Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Supervisors refer CDFG to DA’s office
by John Bowman, Siskiyou Daily News December 14, 2012
YREKA – While representatives of the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) were across town Tuesday carrying out the early stages of planning for their flow studies on the Shasta and Scott rivers, the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors were passing a motion to refer the agency to the district attorney’s office for criminal review.
Newly appointed County Counsel Brian Morris said the board had received a request from the public to consider treating CDFG’s intention to develop minimum flow recommendations for the two rivers as a criminal act and a potential violation of federal law as “a conspiracy against rights.”
“The board does not have authority to initiate a criminal prosecution. That is within the discretion of the District Attorney and the United States Attorney for purposes of federal law,” Morris told the board.
Outgoing Dist. 1 Supervisor Jim Cook said, “I’m a biologist ... I just didn’t spend enough time in law school to know whether this is valid or not. But what I would like to do is ask my fellow board members to refer this item to the district attorney for criminal review and let him make those decisions.”
Cook said if CDFG is found to be in violation of state or federal law, the board should support criminal prosecution of the agency.
Cook made the motion to refer the matter to the district attorney’s office. Dist. 3 Supervisor Michael Kobseff offered a second and the vote passed unanimously.
Several county residents offered comments in opposition to the CDFG flow study, repeating the allegations of scientific misconduct they had voiced early in the day at the agency’s workshop at the Holiday Inn Express.
Richard Marshall, president of the Siskiyou County Water Users Association, in his comments, suggested the board demand that CDFG and other natural resource agencies engage in formal coordination proceedings for activities that influence local property rights.
“Perhaps an ordinance would be one way to do it,” Marshall said, suggesting that “Those agencies that have not met with and gotten approval from the board of supervisors should be escorted out of town, so to speak, by the sheriff’s office for this activity.”
Dist. 5 Supervisor Marcia Armstrong told CDFG’s Mark Wheetley – who attended the meeting to provide an update on the flow study planning process – that she believes the county has superior jurisdiction over local water resources.
She explained that when the county asks for “coordination” with CDFG, that means a formal government-to-government meeting where the county and state agencies make decisions jointly.
Armstrong also alleged that the agency’s approach of involving non-landowner stakeholders in a decision process that affects private property rights does not satisfy legal due process requirements.
“This isn’t the forest service where you are dealing with public lands. This is people’s property so due-process has to be very carefully protected here and I don’t see that coming forward in the process that you’ve been going through,” said Armstrong.
She made a motion to send a letter to CDFG formally requesting coordination between the two entities on the flow study. Kobseff offered a second to the motion, which passed by a unanimous vote.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
Page Updated: Monday December 17, 2012 11:40 PM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2001 - 2012, All Rights Reserved