Timber companies and other landowners who log are now required to maintain shade along streams, develop erosion control plans and comply with waste discharge requirements. While road, landslide and riparian management problems remain, the four large timber companies operating in the Scott Sub-Basin are moving to satisfy at least the letter of compliance with the Plan. Road management in particular has continued to improve.
A timber company logging road in Scott Valley left open all winter long
Environmental and recreation interests want farmers and ranchers to also be required to retain shade on streams running through their property and to stop livestock from trampling streambanks and defecating in streambeds. Native, sport and commercial fishermen want farmers and ranchers to limit water use in order to keep stream temperature from becoming lethal to salmon and other fish.
So far, however, the North Coast Board has refused to put teeth behind the Clean-Up Plan’s requirements and prohibitions. Instead, on August 9, 2006 the Board adopted a “waiver of waste discharge requirements” for Scott River Basin agriculture.
The Scott Ag Waiver embraces the concept of voluntary compliance (sic) and is implemented through Ag-friendly groups like the Siskiyou RCD and Scott River Watershed Council. That has been the approach for the past four plus years. The waiver has a five year term and sunsets in August. The North Coast Board must either renew the waiver or take other regulatory action with respect to Scott River Basin agricultural operations. And while there has been no systematic evaluation to determine whether voluntary compliance is working, it appears that McFadden and his supervisors are prepared to continue to back the approach favored by the Scott Valley Establishment.
At the urging of Scott Valley agricultural and other leaders, McFadden organized two meetings in the Scott Valley last week. They were designed to convince members of the North Coast Water Quality Board that voluntary compliance is working and therefore that a new waiver should be granted. One North Coast Board member attended as did KlamBlog. So did several members of the local Scott Valley Tea Party which is also known as Protect Our Waters or POW. POW appears to be against clean water regulation as a matter of principle; several T Party speakers challenged the right of government to regulate private property in any manner.
KlamBlog reports on the two workshops below - including how the Scott Valley Establishment tried to persuade North Coast board members that voluntary compliance is working.
The Scott Valley Tea Party Protests Water Quality Regulation and the UN