Scott Valley POW / Protect our
Water, in Siskiyou County.
Tucker, Myth Buster or Myth Maker?
Craig Tucker letter
Mark Baird is a rancher, Vice
President of Scott Valley Protect Our Water, and believes the
truth, based upon the Constitution of the United States of
America, will prevail.
Mr. Craig Tucker, coordinator
for the Karuk, took great exception to a recent letter I wrote
in opposition to dam removal. The Environmental Socialists are
well schooled in the Saul Alinsky method of activism. In fact
Mr. Tucker is not a fisheries scientist. Mr. Tucker is an
environmental activist and “trained community organizer”. One
part of the Saul Alinsky manifesto of “activism and community
organizing,” is to make personal attacks upon the people who
oppose their socialist agenda.
Mr. Tucker tries to belittle his
opposition instead of looking for the truth. Most of the
supporters of the KBRA/KHSA use personal attacks as a method of
debate. I do not like nor dislike any of these people. I do
not know them. I do not wish to know them. I do know their
agenda to be the biggest environmental swindle of this century.
Yes, I am guilty of
unintentional use of the word entropic as opposed to the word
eutropic. Since my field is Aviation, where fluid sciences
including entropy are widely employed, it does not surprise me
that I “grasped” the wrong word, nor did I notice until I had
already hit “send”. Although Mr. Tucker, would have readers
believe this to be a serious character flaw, he and everyone
else, knew what I intended to say.
I have never claimed to be a
scientific expert. My desire was to live my life as the
Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights allows.
My area of expertise is that of CITIZEN. A citizen, being
conned, in the environmental swindle of the century. That fact,
alone, has caused a lot of the CITIZENS of Siskiyou County
(nearly 80%) to become researchers as well as readers of
biologic, water quality, and fisheries data.
As an expert in my field,
(aviation), I have a question for Mr. Tucker. Let us imagine
that I were to open the airplane door at ten thousand feet: If
I were to explain to Craig Tucker, using my expertise, using all
of the science I could Google, that the “entropic” conditions
were in equilibrium, and no parachute would be required to break
his fall, would he jump? Or would he form his own conclusion?
I do not claim to be an expert
on dam removal, but Mr. Tucker does! It is not enough
that Craig Tucker says dam removal is a good idea. The
research of a lot of very dedicated people, people who stand to
gain nothing from this fight, shows Dam removal, to be, the
environmental swindle of the century. PERIOD!
If Dam Removal were such a good
idea, why were the meetings conducted in secret? Why is the
support of Dam Removal a “precondition” of support for the KBRA?
The water users of the upper basin are free to put their water
under the control of special interest groups without throwing
our Constitutional Rights under the bus. Why the coercion
tactics? Why has the State of California failed to do CEQA if
this is so environmentally sound? Why does Mark Stopher, who
represents The California Department of Fish and Game in Dam
Removal, admit that no one knows the impact the toxic sediment
will have on the river, the people or the fish?
Follow the money! Mr Tucker and
his associates, whom we will refer to as the “stakeholders”, are
chasing the Billions of Dollars which will come with Dam
Removal. These so called “stakeholders” are fishing for our
water and our tax money. Notice that the only clean energy
facilities NOT slated for demolition are the ones that send
electricity to the “stakeholders” of the upper basin. Hydro
electric power is the cheapest and cleanest energy on earth.
Why are these self styled environmentalists so intent upon this
project? Why is the Karuk tribe so bent on the destruction of
the dams? What does Mr. Tucker and the people he supposedly
speaks for, have to gain in this environmental swindle? Is
Tucker really trying to save the environment? I sincerely doubt
it! Look up Mr. Hillman, Director of Natural Resources, of the
Karuk Tribe. He once beat his significant other, with a beer
bottle, and left her for dead. He was arrested at the Medford
Airport later for Meth possession. This is all public record,
investigate for yourselves! Is this who you want to have
“saving the environment? The Karuk people may want this type of
representation, but the vast majority of voters in Siskiyou
County, do not.
Myth number 1. Tucker’s piece
claims that the dams add phosphorous, add nitrogen to the
river. That is not what Pacific Corp says in its report in 2006
(ferc project 2082). Sections 188.8.131.52; Section 184.108.40.206 and the
Conclusions section on page 53 absolutely contradict Tucker.
Pacific Corp’s report says that concentrations of TIN, TN, PO4,
and TP are lower in the release water than water that enters the
reservoirs. Pacific Corp concludes that Copco and Irongate
reservoirs placed, in series, have an important effect in
reducing toxics in the release water. Once again the Upper
Basin is naturally polluted and has been so for millions of
years. Dams do not contribute to natural soils problems of the
Upper Klamath. Dams help to reduce these problems.
Myth number 2 Tucker says “the
Keno Reef is not a natural barrier to salmon”. The Evening
Herald in an article in 1908 describes the natural barrier which
very few salmon were able to surmount. Those fish able to
overcome the reef were so beaten up as to be useless. Mr.
Tucker describes pictures of people holding fish as proof that
salmon were in great numbers above Keno. Could he be referring
to the picture on the cover of the Klamath Restoration Salmon
article? That picture is grainy, has no caption or date. It
seems problematic, to determine fish species from that picture.
The Foster report describes in detail two species of Salmon in
the Klamath River, neither of which are Coho. The fish in that
picture look like trout. The Klamath Restoration/Salmon story
Mr. Tucker refers to is the “Constructivist Learning” guide to
the Klamath. Look up “Constructivist Learning theory” in your
search engine. Constructivist learning is an interesting,
socialist, method of instruction where reality is created along
the way, and not necessarily based upon fact or truth.
Myth number three. Tucker
says,” According to Dept. of Interior modeling, dam removal
would release 5.4-8.6 million yards of “non toxic sediment.
Other figures I have seen are closer to twenty million plus
yards. All agree, in the months, years and decades, following
dam removal this would have a negative impact on fish. Tucker
goes on to say, “that the river can bear the sediment load out
to the ocean”. I must say, that all of the above, are
understatements of the highest order. Mark Stopher, CDFG, says
no one knows the impact of the toxic sediment.
Let us suppose that Mr. Tucker
is right about the amount of sediment. How does ALMOST TEN
MILLION OR MORE, CUBIC YARDS OF TOXIC SEDIMENT, WHICH THE RIVER,
MOST CERTAINLY WILL, CARRY TOWARD THE OCEAN, FOR AN UNSPECIFIED
PERIOD OF YEARS, OR PERHAPS DECADES, SOUND TO YOU! Craig
Tucker says the sediment is not toxic to humans. This is true!
It is further proof that Agriculture is doing a responsible job
of water use. The sediment is however, toxic to the fish.
It is nutrient rich, extremely fine sediment which enhance
disease vectors in fish. Dr John Menke has made some very
astute observations regarding the certainty of erosion of these
toxins, and the problems of re planting the affected areas. Dr
Menke IS an expert in this field. I cannot imagine Mr. Tucker
knows the extent of the damage this sediment will cause. NO ONE
Myth number four. My comment
was that Ocean Conditions drive returning spawners. How can
agriculture be blamed when fish, after three or four YEARS in
the ocean, either cannot or will not return to any given river.
Craig Tucker did not address this issue. Instead he begins to
use a brand new term, “Salmon success”. Mr Tucker says that
juvenile escapement is the largest factor in “salmon success”.
The so called scientists of the KBRA/KHSA have consistently and
publicly refused to look at Ocean conditions. This is a
violation of NEPA and CEQA. What is it they are afraid to
Dr. Ye Chao of NASA’s JPL has
done some excellent studies which show that Madden-Julien
Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Cycle drive ocean conditions.
Dr Chao is an expert in this field! It is also a fact that cold
water fish will migrate in search of colder water. The
commercial catch of Salmon is 400 percent of what it was ten
years ago. The fish are simply being caught in colder waters.
Just because the fish are not here does not mean that they do
If there were a juvenile
escapement problem, it could be laid at the feet of
mismanagement and the malfeasance of NOAA and the California
Department of Fish and Game. Unregulated tribal fishing and
high mortality rates caused by poor practices of the CDFG are
also a large impact on “Salmon Success”. Predation by seals
plays a part in this as well. Water use by the human beings of
this ecosystem does not.
Myth number five. Mr. Tucker
says. “We cannot just rely on hatchery fish. When habitat is
degraded, just dumping more fish in won’t solve the problem”.
Tucker, is again, intentionally missing the point. My point
was, the hatcheries are capable of producing enough fish to help
populations rise to whatever level we need or desire them to
be. Tucker and his associates have tried to convince us that
hatchery fish are somehow different from “wild fish”. Mr.
Tucker also failed to address this in his rebuttal. There is no
real evidence to show that hatcheries produce Salmon which are
in some way, not Salmon. The Dams and the hatcheries are a
valuable resource which should be used in conjunction with other
resources to enhance the fish and the “human habitat”.
Myth number six. Tucker claims
that I said the voters can elect to keep the dams. This is
another of Tuckers deliberate misrepresentations. What I said
was, “ We the people of Siskiyou County have voted and almost
80% of us WANT OUR dams to stay”. We know the vote was a
demonstration and not a fact. The vote, however, does
demonstrate the will of the people. We know the dams are the
property of Pacific Corp. We also know that Pacific Corp would
be happy to continue to operate these perfectly good dams, were
it not for the environmental extortion of groups like Mr.
Tuckers. Mr. Tucker, your associates claim to be interested in
the good of all, why was the voice of the vast majority of the
people affected, not as important as your, so called,
Stakeholders? Come to mention it, I have never seen the word
“stakeholder”, in the Constitution of the United States.
The Fourteenth Amendment to the
Constitution guarantees the people, a Republican form of
government. We, the people, will not submit to a socialist
board, of self appointed members, with no accountability, and a
fifty year contract. We vote for our representatives in the
United States of America, and we demand no less on this issue.
Myth number seven. Mr. Tucker
says that “the KBRA is connected to dam removal and that dam
removal through the KBRA will provide more water for fish,
farmers and will help flood control”. This is brand new! I have
never heard the claim that dam removal will magically enhance
flood control. We would all love to see those numbers. I
cannot help but wonder, how removing dams on the mid Klamath
River could possibly HELP flood control.
I cannot imagine how 86,000
acre feet of active storage in the Upper Klamath Basin will
protect bridges in and around the mid and lower Klamath during
an extreme, high water event. This is the first we have heard
of flood control being an objective of the KBRA. I do not
believe it! I do not believe any of it!
Mr Tucker closes by adding that
there are many more myths to debunk.
That we can agree upon! Contact
the Siskiyou County Water Users Association for the information
required to debunk more of Mr. Tuckers myths.
Rebuttal to Mark Baird: Klamath
myths undermine issue
Siskiyou County — Several
self-appointed “experts” have written several
articles recently arguing against the removal of
Klamath dams. Obviously dam removal is a
controversial issue, but the public deserves to be
presented with the actual facts of the matter when
considering the fate of the dams.
Most recently, Mark Baird wrote a
column that appeared in the Siskiyou Daily as well
as on several websites. Since this piece perpetuates
many of the myths contrived by dam huggers, it
serves as an excellent starting point for setting
the record straight.
Myth No. 1: Baird’s piece states
that the “dams did not create the entropic
conditions. The Klamath basin is a naturally
warm-water, high-phosphorus tule marsh.”
First off, I think the term Baird
is grasping for is “eutrophic,” not “entropic.”
Entropy has to do with the Second Law of
Thermodynamics. Eutrophic refers to the
concentration of nutrients in the reservoirs. So
much for scientific credibility!
Indeed the Klamath is a eutrophic
system due in large part to the geology of the upper
basin, but that does not mean that dams serve as a
cleaning system. In fact, the dams and reservoirs
degrade water quality by creating ideal conditions
for massive blooms of toxic algae in the summer.
When the algae die, the material settles to the
bottom of the reservoirs, which are oxygen-deprived.
This results in the breakdown of algae and the
release of concentrated nutrients in the summer and
fall, increasing total nitrogen and phosphorous in
Myth No. 2: The
Keno reef, a natural geographic barrier, prevented
the migration of salmon to the upper basin, not the
Not so. In fact there are photos
of people holding salmon that they fished out of
Link River near Klamath Falls! The writings of early
naturalists in the area describe Chinook runs above
Upper Klamath Lake in the Williamson, Sprague and
Wood rivers. For a peer-reviewed analysis of the
historic range of salmon in the Klamath Basin (and
Myth No. 3: There are
100 million cubic yards of naturally polluted,
high-phosphorus, high-nitrogen sediment trapped behind
the dams … which, if released by dam removal, will kill
the fisheries for decades if not permanently.
According to sediment modeling by the
Department of Interior, dam removal would release
5.4-8.6 million cubic yards of non-toxic sediment. All
agree that in the months following dam removal, this
release of sediment would have a negative impact on
fish. However, in the long term, models show that the
river can bear the sediment load out to sea and there
would be no long-term negative effects.
Myth No. 4: Ocean
conditions drive “returning spawners,” and not dams …
the Pacific decadal cycle drives the ocean conditions
that send cold-water fish north to the Gulf of Alaska …
It’s true that salmon success is
driven in part by ocean conditions and in part by river
conditions. However, data suggests that the greatest
factor affecting returns is escapement of juveniles out
to the sea. In the Klamath, degraded habitat conditions,
poor water quality caused by dams, and the fish-disease
hot zone below Iron Gate dams conspire to kill up to 80
percent of our juvenile fish before they reach the
Myth No. 5: We can
just rely on hatchery fish. When habitat is degraded and
limited, just dumping in more fish won’t solve the
problem. Baird quips that, “I would love to see the
genetic data demonstrating that the egg from a wild
mother becomes something else when it is hatched
artificially.” OK, try this for starters: Genetic
changes from artificial propagation of Pacific salmon
affect the productivity and viability of supplemented
populations, Reisenbichler et al. http://icesjms.oxfordjournals.org/content/56/4/459.short).
About 30 seconds on Google will lead you to much more.
Myth No. 6: The
voters can elect to keep the dams. Baird states that “We
the people of Siskiyou County have voted and almost 80
percent of us want OUR dams to stay.”
Turns out, they’re not “OUR” dams –
they’re PacifiCorp’s. They’re what most Americans call
private property and it will be up to the owners of that
private property to decide what to do about them.
PacifiCorp has decided that it’s cheaper to remove them
than relicense them. In other words, they made a
business decision that is no business of Mr. Baird’s.
Myth No. 7: Dam
removal will remove flood control from the Lower Klamath
River. Actually the dam removal agreement is connected
to the KBRA, which contains plans to increase water
storage in the basin by enlarging Upper Klamath Lake. In
fact, after these agreements are implemented, we will
have over 86,000 acre feet MORE ACTIVE WATER STORAGE in
the Klamath Basin than we do today, which will help meet
the water needs of agriculture and fish as well as
increase flood control.
There are more myths to debunk that
these. For more information, explore
– Craig Tucker is the Klamath Coordinator for
the Karuk Tribe. He represented the Karuk Tribe in
negotiations which led to the Klamath Restoration
Agreements. He has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from
Vanderbilt University Medical School.