Liz Writes Life 11-29-17

Nov. 28, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Sure do hope your Thanksgiving Day was full of thankfulness! Studies show it helps our attitude to always look for the good; and to truly count our blessings. So, let’s do more counting!


My flat-head cabbages made it through those cold, frosty mornings several weeks ago. I decided to make stir-fry, so I cut-off one and sliced about a third of it up. It is a bit peppery to me, but was crisp and quite good. There are several large ones left, so I will report how well they are doing in a month or so.


Last week, I stopped by to see Tim and Lynn Grenvik’s new small greenhouse. Their goal is to grow a few vegetables through the winter. After some freezing mornings, Tim found cracks that needed to be sealed up. He did a good job as it was over 110 degrees in the greenhouse at mid-day last Tuesday. Wow! It was an extra warm 66-degree day, but that is hot.

He had moved the five-inch tall cucumber outside to cool-off along with inch-high radishes and tiny green onions. Tim and Lynn had started several tomato plants in their house from seed and transplanted them into giant pots out in the greenhouse, but some sort of bug was giving Tim fits as it had eaten several of the four-inch tall plants. Anyone have any idea what it would be this time of year?

Tim used rain gutters to plant the radishes and onions back on Nov. 11th. I think he also has lettuce planted in another new rain gutter. Neat idea! I’ll keep track of Grenviks’ greenhouse gardening for you.

Water Tour

With continuing problems from several state agencies, our Siskiyou Co. Board of Supervisors decided to hold a Water Tour, in October, to showcase the work and innovation of Siskiyou farmers and ranchers. Elizabeth Nielsen, our Siskiyou Co. Natural Resource Specialist, went to work inviting elected-officials as well as high-ranking agency leaders and organizing the tour stops. Surprisingly, state agency people responded including a State Water Board member, another from the Dept. of Water Resources and a member from the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. Unfortunately, Chuck Bonham, the director of CA. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, said he could not attend.

Board Chairman Michael Kobseff and Vice-Chair Ray Haupt served as tour guides. Ray told us at the last Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting that our supervisors are fed-up with delays on state permits that farmers need to do enhancement projects.

As I explain the tour, I will be adding my own observations. No one told me this, but it looks to me like the CDFW is the biggest culprit in stalling and not providing timely permits for legitimate projects. It is terrible that this state agency continues to act so anti-agriculture. Remember, coho salmon is the only fish listed with the CA. Endangered Species Act and as such are the only ones with regulation policies.

The first stop was at the fish-screen and headgate of the Farmers Ditch in Scott Valley. Farmers have had multiple complaints with CDFW policy and faulty engineering projects. A 2016 “fix” of the headgates blew-out in last February’s high-water; and currently, the newest project demanded by CDFW has created a fish-passage barrier in the Scott River. Oops, that is against ESA policy – the state’s own regulations!

Also, several years ago, CDFW demanded a coho rearing-pond be built next to the headgates, but there was not enough tree shade to cool the pond so the water temperature was too warm. And then, a winter high-water took the pond out. Another oops and unneeded cost of funds. The Farmers Ditch inflow needs to be fixed and CDFW continues to thwart the process.

Then they went the Bryan-Morris Ranch on Eastside Road, where an early-spring irrigation recharge project was showing a positive effect on Scott River. But, last spring, CDFW received a complaint from a Greenie and would not give the permit for the project. Ray said the state agency folks were shocked the project was stopped.

The group also saw where Brandon Fawaz had tried and was initially not given a permit to fix the swiftly-eroding Moffett Creek bank last February. Then with the help from the county, Brandon received a verbal “OK” from CDFW Regional Supervisor Neil Manji, in Redding, to do the work, yet continued to be intimidated by local game wardens. CDFW knows there are no coho in Moffett Creek, so what’s the big deal?

The group did see several ranches with positive projects and little agency harassment.

Lastly, The Nature Conservancy (Buske Ranch) was viewed in Shasta Valley. Through demands by CDFW, more than 800 acres of wetlands have been dried-up as the water used for irrigation no longer creates wetland habitat, but instead flows into the Shasta River for coho salmon. The county is concerned TNC and CDFW have not obtained the legal permits to dry-up the wetlands; and two more reservoirs. The county has not been notified that TNC and CDFW have completed CEQA, California Environmental Quality Act process. Also, the county has not received proof of the needed permits from the Army Corp of Engineers.

Ray said the state-level officials were impressed with the innovative projects and science that landowners are “voluntarily” utilizing. Unfortunately, those officials have been fed blatant misinformation about agriculture in Siskiyou Co. In other words, what they have been told about Siskiyou ranchers and farmers is not what they saw on the ground. The Water Tour was a great success!


Remember the meeting day has been changed, this month, for the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting. It is Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Please bring a holiday dessert to share as we eat before, during and after.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her website Liz or call her at 530-467-3515.

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