March 14, 2017
Liz Writes Life
Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA
During the last two weeks, I have mentioned that Western Rivers Conservancy is considering purchasing the Timbervest properties on the west and south edges of Scott Valley. I learned from Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, and then Peter Colby, who is the spokesman for the conservancy, that the only properties the conservancy is interested in are at the south end of Scott Valley. They are specifically the Bouvier property located in the South Fork of the Scott River–Cecilville Road area and an eastern piece on Scott Mountain.
I had forgotten that Timbervest is willing to sell parcels of land. Apparently, it isn’t an all-in-one-lump land sale. I believe a few properties have been purchased in the northern end of the valley — not by a conservancy. Ray said that no bidders were successful in the first go-round in the area below Big Meadows. I am sorry for any confusion.
Last week, we decided to pull-up the five onions and found they were bunching onions. These must have grown from seed that I planted last year. They made it through the cold winter without having extra mulch put on them for protection. So that is good to know. Jack decided to dig up the last three feet of carrots. About half of them were in good shape, so he washed them up and brought them in the house. Some were too large and pithy, so he chopped those up with the shovel and left them for mulch.
The daffys are starting to bloom and actually needed a sip of water yesterday, because of our warm weather. I also gave some water to the violets and blue and pink lungwort that is starting to bloom.
Still didn’t get the lettuces or spinach planted. Maybe this week!
The U.S. Forest Service employees conducted the March 1st snowpack survey and found the snow was well above average in the mountains to the south and west of Scott Valley. More good news is that the snowpack is even denser than it was Feb. 1st.
I’ll mention the highest ones: Middle Boulder 3, established in 1948 at the 6,200 foot elevation, saw 84.5 inches of snow with an average of 60 inches making an historic average of 141 percent.
Boasting the highest percentage at 148 of historic average was Scott Mt. at 75.5 inches, where the average is 51.1 inches at the 5,900 foot elevation.
Swampy John, above Etna on Salmon Mt., is holding well at 126 percent of historical average with 89.5 inches over the average of 71 inches.
At the state level, California snow surveyors in the Sierra Nevada say the snowpack is close to setting records. Snow measured extremely high at 185 percent of the historical average. Hum, hopefully Gov. Jerry Brown will declare the five-year drought is over!
Ray Haupt, and Lisa Nixon, Dist. 1 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, recently attended a meeting with a number of other rural county supervisors as part of the Sustainable Forest Action Coalition. The coalition is impressive as it is focusing on social-economic problems (and solutions) caused by the loss of our major rural resource industry – timber harvest. The website is worth checking out: sfacoaliton.com.
I know Ray is a huge supporter of active forest management to improve forest health, so I asked Lisa what she thought of the meeting. She said the group is currently assembling data relating to the socio-economic effects of forest management plans and projects; and vigorously advocating the development and implementation of forest management work.
Lisa said the data on forest-dependent communities is staggering. Rural livelihoods that relied on timber harvest were demolished. She also mentioned that recreation and eco-tourism has not even begun to fill the economic void. I agree as I heard this mantra throughout the 1990s and it never materialized. I also agree with Lisa that “humankind is, after all, part of the food chain, and I believe we are at the top. We deserve at least some consideration.” Way to go, Lisa!
Sounds like involvement in this coalition is a really good thing. Thank you Lisa and Ray for advocating for socio-economic justice for rural communities.
Elizabeth Nielsen, Siskiyou Co. Natural Resources Specialist, will be speaking at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting on Thurs., March 23, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Elizabeth is up-to-her-neck in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, called SGMA, that was signed into CA. law in 2014. It requires groundwater resources to be managed by local agencies throughout California. The local agencies are to develop and implement Groundwater Sustainability Plans by 2022, but the first deadline for a study plan is June of this year. Yep, Elizabeth is hustling.
She told me there are four groundwater basins in Siskiyou County that are subject to SGMA, the Shasta, Scott and Butte Valley Basins, and the Tule Lake Subbasin. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors and Flood Control District have taken active roles to meet the requirements of SGMA and ensure that these four groundwater basins are managed on a local level with input and support from the citizens of Siskiyou County, who depend on this vital resource.
To really get a good understanding of SGMA and how it will affect you, please attend the Protect Our Water meeting. Ray will be there to answer SGMA questions and will also discuss the Scott Valley Plan pertaining to JH Guest Ranch expansion and the Timbervest and (possible) conservancy purchase.
Guess what? Five FBI agents are being investigated for lying and covering-up about the LaVoy Finicum shooting. There were additional bullets fired that were not included in the original reported count. Oops! The saga continues.
The Iditarod Sled Dog Race is underway. Check it out at: Alaska Dispatch News.com or Pie N Politics.com
Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou Co. and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515.
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