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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.


January 2, 2012

RE: Strategic Growth Council - Comments

Sustainable Development, Re-wilding and the Convention on Biodiversity


The United Nations has been the catalyst for a variety of initiatives to implement “sustainable development” – the supposed “triple bottom line” balance of people, planet and profit or social, ecological and economic interests. In the 1976 Habitat I - Conference on Human Settlements, Agenda item 10 of the Preamble of the Conference Report stated that: "Land...cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable...."

 The 1991 publication on sustainable living entitled “Caring For The Earth” outlined a network of protected ecosystems. It promoted the adoption of the “precautionary principle” approach to pollution as well as an “integrated approach” to land and water management. It touted protection of ecosystems from fragmentation, the protection of “old growth forests,” and a comprehensive system of protected reserves. 

At the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development or "Earth Summit" Maurice Strong stated that “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class - involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing - are not sustainable. A shift is necessary which will require a vast strengthening of the multilateral system, including the United Nations.”

The soft agreement called “Agenda 21” signed by President Bush established the general framework as a prelude to the Convention of Biological Diversity, which was later signed by President Clinton, but never ratified by Congress. The implementation of “sustainable development,” biological diversity, ecosystem management and climate change initiatives have been largely through internal programs of the Administration through the Executive Branch. One of the most prominent examples is the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Assessment for the establishment of “core” protected areas, buffer zones and densified urban settlements, patterned after the Wildlands Project.

On the international level, the various treaties and agreements seek to establish International Environmental Governance. For instance, the 1997 Nairobi Declaration of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on the Role and Mandate of UNEP, confirms UNEP as the leading global environmental authority. UNEP is to set the global environmental agenda to promote the coherent implementation of sustainable development within the United Nations system.

In 2009-10, The Marrakech Process established a Ten Year Framework on Sustainable Consumption and Production or sustainable lifestyles as called for by the WSSD Johannesburg Plan of Action. The UN Secretary recently outlined the 2012 Rio+20 goals to accelerate “sustainable development” stating: “Achieving this goal will take a fundamental transformation in consumption patterns, lifestyle and values.” “Equity, not only within our societies but globally, will need to become more fully integrated into our institutions and our policies.”

According to the document   --Beyond Rio+20: Governance For A Green Economy

A green economy ensures fair use of ecological resources and sinks at re-generational and bio-assimilation rates. Building such an economy entails the following components:
1. Full-cost pricing: Incorporate ecological degradation into the cost of goods and services (with compensation for the poor).
2. Waste = Food: Design production to reuse all pre- and post-consumer waste as industrial or biological inputs.
3. Sustainable ethic: Foster cultures that recognize ecological scarcity and inspire consumers and producers to desire only what is most necessary and ecologically sustainable.
4. Progressive green taxes: Tax resource and sink use instead of income.
5. Wealth = Environmental Health: Create measures of value that preserve the intrinsic worth of nature”


Siskiyou County – specifically the Klamath River Basin, has long been a target for implementation of rewilding strategies under “sustainable development.” Dr. Michael Soulè and Reed Noss recognized three independent features that characterize contemporary rewilding: • Large, strictly protected core reserves (the wild) • Connectivity and • Keystone species.” (3C’s: Cores, Corridors, and Carnivores.”)

Noss indicated that in selecting keystone or focus species, he would (1) identify and protect populations of rare and endangered species; (2) maintain healthy populations of species that play critical roles in their ecosystems (keystone species) or that have pragmatic value as "umbrellas" (species that require large wild areas to survive, and thus if protected will bring many species along with them) or "flagships" (charismatic species that serve as popular symbols for conservation); (3) protect high-quality examples of all natural communities; and (4) identify and manage greater ecosystems or landscapes for both biodiversity conservation and sustainable human use.

Core reserves are wilderness areas that supposedly allow biodiversity to flourish. These typically followed the pattern of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program with the set-aside of "protected” or “core” areas;  "managed use areas" or “buffer zones”; and "zones of cooperation" or "transition Areas." These strategies were adopted under FEMAT or the Northwest Forest Plan for the northern spotted owl, as well as the Sierra Framework.

The article “The Wildlands Project," Wild Earth, Special Issue, was written in 1992. Noss stated that “"It is estimated that large carnivores and ungulates require reserves on the scale of 2.5 to 25 million acres. ...For a minimum viable population of 1000 (large mammals), the figures would be 242 million acres for grizzly bears, 200 million acres for wolverines, and 100 million acres for wolves. Core reserves should be managed as roadless areas (wilderness). All roads should be permanently closed."

In 1987, Reed Noss included the Klamath area in his mapping of the Wildlands Project. "The Klamath Corridors Project" noted large unfragmented habitat areas to be protected, connected by wide corridors to be set aside for migration and genetic biodiversity. In 1992 the World Conservation Union declared the Klamath-Siskiyou to be an Area of Global Botanical Significance. An effort. led by Noss, was made to designate four million hectares of the Klamath as a UN Biosphere Reserve, (about one-third in Oregon and the balance in California.) This was actively opposed by local people.

In 1995, work began on an ambitious Klamath-Siskiyou Biodiversity Conservation Plan, sponsored by the Siskiyou Regional Education Project of Cave Junction, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. In 1997 The First Conference on Siskiyou Ecology was held and a petition was sent from the conference to President Clinton, calling upon him to preserve "for posterity the principal values of biodiversity, ecological stability, and aesthetic enrichment which the Klamath-Siskiyou Province represents."

In 1999, Noss and Strittholt completed A Science-based Conservation Assessment for the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion. In 2001, Noss and the World Wildlife Federation set forth recommendations for preservation of the Klamath-Siskiyou Forests. A proposed "roadless map" with designated wilderness was developed for the region. Recommendations included: the elimination of grazing; the listing of the fisher and wolverine; reintroduction of wolves and grizzlies; halting of all logging; establishing a system of parks and reserves; protecting roadless areas; and purchasing of private lands for endangered species. This was accompanied in 2002 by a case study of the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion on the "Importance of Roadless Areas in Biodiversity Conservation in Forested Ecosystems."

n 2000, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument was established in southern Oregon. Siskiyou County successfully fought the portion proposed in its county. In 2003, the Klamath Basin Coalition of environmental groups produced "A Conservation Vision for the Klamath Basin" with a map of proposed "protected areas. "In 2004, the Klamath Basin was named among the Top 10 "Most Endangered Areas" in California. In 2005, the World Wildlife Fund named the Klamath among California's Most Threatened Wild Places.

In 2004, the Nature Conservancy conducted an Assessment of the Klamath Mountains Ecoregion. The California Wilderness Coalition modeled a network of habitat linkages in the Klamath-Siskiyou Region. The 2004 Siskiyou Private Lands Conservation Assessment identified 19 areas of private lands to be targeted for their high conservation values.

In 2006, the Siskiyou National Monument was proposed to establish corridors for biodiversity conservation

In 2007, the CA Wild Heritage Act proposed several areas of Wilderness expansion in Siskiyou County. The California Wildlife Action Plan prepared for CA DFG by the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center. The document listed 76 bird, 26 mammalian, two reptilian and 42 fish taxa on the "Special Status Vertebrates List" and an additional 71 invertebrates on the Special Animals List.  The report targeted water management; instream gravel mining; forest management; fire; agriculture; urban development, livestock grazing and invasive species as "stressors" to wildlife habitats.

In 2009, California Wild 2009 created another map targeting Wilderness Expansion, additional Wild Rivers designation, roadless area designation and reserve designs in the county.  In 2009, another group proposed 3,500,000 acres in California and Oregon to be called the Ancient Forest National Park The National Park Service establishes the Klamath Vital Signs Network to be inventoried and monitored.

By 2011, the Nature Conservancy and federal government had acquired 100,000 acres of private farms and ranches form the Upper Klamath Basin and converted them to wetlands. The Secure Act allocates WaterSMART funding for studies and a "trade-off" analysis leading to a cooperative watershed management program. This would focus on sustainable development; climate change; water supply and demand; endangered species; flow; and flood control.

Regulatory Environment in Siskiyou County

Siskiyou County has experienced more than its share of environmental regulations.  http://users.sisqtel.net/armstrng/dam%20comment%20july21.htm  (Some would call it an veritable assault.)

  • Several species have been listed under the state and federal endangered species acts: Bald Eagle; Great Gray Owl; Lost River and shortnose sucker fish; Northern Spotted Owl and associated old growth species under “survey and manage;” Northern CA Coastal Coho Salmon; Siskiyou Salamander; marbled murrelet; and Northern Goshawk (candidate.) It has included endangered species reviews of the green sturgeon; Pacific Lamprey; Pacific Fisher; steelhead trout; McCloud redband trout; and Chinook salmon.

Use of the federal forest lands of the county have been impacted by the Northwest Forest Plan and Aquatic Conservation Strategy. “Rangeland Reform” restricted traditional use of grazing allotments for century and a half old local ranches. In addition, the State Board of Forestry has further restricted the management and use of private timber lands.

In 2001, The Biological Opinions for sucker fish and salmon, shut down the headgates for water delivery to federal Klamath Water Project farms.

  • In 1996, the “17 rivers” lawsuit against the U.S. EPA and the SWRCB (CA State Water Resources Control Board) brought water quality regulation to the county’s major northern water-bodies (Klamath, Scott, Shasta, Salmon Rivers.) The lawsuit directed the establishment of Total Maximum Daily Loads for sediment, temperature, dissolved oxygen and nutrients. Basin-wide efforts of the North Coast Integrated Regional Water Quality Control Board will require what amounts to a permit to farm throughout the Klamath River Basin.
  •  Siskiyou County was also among the counties impacted by the legislature’s moratorium on suction dredge mining for gold – an important historic industry to the area.
  • Local Agricultural operations have been affected by the California Wildlife Protection Act of 1990. This protected mountain lions, which are a livestock and wild game predator. Local deer herds have been decimated by predation, depressing a once robust tourism opportunity for hunters. Siskiyou County is the first county in California that will have to contend with federally protected wolves – another dangerous predator. 
  • The county currently faces the potential unwanted removal of four major dams on the Klamath River. It faces the redirection of private water use rights away from economic use to instream flows for salmon and it faces a lawsuit to place a moratorium on ground water use under environmental claims of public trust. 
  •  In 1996, the federal government initiated plans to acquire additional lands. In 1998, the National Forests commenced road decommissioning and implemented buffers of non-use around wilderness areas. In 1999, there was implementation of a Presidential “roadless policy” to declare additional areas off limits. Last year, local USFS began another round of road recognition, leading up to abandonment and decommissioning of additional roads. Large areas of northern Siskiyou County were under discussion for designation as National Monuments.

The Economic and Social Impacts of the “Sustainable Development” agenda thus far on Siskiyou County:

Siskiyou County is a mountainous area with 1,398 miles of County roads and 325 miles of state highways. Many tiny villages and towns are scattered throughout the mountains. Several small cities straddle the Interstate 5 corridor which bisects the county. The county is 6,287 square miles or 4,038,843 acres of land in size, with a total population of around 44,000 – making it an official “frontier county.” Only 12,381 acres of the county are in urban settlements. About 1,153,246 acres are in farms and ranches, while 2,525,216 acres are in forested acres. The federal and state governments own about 63% of the county’s land base.

The economy of Siskiyou County is based on small business. In 2008, there were 6,857 non-farm proprietors in Siskiyou County. According to 2007 data, 61% of non-farming establishments in Siskiyou County had less than 4 employees; 82% had less than 10 employees and 93% had less than 20. The Small Business Association has documented that the cost of regulations hit small businesses disproportionately hard.

In the year 2000, the average unemployment rate for the year was 7.5%. By 2008, it had risen to 10.2%, rising to 15.8% in 2009. In November of 2011, the unemployment rate was 16.5%. The average wage per job in 2008 was $32,707. This is only 63% of the state average. The median household income was $36,823 – or 60% of the state median.

Agriculture is a major economic sector of the county. Our 2010 Siskiyou County Annual Crop and Livestock Report indicates that the agricultural valuation in the county was $195,711,956 (gross and excluding timber.) According to the USDA Ag Census, in 1992, Siskiyou County had 647,446 acres in farms. By 2007, this had been reduced to 597,534 acres. In 2000, there were 895 farm proprietors in Siskiyou County. This declined to only 730 in 2008. The county lost 81 livestock ranches from 1992 to 2007, with an accompanying loss of 20,882 fewer cattle and calves in inventory. According to the CA D.O.T. Siskiyou County Economic Forecast, since 1995, Siskiyou County's agriculture industries have experienced substantial job loss at about 586 jobs, declining almost 45%.

During the past 20 years, there has also been a restructuring of size and sales in agricultural operations. Since 1992 to 2007, there has been an increase in the number of small farms: Farms under 10 acres doubled to 80. Farms under 50 acres increased 59% to 229. Farms 50-179 acres increased 27% to 228. Farms from 180-449 acres remained about the same at 79. However, there was a 19% reduction is farms 1000 acres or more to 100 farms in 2007. One aspect of this is land conversion from private to public lands. Since 1999, 8,625.71 acres valued at $ 3,922,179 have been converted to public land, another 11,236 acres of ranch land in the Shasta Valley is currently proposed for conversion as well as some portion of the 44,000 acres of farm land slated for wetland conversion in the Klamath Basin, of which Siskiyou County is a part.

At the same time, farms having less than $2,500 in sales increased 105% to 359. Farms selling $2,500-9,999 stayed about the same at 151. Farms selling $10-$24,999 decreased 10% to 95. Farms selling $25,000-$49,999 decreased about 18% to 60. Farms selling $50,000 to $99,999 decreased 45% to 44 and farms with sales in excess of $100,000 increased by 28% to 137.

Siskiyou County accounts for 15% of the timber harvested in California. At one time, it was the second largest timber production area in the state. However, our forest industries have been devastated by federal and State regulations. For instance, the forestry section of Siskiyou County’s 1972 Conservation Element of the General Plan indicated that there were 17 sawmills in the county (employing 2,055 people or 24% of the employment base) and 8 wood processing (employing 294 people or 3% of the employment base.) There were 46 logging contractors and support establishments employing 501 people or 5% of the employment base By 2007, all 17 sawmills were gone. The census indicates that there were a total of 6 wood products manufacturing establishments (including veneer mills) employing 380 people. One mill has subsequently closed in Butte Valley. There were 38 Logging, Forestry and Support Establishments employing 157 employees.

There is no doubt that the restrictions on timber harvest from public lands under the Northwest Forest Plan have played a significant role in this decline. In 1978, 239 MMBF of timber was harvested from the Klamath National Forest (KNF), 274 MMBF from the Shasta Trinity National Forest (STNF) and 73 MMBF from the Six Rivers National Forest (SRNF.)  In 2008, 20 MMBF was harvested from the KNF, 22 MMBF from the STNF and 8 MMBF from the SRNF.

Siskiyou County, similar to many rural Forest-dependent counties, has a substantial low income population. In 2010, 18.6% of all residents in Siskiyou County, 26.6% of children under the age of 18 and 7.3% of those 65 years or older lived below the poverty line.  In 2010, the economic impact of jobs at Human Services and entitlement benefits to County residents was is $71,581,874. This includes: $11.6 million in annual "assistance costs" (CalWorks/welfare, Foster Care;) $8.8 million in annual food stamps; $4.7 million in In-Home-Support-Services for the elderly and disabled; and $36.7 million in Medical Assistance/Medi-Cal. Recently, the Associated Press named Siskiyou County the 14th most economically stressed county in the nation.

In 2007, Siskiyou County had nearly 2 times the number of substantiated child abuse cases than the state of California as a whole. Out of around 10,600 children, from July 2007 to June 2008 nearly 900 children were referred to Siskiyou County Child Protective Services. Compared to Los Angeles County, Siskiyou County has higher rates of all forms of violent crime except homicide. [aggravated assaults, forcible rape, and robbery.] Often these crimes have similar underlying causes, namely, social strain combined with the selective disinhibition fueled by alcohol and drug use (read Robert Nash Parker; Robin Room; and Jeffery A Roth).


According to a 2007 report, in 2004, methamphetamine accounted for 44% of admissions for alcohol and drug treatment. Admissions for alcohol use accounted for 31 percent of admissions in 2004. About 85% of child abuse cases involve methamphetamine. As of 2003, the number of fatalities in alcohol-involved motor vehicle was 13.2 fatalities per 100,000 persons, significantly higher than the statewide average of 4.0 fatalities per 100,000 persons.



I have a particular concern about several regulatory changes being ushered in with the “sustainable development” and climate change initiatives that will further undermine the integrity of private property and local control through elected governments. The tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution recognizes that individuals retain powers unto themselves not delegated to regulation by government. This contrasts with European socialism where individual rights were surrendered to the common good.


The historic, traditional American view of man’s relationship to his government is one that protects the individual from the majority. Each individual is believed to have received basic inalienable rights from his Creator, not from government. The American system is based on the concept of a “social compact. In a compact, each individual compacts with every other individual, surrendering the same amount of control and receiving the same benefit of increase protection of health, safety and property in exchange.

The American legal system is based on “natural law” and on English Common Law, which emphasizes the rights of the individual even when in conflict with community or government interest. The Bill of Rights as Amendments to the U.S. Constitution are considered “negative rights” – that is they prohibit government from encroaching on and regulating the individual’s natural rights.

Under our system, each individual delegates only a limited power over his actions to government regulation. The government may regulate individual action when it causes a substantial injury to general public health or safety. (This also known as the “police powers” of government.) When an action will substantially injure the public health or safety, it can be prohibited. It then may be “permitted” with conditions to avoid, minimize and mitigate the harm. Under the traditional American system, the individual retains a certain power over his own actions that is never delegated to the government to regulate. That is why the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People."

The system is designed to maximize individual liberty. Liberty means that a person may “do such acts as he may judge best for his interest not inconsistent with the equal rights of others.” [Powell v. Com. of Pennsylvania]

The European socialist system developed quite differently. In that system, the individual surrenders all his individual power to the government to be regulated for the good of the majority. In exchange, the individual receives positive rights [civil rights] from government. This system emphasizes the rights of the state or government over that of the individual. Even the legal system lacks protections for the individual such as the presumption of innocence.

During the past 50 years, the regulatory and judicial environment has transitioned from the “police powers” to protect equal rights, to the power to protect the communal public “trust” or to promote the public interest. Through various international treaties and agreements, regulation has become a vehicle for introducing the beliefs of “communitarianism” into American and particularly California policy. This includes notions of social and economic justice (redistribution of wealth;) equity (equal outcomes;) “Public Trust” (as positive communal ownership interest in natural resources and expectations of the production of   “ecosystem services” or “public goods” from privately owned resources;) and acceptance of  basic human rights to food, water, shelter, health care, etc. This has caused a fundamental ideological split in our society and a great deal of anger as communitarians move to impose their world view through regulation on the rest of us. It is a zero sum game. Every expansion of regulation is accompanied by a diminishment of individual liberty.   

In my opinion, the notions being ushered in by the Strategic Growth Council are foreign to the fundamental tenets of our Constitutional frame of government and notions of liberty and protections for individual rights. I guarantee that there will be a tremendous cultural backlash from people who make their living off the land as well as from conservatives who find the underlying  

Liberty is the right to do whatever does not infringe the rights of others free from interference by others. Private property ownership includes the exclusive use, enjoyment and right to dispose of the property. Liberty demands presumption of the right to use private property unless to prevent substantial harm to the general public health and safety. It does not require the owner to use the property to benefit others or the general public. Government regulation has become dangerously oppressive to those trying to make their living on the land. It is destroying jobs, wrecking the economy and social fabric of rural communities. California has a huge agricultural economic base that is being dismantled piece by piece. .

My particular concerns are.

(1) Regional governance structures to supplant and undermine the jurisdiction and authority of local elected County government: This would include governance structures such as the Klamath Coordinating Council under the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. These commonly include federal and state agencies, mixed selected elected officials from various jurisdictions and representation from special interests.  

(2) Integrated Resource Management: Chapter 18 of Agenda 21, an outgrowth of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development  or "Earth Summit" in Rio de Janeiro,requires that all States implement integrated watershed management plans "for the protection and conservation of the potential sources of freshwater supply, including … protection of mountain slopes and riverbanks and other relevant development and conservation activities.” The Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with UNESCO has imported IRM to the United States.

The State of California has introduced the Integrated Regional Water Management Planning groups throughout California. A few of these have merged local government authorities into a Joint Powers Authority. Many of the grants offered to IRWMPs push expectations of this sort of formal integrated regional management power. According to  John Lowry of the Department of Conservation speaking at a California Water Plan Update webinar, integration of management efforts will incrementally become more commonly used as “traditional methods fail to achieve anticipated results” causing a collapse of the old management system.

(3) Stakeholder advisory groups: The CA DF&G and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board are employing “stakeholder advisory groups” in their planning. Elected Local governments may receive one seat at the table for one official along side of numerous agency and special interest representatives. Local elected government is not a “stakeholder.” It is a government with very real powers, authorities and jurisdictions. Agencies and appointed State Boards should engage in a formal government to government coordination process to seek consistency and harmony in their plans, policies and decisions. It is entirely inappropriate to have one elected official represent an entire Board on issues where policy has not already been set by that Board. It is entirely inappropriate to give a special interest weight and parity with elected officials.    

(4) Ecosystem Services: These are functions of property which benefit the collective whole: clean air and water; reducing the severity of floods, droughts, winds and waves; detoxification and decomposition of wastes; soil and soil fertility; pollination; control of agricultural pests; dispersal of seed; nutrient cycling; biodiversity; protection from ultraviolet rays; stabilization of climate change; moderation of temperature extremes; diverse human cultures; beauty and spiritual sustenance.

In any particular area, an assessment is done of the range of ecosystem services produced. These are assigned an economic value. Then a market system like cap and trade can be established to trade these services. They can be used to offset regulatory use impact penalties; sold as an easement against land or water use; incentivized to encourage stewardship investment by downstream end users.

This has the potential of complicating title and ownership of private property to the point where it ceases to be or split estate ownership becomes amalgamated in a few hands. 

(5) Polluter Pays Principle: "The ‘polluter pays principle’ states that whoever is responsible for damage to the environment should bear the costs associated with it." (Taking Action, The United Nations Environmental Programme.) Under this principle, “pollution” is  defined as "costs to the environment" or "damage to the environment" or "public good and bad.” Policy-making, fees, taxes and penalties are focused on rewarding the “public good” and punishing “public bad.”

This is contrasted with the traditional American definition where “pollution” is defined as any byproduct of a production or consumption process that harms others or otherwise violates the property rights of others. The “polluter pays principle” presumes a superior collective public easement for mutual environmental services against which impact fees and penalties are levied for the privilege of private property usage.

Through extreme environmental regulation (control,) the state has exerted defacto ownership over private property. For instance, the CA North Coast Water Quality Control Board is asserting control over land use to reduce non-point source pollution into waterbodies.

There are pollution listings for sediment as an impairment -which creates control over roads (access) and “land disturbing” activities such as farming (tillage,) cattle ranching (riparian affects) and timber harvest. There are pollution listings for stream temperature, creating control over irrigation use because of runoff and requiring the establishment of riparian forests as a land use rather than crops. All of these have/will lead to expensive permits to farm, ranch or harvest timber, where bureaucrats come out to your property and tell you how you may use your land. Similar controls on use or requirements for use are imposed in the name of the public for endangered species.

(6) Precautionary Principle: where we see a serious threat to the environment, a lack of scientific certainty shouldn't prevent us taking precautions. "When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action." - Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, Jan. 1998

The essence of private ownership is the exclusivity of individual control over use and disposal of property. Governmental regulation stands as an encroachment upon the exclusivity of that private control. In order to maintain the integrity of private ownership and the relativity of individual rights fundamental to the social compact, governmental regulation of property is restrained in its "police powers" to the protection of the general public from property uses that are substantially dangerous or injurious to human peace, health, safety, and morals. Regulations must have this nexus to be legitimate.

Further, prosecution is governed by rules of “proximate cause.” There must be a substantial forseeability or predictability that specific actions would cause injury or harm within an uninterrupted period of time. There is also a quality of direct causation – no intervening causes between the original act and the resultant injury. In addition, the act itself must be voluntary. It must be the primary act from which an injury results as a natural, direct, uninterrupted consequence and without which the injury would not have occurred. The action is not the cause of the injury if the injury would have occurred without the action.

CF&GC section 5653 allows a permit to be issued only if the Department can determine that the “operation will not be deleterious to fish.” This is an example of regulation embodying the precautionary principle. It renders use of property a privilege for which permission must be sought and granted.

 (7) Expansion of Public Trust: The CADF&G derives its authority from: (1) the authority of the State to establish the actions necessary to appropriate or “take” an animal from the public domain into private property; (2) a general stewardship responsibility of the state to conserve resources important to the food supply and other basic needs necessary for survival of the human population. The State does not “own” the fish and wildlife, nor does it own the habitat in which they live.

The natural resource agencies cannot have, what they seem to believe is a superior collective easement in habitat or ecosystems that subordinates vested privately owned property.  

Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

Marcia H. Armstrong
Supervisor District 5
Siskiyou County
 Box 750
Yreka, CA 96097




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