Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
question is: How many Green enviro nonprofits are
out there that are violating their Article of
Incorporation? This is the first of three
articles that ran in the Pioneer Press
weekly newspaper on April 14, 2004 about Felice Pace
and the Klamath Forest Alliance. By Liz Bowen,
Pioneer Press, Fort Jones, California
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Vol. 32 , No. 22
KFA violates rules
Has Felice Pace influenced legislation during the last 15 years?
By Liz Bowen, Assistant Editor
SISKIYOU COUNTY – It appears that the many demands and lawsuits brought by the Klamath Forest Alliance, also known as KFA, has violated the nonprofit’s own Articles of Incorporation.
It all comes down to the definition of "influence."
In Funk and Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary, this definition of "influence" is given:
"The power of persons or things to produce effects on others, esp. (especially) by indirect means."
If the Klamath Forest Alliance and its officers or employees have ever testified to governing bodies, used activist propaganda, or brought "notice of intent to sue" and resulting lawsuits against a government agency regarding legislation, then KFA likely violated its Articles of Incorporation.
How long can a corporation do illegal activities before authorities will intervene?
This is a question now being posed to the current California Secretary of State, Kevin Shelley, by the Pioneer Press.
The Articles of Incorporation are a legal document filed in the California Secretary of State office.
The most recent filing by KFA was granted Nov. 25, 2003 by Secretary Shelley.
Donna Brucker, wife of Peter Brucker, is listed as the filing officer with a 610 Godfrey Road, Forks of Salmon, California, 96031 address; which is the address of KFA as well. The chief executive officer is listed as Ben Riggan, P.O. Box 222, Orleans, California, 95556, and Michael O’Hare, P.O. Box 6, Forks of Salmon is the chief financial officer.
KFA filed its original Articles of Incorporation on July 1, 1989 as "A California Public Benefit Corporation."
Seven individuals signed as directors. They were: Barbara Short, of Somes Bar; Felice Pace, of Hurds Gulch Road, Fort Jones; Peter Brucker, Forks of Salmon; Susan Terence, Forks of Salmon; David Jacques, Forks of Salmon; Tim McKay, of Arcata; and Chris Adams, Somes Bar.
On Nov. 3, 1989, California Secretary of State, March Fong Eu, granted KFA its tax-exempt status as a nonprofit corporation.
The rub comes on the first page of the Articles of Incorporation in section FOUR (c), where it states:
"No substantial part of the activities of this corporation shall consist of carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation … ."
State-elected officials are taking notice.
"If Pace has lobbied the State of California or its representatives … on environmental issues, he appears to be in clear violation," said David Reade, chief of staff for California Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa.
For nearly a decade, Pace was not only a director, but employed as the executive director of KFA. Reducing the harvesting of timber on private, state and federal lands were his initial thrusts. There have been lawsuits against the U.S. Forest Service regarding timber harvests, roadless or decommission of roads; including testimony to congress.
A few years ago, Pace expanded his focus and became KFA Conservation Director bringing lawsuits regarding water use and water rights in the Klamath River watershed and private landowners in Siskiyou County of California.
To be specific, witnesses have seen and heard Pace and another KFA Executive Director, Carol Wright, when they have appeared at California Board of Forestry and other state meetings. The State Department of Water Resources and California Water Quality Control Board officials have heard regularly from KFA regarding water issues and the Clean Water Act.
KFA has claimed it was a major proponent of the listing of coho salmon to the Endangered Species Acts and has actively complained and threatened lawsuits to the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG); and the state Fish and Game Commission, which governs the DFG; and the federal National Marine Fisheries Service, now calling itself NOAA Fisheries; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and the federal Bureau of Reclamation, Klamath Project.
During the 1990s, Pace watchdogged the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors and commented at meetings. He sent a letter of complaint to the county in 1998, when he was not appointed as a director to the Siskiyou Resource Conservation District. He stated that the district (which is an arm of the county government) was not in "compliance with the state legislated program." Pace also referred to other appointments of directors to the district as "illegal."
In "KFA NEWS ALERT" newsletters, Pace has boasted of successes in legislation and in litigation. He has also bemoaned a few losses. Pace consistently asked his "activists" to write to elected and appointed government officials regarding the issues that KFA was promoting.
In the "KFA Board of Directors Meeting-Minutes" dated June 27, 2001 at the Etna Office, the board approved "litigation should it become necessary" for:
1- Upper Klamath Basin: Water for Bald Eagles in Wildlife Refuges;
2- Big Bar Fire Salvage: Temporary restraining Order for "Fuel Reduction for Community Protection."
In short, through the threat of lawsuits, public testimony and documented angry outbursts by Pace in public meetings, KFA has attempted to influence private landowners, watershed groups, county departments, Resource Conservation Districts, irrigation districts, Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors, state departments and officials, and federally-elected officials and agencies.
KFA and Pace’s actions ooze with influence and propaganda involving environmental issues, according to KFA’s own newsletters.
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