Opinion, Siskiyou

Letter of Response; to Petition for Rulemaking for Minimum Flows on Shasta River

By Jess Harris

 California State Water Board and Staff, 

The request for permanent instream flows is, at best, ignorant. The several eco-terrorist groups that have submitted the petition for rulemaking either lack the understanding that the State Water Board (SWB) has no authority to set instream flows outside of the Emergency Order or they intend for the SWB to ignore the court precedents restricting their authority over water rights (California Water Curtailment Cases, 2022). 

The data provided by the eco-terrorist groups is highly exaggerated and contradicts the McBain-Trush study published in 2013. Since then, no other environmental study using the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation has been completed. The minimum flows stated by these eco-terrorist groups do not align with the McBain-Trush study, which the California Department of Fish and Wildlife continues to cite incorrectly in recommendations to the Board and staff. Their exaggerated data is irrelevant, as there is still no authority to implement their request. The eco-terrorists petitioning this request have no stake involved in our river and suffer no losses when bad decision-making occurs. The timing of this petition is questionable as another poor decision to breech the Klamath Dams has occurred. 

This petition for rulemaking should be denied without a hearing, based solely on the fact that the SWB does not have the authority to implement permanent curtailments or minimum flow requirements on the Shasta River, or the Scott, for that matter. To entertain this petition further would be wasteful to the taxpayers of the State of California, as it wastes staff time on something that is unachievable. 

The SWB has lost severe credibility with the communities in Siskiyou County. To continue to entertain petitions and/or ideas that trample the rights of its citizens is irresponsible and disgraceful. The SWB needs to remain within its jurisdiction and know its boundaries within the law. The people of Siskiyou County have had enough with the agency’s overreach, and the SWB needs to follow the law and not pander to these eco-terrorist organizations that feed off taxpayer money via grants. 

Jess Harris 

Siskiyou County Resident 


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