Sep 2, 2010
The Siskiyou Resource Conservation District (RCD) held
its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010 at
the Etna City Council Chambers.
A contingent of five
individuals affiliated with Scott Valley POW attended the
meeting with two speaking: Coordinator Liz Bowen and Vice
President Mark Baird.
The reason for attending was to quiet some of the gossip
and heated frustrations held by various individuals on both
sides of the agricultural-water issue. During the past two
weeks, the division between neighbors and friends has grown.
Bowen asked the RCD to stop
its pursuit of the intrusive Umbrella Permit it has
developed in order to restore PEACE to the valley.
Discussion was cordial with
RCD President Bill Krum making a variety of explanations and
a few disagreements.
At the end of the discussion, the RCD believes it must
continue on its path, but realizes that no one knows what
the final result will be next spring — before irrigation
season begins once again.
THE ISSUE: Whether or not
landowners should sign with the RCD and its umbrella Permit
under the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG).
This Permit was initially
designed to be a less expensive alternative to the DFG’s
Permit. Yet, fees for this Permit seem to be growing and
are open-ended each year.
Many have signed a Notice of Intent (NOI) and paid the
RCD $100 seeking protection from environmental regulations
regarding the use of their legal Water Right allotment.
Some have not signed the
Notice of Intent and have received threatening letters from
the DFG explaining possible huge fines and even jail time,
if prosecuted and convicted, if they do not agree to this
The Permit is a newly re-written project regarding two
separate codes within the DFG. The latter group are standing
on their Constitutional rights and believe the proposed
Permits and regulations are not Constitutional.
But because of the heated
discussions and threats the week preceding the RESTORE
HONOR WATER RALLY held Sat. Aug. 28, Bowen and Baird
believed it was time to discuss the division that has
The following is Liz Bowen’s discussion within the
5-minute time allotted by the RCD. Baird’s discussion will
be posted in the near future.
Three of the five RCD
Directors were in attendance: President Bill Krum, Dave
Black and John Spencer. Krum explained to Bowen that the
$600,000 grant from the DFG that she claimed was given to
the RCD seven years ago is an incorrect amount.
Because Bowen was attending many meetings as an ag. news
reporter from 1996 to 2006, she still believes the RCD
received a significant amount of funds from the DFG to begin
to develop the Umbrella Permit, but does not know the
From Liz Bowen:
Back in 2002 and 2003, the
coho salmon was listed with the California Endangered
Species Act and a Recovery Strategy Plan was developed under
It was suggested to create
an UMBRELLA PERMIT that could protect the irrigation
The DFG tried to get the
RCD to write this Permit, but the RCD did NOT want to become
a policing agency over the agricultural landowners.
DFG went to the Siskiyou
County Board of Supervisors, but they refused to allow the
county to do it. So DFG returned to the RCD and applied
An incentive of a grant was
received from the DFG to begin a first year for the staff to
develop the Umbrella Permit.
The DFG has threatened,
coerced and argued with the RCD staff and directors over
many aspects of the Permit.
The RCD has worked long and
hard trying to develop a Permit the DFG will agree to and
the landowners can live with.
But still through the
Permit, the RCD has become a policing agency (this Krum and
staff disagree with).
Our fears came true.
Back in 2002 and 2003, it
was discussed that the development of this UMBRELLA Permit
could cause a great divide between the ranchers and farmers.
Pit neighbors and friends against friends and neighbors.
Because of actions taken
during the last 2 weeks, this fear has also come true.
In the name of PEACE, I
have come here today to ask you to STOP pushing this
Tell the DFG you will not
police, threaten and coerce your neighbors and frineds.
(Krum and staff also
disagree they have threatened or coerced diverters, but we
have had individuals tell us differently.
The DFG has threatened and
coerced through letters, officials and Game Wardens, so the
RCD is being lumped into the same barrel as the DFG.)
Dump it back in their laps.
This Umbrella Permit is –
* Destructive to Water
* It will be destructive to
* It will
This is NOT acceptable. We
must say “NO”.
I realize that funding
continues to flow into the RCD to pay employees, who work on
this Permit. It will cost you.
The RCD has done many good
projects over the years.
This is NOT one of them.
To bring PEACE to our
valley, the RCD Umbrella Permit must STOP.
Be sure to check the Page tabs
at the top for new information.
Next Scott Valley POW meeting is Sept. 15, 2010.
Masonic Hall on Etna’s Main