KNF. He said they can also be built in such a way to greatly minimize erosion.
Another neighbor, Gary Rainy, agrees that building ridge-top fire-lines and fuel-breaks in the rugged KNF is the solution to saving Horse Creek. His nearby ranch barely escaped the 2014 Beaver Fire and he credits KNF dozer operator, Lance Tupman, for building fire-line at the right spot at the right time, which was in the middle of the night.
Gary is concerned about the effect that the environmental organizations with their lawsuits have had on the U.S. Forest Service. The agency’s hands have been tied creating the lack of real forest management. The result is thick, brushy, dry forests that will “burn to a crisp.” Gary stated, “The environmental community has protected the forest to death.”
I totally agree with Gary’s observation and the need for logical and practical, preventive fire management. It would be much better to see fire lines and shaded-fuel-breaks on the ridge tops than black tree stubs and barren, parched soils ruining swaths of forest.
Be Fire Safe
A Fire Safe meeting will be this Friday, May 22 at The Rec, also known as The Resource Center in Fort Jones. Time is 5 p.m. for a free barbecue. Speakers with info on fire danger and how to fire safe your rural home and area begin at 5:30 p.m.
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Liz Writes Life 5-12-15

May 12, 2015
Liz Writes Life

This Sunday, May 17, the Scott Valley Film Coalition will present the award-winning film set in Southern Oregon called “The Redwood Highway.” Admission is free at The Rec in Fort Jones next door to the gas station. It starts at 3 p.m. Producer Anne Lundgren and Director Gary Lundgren will be in attendance for a Q & A after the showing. Well-known actors Shirley Knight and Tom Skerrit are lead characters in the film.
Fire Season
A wildfire-preparedness meeting will be held on Friday night, May 22 at The Rec in Fort Jones. Larry Alexander said there is a free barbecue at 5 p.m. with speakers sharing information starting at 5:30 p.m.
This meeting is sponsored by the USFS Klamath National Forest Scott River Ranger District, Cal-Fire, Scott Valley Coalition of Fire Safe Councils, Scott Valley Fire Protection District, Fort Jones Volunteer Fire Dept. Etna Volunteer Fire Dept., National Institution of Elimination of Catastrophic Wildfire and Northern California Resource Center. Whew!
Larry added there will be an update on legislation relating to wildfire and a short discussion on lessons learned from the Weed Boles Fire last September. This will be a very informative meeting with a Q & A afterwards.
Veterans
Please remember to attend the 7th Annual Armed Forces Appreciation Day on Saturday, May 16 at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds in Yreka. Veterans will be honored with a free breakfast and lunch starting at 8 a.m. Food is also available for us “civilians” at a nominal fee. Historical military vehicles will be on display, along with resource and informational booths.
Ceremonies begin at noon. Tim Grenvik, Siskiyou Veterans Affairs Officer, told me that a Blackhawk helicopter will fly-in a “higher-up” to present the Purple Heart Award to a local soldier, who was injured in 2008. This is a great time to say “thank you” to all our veterans and currently-active soldiers.
Garden
Three zucchinis have popped up, but there is nothing from the second planting of peas. Darn. Two of the parsley plants that made it through the winter don’t look good at all, yet a third one is a foot-tall and really happy. Go figure? Lettuces planted in March are ready for the dinner table and the latest planted lettuces are looking great at nearly two-inches high.
We did plant the six Early Girl tomatoes and a Sun Gold Cherry. I purchased one six-pack each of Ace tomatoes and bell peppers at Terry’s Nursery and also picked up the latest “Range” magazine.
The oregano that I transplanted to inside the fence looks like it will make it. Sure hope we get more than a few sprinkles from these clouds.
POW meeting
I promised more info from the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting held April 30, so here goes.
Siskiyou Co. Dist. 5 Supervisor Ray Haupt reminded us that the county is still fighting the lawsuit brought by ELF, Environmental Law Foundation, back in 2010. Unfortunately, ELF is basing its info regarding ground water in the Scott River on old information as Dr. Thomas Harter’s multi-year ground water study has not been included.
This lawsuit is about the “public trust doctrine” and claims that State Dept. of Water Resources and County of Siskiyou do not manage groundwater extractions in the Scott River — in the manner that the Greenies want. If ELF prevails, the ruling will affect the rest of the state and may actually take drinking water away so it can provide for recreational uses such as kayaking. Huh? Yep, not good.
Mike Adams discussed the lawsuit decision that was in favor of the suction dredge miners. The CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (used to be Game) people have said they will still cite suction dredgers, but local dredgers are bravely getting back to work. There has been some harassment by Wildlife Wardens and I believe there is even a case in the Siskiyou Court this week. I’ll try to find out more about that case. The miners may be hiring a lawyer to do a restraining order against DFW wardens.
Dan Deppen and Michael Stapleton shared why the Friends of French Creek are opposing the expansion of the JH Guest Ranch, explaining that the business has been out of compliance of its permitted 387 individuals that are allowed. For years, JH has ignored its permits and doubled its guest number without addressing the environmental and safety regulations. Guests being trapped by wildfire is a major concern, said Stapleton.
Rich Marshall, president of Siskiyou Water Users, explained why the Klamath Compact treaty, which was signed by President Eisenhower, should prevail over the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, which demands the destruction of four well-maintained hydro-electric dams in the Klamath River. Good info.
Next POW meeting is May 28th at the Fort Jones Community Center at 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 5-5-15

May 5, 2015
Liz Writes Life
Garden
Yep, it feels like spring, so I purchased some bell peppers and Early Girl tomatoes in six-packs. They look great having been in the greenhouse at Scott Valley Feed. Now I want to get them used to direct sunlight during the day and toughened-up from cooler nights, so they are outside. Will be checking the predicted temps each night and will cover them several mornings this week – just in case it frosts. Will likely plant them next weekend. I also purchased broccoli and cabbage, which should have been planted a month ago and didn’t get to it. But they are in the ground now.
On Saturday, my husband noticed a watermelon volunteer about an inch high, so he made a foot-wide circle around it and watered it. And then on Sunday morning, it was snap – presto – poof — gone. Stems and all. Don’t have the faintest idea what got it. Maybe this is why the watermelon and cantaloupe didn’t come up well last year. We have a watermelon plant snatcher! Guess, I’ll have to make a plan “B” for planting watermelon, especially since Ed and Harriet Quigley stopped by and gave me some “Early Yellow Moonbeam” watermelon seeds. Yum, I am drooling already.
Forest Tour
Remember the public is invited to view a healthy forest on private property this Thurs. May 7th. Richard and MaryAnn Hartshorn are hosting the Forest Tour. Meet at the mailboxes at Horse Creek on the Klamath River Highway 96. It starts at 10 a.m. For more info, call Richard at 496-3602.
Sawyers Bar
Retro the 1950s and 1960s as the Salmon River Snipers (mostly McBroom family) will play live music at the Sawyers Bar Community Center the evening of Saturday, May 9th. This is a fundraiser for the Salmon River Fire and Rescue with a barbecue starting around 6 p.m. Earlene will be at the piano and Chet on the fiddle! It will be worth the trip.
Movie
Earlier on Sat. May 9th, The REC in Fort Jones will be showing a movie matinee for kids and their parents “Penguins from Madagascar” at 10 a.m. Kids are $7 each and parents are free. Admittance includes free popcorn, snack tray and drink. The REC is next door to the gas station on Hwy 3.
Veterans
The 7th Annual Armed Forces Appreciation Day Event will be held on Saturday, May 16th at the Siskiyou Golden Fairgrounds in Yreka. The event begins at 8 a.m. with a free breakfast for veterans and their families. Lunch starts at 11 a.m. and is also free to veterans and their families. There will be resource booths, historical military vehicles and entertainment throughout the morning.
At noon, a ceremony to honor all soldiers and veterans will be held with special acknowledgement of our WWII Veterans. Naval Officer LCDR Jim Gibson, of Redding, is the guest speaker and a Purple Heart presentation is planned for an OIF Veteran, who never officially received his award.
POW meet
My goodness the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting, last week, was packed with information. Larry Alexander explained the importance of clearing weeds, brush and trees from around your home. It was a good reminder for wildfire protection. It is now after May 1 and permits from Cal-Fire are needed for any burning, but Larry suggested “not burning” because it is already so very dry as the drought in the West continues.
Tom Menne, chairman of the Scott Valley Ground Water Advisory Committee, said that Dr. Thomas Harter reported his multi-year ground water study results at their recent meeting. One item that I thought was significant is Harter’s comprehensive report shows a direct link between flood irrigation in early spring does bring up the September flows in Scott River — because flood irrigation aids the ground water supply. Over the years, I have been in many meetings and heard generational ranchers make this statement. Guess the old farmers knew their practices really were beneficial.
Tom was asked about the ever-present concern of the state possibly demanding meters be placed on wells. He said that so far meters are not being discussed and that many agencies do attend their monthly meetings. Many other states have meters on wells, but that practice has not yet been mandated in California.
Tom did let folks know that it is important to report to the Dept. of Water Resources, if you received a letter of curtailment of your second priority water right. There is a fine if you do not report. Tom doesn’t like the paperwork, but said that doing it does provide protection.
Sorry, I didn’t get everything reported from the meeting, so I will finish up next week. Andrew Hurlimann smiled at the end of the meeting and said he put in his year as president and asked for presidential nominations. Mike Adams was unanimously elected. Thank you Andrew, you were a wonderful president.
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 4-28-15

Liz Writes Life

April 28, 2015

Chet McBroom told me to let you all know that the Salmon River Snipers (mostly McBroom family) will play live music at the Sawyers Bar Community Center the evening of Saturday, May 9th. This is a fundraiser for the Salmon River Fire and Rescue with a barbecue. I am not sure on the time, so just plan on having a good time in Sawyers Bar the evening of May 9th.

Protect Our Water

It should be an informative evening this Thursday, April 30th at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting at the Fort Jones Community Center. Rich Marshall, president of the Siskiyou Water Users Assoc. will bring us up-to-date on the Klamath Compact that was signed as a treaty among the states of Oregon and California and the United States in 1957. U.S. President Eisenhower even signed it.

The Siskiyou Water Users say the Klamath Compact protects the Klamath dams from destruction as the Compact was put in place to protect water rights of both states during construction of the dams. Article 3 of the Compact clearly states that the first priority of water is for domestic use. The second priority is irrigation and the third priority is for fish and wildlife. Hum, looks like this should settle the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement’s argument for destroying four of the Klamath dams.

Siskiyou Co. Dist. 5 Supervisor Ray Haupt will speak on a number of issues and Fort Jones Mayor Tom McCulley will provide us with the info he gave Congressman Doug LaMalfa on the USFS trying to claim priority over the City of Fort Jones water right last year. POW President Andrew Hurlimann will share the situation on the Farmer’s Ditch after the high water knocked out the ditch’s diversion last January. Time is 7 p.m. Bring a dessert to share as we eat before, during and after.

Mining

Happy and courageous suction dredgers are planning to work on their mining claims this year after the San Bernardino Superior Court ruled that the State of California’s gold dredge moratorium on permitting is unconstitutional. This makes the CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife’s recent regulatory scheme unenforceable. I have heard that the CA. Fish and Wildlife is not accepting the court’s ruling and is threatening to issue citations, but so far, no active dredgers in the Klamath River have been cited and miners are already in the water and working. Hopefully, we will have more information at the Protect Our Water meeting on Thursday.

Garden

Planted zucchini last week and then it frosted pretty good the next morning. I haven’t covered the row with plastic and may use two plastic tubs if the temps turn cold. But, the weather predictors are saying it should be plenty warm this week, so I will just need to pay attention each night to decide if the zucchini should be covered.

Only planted two red potatoes after I cut one of my growing potatoes in half. Both the Russets and red potatoes had up to eight inch shoots growing – they were under the bed in the spare bedroom. Biggest reason I didn’t plant any more is because over 20 potato plants are poking up in the garden. Guess we didn’t get them dug very well last fall and winter!

Sure didn’t get many raindrops from the predicted storm last weekend. Darn it.

Rodeo

Warm temps should make for a great weekend of fun for the Dist. 1 High School Rodeo Finals and May 3rd Scott Valley Pleasure Park Rodeo at the Etna arena. The high school cowboys and cowgirls start competition on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. and continue on Saturday morning. The awards ceremony is Saturday afternoon.

Later on Saturday evening, the Pleasure Park Board is sponsoring a barbecue at Dotty’s. The Rodeo Parade is at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday in Etna and the kids events of Mutton Bustin’ and Calf Riding kick-off the 68th Annual Pleasure Park Rodeo at noon on Sunday.

The Pleasure Park Rodeo provides traditional as well as events with local flavor. The Saddle Cow Riding has been popular since the 1950s, but will have a different twist this year as all teams must dress in “costume.” An added enticement is a $100 cash prize for the best team costume. I have a feeling that family members may be working overtime to come up with fabulous costumes.
I heard that the Mutton Bustin’ for kids ages seven and under has filled up, but there were a few more openings for calf riders between the ages 8 and 12. Be sure to enjoy a long-held family tradition of Scott Valley custom and culture and attend the Pleasure Park Rodeo this Sunday.

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