- Cold Showers
- Eddie McKinsey
- B Fuddled
- Little Dog
- Police Transparency
- Pacific Rain
- Ed Notes
- Apostrophe Syndrome
- Bucked Up
- Zero Waste
- Wilson Tweets
- Generation V
- Yesterday's Catch
- Math Solution
- Young MAGAs
- Habitat Divorce
- Muhammad Ali
- Healthcare Costs
- Another Take
- Ominous Ticking
- Credential Society
- Job Hunter
- Tragic Joke
- Scary Friend
- Acorn Comeback
- Esther Jones
- Salmon Protection
SCATTERED SHOWERS on Monday accompanied by cold temps with highs in the 40s. Light winds. More widespread rain on Tuesday with gusty winds and continued cold temps in the 30s overnight. Showers continue for Wednesday, brief partial clearing on Thursday, and then showers again Friday into the weekend with lows in the 30s and highs barely above 50.
SCENES from yesterday's snow (click to enlarge)
R.D. BEACON OF ELK WRITES:
We have lost a good friend a long time resident to the community of Elk, California. Eddie McKinsey was a longtime resident and passed away last Sunday in his sleep after a short illness. In the early years he worked for Daniels and Ross lumber company. Later on he worked for Greenwood lumber company and then he went to work for the Mendocino County Department of Public Works working out of the Point Arena yard. We will miss him greatly
MEASURE B GOING OFF THE RAILS?
We are becoming alarmed that the voters are not going to get what they asked for when they voted for Measure B in November, 2017. The voters said ‘yes’ to adding a local sales tax to build and operate a ‘PHF’ unit – a psychiatric health facility – that is, in essence, a lock-up for the mentally ill among us who are out of control for whatever reason and need to be forcibly taken off the streets.
Measure B passed because we have all seen the need for it. Sheriff Tom Allman went around getting petitions signed personally to get it on the ballot and campaigned long and hard for it. He knows it’s needed. So do other law enforcement workers in this county.
A Measure B citizen committee was set up to try to guide the process, although it is not given any authority to make decisions. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors needs to do that.
What we have come to after a little over a year is a not a PHF at all, but apparently an effort to build and fund a mental health crisis center. And perhaps give the Measure B money to a local contractor now already handling adult and youth mental health for the county with millions in tax dollars. A crisis center is not a bad thing, and Redwood Community Services, the organization handling mental health for the county these days, appears to be doing a perfectly adequate job with the mandates and money they have. But the crisis center now being talked about, was an idea already underway for which RCS got some grant money, yet it still lacks complete funding.
The important point is, it is not a PHF. It’s a crisis center. It does not take people off the streets, it gives them a place to be temporarily, but does not operate the way a PHF does.
Crisis centers are good things, and with more of them we might need fewer trips to PHFs for people. But the county gets – and passes along to contractors – millions of tax dollars each year to address the mental health needs of our citizens – including crisis centers.
Measure B money was voted for by the residents of Mendocino County because we were lobbied to believe – and we are still convinced – that a locked facility for mental health patients who need it is essential in this county.
To use it for any other purposes, no matter how laudable, is a bait and switch to the taxpayers of this county and will only result in the continued need for a PHF and the certainty that voters will shout a resounding ‘No!’ to the next bright idea to raise funds for a ‘critical need.’
And they will be right.
(K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, Ukiah Daily Journal)
LITTLE DOG SAYS, “Skrag! Welcome home! Give me a big hug! Where on earth have you been? ‘Places you'll never go, delights you'll never know, Liitle Dog, you poor motherless foresaken mutt’."
NEW POLICE TRANSPARENCY LAW NOT SO TRANSPARENT
by Jim Shields
Everybody is trying to get into the act, at least it seems that way with a new state law, SB 1421, a so-called police transparency law that allows public access to police records in cases of force, as well as investigations that confirmed the lack of honesty in the work place or sexual misconduct.
The law was initially challenged by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Association which filed a petition requesting the California Supreme Court to rule that the bill, applies only to records created after Jan. 1, 2019—the bill’s effective date. Such a ruling would have undermined the intent and effectiveness of the new law by excluding from public disclosure decades of records related to police misconduct.
The state Supreme Court moving quickly, issued a one-sentence order, rejecting the union’s request.
Then on the heels of that decision, another police union, representing Los Angeles cops, was successful in obtaining a temporary order prohibiting the retroactive enforcement of SB 1421—meaning, again, that the public would have access only to records created after January 1, 2019, thus barring from public disclosure decades-old documents and records involving allegations and evidence of police misconduct.
Next, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Association filed an action on Jan. 7 to block the County of San Bernardino and the Sheriff’s Department from disclosing records pursuant to SB 1421. Two days later, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge David Cohn granted a temporary restraining order to block the Sheriff’s Department from disclosing such records and scheduled a full hearing for March 11.
Following that decision, the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff’s filed an action on Jan. 16 to prevent the County of Los Angeles from releasing records pursuant to SB 1421
This past week, the Riverside Police Officers Association filed suit to prevent the City of Riverside from releasing any records pursuant to SB 1421 that were created before Jan. 1, 2019.
Not to be outshined by local police departments, California’s highest ranking law enforcer, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a liberal Democrat and card-carrying member-in-good-standing with the American Civil Liberties Union, announced on Feb. 6 he will not release disciplinary records for his investigators under the state’s new transparency law until the courts rule on whether the statute is retroactive, saying that for now disclosure would invade the officers’ rights.
“Historically, peace officers have had a significant privacy right in their personnel records … the public interest in accessing these records is clearly outweighed by the public’s interest in protecting privacy rights,” said Becerra’s office, referring to police secrecy laws approved more than 40 years ago. “We will not disclose any records that pre-date January 1, 2019, at this time.”
The attorney general’s decision, in a letter circulated among city attorneys, has influenced agencies deciding whether to comply with the new law or wait for the outcome of court challenges by police unions trying to block access to existing records.
Becerra told KQED TV in an interview, “We have a couple of cases where courts are about to weigh in on how to interpret that state law, and we want to make sure that we remain consistent.”
David Snyder, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, a free speech and open government advocacy organization, told KQED Tuesday that Becerra is “the highest law enforcement officer in the state. He has decided not to disclose records that I think the new law makes very clear should be disclosed.”
State Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, who authored the new law, SB 1421, also told KQED that she was surprised by Becerra’s rejection of the records request, which was made by freelance reporter Darwin Bond-Graham.
“I find the AG’s interpretation puzzling considering that we have law enforcement agencies up and down the state, including our California Highway Patrol, releasing records,” Skinner said.
Bond-Graham posted a response on Twitter from Mark Beckington, California’s supervising deputy attorney general, which said pending cases raise the issue of whether the new law requires disclosure of records relating to conduct that happened before Jan. 1. In two of those cases, which involve unions representing Richmond and Los Angeles police officers, he said courts told agencies not to release records.
“Therefore, until the legal question of retroactive application of the statute is resolved by the courts, the public interest in accessing these records is clearly outweighed by the public’s interest in protecting privacy rights,” Beckington said in the response.
Another problem has arisen outside of all the frenetic litigation: Individuals requesting records are being told that it will cost a small fortune to have them prepared and copied.
The Orange County Register reported that, “While some cities are citing the retroactivity argument, others are charging tens of thousands of dollars for the public to obtain the records. For instance, Anaheim wants $96,000 to copy and remove nonpublic information from audio and video evidence produced by such devices as body cameras.
The city estimates the process will take more than 1,200 hours at $80 an hour. City lawyers point to a 2018 appellate ruling — the National Lawyers Guild v. the City of Hayward — that allows municipalities to charge for the direct costs of copying and redacting a document.
“In San Diego County, sheriff’s officials want $30,617 to copy and redact several hours of audio and videos dealing with confirmed sexual assaults by deputies. San Diego County estimates its hourly cost at $33, much lower than in Anaheim, but still high.
“Several agencies have already complied with the law and provided records to the Southern California News Group, including police departments in Laguna Beach, Colton, Pomona, Escondido and Porterville, as well as the Palomar Community College District.
“About 25 agencies, mostly small city departments and school police, did not have any responsive documents for the five-year period, 2014 to 2019, requested by the news group.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reported this week that, “The Berkeley City Council reversed itself after first refusing to release pre-2019 police personnel records now public records under the recently passed SB1421, the state’s new police transparency law. It’s not known how the Berkeley police union will respond, but other unions are arguing SB1421 is not applicable to pre-2019 records.
And, San Diego’s KPBS TV filed a lawsuit against the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department for records on response time to complaints about employees. The department failed to heed requests for the records made under the California Public Records Act. The public broadcasting station is investigating why women accusing an officer of sexual misconduct never received a reply to their report of his misconduct.
Of course, all this flurry of litigation and related document disclosure activity centers around one primary concern: Money.
There probably are untold billions of dollars in potential damages growing out the liability of cities, counties and the state relative to past, i.e. pre-January 1, 2019 misconduct by law enforcement officers.
Given all the pending litigation in different venues, it may take years before this seemingly straightforward document disclosure-transparency issue is resolved, most likely by the U.S. Supreme Court.
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, and is also the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org.)
SUNDAY SUNSET on the Coast
JUST SAYIN' but I don't see the value, nutritional or instructional, of Girl Scout Cookies. Mass manufactured in Louisville, Kentucky, the Girl Scouts are selling them all over the place, including Mendo where I bought my negative food value nuggets from the daughter of a friend. Now if the Scouts could home bake a sugar-free cookie as a real life lesson in the joys of free enterprise I'd be first in line.
THE VALLEY HUB is a local facebook page a colleague says I've been banned from or, in facebook-speak, unfriended from. I didn't know I'd been friended in the first place by the Baxter Winery of Philo, an entity not known to me, but it kept popping up on my blank but often visited facebook page. And now it doesn't. I don't post stuff on my page but have managed to accumulate friends I never knew I had. Everybody and his bro seems to have a facebook page, me included, although I've never posted anything on mine and can't remember why or how I have one.
I'M VERY SORRY to learn that Diane Hering is quite ill and presently confined to a Ukiah nursing home. A smart, capable person as only a person affiliated with the Boonville newspaper can be, Diane worked with us way back at the dawn of the enterprise.
ANYBODY know the author of the following? "We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom — the soap box; the ballot box; the jury box; and the cartridge box."
STARTLED TO READ this headline in this morning's on-line Press Democrat: "It smells like farts if you open your window’ — pollution from Mexico fouls border city." If you included the vulgarity in a letter-to-the-editor your letter would either be tossed or the fart edited out by the Prufrockian old farts who edit the thing.
ALL FOR $1.00
An official state letter finally found its way to me by way of the young man who bought our past October fire lot. The letter was dated back in November 2018 and addressed to our previous home/office. After the fire we filed forms to forward all of our mail to a post office box in Hopland we have used for years. Somehow this letter failed to be forwarded.
This official letter notified me that I owed $1.00 to the Department of Motor Vehicles. And as failure to pay my firm’s EPN Account has been cancelled. The account has a balance due of $1.00. I took this letter very seriously as the EPN account is necessary to operate my trucks during grape harvest. The letter went on to inform me that once an account has been closed for nonpayment, I must establish a new account using three (3) DMV forms and submit more money.
I quickly put $1.00 in an envelope along with a pleading that our home and office burned down in October 2017. Please, there must be some way to file an appeal or reinstatement.
The notice had a phone number and actually a name I could call if I had any questions. Well, the very first thing the next day I was on the phone to the named Randy. He listened very attentively but he had no authority to grant reconsideration. Letters of demand had been sent several times for payment of the $1.00.
The next day I received a call back from Randy and they had received the money. He could refer my request to his supervisor and I would receive a call from her the next day. Well the next day came and went but the following day I received a call from Randy stating they would make an exception and reinstate my EPN account. However, I had to immediately submit DMV form INF4. This form had to be received by 4:30 of that day. Randy gave me the e-mail address of where the form was to be e- mailed to.
I happened to be in the middle of my vineyard that day and not close to any computer. I then called my accountant who possibly could retrieve the form, fill it out, sign and send it in. That did not work due to the signatures not matching what DMV had on file. We then worked a plan that the form would be faxed to a location for me to sign and then fax the form back to the accountant to be e-mailed to DMV.
Just by pure luck and a lot of work we got the form to Randy in time and he was good enough to call me and tell me that my EPN account had been reinstated.
All of this over $1.00.
Hi Folks, Are you interested in learning about Zero Waste? Come hear about what is happening in Sonoma County and discuss what we might do in Anderson Valley on Weds. 2/20 2:30 - 4:30 at the Boonville Firehouse community room. Potia Sinnott of Zero Waste Action will introduce Zero Waste and Sonoma County’s new ZeroWaste initiatives followed by a short discussion of how we can start Anderson Valley moving toward ZeroWaste on Feb. 20, 2019 from 2:30 to 4:30, Boonville Fire House. More info: Donna, 684-0325.
A WILLITS READER WRITES:
“The collective noun for a group of anti-vaccinators is ‘a murder of Karens’” – hah! This clever post by a “Dusty Giebel” was re-posted on Twitter by one of my favorite GOP never-Trumpers, Rick Wilson.
You may have seen the protest photo around, it’s a good one.
Did these women even think twice about the risk of injury or even death by highway accident the last time they loaded their precious children into the SUV to take them to school or on vacation? No, I expect they didn’t. It would be much too inconvenient for their own daily lives to stop accepting THAT risk!
We’ve got more “inches” of snow over here in Willits this morning – I hear there’s a little snow sticking even in Fort Bragg!
Rick Wilson writes like lava, I love it. Maybe most suitable for small bursts on Twitter? But his book “Everything Trump Touches Dies” was great, and his longer columns, too. He’s been getting op/eds in a variety of print outlets, but most regularly writes for the Daily Beast.
SOME AUSTRALIAN TEENS are rebelling against their anti-vaccine parents by secretly getting immunizations against potentially fatal infections, according to the Courier Mail. Youth in Queensland who are age 15 and older can use a state law to get medical care without their parents’ consent or knowledge. This includes getting vaccinations. Physicians have referred to these teenagers as “Generation V,” the newspaper notes. The immunization rate in the region is a mere 88.93%, dramatically lower than Australian health officials’ desired national rate of 95%. Reports of these teens defying their parents’ anti-vaccine beliefs come amid a measles outbreak in Portland, Oregon, attributed to low immunization rates. Some anti-vaxxer parents believe that the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is linked to autism, a claim that has been widely debunked.
(The Daily Beast)
CATCH OF THE DAY, February 10, 2019
TIMOTHY CARD, Covelo. Controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, loaded firearm-not registered owner, large capacity magazine.
LUIS CEJA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
RENEE CRANE, Fort Bragg. Harboring wanted felon, conspiracy.
FRANCISCO GONZALEZ, Ukiah. Parole violation, controlled substance, probation revocation.
ARON HERNANDEZ, Little River. Stolen property, conspiracy.
CASEY ROBINSON, Willits. Misdemeanor hit&run with property damage, failure to appear.
ESTEBAN RODRIGUEZ, Fort Bragg. Stolen property, failure to appear, probation revocation.
SAMUEL SIERRA, Ukiah. Probation violation.
KAREN SULLIVAN, Ukiah. DUI.
by Harvey Reading
I do believe that I have found a cure for MAGAism, the religion practiced by the brain-dead disciples of Donald Trump. Its adherents include almost all republicans, and a relatively small number of Working Class deadbeats lost in the desert. They are a surly bunch, who, when in groups of three or more can be dangerous, or seemingly so.
Over the past two-plus years since Trump was elevated, I have found it increasingly hard to get a good rest at night. I often awaken during the night from dreams of a dystopian nature that are set in unfamiliar surroundings and populated with people I don’t even know. During the day, I find my mind filled with anger. I am frequently on edge, with a sense of justified foreboding. I actually fear that a group of MAGAists might break into my house and attack me (not unimaginable, especially in places like Wyoming).
A few months back, I replaced the .357 revolver I had kept hidden in the living room with an old Ruger Standard Pistol, a .22LR semiauto. Why did I do that? Simple: I am so stressed that I fully believe it is possible that MAGAists might really break in, and I do not want blood all over my house after I deal with them. I’m a good enough shot with a handgun that I can put a .22 hollow point through a target the size of an intruder’s forehead, without aiming, from a distance of 5-15 feet. Something you might care to keep in mind, Jerry boy. The bleeding from an injury inflicted by the .22 bullet is much less than that produced by a .357 jacketed hollow point.
Now, that’s NO WAY TO LIVE. I realize that. That kind of semi-self-induced stress is bad for a person’s health. And, I believe I have found a solution. Bear with me.
I have run out of books to read and was too lazy to get more ordered before finishing the last of those I already possessed. In another week, I should again have a supply to tide me over for another few weeks, hopefully until spring, but at the moment the well is dry. Plus the weather (especially the relative humidity, which is much higher than normal) this winter is so inclement that I have no desire to leave the house, except to walk with my dog to the Post Office–about a one mile round trip–on those days when the temperature gets above 10°F (no home delivery here).
I refuse to read from my mostly inherited full set of the Harvard Classics, believing them to be selections made by wealthy people from the ruling class, because the selections would not prove “unsafe” for consumption by those of us from the lower orders of humankind. I really should pack them up and store them in the garage … It’s just that they’ve been around since long before I was born, and I expended so much time in used bookstores during the 70s and 80s tracking down missing volumes. Oh, well.
So, a few nights ago, I broke out a couple of my old mathematics books and started reading them. Part of the reason for doing so was because I had forgotten how to differentiate (a calculus term) exponential functions. I really wanted a first-year calculus book, but no longer have one. I had lent mine to my cousin-roommate back in 1970 and the deadbeat never returned it. So, I was stuck with Maxwell Rosenlicht’s Modern Mathematical Analysis and Protter and Morrey’s Introduction to Analysis (a second-year calculus book), modern at least from a 1960s-early 1970s perspective.
Talk about taking one’s mind off the problems and stress associated with MAGAism. Reading math books will take one’s mind off most anything beyond the text. Mathematicians are sooooo precise. And so boring to read. Even so, I feel much better and am sleeping well at night. I doubt that my knowledge of math has increased at all. Nevertheless I highly recommend reading math books as a means for reducing stress–unless you’re taking a class where you have to actually understand what’s in the book!
Please excuse any typos. One should NEVER edit one’s own scribbling. You always miss something.
MAGA VOTERS, THE EARLY YEARS
CLIMATE CHANGE is not just a pollution problem, but an indicator of how our human psyche and culture became divorced from our natural habitat.
Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” health care plan is being embraced by the Democrats on the left, including those running for president. His proposal would have no premiums or deductibles. Supposedly it would cost $33 trillion over 10 years, but there’s nothing firm about where the money would come from.
But Medicare as we know it isn’t free. First, workers and businesses pay a 1.45 percent tax on employee income, with no income cap, to the Medicare fund. When a person decides to go on Medicare, there is a basic monthly premium that usually comes from your Social Security check, or you can pay quarterly.
But there are coverage gaps on Medicare that require a person to buy a supplemental policy for medical and drug prescriptions. You get to choose from an HMO like Kaiser for both medical and prescriptions with a low monthly cost, but there are many co-pays for services and drugs. Or you choose a PPO and buy a separate medical and drug prescription policy, which vary depending on cost and need.
So why the use of the term “Medicare” by Sanders when it isn’t free?
ED NOTE: All true, which is why single payer for all of us is the more desirable of the two because it eliminates the insurance combines and all the little add-ons that burden us old folks on medicare. Where Mr. Smith is, I believe, incorrect, is the old wheeze, "But how do we pay for it?" Indeed. How are we going to pay for all the stuff we need — single payer, mental hospitals, infrastructure upgrades, housing for people of ordinary means; environmental protections (on the off chance it isn't too late), and so on? A big tax on the big fortunes, a tax that would go unnoticed in Mendocino County other than in a radical upgrade in the social amenities noted above. Everyday Magas always make it sound like they'll be taxed right outta their Barca-Loungers while it never seems to occur to them that their meager set asides are hardly in the same league as the oligarchy.
These smug, righteous bastards must soon come to understand that, no matter how they came by their power, they no longer own us. They no longer have the power to sell us our past and tell us the way we were. And are. And we're pissed. And it's threatening real and unimaginable violence out there. And as always from somewhere nearby, there's that ominous ticking. It's time to settle in for the show, maybe invite the neighbors. After all, it's on the big screen.
Nobody at least none who is talking, has any idea where any of this might end, but it is unlikely to resemble a child's birthday party. It will more probably end on a killing floor, where cows meet their deaths in a line. And this scene is very seldom seen on those screens.
These lying criminals who feed us our collective past must come down with heartburn, and quickly. They must sweat, and a few will likely need to bleed. Turbulence taught a tough lesson. They don't own us, and no matter how arrogant and offensive their behaviors, such beliefs won't protect them.
So invite the neighbors to watch as it all begins to take place. They may beg. They may plead. But we will bring out the cookies pour the coffee, inhale and watch. And in the background, the ominous ticking.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Universities are now profit centers and diploma mills resulting in a credential society, where lack of a degree – worthless as it almost always is – is used solely as means to whittle down employment pools. I am continually pissed off as my current employer hires new people in my career field and starts them at levels commensurate with the meaningless outside credentials they carry on their resume, rather than actual relevant work experience, which is the only thing that matters in my line of work. Then the staff (including me), gets the pleasure of carrying these losers for a year or three while they come up to speed, all while the new hire makes more money than the experienced staff who’s carrying them.
A recent hire included on her resume that she’s currently pursuing a PhD in Business Administration of all things (a classic “basket weaving” degree, the only use for which is to become a University Professor). Fortunately I won’t be working with her, as I doubt seriously I would be able to contain my contempt. Business these days is a dog eat dog charnel house and the only way to break even and maintain your self-respect is to be the most ruthless and duplicitous motherfucker on the block. Don’t remember them covering THAT in any of my MBA seminars, although we students certainly shared horror stories amongst ourselves.
JOB HUNTING IN 1930s
WILLING TO RE-LOCATE
Sunday Morning on Oahu
It's just past midnight, following the festive bountiful Saturday night BBQ at the Plumeria Alternative Hostel. Tables full of salad, couscous, cheeses, hot pickled okra, sauerkraut, Maui onions, Hawaiian poi (tarot root), ham, chicken, burgers, links, chips and several dips, cakes, pie, cookies, and ice cream. And beverages. Back in the room now checking the internet for information about the New Green Deal proposed in Washington, D.C., to actually guarantee a stable future for Americans. The predictable political bickering is taking place. But who cares? There is no worthwhile future here, with global climate destabilization, economic chaos, and a lack of basic health care. And socialism is being roundly condemned by those who have no idea what it is. Not identifying with the body. Not identifying with the mind. Being a witness of everything is the spiritual way! The alternative is to identify with a world that is becoming more and more a tragic joke. On that note, please know that I am available for participation on the frontline of radical environmentalism and peace & justice. I am willing to leave the comfort zone that Hawaii has been for me. I am willing to relocate to the eastern coast of the U.S. mainland for the purpose of "intervening in history". I seek cooperation in order to do this.
Craig Louis Stehr
THE ACORN MAKES A COMEBACK
Sonoma County groups embrace return of the mighty acorn
by Stephen Nett
Oak trees are among the most visible icons of the ancient Northern California landscape. With dark limbs curling above a carpet of grass, they lend an almost parklike visage to the foothills. The ten native species here also have seasonally dropped vast quantities of edible harvests of acorns, which support a bounty of wildlife and once fed indigenous people, who used fire and other tested practices to protect and nurture productive “orchards” in the woodlands.
The acorn was the original California cuisine, a reliable, nutritious staple on every menu that literally grew on trees. But after thousands of years, the venerable acorn was ignominiously edged out, to be replaced by imports of wheat flour, French fries, instant rice and corn flakes.
Despite its culinary disappearance, appreciation for the humble oak tree nut was never completely extinguished, and now it’s making a modest comeback, thanks to renewed interest in local, sustainable, functional and even foraged foods.
A mid-February workshop at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation entitled “Seed to Table: How to Process and Eat Acorns of the Laguna Watershed,” was nearly sold out several weeks in advance.
The wild acorn is also the focus of local tribal groups seeking ways to strengthen cultural ties, reclaim their rich California heritage, and restore links to healthy diets from ancestral lands. A local, indigenously produced new product, Acorn Bites, is set to hit the local market in February.
While a particularly large oak can yield as much as 500 to 1,000 pounds of acorns per season, eating acorns actually isn’t as simple as it sounds. Right off the tree, they are mouth-puckeringly bitter, and indigestible to humans, thanks to a healthy content of compounds called tannins. In the wild, those tannins help preserve acorns from rot and insects – they can be stored for years.
Preparing them to eat involved multiple careful steps, first of gathering, sorting, drying, and shelling. In the past, the nutmeats were ground by hand, using stone, into a course meal. The Pomo and Miwok grinding rocks were usually located near running water, and the group work was accompanied by songs. The resulting coarse meal was then subjected to long rinsing, which leached and then washed the tannins out.
Before Europeans arrived, this elaborate, labor intensive process was a community affair, guided by traditional cultural practices, and longstanding knowledge of the natural environment. Local bands had their own protocols for how and when the acorns were harvested, stored and processed. Some, for example, favored acorns that had been stored for years, or intentionally left the first fall of acorns for wildlife to harvest, to ensure their survival as well.
The acorn meal could be mixed with berries or salmon, boiled in baskets for porridge, pressed into cakes, dried or baked as flatbread. Scientists believe acorns made up more than half of the calories in the native Californians’ diet.
“When tribal communities here were dispossessed by incoming settlers, and targeted for extermination, traditions had to be hidden,” Nicole Lim, Executive Director of the nonprofit California Indian Museum and Cultural Center (CIMCC) in Santa Rosa, explains. “In dealing with native peoples, there was a concept: ‘kill the food, kill the culture’.”
Following the Mission period, and the flood of immigrants after the Gold Rush, acorn harvesting and preparation was practiced out of sight, Lim says. And as access to the oak groves was lost, so nearly was the traditional knowledge.
The California Indian Museum and Cultural Center was founded in 1996 with the purpose of educating the public about the history, culture, and contemporary life of California Indians and to honor their contributions to civilization.
Another aim is to find ways to preserve and transmit tribal cultural knowledge, and strengthen the cultural identity of Pomo and Miwok tribal youth living in Lake, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties.
Now, a group of young men and women, the Tribal Youth Ambassadors, are launching a first-of-its-kind food product, Acorn Bites, to help fund educational and cultural advancement of tribal youth here.
Made with acorn meal and other organic California ingredients, the bite-sized protein snacks will be available at the Sebastopol Farmer’s Market February 10th, and at other local markets later this year, as well as on the Acorn Bites website.
Native American chef Crystal Wahpepah, a member of the Kickapoo tribe, has worked for years in Oakland developing indigenous food menus for her own catering and café businesses. She was approached by the Santa Rosa youth group, most of them in high school, to help develop Acorn Bites in 2016.
“They came up with this incredible idea of combining traditional foods in a contemporary, healthy product. We spent several years researching ingredients, testing recipes, while trying to preserve the integrity of precolonial foods,” she says.
It was a challenge to find the right mix of ingredients that would work with the flavor of acorn.
“When we did taste tests with the community” Lim recalls, “many were surprised by the nutty, sweet flavor. Acorns usually have a mild bitter taste. They don’t combine well with just anything.”
“The youth tested the bites first with the elders, and they tasted awesome,” Wahpepah says,” especially the dried cherry and pine nut flavors.”
One of the biggest challenges tribal people face today is gaining access to the oak trees to be able to harvest acorns. Nearly all ancestral oak lands today are on private property, or off-limits to foraging. Part of the CIMCC efforts involves finding property owners to work with tribal groups.
“We are trying to form cooperative partnerships with land owners, to support native people’s efforts to use acorns as a cultural, healthy food, and support education, stewardship of the land, and the handing down of indigenous traditions,” Lim says.
The re-introduction of acorns is also part of a conscious effort by CIMMC and other indigenous groups to restore health to the tribal community, which has high rates of diabetes and other modern diet-related ailments. Studies have found that acorns, which are digested slowly and have a low glycemic index, are an excellent choice to avoid diabetes. They’re also a good source of fiber and potassium, with 6 percent protein, 18 percent fat and 60 percent carbohydrates.
The Tribal Youth Ambassador program, launched in 2010, is a resource for tribal youth who face issues in schools, Lim says, where they often find themselves challenged about who they are culturally, and by a sometimes culturally biased reading of early California history. The Ambassador program, which was awarded a national Arts and Humanities Award in 2016, presented by Michelle Obama, provides opportunities to engage in a positive way with ancestral traditions and history, and encourage culture bearers for the next generation.
CELEBRITIES are consumer products meant to be consumed.
— Lewis Lapham
IT IS A FEELING OF RELIEF, almost of pleasure, at knowing yourself at last genuinely down and out. You have talked so often of going to the dogs — and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them, and you can stand it. It takes off a lot of anxiety.
— Henry Miller
BY THE TIME of the American Civil War, in the 1860s, morphine was a battlefield staple, shot into soldiers to ease the pain of wounds and to treat the dysentery and malaria that raged through military camps. Home gardens in both the North and the South were ablaze with poppies as citizens patriotically grew opium for their troops; the raw drug was then processed into morphine and rushed to the front. Millions of doses were given. Thousands of veterans with lifelong wounds were taught how to use syringes to self-administer the drug long after the war ended; morphine and syringes were sold by mail order and over the counter at drugstores. As morphine’s medical uses increased—for surgery, for accidents, for pretty much any disease or injury—so did the number of patients dependent on the drug. Scientists called this new epidemic “morphinism” and tried with increasing concern to find ways to control it. Enter the German company Bayer and its new drug, Heroin. Bayer’s tests showed that Heroin was up to five times stronger than morphine and far less habit-forming. It also seemed to have the unusual ability to open up airways in the body, so the company started selling it, at home and overseas, to treat coughs and breathing disorders as well as morphine addiction. For $1.50, Americans around the turn of the century could place an order through a Sears, Roebuck catalog and receive a syringe, two needles, and two vials of Bayer Heroin, all in a handsome carrying case.
— Joe McKendry, The Atlantic. Adapted from Ten Drugs: How Plants, Powders, and Pills Have Shaped the History of Medicine, by Thomas Hager, published by Abrams
COMMISSION VOTES TO PROTECT KLAMATH-TRINITY SPRING CHINOOK SALMON UNDER CESA
by Dan Bacher
The tastiest fish I’ve ever eaten was spring Chinook salmon from the Klamath River that I ate at a traditional tribal fish bake at Ocean Beach in San Francisco during the Salmon Aid Festival, the brainchild of commercial fisherman Mike Hudson, back in the summer of 2008. The dark orange, fat saturated meat dripped with delicious juice from the river-maturing fish.
This was during one of two years that recreational and commercial salmon fishing was closed in the ocean and sport fishing was closed in the ocean, due to the collapse of Central Valley fall-run Chinook salmon spurred by a combination of Delta water exports, poor ocean conditions and other factors
Merkie Oliver, a respected Yurok tribal elder and fisherman who passed away in 2015, oversaw a crew of Karuk and Yurok tribal members cooking the salmon on sticks on the beach. There was plenty of salmon for everyone that came to the event, including anglers and environmentalists, that year.
The fish we ate were undoubtedly mostly salmon from the Trinity River Fish Hatchery in Lewiston.
However, the wild spring Chinook salmon on the Klamath and Trinity rivers and their tributaries have been in decline for many years, due to the impact of upstream dams, agricultural diversions and deadly fish disease outbreaks on the main stem of the Klamath.
The 2017-18 count of spring run Chinook was 6500 fish, according to the CDFW, but the overwhelming majority of these fish are hatchery fish from the Trinity River Fish Hatchery.
The spring Chinook salmon that ascend the Klamath River every spring once numbered in the hundreds of thousands. However, last summer, divers at the Salmon River Cooperative Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead Population Snorkel Survey only found 160 Spring-run Chinook, the third lowest return in over 28 years since the counts started, according to a statement from the Karuk Tribe.
Divers conducting a fish survey found even less fish on the South Fork of the Trinity River, another location of a remnant population of wild Spring Salmon in the Klamath-Trinity River system.
The Tribe and the Salmon River Restoration Council filed a petition last year to list the salmon as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) to provide additional protections to the endangered fish.
The Hoopa Valley Tribe is opposing the listing, stating that listing under CESA or the federal ESA “fails to address the real causes for declines for Klamath spring run chinook salmon,” while the Yurok Tribe hasn’t announced their position yet on the listing.
Then on February 6, the California Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously at its meeting in Sacramento to make Upper Klamath-Trinity River Spring Chinook Salmona candidate for listing under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).
“The petitioners submitted information suggesting declining population trends and a low abundance in the tributaries, making this stock of salmon vulnerable to extinction,” according to a CDFW news release.
Now that the Commission has chosen to list the fish as candidate for listing, a one-year status review ensues before the final decision on listing is made. As a candidate Species, the fish is provided the same protections as species listed as endangered and threatened under CESA.
Emergency sport fishing regulations adopted on Klamath system
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) at the meeting requested that the Commission adopt emergency fishing regulations necessary to reconcile them with the CESA protections. CDFW will also be in consultation with federal regulatory bodies concerning ocean fishing regulations.
“We think we can develop regulations that can protect the salmon while allowing fishing for the hatchery salmon stocks,” said Eric Sklar, Commission President. “I think the Karuk Tribe wants to work with recreational and commercial fishermen to develop regulations that work for everybody, but we still have to protect the fish.”
The following inland salmon fishing closures were approved by the Commission through the emergency regulations:
• Klamath River main stem from the mouth of the river to Iron Gate dam. Closed to salmon fishing from the anticipated effective date of February 22 (subject to approval from the Office of Administrative Law (OAL)) to August 14. • • Trinity River main stem from its confluence to the Highway 299 Bridge at Cedar Flat. Closed to salmon fishing from the anticipated effective date of February 22 (subject to OAL approval) to August 31. • • Trinity River main stem from upstream of the Highway 299 Bridge at Cedar Flat to Old Lewiston Bridge. Closed to salmon fishing from the anticipated effective date of February 22 (subject to OAL approval) to October 15. •
Fishing for Upper Klamath-Trinity River Fall Chinook Salmon will be allowed in these areas after the closure dates listed above. Quotas and bag and possession limits for Fall Chinook Salmon will be adopted by the Commission in May of this year. Steelhead fishing will be allowed year-round with normal bag and possession limits.
“Along with its adoption of the emergency regulations, the Commission also directed CDFW to work with stakeholders, including affected counties, fishing organizations, Tribes and conservation groups, to investigate options to allow some Spring Chinook Salmon fishing in 2019,” according to a statement from the CDFW.
Under Section of 2084 of Fish and Game Code, the Commission can consider hook-and-line recreational fishing on a Candidate Species. CDFW will present the results of that stakeholder collaboration and potential options using Section 2084 at the Commission’s next public meeting on April 17 in Santa Monica.
Karuk Tribe and SRRC want “common sense fishing regulations”
Representatives of the Karuk Tribe and SRRC attending the meeting emphasized they want to work with fishermen and the agency to develop “common sense fishing regulations,” including being able to fish for spring Chinook born at the Trinity River Fish Hatchery in Lewiston.
“There is a population of hatchery born spring Chinook on the Trinity River that can and should be fished,” says Karuk Tribe Executive Director Joshua Saxon in a statement.
Saxon testified as to the key role the Chinooks play in Karuk culture.
“My family is from Camp Creek and areas north of the Salmon River,” he said. “We have lived there for thousands of years. A near-extinction event goes to core of our identity.”
“Spring chinook are our relatives,” Saxon emphasized. “When I think of spring Chinook, I think of family and the spring ceremony for spring run Chinook – upriver smoke – that hasn’t been done for over 70 years. These fish are absolutely essential to me, my kids and all of us.”
Researchers at the University of California, Davis led by Dr. Michael Miller, recently published two reports in the journal Science Advances and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that explains the genetic differences between fall Chinook and spring Chinook, according to a joint press release from the Karuk Tribe and the Salmon River Restoration Council. Miller testified at the meeting on Wednesday.
“The research provides new insights into salmon evolution and reveals that spring Chinook salmon deserve to be treated as its own evolutionarily distinct unit separate from fall Chinook. Before the age of dams, industrial mining, and clear-cut logging, spring Chinook salmon were the most abundant run of salmon in many Pacific Northwest Rivers. Today these fish are nearly extinct throughout much of its historic range,” according to the Tribe.
“These fish have been on the brink of extinction for years,” explained Saxon, “but no one believed us when we said they were a distinct species from fall Chinook until now.”
Spring Chinook enter rivers in the spring when snow melt swells rivers, allowing the fish travel into the upper reaches of a watershed, according to Saxon. Unlike the fall Chinook, they mature in the river. Then they must spend the hot summer in cold water pools until they spawn and die in the fall.
In contrast, Fall Chinook migrate into rivers in the fall where they spawn and die relatively soon after entering fresh water. Having two life strategies allow Chinook to take advantage of the entire watershed instead of just the upper or lower reaches. This behavioral diversity enhances the chances of long-term survival for the entire population.
“Dams are the single greatest threat to Spring Chinook,” explained Karuna Greenberg of the Salmon River Restoration Council. “Dams prevent Springers from accessing the upper reaches of watersheds where most of the cold-water habitat they need to survive the summer is located.”
Greenberg cited diversions, mining, and poor logging practices as other additional factors.
Dr. Mike Miller’s research says difference between spring and fall runs is in a single gene
Listing proponents said Miller and his colleagues’ research “rewrites” our understanding of Chinook salmon’s evolutionary history.
“By using new advances in molecular biology, they quickly compared hundreds of thousands of DNA segments of one individual salmon to hundreds of others. This allowed them to locate a very small region of DNA that is always different between spring and fall Chinook,” explained Craig Tucker, Ph.D., Natural Resources Consultant to the Karuk Tribe.
“Miller’s research shows that the difference between spring and fall run Chinook is a small change in a single gene. This change has occurred only once in Chinook’s evolutionary history which means that if we lose spring Chinook, we can’t expect them to re-appear for millions of years,” said Tucker.
Tucker noted that Miller’s findings contrast with the previously held notion that salmon populations evolved the spring run behavior many times over across watersheds.
“If that were true, it would mean that the spring run behavior is relatively easily for Chinook to develop. In the past, federal agencies have declined to add spring Chinook to the Endangered Species List for this very reason,” said Tucker.
“This new finding is forcing agencies to reconsider their stance on spring Chinook in the Klamath and many other watersheds,” said Tucker.
The genetic difference between spring and fall Chinook is in a gene called Greb1L that has been shown to play a role in fat metabolism. “This is a master control gene that makes the fish spring run,” Miller said at the hearing.
Spring Chinook typically have 30% more body fat than fall Chinook, accounting for the great tablefare that they make.
“We can taste the difference,” said Saxon. ‘Springers have a long way to swim before reaching their spawning grounds so they enter the river full of body fat which is why they taste so good.”
Saxon said a similar petition to list Klamath Trinity Spring Chinook under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) is currently under review.
“Spring Chinook advocates currently have January 2021 circled on their calendars,” the Tribe concluded. “That’s when the removal of the lower four Klamath River dams is slated to begin pursuant to an historic agreement between dam owner PacifiCorp, California, Oregon, Tribes, and conservation groups. The project would be the largest salmon restoration project in US history. For spring Chinook and the Karuk Tribe, it can’t come soon enough.”
Hoopa Valley Tribe opposes listing
Representatives of other Klamath River Tribes besides the Karuk didn’t speak at the Commission meeting, but Commissioner Jacqueline Hostler-Carmesin noted that the Commission had received a letter from Hoopa Tribe strongly opposing the listing.
“We would also like to hear from the Yurok Tribe,” said Hostler-Carmesin. “I’m concerned about the lack of collaboration between Tribes and stakeholders.”
Mike Orcutt, Hoopa Valley Tribe Fisheries Director, summed up the reasons for the Tribe’s opposition to both the CESA or Federal ESA listing, in an email.
“We are in strong opposition because listing under either CESA or Federal ESA will not force state or federal governments to address the real causes for declines for Klamath spring run chinook salmon,” said Orcutt. “Further, it will likely cause restrictions in fisheries that want to access more abundant Trinity River origin spring run chinook salmon.”
The letter from Oscar Billings, Vice-Chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribal Council, said there “is is insufficient evidence in the record to support the Petition’s claim that spring runs are sufficiently distinct from fall runs to warrant separate legal protection for the spring runs under either the CESA or federal ESA.”
“The petition relies primarily on a single study (Prince et al., (2017)) as a basis to claim that spring-run UKTR chinook salmon are distinct from fall-run UKTR Chinook. The Tribe disagrees that this Commission can make a determination that spring-run UKTR Chinook are reproductively or otherwise distinct from fall-run UKTR Chinook on the basis of one single study that is inconsistent with the best available science that has been relied upon by NMFS and this Commission in management decisions relating to the UKTR Chinook to date,” the letter stated.
“Any decision to list spring-run UKTR Chinook on the CESA must thoroughly weigh the preponderance of best available science and critically evaluate the consequences of such an action. It is a decision that will have wide-ranging and perhaps unintended adverse consequences to species in the Klamath River as well as to the Tribes who rely on anadromous fish. There is currently insufficient evidence to support the petition and the Tribe respectfully requests that the Commission deny the petition,” Billings concluded.
(See the complete letter from the Hoopa Valley Tribe at the end of the article).
The Tribe recently won a significant court victory for Klamath River salmon. On January 25, a federal court of appeals unanimously sided with the Hoopa Valley Tribe, ruling that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the states of California and Oregon, and PacifiCorp can no longer stall dam license conditions to protect fish.
“This case shows that states must not ignore the rights and interests of tribes with co-management authority regarding fisheries,” said Hoopa Tribal Chairman Ryan Jackson. “Present conditions in the Klamath River, the second largest river system in California, are on the verge of ecologic collapse given the chronic and degraded water quality caused by operation of the PacifiCorp-owned dams under the antiquated conditions contained in its expired 1956 FERC license. It’s a travesty to the communities in the Klamath Basin, that FERC has allowed the unlawful practice to continue.” For more information, go to: www.dailykos.com/…
Recreational fishermen respond to proposed closure
Recreational anglers and guides who spoke at the meeting didn’t oppose the listing, but said they supported regulations that would allow them to continue to fish for hatchery spring Chinooks.
James Stone, President of the NorCal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association, said he felt the public didn’t have ample time to comment on the closure.
“The recreational fishery would be severely impacted,” he said. “This will have an immediate impact on people.”
As an option, he suggested that the Trinity River Hatchery could move to 100 percent marking of the spring chinooks so that anglers could readily identify the hatchery fish from the natural-born fish.
Nathanial Pennington, a Mid-Klamath River guide, added, “We need to get creative about handling the regulations,” noting that a “lot of habitat could be improved” to restore the spring Chinook.
Pennington has has been taking kids out on the river to see the salmon spawning. “We have a great opportunity to protect wild fish and fish for hatchery salmon as well,” he noted.
Others who spoke in favor of protecting the salmon while allowing fishing for hatchery springers included Mark Smith, representing the American Sportfishing Association, Jerry Lampkin of TNG Motor Sports Guide Service, a member of the NorCal Guides and Sportsmen’s Association, and George Osborn, representing the Coastside Fishing Club.
In the Commission’s next public meeting on April 17 in Santa Monica, the CDFW will present the results of the “stakeholder collaboration and potential options.” Meanwhile, the public may keep track of the quota status of open and closed sections of the Klamath and Trinity rivers by calling the information hotline at (800) 564-6479.
The full letter from the Hoopa Valley Tribe is below:
February 1, 2019
Via E-mail: email@example.com
California Fish and Game Commission
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
Re: Comments of Hoopa Valley Tribe in Opposition to Petition to List Upper Klamath-Trinity River Spring Chinook Salmon under the California Endangered Species Act.
Dear California Fish and Game Commission members:
The following comments are submitted on behalf of the Hoopa Valley Tribe (Tribe) in opposition to the pending Petition to List Upper Klamath-Trinity River Spring Chinook salmon as a threatened or endangered species pursuant to the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). The Petition is currently on the Commission agenda for the February 6, 2019 meeting. Listing is not warranted at this time and the Commission should deny the Petition and not initiate a status review pursuant to the CESA.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has twice previously evaluated whether the Upper Klamath-Trinity Rivers (UKTR) Chinook salmon should be listed as threatened or endangered pursuant to the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). In both 1998 and 2012, NMFS concluded that listing was not warranted. NMFS is currently conducting another status review regarding the listing of the UKTR Chinook based on largely the same evidence that has been presented to this Commission. See 83 Fed. Reg. 8410 (Feb. 27, 2018). The NMFS status review should be completed in 2019 and the Tribe submits it would be premature for this Commission to take action until the results of the ongoing federal status review is completed. At minimum, the actions of this Commission must be carefully coordinated with the ongoing Federal status review to avoid the potential for conflicting management requirements.
The petition pending before this Commission relates only to the spring runs of UKTR salmon. There is insufficient evidence in the record to support the Petition’s claim that spring runs are sufficiently distinct from fall runs to warrant separate legal protection for the spring runs under either the CESA or federal ESA. The petition relies primarily on a single study (Prince et al., (2017)) as a basis to claim that spring-run UKTR chinook salmon are distinct from fall-run UKTR Chinook. The Tribe disagrees that this Commission can make a determination that spring-run UKTR Chinook are reproductively or otherwise distinct from fall-run UKTR Chinook on the basis of one single study that is inconsistent with the best available science that has been relied upon by NMFS and this Commission in management decisions relating to the UKTR Chinook to date.
Fishery managers have previously noted limitations of the Prince et al. (2017) study and cautioned against relying on it as a basis for finding that spring-run UKTR Chinook are distinct from fall-run. For example, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, in their April 30, 2018 comments to NMFS relating to the pending federal status review of UKTR Chinook recommended that: “NMFS not use the new genetics information to delineate a new ESU [of spring-run UKTR] at this time, as there are limitations of the study and additional analyses and further research is needed before using this work as a basis for delineating the ESU.” ODFW also recommended that: “Prior to using such information here or elsewhere, consider with co-managers the ESA, policy and logistical implications and criteria for revising ESU delineations based on different thresholds of new genetic information, and revise the joint NMFS/USFWS ESU policy to ensure there is a consistent framework to incorporate adaptive genetic data.” Regarding the Prince et al. (2017) study, ODFW added that: “While the findings reported in this peer-reviewed manuscript represent a major advancement in our understanding of the genetic basis of migration timing, it is important to acknowledge the limitations of the study and need for further research before using the findings as a basis for delineating an ESU.” ODFW concluded that “it is premature, at this point, to base a listing unit decision, either solely or in large part, on genetic data from Prince et al. (2017) or more recent analyses.” A copy of the complete ODFW comments, which provide additional detail on the limitations of the Prince et al. (2017) study are attached hereto for reference.
The Tribe agrees with ODFW’s comments that it is premature to make any determination that spring-run UKTR Chinook are sufficiently distinct from fall-run to warrant separate legal treatment and listing under the CESA or federal ESA. The Commission should deny the Petition at this time pending completion of the NMFS status review and development of the more complete scientific information that ODFW expects will be available in coming years.
In addition to insufficient scientific evidence, there are other reasons why a status review of listing the spring-run UKTR Chinook as threatened or endangered is premature at this time. First, the removal of the Lower Klamath River dams is anticipated to commence within the next two years. This event will radically reshape the Klamath River and the habitat available for the UKTR Chinook. Second, the federal government is anticipated to complete a new Biological Opinion relating to operation of the Klamath Irrigation Project in 2019, which must provide for flows adequate to protect SONCC Coho salmon, but will benefit UKTR Chinook as well. The provision of additional habitat and flow through these upcoming processes will benefit UKTR Chinook and the effects of these processes on UKTR Chinook should be evaluated and considered prior to any decision to add the species to the CESA.
In ODFW’s April 30, 2018 comments, attached hereto, ODFW noted that dividing management of spring-run and fall-run UKTR Chinook based on a single genetic trait could be counterproductive and would result in serious “practical management consequences.” The Tribe agrees. The Tribe tirelessly advocates for protection and preservation of anadromous fish in the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. The Klamath and Trinity Rivers flow through the Hoopa Valley Reservation and anadromous fish, especially including UKTR Chinook, are vital to the subsistence, culture, and economy of the Tribe. Yet, the Tribe does not believe that listing spring-run UKTR Chinook (or UKTR Chinook as a whole) on the CESA or federal ESA is an appropriate or necessary step to protect these fish at this time. Listing may even prove counterproductive to restoring the species. For example, listing of SONCC Coho under the federal ESA has resulted in restrictive management requirements that have sometimes proven counterproductive to the comprehensive restoration of fish in the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. In addition, the Tribe has at times suffered disproportionate conservation burdens associated with federal ESA listing in a manner that conflicts with and undermines its federally reserved rights to fish on its Reservation. While listing species under the CESA or federal ESA may be appropriate when the best available science clearly shows that such a step is both legally and scientifically required to protect and preserve the species from risk of extinction, the Tribe disagrees that listing is appropriate or necessary at this time for either spring or fall-run UKTR Chinook.
Any decision to list spring-run UKTR Chinook on the CESA must thoroughly weigh the preponderance of best available science and critically evaluate the consequences of such an action. It is a decision that will have wide-ranging and perhaps unintended adverse consequences to species in the Klamath River as well as to the Tribes who rely on anadromous fish. There is currently insufficient evidence to support the petition and the Tribe respectfully requests that the Commission deny the petition.
HOOPA VALLEY TRIBAL COUNCIL
Oscar Billings, Vice-Chairman
"HEROES AND PATRIOTS" with Dr. Stephen Zunes
Dr. Stephen Zunes, professor at UCSF, speaks with hosts John Sakowicz and Mary Massey about the two state solution between Israel and Palestine; AIPAC and J Street; and presidential candidate Kamala Harris and her position on her almost-unconditional support of Israel.
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