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Ridin' Point - Water Meetings, Siskiyou County Spotted Owl Lawsuit, & Economic Impacts

by Siskiyou County Supervisor Marcia Armstrong 4/6/13.


Water Meetings: Three important water meetings will be held in the next several weeks. The first meeting is the California Water Plan forum on Wednesday April 17 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express, 707 Montague Road in Yreka. This session is being held conjointly with other sites in Eureka, Fort Bragg, Santa Rosa, Tulelake, and Weaverville. The format is a mixture of webinar presentation and local discussion. The public is invited.



The 2013 CA Water Plan Update for the North Coast tells the “water story” for the region. The purpose of the forum is to receive local input on that story including regional priorities, programs, conditions and challenges. I am a member of the regional advisory committee and provided some comments on the proposed initial written draft. The revised draft report will be posted here: www.waterplan.water.ca.gov/materials/index.cfm?subject=apr1713. Those wishing to attend the meeting can RSVP by using the following link: www.surveymonkey.com/s/NC-ForumRSVP or contact Mary Randall, DWR Regional Coordinator, at mary.randall@water.ca.gov or 530-528-7407. A working lunch is available for $10.



The second water meeting is the policy review panel of the North Coast Integrated Regional Water Management Planning (NCIRWMP) group 10 a.m-3 p.m. at the Miner’s Inn Convention Center on Friday April 19 in Yreka. http://www.northcoastirwmp.net/ On the agenda will be the process and outline for developing a new regional plan. This meeting is open to the public.



This seven county group was first established in order to apply for “water bond” money, which the voters approved under Chapter 8 of Proposition 50 in 2002 and again under Proposition 84 in 2006. NCIRWMP includes Modoc, (northern) Siskiyou, Del Norte, Humboldt. Trinity, Mendocino, Sonoma and regional tribal representation.



A requirement of the grant process was the creation of an integrated regional plan. At that time, Siskiyou County contributed the CA Coho recovery plan for the Shasta and Scott to the IRWM planning process to cover its area. Now, state requirements require a new regional plan to include 27 new resource management strategies, an emphasis on climate change mitigation and the adoption of model regional General Planning elements. (See Attachment D starting on page 13 http://www.northcoastirwmp.net/docManager/1000008898/January%2017%20PRP%20Meeting%20Ukiah_Summary.pdf .)



Both Supervisor Bennett and I serve on the Policy Review Panel of the NCIRWMP and both of us have submitted our concerns regarding the proposed planning outline, much of which is being required by the state of CA.



The third water meeting is the CA Department of Water Resources (DWR) Integrated Regional Water Management Strategic Plan “Vision and Goals” workshop that will be held from 10 a.m -4 p.m, on Wednesday the 15th of May at the Veterans Hall located at 1605 Yuba Street in Redding. Register here: http://irwm.rmcwater.com/stakeholder/ws-registration.php The meeting will follow the “Strategic Plan for the Future of Integrated Regional Water Management in California. (See brochure) http://www.water.ca.gov/irwm/stratplan/documents/DWR_BrochureV1.2_Web.pdf


Among other things, the meeting will examine the Draft Vision for the Future of IRWM: “California embraces and practices IRWM as the best way to manage water and aligns related programs, policies, and regulations to advance IRWM.”



The brochure states: “Integrated Regional Water Management IRWM incorporates the physical, environmental, societal, economic, legal, and jurisdictional aspects of water management into regional solutions through open and collaborative stakeholder processes to promote sustainable water use.” All of this clearly follows the new global IRWM blueprint for water management. Here is the link to my lengthy research paper substantiating the origins of this approach: http://users.sisqtel.net/armstrng/IWRM%20global%20Part2.htm



Siskiyou County Spotted Owl Lawsuit: Siskiyou County has joined with the Carpenters Industrial Council, the American Forest Resource Council, and a number of forest products companies to file a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. challenging the latest critical habitat designation for the northern spotted owl. The lawsuit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to address violations of the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and Administrative Procedure Act. Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that the Fish and Wildlife Service failed to conduct proper analysis of economic impacts and consider detailed economic data submitted by a coalition of forest counties.



Economic Impacts: Currently the U.S. Forest Service Region 5 is beginning the process of writing new Forest Management Plans for all of its National Forests – starting at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada mountains. (Siskiyou County’s National Forests will be among the last.) The new plans will take a formula approach so the blueprint being established now will affect all Forests. I have been working with a subcommittee of the 21 county Sustainable Forest Action Coalition (SFAC,) Chico State and Region 5 on the blueprint for determining social and economic impacts for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation of Forest plans and projects and the new Forest Plans.




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