State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) staff HOSTED two in-person listening sessions on regulation of flows in the Scott River and Shasta River watersheds.
Local farmers, ranchers, and community members spoke to aide future efforts the State Water Board may take regarding regulation of flows in the Scott River and Shasta River watersheds.
An Estimated 140-150 citizens attended the two sessions, earlier in the day the SWRCB also hosted an informational forum to the Hmong community with over 150 people in attendance for the earlier meeting.
On May 23, 2023, the Karuk Tribe of California, Environmental Law Foundation, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, and Institute for Fisheries Resources submitted a petition for rulemaking to the State Water Board requesting a permanent regulation establishing minimum flows in the Scott. After an August 15, 2023 hearing on the petition, the State Water Board directed Division of Water Rights staff to
- Move forward with an emergency regulation.
- Identify the scientific work needed to pursue long-term flows in the Scott River and Shasta River watersheds, and update the Board on that work.
The Scott and Shasta are important tributaries to the Klamath River, the second largest river in California. These rivers are crucial sources of water for Siskiyou County and have immense economic, ecological, and cultural importance. Siskiyou County is home to 43,500 people. The Scott and Shasta watersheds provide water for agriculture, domestic users, the environment, fire protection, municipalities, Tribal Nations, and recreation.
The purpose of these in-person only listening sessions, which was broken into
two identical sessions, is to give the public the opportunity to provide feedback and for
comments from tribes, local diverters, residents, and others on their experiences and
thoughts regarding prior efforts in the watershed, including the emergency regulation,
with a focus on what has worked well, what has worked poorly, and recommendations
for changes in approach moving forward over the long term.
Approximately 35 members of the community spoke between the two sessions. I felt the conversations were constructive, with hope, the board takes our concerns into consideration. Many voiced frustration with the state overreach and the urgency is still not being answered as the decision makers were not present to answer questions or concerns
The past State Water Board action has been a real hardship, this was voiced over and over. The next step is reading of the Preliminary reading in a public meeting around December 6th deadline for staff to present findings and recommendations to the board.
The Scott River and Shasta River are important tributaries to the Klamath River, the second largest river in California. These rivers are crucial sources of water for Siskiyou County and have immense economic, ecological, and cultural importance. The Scott River and Shasta River watersheds provide water for agriculture, domestic users, the environment, fire protection, municipalities, Tribal Nations, and recreation.
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