Liz Writes Life 3-20-12

Published in Siskiyou Daily News

March 20, 2012

Happy first day of spring! It is hard to believe that we are half-way to the longest day of the year. Luckily, March has been providing with us some real March weather. I am so very grateful for the moisture we have recently received. Snow has graced the daffodils several times and I keep forgetting to take a photo. The peas still are not planted, but the garlic that I planted last fall is up about five inches.

My husband got tired of looking at the old corn stalks, green bean and tomato vines and pulled them out. Hum, it does make the job of getting the soil prepared look much less daunting. And those peas must get in soon.

I also need to pull the pine needles away from around the pine tree, so the columbine will thrive. Last year, I didn’t get the needles gathered and they mulched so well, few violets and columbine grew.

On my potato discussion of a poor storage situation, Gene Duerr said he has great luck just leaving them in the ground. I was short on time when he was telling me, but it sounds like he just starts mulching the potatoes with straw or hay in the fall and keeps layering it on as it gets colder. He dug out some beautiful red potatoes recently, which I was surprised held so well. But if you get 8 to 12 inches of good insulation of mulch on top of the soil, they shouldn’t freeze.

Scott Valley Protect Our Water

For supporters of Protect Our Water, there will be lots to talk about at the next meeting on Thurs. March 29 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Bring a dessert to share as we will do Pie N Politics first.

We will keep the meeting to two hours, but first on the agenda will be an update on the Klamath RiverKeepers – a Greenie group that is threatening to sue the Montague Irrigation District with the explicit goal of demolishing Dwinell Dam, which will reduce Lake Shastina to a mud hole and much irrigation lost in Shasta Valley.

There will be a Protest on April 1 against the Dept. of Fish and Game at Mark and Cyndi Baird’s ranch on Mill Ck Road out of Mugginsville in Quartz Valley. (How is that for directions?) Time is 1 p.m. DFG employees still say we need a Permit to open our headgates for our legal irrigation water and we say we don’t.

Also it looks like the Regional Water Quality Control Board and staff will extend its “waiver” for the TMDL Waste Water Discharge Permit in Scott Valley until October. But this is still a major threat to your ranch and land. The agency is claiming irrigation water as “waste” as it is “discharged” eventually into the “Waters of California,” so you must have a Permit to irrigate. Expect it to become a “Permit to Farm” as the agency admits it will demand a Ranch Management Plan in the near future.

There will also be more about the unethical California PUC surcharge on our electrical bills for dam removal. Yes, it is there. Mine was $1.05 for the month of February. Rich Marshall is working on getting this resolved.

The biggest news is the whistleblower Paul R. Houser Ph.D. who was fired from his “integrity” review of the federal Dept. of Interior’s Environmental Statements on the Klamath Dam removal. Wow, this is big as he also questioned if the legal process was being followed.

Shock! As soon as he announced he was fired for questioning the science and process, DOI Secretary Ken Salazar announced he couldn’t sign the KHSA (Klamath Hydro-electric Settlement Agreement) in March. Something he had touted he would do for several years. Sounds like he has finally been “outed.”

Interviews given by Dr. Houser have been aired by many radio stations this month. I have posted some of these and many articles about Dr. Houser on Pie N I really liked the way Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett explained it in his newsletter and can be read by checking out the category “whistleblower” on the right-hand side of the Pie N blog.

If anyone would like a copy of Whitsett’s article, give me a call at 530-467-3515 or email at lizbowen I will bring extra copies to the POW meeting.

Bright flowers of summer seem far away right now, so I posted a few on my Liz site. Also my cousin, Dona Farnam, brought by some old newspaper articles and one was by Bruce Parker, who was from an old pioneer family and owned the store that is now Scott Valley Drug in Etna. He wrote about his long buggy ride over to Yreka, when he was four years old. Check it out. I would guess these were written in the late 1970s.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives two miles from the ranch where she grew up. She writes biographies and freelances.

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