Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Democrat candidates raise more money than Republicans in California

May 18, 2022

Liz Writes Life

Primary Election is June 7

All registered voters should have received a “Sample Ballot and Voter Information Guide” in the mail earlier this month. This is for the Statewide Direct Primary Election that will be held Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Polls open at 7 a.m. on June 7th and close at 8 p.m. Your polling place is shown on the back of the cover.

Many people now use mail-in ballots; and because my precinct is so small in population, we also do mail-in. Mail-in ballots should be in the mail from our Siskiyou County Clerk’s office by May 13; and so we should be receiving them in our mail boxes this week.

When first opening the Sample Ballot booklet, I was shocked to find 26 candidates running for governor. Then, I was just as shocked to see that the major Republican candidates that ran for office during the recall election of Governor Gavin Newsom (two years ago) were not on the ballot. Larry Elder had galvanized the Republican base during the recall, but Kevin Faulconer and John Cox also made a big splash along with Kevin Kiley. Kiley is the only one running for office in this election and that is for the Congressional seat of the new Third District.

In reading over the names of those running for governor, I noticed there were 13 Republicans and the only name I recognized was our Dist. 1 CA. Senator Brian Dahle.

Because I didn’t recognize many other names, I went to Cal and to learn about the candidates and races. I was surprised to learn that as of May 11, 2022, the candidates running for governor have raised and reported $11.2 million. Wow, that’s a lot of money!

The financial breakdown in the governor’s race is: Incumbent Democrat Newsom with $7.5 million raised. Following him is Republican Brian Dahle, who has raised $1.5 million; then Republican Jenny Rae LeRoux with $846,000; no party preference Michael Shellenberger with $647,300 and Republican Shawn Collins with $238,500.

Barely $3 million has been raised in the Lt. Governor’s race. Incumbent Democrat Eleni Kounalakis has raised $2.9 million and non-party affiliated David Hillberg reported $5,900. Republican David D. Fennell is also running, but did not report any fund raising.

Attorney General race is interesting. Xavier Becerra was elected in 2018 to the office. U.S. President Joe Biden tapped Becerra to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services in his cabinet leaving the state position open. Governor Newsom then appointed Democrat Rob Bonta to the office.

A total of $11.8 million has been raised by candidates running for Attorney General. Bonta has raised $7.4 million; non-party candidate Anne Marie Schubert has raised $2.2 million; Republican Nathan Hochman has raised $1.9 million and Republican Eric P. Early has raised $267,500.

An interesting and also confusing race is for two U.S. Senate positions. In one, Kamala Harris was elected in 2016 to the six-year term. When Joe Biden was endorsed by the Democrat Party as its U.S. presidential candidate, he chose Harris as his vice-presidential running mate and they became the new administration in Nov. 2020.  Governor Newsom then appointed Alex Padilla to complete the six-year term Harris had vacated. Padilla had been serving as California Secretary of State leaving that office open.

The two current U.S. Senators from California are Padilla and Dianne Feinstein with Feinstein’s term ending in 2024.  I can’t find any information that says she is retiring. So I am confused as to why the Sample Ballot says there are “two U.S. Senate contests on this ballot”? Oh, maybe, it is for the same position that Padilla is currently in – through being appointed? And then, election to the same office for the next six-year term?

(I will check into this situation and report back next week along with more info about our county elections.)

OK, now that that is clear as mud, let’s move on to the Secretary of State office. Because Padilla was appointed U.S. Senator, Gov. Newsom then appointed Democrat Assemblywoman from San Diego, Shirley Weber, as Secretary of State. She has raised $1.2 million and Republican Rachel Hamm is running against her and has reported $204,600.

Controller is a tough job. This candidate should be an all-knowing accountant in my book. Incumbent Betty Yee has termed-out and cannot run. So far, $11.8 million has been raised by the candidates. Democrat Yvonne Yiu reported $4.8 million; Republican Lanhee J. Chen raised $2.3 million; Democrat Steve Glazer reported $2.1 million; Democrat Malia M. Cohen reported $1.5 million and Democrat Ron Galperin raised $1 million.

The candidates for State Treasurer have raised a total of $1.9 million. Incumbent Democrat Fiona Ma who was elected in 2018 has raised $1.7 million; Republican Andrew Do has raised $200,900; and Republican Jack Guerrero reported $1,400.

Because I ran out of steam, I did not check on the candidates and how much money they have raised by those running for other state or U.S. offices. All I can say is that it takes a lot of money to run an election campaign and the Democrat Party has a stronghold in California.

May peace and calm be with you this week. Smile – just cuz it makes you feel better!

Liz Bowen began writing ranch and farm news, published in newspapers, in 1976. She is a native of Siskiyou County. Columns from the past can be found at: Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Big Springs farmers continue to irrigate

May 11, 2022

Liz Writes Life

Big Springs farmers continue to irrigate

A hearing was held on May 5, 2022 in the Siskiyou County Superior Court regarding a case brought by Big Springs Irrigation District against the State Water Resources Control Board. Back on March 15, 2022, the SWRCB issued a Curtailment Order demanding Big Springs ID not turn on their wells this irrigation season. The farmers need this water for their thirsty fields, so the District board voted to seek a Temporary Restraining Order (injunction) against SWRCB

Siskiyou Co. Superior Court Judge John Lawrence presided in the first hearing held on April 1, 2022, but he chose to recuse himself on May 5, 2022. Siskiyou Co. Superior Court Judge Karen Dixon then stepped-in and presided and should hear the rest of the case. I do believe the State is trying to get a change in venue to a different county. I hope this doesn’t happen. It needs to remain in Siskiyou.

According to several people I spoke with who attended the meeting (I did not attend the hearing), the State Water Board attorneys demanded the injunction be removed. I was told that Judge Dixon said she now has thousands of pages regarding the case that she must read, before she would make any decisions. She then left the injunction in place and set the final court hearing for Thursday, May 19, 2022.

As a result, the farmers and ranchers in the Big Springs ID will be able to continue irrigating their fields from the District’s wells – at least until May 19, 2022. The District ceased using surface flow water from Shasta River back in the 1950s.

Hero Skarlotos to speak

An Armed Forces Day “Lincoln” Dinner will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center in Yreka. Special guest speaker is Alek Skarlotos, who was one of several heroes that stopped a terrorist who opened fire inside a train headed to Paris, France back on August 21, 2015. Skarlotos was on leave after his deployment in Afghanistan and a specialist from the U.S. Oregon National Guard. He was traveling with two friends, when the admitted terrorist brandished his fire arms and was first tackled to the ground by a Frenchman.

The terrorist situation was brought to the silver screen by director, Clint Eastman, and the three American heroes, including Skarlotos,  were asked to play themselves in the movie titled “The 15:17 to Paris.”

“Come meet a national hero,” said Dan Dorsey, who is chairman of the Siskiyou Co. Central Committee hosting the event. There will be a “meet and greet” with Skarlotos and the other speakers starting at 4:30 p.m.

After the dinner featuring Prime Rib grilled by Dave Tyler, other speakers include: U.S. Congressman Doug LaMalfa, U.S. Senate candidate Mark Meuser, CA. State Senator, Brian Dahle (who is a candidate for California governor), Assemblywoman Megan Dahle, Siskiyou County District Attorney Kirk Andrus and Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue. The focus for these speakers is our Armed Forces and Dorsey says he will keep them brief.

Tickets for the event are $50 and can be purchased at Bergeron Insurance Agency at 347 N. Main in Yreka, call 530-842-4400 and Solano’s in Weed and Mt. Shasta or call Dorsey at 530-918-7993. Also sponsoring Skarlotos and the event are Dana McConaughey, the Degraffenreid family and Grange Insurance.

Sounds like a great dinner and event honoring our Armed Forces. I will be purchasing my ticket this week. Hope you do too!

Siskiyou Conservatives meet May 12

On May 12, 2022, the Siskiyou Conservative Republicans will hold its monthly meeting at 11 a.m. at the Montague Methodist Church. Mark Spanegal, who is U.S. Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s chief of staff will be zoomed-in to speak. Kelly Tanner, who is a Republican candidate for the State Assembly Dist. 1 position will also speak. For more information call Annie at 530-842-2350.

Siskiyou Patriots meet May 12

Later that evening, the Siskiyou Patriots will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Covenant Chapel Church in Yreka. Dist. 1 Assembly candidate Kelly Tanner will be the featured speaker. The meeting is free.


Lots of weather changes make it hard to decide when to plant seeds or plants for the garden. After our dry, warm winter and then some spring showers in April and May, who would have thought we could actually have some snow storms? Well, those that have been here for a while can attest that we never know when the summer will truly begin and the frosts and freezes stop.

Unfortunately, the weeds got away from me in April and I am embarrassed ‘cuz I don’t think my garden has ever been this unready for planting. My grandson, Bryce, is helping me get it dug up and also do weed-eating. I gave the rhubarb, comfrey, salvia, phlox, chocolate mint, bee balm, Echinacea, Black-eyed Susans, chives, Shasta daisies, glads, gaura, garlic and some hollyhocks a good soaking before this last batch of spring storms came through. The rhubarb is over three-feet tall and needs harvesting. Boy, horse manure sure makes the rhubarb grow!

Yep, there is plenty to do in our yards and gardens this time of year. Makes me tired just thinking about it!

May peace and calm be with you this week. Smile – just cuz it makes you feel better!

Liz Bowen began writing ranch and farm news, published in newspapers, in 1976. She is a native of Siskiyou County. Columns from the past can be found at: Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

State Water Board proposes extension on drought regulations through 2023

May 4, 2022

Liz Writes Life

Last week, the newly formed grass-roots Scott Valley Agriculture Water Alliance learned that the State Water Resources Control Board is threatening to re-adopt its current 2021-2022 “emergency” regulations for the following 2022-2023 year. This is a major concern for local farmers and ranchers, who are trying to stay in business through the next six months of 2022.

The Water Board is holding a zoom meeting on Wed., May 4, 2022 and is taking verbal public comments on the re-adoption of its water curtailment regulations.

Theodora Johnson, a spokesman for the Scott Valley Alliance, told me that she and several others will be on that zoom meeting to provide a voice for local farmers and ranchers.

In my observation, the crux of the problem is that the Endangered Species Act listed coho salmon population numbers are doing well in Scott Valley, but the Water Board continues to threaten to demand all agricultural irrigation stop – in the name of protecting coho.

“Water curtailment re-adoption is not supported by the State’s own data on Scott River salmon,” said Johnson. “Re-adoption of the regulations for the Scott River is unfair, unreasonable and unneeded,” Johnson added.

Scott Valley is the only place in California where all agricultural wells are being threatened with this unprecedented action of a total State-demanded stoppage of irrigation water because of a fish species listed to the ESA.

More information from the Scott Valley Alliance’s most recent press release follows:

Salmon data from California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) does not support the damaging regulations: Coho salmon were surviving and thriving without the minimum flows and irrigation reductions required in the 2021 curtailment.

Adult coho spawners in 2020-21 were the 2nd highest on record, at 1,766 adults, and all were able to reach their preferred spawning habitat in the upper watershed—despite statements by CDFW that irrigation curtailments were needed due to the low-flow conditions in 2020.

Coho juveniles from that run reared successfully in the drought summer of 2021—before the curtailment went into effect—as evidenced by record number of outmigrants in Spring 2022: over 42,000 emigrating out of the Scott River to date.

This high survival rate of young coho is evidence of Scott River's freshwater production and improving in-river conditions—without the need for major curtailments.

Coho salmon trends are positive since adult data collection by CDFW began in 2007. Run size now averages about 800 coho, similar to CDFW’s estimates from the early 1960s.

Only in the Scott Valley is the State requiring that all ag wells be curtailed, despite the aquifer in the Scott Valley (like the Shasta Valley) not being in overdrafted condition. Meanwhile, those groundwater basins in California that are critically overdrafted are not having their ag wells curtailed under State emergency regulations.

But if the Water Board is using Scott Valley as a test for this new expansion of its authority, groundwater pumping in other basins could soon be in jeopardy, too.

It should be noted that, even though our aquifer is stable, locally-driven aquifer recharge projects and other water storage projects are a high priority in the Scott River basin as a win-win option for fish and farms.

Farmers are expected to cut back the use of their wells by 100% if minimum fish flows are not met throughout the summer, unless they can document a 30% reduction plan to the State Water Board. The economic impact of this significant decrease in irrigation during the valleys' short growing season for alfalfa hay and pasture is harmful to the family farmers, ranchers, and dairies as well as to the local communities and food consumers.

Regarding the future of farms and ranches, Johnson finished with, “If agriculture can’t survive here in Scott Valley, where fish numbers are strong and our aquifer is stable, then how can it survive anywhere in California?”

To contact Johnson, call 530-598-3081.

Dahle pushes for local schools

Recently, CA. Dist. 1 Assemblywoman Megan Dahle announced some possible good news for rural school districts. Dahle authored Assembly Bill 2337 and it has unanimously passed the Assembly Education Committee and on the Assembly Floor‚ which means it moves to the Senate next.

Dahle said, “This bill will ensure California’s smallest‚ rural school districts receive proper recognition by defining Frontier School Districts in the California Education Code. Frontier school districts will be defined in alignment with federal grant requirements as school districts that have annual average daily attendance of less than 600 students and are located in a county with a population of less than 10 persons per square mile.

“This will help level the playing field‚ allowing California’s smallest schools to have a better chance at funding opportunities and‚ subsequently‚ providing better education opportunities for our students.

“The time and effort it has taken to get to this point has been immense‚ but absolutely worth it. I am grateful to my staff and education representatives from the first Assembly District for contributing to these bills‚ and I look forward to what they mean for our school districts. Stay tuned!”

May peace and calm be with you this week. Smile – just cuz it makes you feel better!

Liz Bowen began writing ranch and farm news, published in newspapers, in 1976. She is a native of Siskiyou County. Columns from the past can be found at: Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Monday, April 25, 2022

A new voice for Scott Valley agriculture and Etna Rodeo is May 1, 2022

Liz Writes Life

April 27, 2022

A new grassroots group has formed to give voice on major water issues by local farmers and ranchers. The group explains the newest state water regulations that will dry-up their businesses are misrepresenting Scott Valley’s aquifer, fish and agricultural practices. The group is named “Scott Valley Agriculture Water Alliance.”

A website has been established providing instant understanding of the dire situation that began on August 30, 2021, when the State Water Resources Control Board stopped all agricultural irrigation in Scott Valley and erroneously based “new” flow requirements for the Scott River. Farmers and ranchers foresee a catastrophe in struggling to meet the state’s demands.

The website is named: Scott Valley Agriculture Water Alliance and ends with -- .org.

On April 19, 2022, this grassroots group published a press release written by Theodora Johnson. I wanted to get this information out. You can read the entire press release below. For more info, call Theo at 530-598-3081.

From Scott Valley AWA: Etna and Fort Jones, CA—Family farmers and ranchers in rural Scott Valley, far-northern California are banding together as they face the potential loss of 100 percent of their irrigation water this summer due to unprecedented new drought emergency regulations for the Scott River by the State Water Resource Control Board (Board)—regulations unlike any others in the state. This small mountain valley is home to a tight-knit agriculture community that saw a need to tell their story—before they lose everything. Their new communication group, Scott Valley Agriculture Water Alliance (AgWA), is reaching out to government officials, local tribes, and the public with information about Scott Valley’s agriculture, water and fish.

While other California farmers are also facing cutbacks on water deliveries from reservoirs, those farmers are still able to resort to groundwater pumping. But Scott Valley growers have no reservoirs and are being told to halt all groundwater pumping—even though their aquifer is not overdrafted. The neighboring valley, Shasta, is also being hit with precedent-setting groundwater curtailments, triggering a recent legal challenge by an irrigation district.

The regulations for Scott Valley halt all irrigating if the Scott River’s flows dip below new monthly minimum levels, levels that are purportedly designed to benefit coho salmon and save them from “extinction”.

“The river has not met the Board’s new flow requirements in 9 out of the past 11 summers,” says Sari Sommarstrom, Ph.D., a retired watershed consultant and local tree nursery owner. “Yet the data shows that coho returns have nonetheless increased over the past 20 years. We’re seeing population levels that haven’t been seen since the 1960s. Sadly, it’s evident that these curtailments are based on a false narrative.”

Sommarstrom, a founding member of AgWA, says flow levels in the Scott are certain to fall short in this year’s severe drought—possibly as early as May. To avoid the 100-percent shutoffs, she said the Board is accepting “agreements” from producers to reduce their groundwater use by 30 percent.

But many producers in Scott Valley have annual operating loans that can’t be repaid at 70-percent production, says Theodora Johnson, a sixth-generation Scott Valley cattle rancher and spokesman for AgWA.

Johnson points to AgWA’s new website,, which offers science-based background information; a white-paper on the status of the coho in the Scott River; “Myths Debunked;” and testimonials and photos that showcase the valley’s multi-generational farms and ranches.

Lauren Sweezey, a Scott Valley hay grower and founding member of AgWA, sums up the group’s purpose:

“We hold our family ranches and farms in trust for our future generations. We have to act now to make sure that’s going to be possible,” she says. “The facts are in our favor. We just need to get them to the right people.”

Scott Valley Agriculture Water Alliance (AgWA) is a unified voice communicating on behalf of local farmers and ranchers, spreading accurate information about Scott Valley’s ag producers, the Scott River, and its fish.

I sure do hope Scott Valley AgWA is successful in turning this man-made drought around.

May 1st Rodeo in Etna

The 74th Annual Scott Valley Pleasure Park Rodeo will be held this Sunday, May 1, 2022 at the rodeo grounds outside of Etna on Island Road. Admission is $10 per person. Children age 10 and under and contestants are free.

The rodeo begins at 1 p.m. with youth events of Mutton Bustin’, Kids’ Calf Riding and Jr. Steer Riding. The Grand of Entry of cowboys and cowgirls kicks-off the rodeo at 2 p.m. Events include: Ranch Bronc Riding, Saddle Cow Riding, Bull Riding, Mixed Team Roping, Girls’ Barrel Race and Girls’ Breakaway Roping.

High school rodeo weekend

It is a weekend for rodeo as the California High School Rodeo Association will hold its District 1 Finals on Friday and Saturday at the Etna rodeo arena. This is a two-day event and begins at 4 p.m. on April 29, 2022. It will continue on Saturday morning, April 30, 2022. An awards event will be held in the afternoon. Admission to the CHSRA is free to the public.

May peace and calm be with you this week. Smile – just cuz it makes you feel better!

Liz Bowen began writing ranch and farm news, published in newspapers, in 1976. She is a native of Siskiyou County. Columns from the past can be found at: Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Thursday, April 21, 2022

Scott Valley Snowpack at 16 Percent of Average

April 20, 2022

Liz Writes Life

Snowpack at 16 percent

So it is true! Our snowpack surrounding Scott Valley was measured at 16 percent of average on April 1, 2022. This is extremely daunting. The weather was relatively dry through March with unseasonably warm temperatures.

The local snowpack is measured by employees from the Klamath National Forest as part of the statewide California Cooperative Snow Survey program. This helps the State forecast the quantity of water available for agriculture, power generation, recreation and stream-flow releases for the year.

April 1st is an important date, because early April is historically when the snowpack is at its maximum and provides the best data for the annual availability of water. Snow surveys are conducted early in each month of February, March, April and May. Sites have been measured for decades. The newest measuring site is on Scott Mt. and has been monitored for 35 years. The oldest site is at Middle Boulder, which has been monitored for over 70 years.

This year Middle Boulder #1 measured 1.5 inches. It is at 6,600 feet above sea level and has been monitored since 1946 and averages 62.4 inches on April 1st. Dynamite Meadow at 5,700 ft measured zero and averages 43 inches. Scott Mt. measured zero. It is at 5,900 ft and averages 47 inches. Etna Mt. did have 18.7 inches, but it typically averages 68 inches.

Yep, this is pretty sad. And this will certainly affect the stream flow in Scott River. Currently, Scott River is flowing at or more than 150 cubic feet per second at the USGS gage near Fort Jones. Farmers are irrigating their fields with their legal water allotments in Scott Valley.

Food supply shortage

Farmers and ranchers, along with their agricultural organizations, have been warning of a coming food supply shortage that could affect the entire world. The drought by both nature and government regulations in the U.S. West, along with worldwide supply chain problems on land and sea and then the Russia-Ukraine war is certainly creating a complicated mess.

To solidify the warning, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said recently that there will be “enormous” economic repercussions in the United States from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the near future. Yellen explained to the House Financial Services Committee that Russia’s invasion will also impact global trade and the flow of food and energy. That area normally grows a huge amount of the world’s wheat.

Yes, my opinion is that the U.S. must open its own pipelines and oil wells to become energy sufficient again. Be that as it may, I wanted to once again stress the need to have extra food on our shelves.

I am not encouraging hoarding, such as what happened with toilet paper at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. But, the media is reporting that people are purchasing less at grocery stores. My suggestion is to do the opposite. If you can find the extra cash, purchase an extra jar or two of peanut butter, cans of chili and baked beans, tuna, chicken, coffee, tomato sauce and spaghetti sauce. Buy bulk instant milk, oatmeal and dried beans. Oh, also noodles, macaroni, pancake mix, flour and sugar. Purchase extra meat, wrap it and put it in the freezer.

Purchase what you normally eat or are willing to eat as in cooking beans from scratch. I use dried beef broth, garlic and minced onion to add flavor to my pinto beans. It may be well worth having a cushion of an extra month or two of food and other cleaning, first aid and clothing supplies if the shelves go empty.

Teen Art Competition

Here is more information on the Congressional Art Competition. The submission date is this Friday, April 22, 2022. So, it isn’t too late! Contact our California Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office, immediately, at 530-223-5898 for information on how to enter.

The competition is an opportunity for talented high school students to compete and showcase their abilities. Congressional districts throughout the nation offer this competition and the winners from each state are displayed for one year in the United States Capitol.

This year’s theme is: Planes, Trains and Automobiles. America’s Open Roads and Open Skies. A variety of mediums are allowed.

Last year, Ruby Churchill of Siskiyou County, won the Dist. 1 Congressional Art Competition with a composition of an old rusting pickup surrounded by brush and trees. It was titled: Left Behind.

This year’s winner will be contacted by May 3, 2022.

May peace and calm be with you this week. Smile – just cuz it makes you feel better!

Liz Bowen began writing ranch and farm news, published in newspapers, in 1976. She is a native of Siskiyou County. Columns from the past can be found at: Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Monday, April 11, 2022

Big Springs Irrigation District gets a win

April 13, 2022

Liz Writes Life

Big Springs Irrigation District gets a win

Friday, April 1, 2022, may have been April Fool’s Day, but a court decision on water usage was a serious matter. The court room was packed with a riveted crowd as Siskiyou County Superior Court Judge John Lawrence presided over a case brought by Big Springs Irrigation District against the State Water Resources Control Board.

On March 15, 2022, the SWRCB issued a Curtailment Order demanding Big Springs ID not turn on their wells this irrigation season. The farmers needed this water for their thirsty fields, so the District board voted to seek a Temporary Restraining Order (injunction) against SWRCB.

Starting in the 1950s, the District recognized the need for flow in the Shasta River and therefore invested in three wells to pump ground water and ceased diverting surface water which has worked well for farmers and the environment.  The Curtailment Order was the first time SWRCB exerted jurisdiction over the ground water wells in Shasta Valley.

Big Springs ID does not believe their well water affects the flows in the Shasta River. SWRCB claims the irrigation district wells do affect the Shasta River. This is the crux of the situation. 

The Emergency Drought Declaration by California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the resulting “temporary curtailment” of agricultural water use began Aug. 30, 2021. The curtailment order is set to last at least one year until Aug. 30, 2022.

Attorneys for SWRCB asked for a change in venue – to a different county. This was denied by Judge Lawrence, so the proceeding of a Temporary Restraining Order by the District continued last Friday. Big Springs ID attorneys Darrin Mercier and Martin Andreas arrived well prepared.

After discussion and back and forth by attorneys, Judge Lawrence ruled in favor of a Temporary Restraining Order for the next month. Both sides were told to return to court on May 5, 2022 with more information, when he will make a final decision.

“This is a big win,” Ray Haupt, Siskiyou County Supervisor, told me later. “They got the TRO, so they can irrigate – at least for now.”

Then, I chatted with Big Springs ID attorney Martin Andreas, who is also a landowner and irrigator in the district. He told me there has “never been a problem until the state decided we were taking water out of the river -- without any proof that our wells were taking water out of the river.”

He added that the irrigators in the district were “relieved” they can irrigate without threat of a fine during April. Andreas said the irrigation water will also help wildlife by irrigating habitat. As he said this over his cell phone, Andreas noted two bald eagles were flying overhead.

Boy, I am thrilled about this win for the irrigation district. The state seems to be over-stepping its boundaries time and again. And the one thing that is forgotten in all of this fighting over water is the fact that agriculture is a friend to wildlife. The birds and other animals need water too!

Armed Forces to be celebrated

In celebration of Armed Forces Day, a “Lincoln Dinner” is planned for Saturday, May 21, 2022 at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center in Yreka. Special guest speaker will be Army Specialist Alek Skarlatos, one of the three Paris train heroes that stopped an armed terrorist on a train in France in August 2015.

Quite a group of elected officials will be attending and several will be speaking. They are: U.S. Congressman Doug LaMalfa CA Dist. 1; CA. State Senator Brian Dahle, who is a candidate for the CA. state office of governor; Assemblywoman Megan Dahle; CA. U.S. Senate candidate Mark Meuser; Siskiyou County District Attorney Krik Andrus and Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue.

Prime rib for the dinner will be grilled by Dave Tyler. There will be a “no host” bar and a silent auction for desserts. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. at the Convention Center at 122 E. Miner Street in Yreka.

Tickets are $50 each and can be found at Bergeron Insurance Agency in Yreka at 347 Main St. Call 530-842-4400. Tickets are also available at both Solanos stores in Weed and Mt. Shasta or call Dan 530-918-7993. The dinner is hosted by the Siskiyou County Republican Central Committee. 

Art contest for teens

Congressman Doug LaMalfa announced he is accepting submissions for the 40th annual Congressional High School Art Competition. This year’s theme is: Planes, Trains and Automobiles: America’s Open Roads and Open Skies.

For more information, call his Redding office at 530-223-5898. Deadline is April 22, 2022.

May peace and calm be with you this week. Smile – just cuz it makes you feel better!

Liz Bowen began writing ranch and farm news, published in newspapers, in 1976. She is a native of Siskiyou County. Columns from the past can be found at: Call her at 530-467-3515.

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Monday, April 4, 2022

Republicans to meet and Sites Reservoir update

April 6, 2022

Liz Writes Life

Republicans to meet

Reservations can still be made for a Ham buffet lunch during the Siskiyou Conservative Republicans meeting on Thursday, April 14, 2022. Grill Master Dave Tyler will be smoking the ham and the luscious desserts are by Jackie Twilliger. Lunch is $13. Call Annie at 530-842-2350 to reserve your seat.

Michael Kobseff, Siskiyou Co. Supervisor for District 3, is the featured speaker.  Meet and greet is at 11 a.m. with the meeting starting at 11:30 a.m. The meeting is held at the Montague United Methodist church at 150 S 12th Street in Montague.

Sites Reservoir receives funding

Last month, CA. Dist. 1 Congressman Doug LaMalfa announced the proposed Sites Reservoir is now eligible for up to $2.2 billion in low interest loans. For years, LaMalfa has pushed to build the Sites Reservoir that will be built as an innovative off-stream reservoir on the west-side of the Sacramento Valley in Glenn and Colusa counties.

Sites was initially approved by California voters in 2014 with some initial funding from Proposition 1. But, the lack of funding has slowed the project.

On March 17, 2022, LaMalfa announced the federal Environmental Protection Agency formally invited the Sites Project Authority to apply for a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program loan. So, Sites will now be eligible for up to $2.2 billion in low-interest loans, which accounts for 49 percent of the project’s cost.

Back in July 2021, LaMalfa and Congressman John Garamendi (D) led a bipartisan letter with other members of the California delegation that asked the EPA to allow the Sites Project Authority to apply for a loan through the federal program. LaMalfa was pleased with the support from EPA.

“We need Sites more than ever; our state is facing another historic drought. I’ve been a strong supporter of this project for years. It will provide water for over 24 million Californians and 500,000 acres of farmland,” said LaMalfa.

The Congressman added that the low-interest loan will “drastically reduce costs for consumers and make it affordable for taxpayers to get the water they need, even in dry years.”

Then a week later, there was more good news for funding Sites Reservoir. On March 24, 2022, the California Water Commission announced increased funding for Proposition 1 bond recipients and will include $38 million for Sites Reservoir. This will bring the total amount to $875 million from the Proposition 1 funds to the project.

For sure, this is great news. Hopefully, the needed funding will be found soon so Sites can be built. It has been decades since California has built additional water storage facilities. This drought is causing havoc, but someday it will rain again and California needs to be ready with increased storage abilities through our dams and reservoirs.

National Ag Week

March 22nd marked the beginning of National Ag Week. In California, a variety of agricultural businesses and groups held an event at the State Capitol. Megan Dahle, Dist. 1 Assemblywoman, attended the activities that included the California FFA and California Cattlewomen. One of her favorite stops was talking with an 11-year-old girl, Sophie, who has written a book inspired by agriculture. Yes, Dahle bought a copy and made sure Sophie signed it.

In a press release, Assemblywoman Dahle, reiterated that California’s agriculture is a multi-billion dollar – yep, that is with a “B” – industry, employing hundreds of thousands of Californians.

“Our state is home to tens of thousands of farms and ranches and over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts are grown in California,” she said.

What a great way to educate folks about the importance of agriculture. Now we need to be sure and have enough water to grow all that food!


Some perennials are starting to grow in the garden, but there is no sign of any asparagus. Guess it has been too dry and I have not irrigated it.

Two weeks ago, I felt sorry for the garlic and rhubarb and gave them a good soaking. It wasn’t too far to drag the hose over from the frost-free faucet. The rhubarb was just peeking up. I was surprised to see about 15 garlic plants are growing. It was three weeks ago that my grandson, Bryce, helped me put horse manure on the garlic and rhubarb. It should have been put on back in December, so was happy that I finally got around to doing it!

May peace and calm be with you this week. Smile – just cuz it makes you feel better!

Liz Bowen began writing ranch and farm news, published in newspapers, in 1976. She is a native of Siskiyou County. Columns from the past can be found at: Call her at 530-467-3515.

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