Liz Writes Life 7-18-17

July 18, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

Yep, I shouldn’t try to predict the weather. I just checked accu weather and NOAA – both show it will cool down a bit this week and heating back up to 97 or so for the weekend; then cooling down again. As long as we get some reprieve from so many hot days in a row that will be great.

Gotta admit that I am jealous. Three different people told me they are eating red tomatoes out of their garden! Ours are about a month off. Ugh! So I asked their secrets and here is what I could get out of them. One uses a small green house of plastic over a raised bed — next to a south-facing solid fence that radiates heat  –to start growing early and no over-head irrigation. Another said to back off on the watering at the right time. And the other puts them in the ground in April with a wall-o-water around them. She trims them back to just a few vines and also cuts off the tops when the vines start to get too tall.

Typically, I do this last suggestion, but had not done it, cuz it was so nice to see the tomato plants finally take off. But, I whacked off the tops to about four feet.

We did eat our first cucumber and the first crop of corn is over five feet tall.

The bright yellow yarrow and blue thistles are blooming together and a coneflower just opened up. The doe got in and ate the purple phlox that were blooming and an amaranth. So far, she hasn’t eaten the Alberta Skillen double tiger lilies that are about to bloom. Sure hope she ignores them.

Supervisors

I went to the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors meeting last week. Long day, but I liked the decisions they made. First the State Water Resources Control Board’s Vice President Steven Moore and staff, including lawyers, gave a presentation on the Water Quality Certification process the state agency must follow in order to remove the Klamath dams. It is the WQCB’s responsibility to address all environmental, economic and other impacts that would result from the destruction of the four Klamath hydro-electric dams. Under the law, the WQCB is also required to consider alternatives to dam removal, which it has not done.

First, Supervisor Chairman Michael Kobseff took the WQCB staff to task asking why the County of Siskiyou was not listed in the presentation as a coordination entity. WQCB staff admitted it was an error. He also said local landowner groups must be included and added the new draft Environmental Impact Report must be updated and include new information.

Supervisor Dist. 1 Brandon Criss asked where the needed number of salmon – currently produced by the Iron Gate Fish Hatchery — and cold water supply will be found if the dams are removed? He said ocean conditions are a major factor related to the returning number of salmon and Siskiyou cannot be blamed for problems occurring in the ocean.

Supervisor Dist. 4 Lisa Nixon said the WQCB must develop alternatives to dam removal and referred to the tremendous environmental mess that will occur if the dams are destroyed.

Supervisor Dist. 5 Ray Haupt wanted to know who will be the ultimate decision maker on dam removal. In previous meetings, including with the Shasta Nation, the WQCB insinuated it was the lead. Ray questioned their authority. He also stated that decisions were being made without the necessary analysis required under National Environmental Policy Act and a NEPA decision has not been published creating what looks like prejudice. At that point, some of the WQCB staff looked a bit uncomfortable.

Under the previous 2012 Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydro-electric Settlement Agreement, a decision had been authorized allowing for the “take” of ESA species, such as the sucker fish in Upper Klamath Lake and coho salmon in Klamath River. Ray said that entire analysis is now unusable, because the KBRA is defunct. But, it sounded like those 2012 mitigations were being forwarded into the new WQCB Water Quality Certification, which is not acceptable to the new 2017 document.

Ultimately, WQCB staff admitted NEPA will be completed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which will then publish the decision regarding dam removal.

Finally! The tightly-held secretive process is no longer a secret and the county will know who and why to sue, if NEPA is not legally followed.

Marijuana

There was discussion on the county cannabis ad-hoc committee’s report suggesting the possibility of a limited pilot program for Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation. A mother and son from the Green Box cannabis group spoke with frustration that Sheriff Jon Lopey’s dept. had raided their 198 plants just 10 days earlier. Supervisor Nixon strongly rebutted the verbal attack. She said in the ad-hoc meetings the Green Box group had held themselves as commercial industry leaders, who followed the law, but were now “openly violating the letter and spirit of the current ordinance.” Oops, guess they couldn’t wait to start a commercial grow.

Discussion quickly moved to the explosion of the Black Market pot industry within the county. Nixon mentioned stats from the State of Colorado showed that even with legal commercial grows, the Black Market industry still skyrocketed.

Sheriff Lopey said there are more than 2,000 illegal grows in the county. He does not have the resources to bust them all. Likewise, Chairman Kobseff said the county does not have the resources or staff to create an entire sub-department dedicated to administering commercial cultivation with permits, fees, fines and enforcement. The supervisors voted 4-1 not to pursue commercial cultivation.

POW

The Scott Valley Protect Our Water will meet Thursday, July 27, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N Politics.com and Liz Bowen.com or call her at 530-467-3515.

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