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The Pioneer Press, at the very top of the State of California, grants permission for this article to be copied and forwarded.

Pioneer Press, Fort Jones, California
June 8, 2005
Vol. 32, No. 33  Page 1, column 1

State agency will address “problems” on Scott and Shasta Rivers

-- Public, landowners, county and water management officials should attend.

By Liz Bowen, assistant editor, Pioneer Press, Fort Jones, California

YREKA, Calif. – Too warm of temperatures in the Scott and Shasta Rivers are considered an impairment by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board of the North Coast Region. Additionally the state agency claims there are excessive amounts of sediment in the Scott River and too much low-dissolved oxygen concentrations in the Shasta River.

So, it has been deemed by the Regional Control Board officials that the water quality in the two rivers should be fixed.

A public workshop will be held by the Control Board on June 28 at the Miner’s Inn at 6 p.m. in Yreka.

This will also be a public scooping meeting for developing a CEQA for the California Environmental Quality Act.

Officials from the Control Board have met for several years in both watersheds regarding the development of Total Maximum Daily Loads, called TMDLs, with other agency officials and landowners.

The TMDL is what will be the maximum of impairment that will be allowed in the rivers. Action Plans are being developed to reduce the impairments of sediment, oxygen problems and cool the rivers’ temperatures.

The Action Plans is expected to create regulations and standards pertaining to agricultural practices.

Rancher John Menke has been attending the meetings and is concerned by the lack of expertise by state officials, who are making statements to create regulations. Menke commented at a recent meeting that agency personnel were saying that 125-feet tall cottonwood trees should line the entire Scott River – both banks. Without a forestry degree or local environmental knowledge, agency officials do not realize the impossibility of the proposed regulation. Menke was able to talk the officials down to 90-feet tall trees, but landowners along the Scott River know that high waters will take out large or small trees – no matter what the government decrees.

State officials claim the impairments are impacting several “beneficial uses,” including those related to the cold-water salmon and steelhead fishery.

The purpose of the TMDLs is to establish loading capacities in order to attain and maintain water quality standards.

The proposed Basin Plan amendments will describe the Regional Water Board’s approach toward reducing pollutant discharges and meeting or maintaining water quality standards.

Members of the public and interested parties will be provided the opportunity to present oral and or written comments during the June 28 meeting. All comments will be included in the final administrative record.

For more information on the Scott River TMDL contact Bryan McFadin at 707-576-2751 and on the Shasta River call Matt St. John at 707-570-3762.





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