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Pioneer Press, Fort Jones, California

September 28, 2005 Vol 32, No. 46 Page  A1, column 2


 Scott TMDL out to public


-- Comment period begins.


By Liz Bowen, Pioneer Press Assistant Editor, Fort Jones, California


SANTA ROSA, Calif. – The employees at the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board have released the Action Plan to improve “impairments” in the Scott River. The Water Quality Control Board is an agency of the State of California, but the Action Plan is being pushed by the federal Clean Water Act.

The Action Plan addresses Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of “impairments” that will be allowed in the river. Under the Clean Water Act the Scott River was listed in 1992 as “impaired.” Currently, the Action Plan addresses problems that are related to sediment and water temperature that is considered too high.

Projects and programs that the employees of the Water Quality Control Board believe will “fix” the sediment and temperature problems are explained in the Scott River TMDL Action Plan.

But local residents and groups are questioning if the “fixes” are attainable. Are they practical?

Local rancher, John Menke, along with the Siskiyou County Farm Bureau, SOSS, Siskiyou Resource Conservation District and Scott River Watershed Council have been involved in meetings held by the Board’s staff and are monitoring potential problems that may result from permits or regulations that will be established by the Control Board.

Menke has argued with the Board’s employees over the credibility of the science they are using. He has even gone so far as to write Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and other elected officials, including deans at the University of California at Davis, where he was a professor of natural resource science for more than 20 years.

Comments will need to be written by local residents and landowners on the TMDL Action Plan. The plan was made available through the Water Quality Control Board’s office and website on Sept. 19. Public comment will be accepted until Nov. 2, 2005.

Also two workshops will be held on the Scott Action Plan. The first will be held on Oct. 12 in Santa Rosa at the board’s Hearing Room. The next one is Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. in Yreka at the Best Western Miners Inn Convention Center. Oral comments will be accepted during each of the meetings.

The Control Board has no enforcement arm, but the staff seems to be taking a heavy hand in suggesting permits and regulations that will make landowners plant trees along the river; or reduce sediment from grading, roads, building homes, timber harvesting or other activities that may discharge sediment into the river.

Also a tailwater discharge permit or plan will need to be addressed by landowners under the current Action Plan.

To receive a copy of the Scott River TMDL Action Plan call the Regional Control Board at 707-576-2220.





Pioneer Press, Fort Jones, California

October 12, 2005 Vol 32, No. 48 Page  A1, column 1


 Calling all farmers and ranchers


-- Public can comment on Scott TMDL on Oct. 18.


By Liz Bowen, Pioneer Press Assistant Editor, Fort Jones, California


YREKA, Calif. – Finally the residents of Siskiyou County will be allowed comment on the state agency proposed “impairments” of the Scott River water quality.

A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center in Yreka. Anyone who owns land or uses water for agriculture should be there.

The issue has become extremely controversial.

At this meeting, farmers and ranchers will learn the ramifications of an Action Plan that is being developed by the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board’s staff. Ramifications of the Action Plan will include permits and regulations regarding water and land use.

Quartz Valley rancher John Menke, Ph.D., has taken the lead in questioning the quality of science that this state agency is using. He has written letters to state and federal officials and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger asking for correct peer review of the theories proposed as science by the control board’s staff. As a result, the board’s staff is defending its decisions.

The public should comment on these decisions as they will affect landowners throughout the Scott River and the creeks that feed into it.

Even Siskiyou County officials are questioning the state agency’s Action Plan that will only allow certain water temperatures in the Scott River. The Action Plan also claims that a tremendous amount of sediment can be stopped from entering the already clear water.

TMDL stands for Total Maximum Daily Load of the temperature or sediment that will be allowed to “impair” the water quality of the river. Because this Action Plan focuses on non-point sources that create warmer water temperatures or additional sediment in the Scott River, it has become extremely controversial.

Watchdogs will explain why the goals of the Plan are “unattainable” at the Oct. 18 meeting.




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