Investigative Journalist, Barry R. Clausen
November 12, 2011
In Northern California and Southern Oregon federal and state agents from four government agencies are creating an atmosphere that if left unchecked could ultimately end up in violence.
These agencies and their out of control agents along with radical members of the environmental community and the Karuk Tribe are apparently deliberately creating problems that are infuriating America’s farmers, ranchers, the timber industry and those who use our country’s public lands in Northern California’s Siskiyou County. Many of those interviewed wonder if this is a prelude to what may happen on a national level. The agencies in involved are the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries (NOAA), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), California Department of Fish & Game (CDFG) and the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR).
Siskiyou County in Northern California is apparently destined to be ground zero for future hostilities perpetrated by the aforementioned government agencies. As a result of the actions of certain government agents, environmentalists and (some) radical members of the Karuk Tribe they have already nearly destroyed the timber industry in the area and throughout California. The combined goals of these “Wild West” villains appear to be to destroy local farmers and ranchers in Siskiyou County by attempting to take away their irrigation water rights.
In just one case in December of 2009 logging activity was halted in the Six River National Forest after Karuk activists blockaded logging roads. The Karuk were working with radical environmental groups, the Environmental Protection and Information Center (EPIC), Klamath Forest Alliance, and Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center who stated in their jointly filed lawsuit that they were against that logging plan. These groups and the Tribe ultimately prevailed in that lawsuit.
Arguably, one of the most despised persons in Siskiyou County for over two decades is radical environmentalist Felice Pace of the Klamath Forest Alliance. Pace has worked aggressively against not only the timber industry but also against farmers and ranchers by continually testifying to the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board that farmers and ranchers are ignorant of good agricultural practices. Additionally, Pace has worked with the Karuk’s efforts to stop all logging and hobby gold dredging on the Klamath River. While at the same time many of his associates are involved in the growing of marijuana on America’s National Forests.
Happy Camp, California is where the Karuk Headquarters are located. In years past the actions of the Tribe itself along with environmentalist are responsible for the five local timber mills shutting down. Happy Camp is dominated by Forest Service land (more than 99% of the local acreage; 6,000 acres of private land and 600,000 acres of public land), once the environmentalists and Karuk Tribe had halted timber sales, workers had to leave town to find jobs. Today, shamefully, Happy Camp is famous for drugs and alcoholics.
The Karuk Tribe stopped all small hobby independent gold panning in California in 2009. James Buchal, an Oregon attorney that represented the small gold panning operations on California’s Shasta River against the Karuk stated, “The Indians bought the Dems (Democrats) in the legislature. The tribe (Karuk) wanted this to happen, it is ugly.”
James Waddell, who in 1970 was a member of the elected and first-organized Karuk Tribal Council stated in court documents from the Superior Court of the State of California dated February 2009. “This fight over suction dredge mining may not be the right forum, but having watched reform efforts fail for many years, I think it is important for this Court to know the real nature of the plaintiffs it is hearing from, and how the fight against suction dredge mining is just another example of the Tribe’s resources being misused for the private (and illegal) purpose of protecting drug growers….”
In June of 2002 John Martinez, a Siskiyou County resident and an employee of the Karuk Tribe met with California Highway Patrol Officers at the Department of Justice Building in Redding in regard to marijuana gardens in Siskiyou County. Following that meeting he was harassed and even threatened at the Karuk Tribal Headquarters in Happy Camp for attempting to expose drug trafficking within the Tribe. He was forced to resign from his job with the Tribe after a Happy Camp Highway Patrol office found out about Martinez’s meeting with his fellow officers. His resignation came as a result of threats, intimidation and gun fire directed the home of one of his friends where Martinez was visiting.
Running close to Pace in the dislike department is the California Department of Water Resources who in June of 2011 raised the fees to their Water Master Service in Siskiyou County by about 800%. Rancher John Menke’s water fee bill went from $1,100 a year to $8,600. Menke said, “They used to be a friend of the landowners, but now they are trying to do us under by increasing our costs.” The costs are combined into property taxes so they will have to pay the increased fees or forfeit their property under the guise of unpaid taxes.
During an interview with Bill Mendenhall of the California Department of Water Resources he explained that the Water Master Program in Siskiyou County was being subsidized by the State and when Governor Brown took office he ordered that the Farmers and Ranchers pay 100% of the program themselves. During the phone interview about the CDWR the CDWR was accused of creating problems for the families of farmers and ranchers, Mendenhall stated, “Don’t blame me. It’s not me. I will not take credit for what the Governor does.”
According to some of the local residents of the county there is a movement by several ranchers to organize their own Water District. As explained in an interview, this may sound good on the surface but if they do they leave themselves open to lawsuits by the multi-million dollar environmental organizations such as the Center For Biological Diversity. These so-called environmentalists use any excuse to sue and if they sue the farmers and ranchers that have formed their own water district they will be liable for the huge legal fees incurred as a result of the suit if they don’t prevail.
California State Senator Doug LaMalfa is investigating the problem and stated during an interview, “They feel like government is coming at them from every end. These people are oppressed, but they shouldn’t have to feel that way toward their government. What these agencies are doing is creating a war on rural California.” LaMalfa then emphasized that his staff spends most of their time fighting what government agencies are creating.
In an effort to bring the issue to the forefront, eight Constitutional Sheriffs met in Yreka, California on October 22, 2011. They participate in a panel sponsored by the “Scott Valley Protect Our Water organization” which is designed to expose the agencies that are creating the anger. In attendance were: Grant Co. Oregon Sheriff Glenn E. Palmer, Trinity Co. Sheriff Bruce Haney, Del Norte Co. Sheriff Dean Wilson, Tehama Co. Sheriff Dave Hencratt, Lassen Co. Sheriff Dean Growden, Plumas Co. Sheriff Greg Hagwood, Shasta Co. Sheriff Tom Bosenko and Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey who also spoke at the Defend Rural America event.
Siskiyou County, Sheriff Lopy was incensed when he discovered that Federal Agents traveled to his county and were investigating farmers and ranchers within his jurisdiction without first notifying him of their intentions. One of the issues is the incident that happened on August 29, 2011 when NOAA Federal Agent Tim Broadman went to home of Doug and Gail Jenner to question/investigate them without properly notifying Sheriff Lopey in advance of their visit.
Gail Jenner stated. “What they are doing baffles the mind.” In a document recently received from Gail Jenner she stated, “Last week, F&G called in Marine Fisheries (NOAA) to begin an "investigation" and the "special agent" [Tim Broadman] that arrived (after calling to implore us to meet and “talk”) proceeded to read us our rights before telling us that they will decide, after they conclude their investigation, whether to prosecute civilly or criminally. Fish &Game has NEVER approached us to say we are out of compliance and even when we've called them to come and rescue stranded fish, locked in pools or stranded after the creeks have dried up in the past, they have replied, "We don’t rescue fish. That's not our job."
“WHY and HOW do they have the right to bring NOAA into this??? And looking into NOAA, we find them culpable in almost single-handedly wiping out the fishing industry along the East coast! We are enraged and want such harassment to come under the light of investigation. When did farmers become such "dangerous criminals" and what is our recourse??? We have contacted our local sheriff and state/federal senators and legislators. But we could use your help, too. We are law-abiding, decent, hard-working people, yet we’ve been treated unfairly and with incredible prejudice. It’s outrageous. This is not the first time NOAA/Marine Fisheries has been called in against farmers or ranchers in CA, either. One farmer was fine well over $100,000 for "taking" several fish!”
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On September 14, 2011 Congressman Wally Herger sent a letter to “the Honorable April Boyd, Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Government Affairs” with the U.S. Department of Commerce on behalf of the Jenner’s and Sheriff Lopey. In that letter Herger states, “…my office was recently contacted by Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey who expressed strong concern that a NOAA law enforcement official appeared in Siskiyou County to launch an investigation on a leading citizen without providing the Sheriff’s office the courtesy of advance notice. Sheriff Lopey notes that NOAA’s actions have generated enormous community concern… I am requesting that NOAA provide me with a status update on this matter. I would like to know what rights are afforded my constituent in this process…. If NOAA is poised to use the ESA [Endangered Species Act] as a defacto means of changing adjudicated water rights, this is an issue of enormous import and will require extensive review.”
As Sheriff Lopey stated, “Essentially, we are under attack and our public safety, way of life, quality of life, economy and future is at stake.”
© 2011 Barry R. Clausen - All Rights Reserved
Mr. Clausen has been a guest on over 250 U.S. and Canadian radio talk shows and TV news shows including ABC, CBS, NBC and repeatedly on FOX News. He has been featured or quoted in over 800 books, magazines and news articles including the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Vancouver Province, Canada’s B.C. Report, New York Times, Newsday, Seattle Times, Oregonian, Sacramento Bee, Christian Science Monitor, The Dallas Morning News and a lengthy article beginning on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Clausen’s information has been translated and used by publications in many foreign countries including Japan, Ireland, England, Turkey, Germany, France and Chile. In 1994, a film crew from Danish TV-2 flew to Seattle to interview Mr. Clausen for a television documentary about international and U.S. extremist organizations. The documentary, A MAN IN THE RAINBOW, was subsequently aired in several European countries.
His latest book "Burning Rage - The Growing Anger Within My Country," covers Clausen's personal experiences within the American judicial system, as well as his investigations into the activities of environmental / animal rights terrorists and extremists. Burning Rage is a behind the scenes look at the dark underworld of government cover-ups, the Unabomber, and radical environmentalism. Clausen is a 'human backhoe' - constantly digging for the truth. What he finds is not always pleasant, but sometimes the truth hurts.