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Shasta Ecology

January 2017 Newsletter


This Friday, we're standing strong, rejuvenating through grassroots organizing, for science, for Mount Shasta, and against upcoming new threats to public lands, endangered species, and our pristine waters and forests! 

CLICK HERE to make your one-time or ongoing "INAUGURATION COMMEMORATION" statement now!

In this issue

  • Happy New Year - Together, We're Ready!
  • Good News - Cascade-Shasta Monument
  • Crystal Geyser Draft EIR Released
  • Medicine Lake and Standing Rock
  • Strategic Plan Ideas and New Board Members Needed


See below for details:
1/21 - Women's Marches, Mt. Shasta, Ashland
1/26 - Weed Water Town Hall Meeting
1/26 - Klamath Dam Hearing, Yreka
2/2 - WAWA Lawsuit Hearing, Yreka

Happy New Year!!!
Together, We're Ready!

One word: Snow!!!

We're celebrating the freshies, here at the Mount Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center (ShastaEcology) - too much fun! But at the same time, we know what's happening on Friday. We're bracing ourselves, standing strong against the new threats from the anti-environment administration in Washington, DC. The message must go out to everyone, near and far: we love our mountain, it's worth the struggle, and this is not the time to give up, it's time to join together! Generations to come will know what we did or didn't do.

That's why we're asking for "Inauguration Commemoration" donations. Show your support and overcome depression by stepping up for the cause. We're not completely sure just yet what it all means, what we'll have on our plate this year, but we're pretty sure it will be about taking our activism, and our hearts to the next level. Please help!

In 2016 we scored court victories in the fight to save Medicine Lake from geothermal fracking (see update below), had a successful summer at Panther Meadows helping visitors through our Honor Our Mountain Environment (H.O.M.E.) program, and sponsored many local events such as Mt. Shasta's Earth Day celebration, a gourmet McCloud Mushroom Dinner, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, and more. Our staff and volunteers spent many hours working with groups and local officials on Integrated Water Resource Management, water and forest issues. Our Groundwater Management effort researched the need for changes in the county water ordinance.

As a nonprofit we respect the sensible limitations on political activity that go along with that status - so after that research, a few of our board members, staff and volunteers created the separate Siskiyou Forward Movement political action committee. It qualified Measure H for the November ballot, intended to remove special exemptions for water bottlers and standardize its scope. Measure H passed in the south county (where the water extraction happens), but Crystal Geyser spent big money creating an astroturf (fake grassroots) group, sending misleading mailers, and even hiring workers from Southern California to put up their yard signs!

Though Measure H's 45% countywide approval fell just short of passage, ShastaEcology will continue to stay involved with other groups such as W.A.T.E.R. to review the just-released draft EIR (see below) for Crystal Geyser's Mt. Shasta operation, and safeguard our water for the benefit of our community and downstream users.

It's no longer only about our organization - for 2017 we all have to work together. In addition to our core programs, we are fiscal sponsors of a wildlife book, and a film project on Karuk Medicine Man, Charlie Thom. We are supporting removal of the obsolete Klamath Dams, working with groups in the City of Weed to safeguard its water supply, and with Native tribes and others to oppose the raising of the Shasta Dam, and more. The future is about strengthening coalitions, and we need your support.

Good News - Cascade-Shasta National Monument

On January 12, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation expanding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, adding land in Siskiyou County and southern Oregon to the monument originally established in 2000. This action protects unique plant and animal species from population and development pressure in the face of climate change. Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, along with city councils in Ashland and Talent, supported the change which also safeguards the region's tourism and recreation economy.

Siskiyou residents also benefit from this monument expansion, and we look forward to exploring it further after the snows!

Crystal Geyser Draft EIR Released

Siskiyou County has released the draft Environmental Impact Report on Crystal Geyser's plans to expand Mount Shasta operations.

It's perfect reading for right now, at home in front of the fire! While your power's still on, please take a few minutes to download the report from the county website (well, perhaps more than a few minutes, since there are 96 separate can do it!).

If this is all too much, the W.A.T.E.R. group will soon be scheduling a community forum (tentatively on February 9, save the date) to present concerns about the draft EIR, the results of their consultants' and lawyer's reviews, and information about how we can all help with this important issue. Please keep up to date by visiting that group's website and Facebook page, and signing up for their mailing list.

Medicine Lake and Standing Rock

There are a lot of similarities between Standing Rock and our local Medicine Lake issue. For the past 19 years we’ve taken a stand with the Pit River Tribe and the elders and traditionalists in the Native Coalition for Medicine Lake Highlands Defense to prevent large-scale industrial geothermal development and fracking in this magnificent landscape situated 30 miles northeast of Mount Shasta.

The aquifer underlying the Medicine Lake Highlands holds the source waters for the Fall River Springs, the largest spring system in California. This is not green energy when it involves 24-hour drilling and lighting, pollution, miles of above-ground pipelines, and hydraulic fracturing with toxic chemicals through a pristine aquifer.

This area, too, is sacred ground, designated by the National Register of Historic Places as a 113-square-mile Native American Traditional Cultural District. After 19 years of administrative and successful legal challenges, our coalition still hasn’t “won,” but we continue to hold sacred ground for the values of life. Like water, these values continually find a channel through which to flow when we align with them in our hearts and minds.

Through our local issues, we have joined hands here with Water Protectors everywhere.

- Michelle Berditschevsky

Strategic Plan Ideas and
New Board Members Needed

Last year we put into place a new, annual Strategic Planning process for ShastaEcology. The process helps us figure out what's most important, get specific with our priorities, develop measurable goals and objectives, and make sure we're using our donation and grant resources in the best possible way. Now we are updating the plan for 2017, taking into account ongoing programs, plus new challenges and opportunities. We aren't a large organization, but we've been around since 1988 and for better or worse, our work is needed, more than ever today.

The executive summary of last year's plan is online here. This is another opportunity to do some snowy reading - and then we'd like to know what you think. We want to hear every one of our supporters' ideas on what's most important, to keep the Mount Shasta Bioregion safe from new threats, and preserved so our grandchildren can go outside and experience the amazing benefits of living and visiting here.

We want to hear from you. Send us a message using our contact form, so we can consider your thoughts as we update our plan. This year it's more important than ever.

And if you're really interested in becoming more involved, and have strong leadership skills, please consider joining our board. We're looking for serious people for a serious role, but we have fun, too. There is a time and energetic commitment, and the true rewards are endless. Please contact us if you'd like more information about helping to lead the charge and accomplish our mission.

Calendar of Events

Saturday, January 21

Women's March Southern Oregon - Ashland Public Library to Lithia Park Bandshell - 10:45 am to 1 pm
Mount Shasta Women's March, Parker Plaza, Mt. Shasta, 3-4 pm

Held in cities throughout the US, the Women's March is a national movement to unify and empower everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties, and social justice for all. "We stand together in solidarity for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families -- recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country." Please follow the links above for more information.

Thursday, January 26

Weed Water Town Hall Community Meeting - McCloud Hall, Room 112, College of the Siskiyous - 6-8 pm

Water for Citizens of Weed invites you to meet your neighbors and join in the discussion about Weed's water rights. You will learn about their initiative to place a fee on water resource extraction, and how we are fighting back against Roseburg Forest Product's attempt to force Weed to stop using the pure drinking water upon which our town has relied on for more than 100 years.

There will be presentations on why Beaughan Springs water belongs to the people of our community, what the financial implications (future water and sewer rates going sky high) are for people in our town if we lose this water and what we are doing about it.

The Weed Area Water Alliance (WAWA) will briefly discuss their lawsuit concerning CEQA compliance related to the recently signed water agreement between the City of Weed and Roseberg.

This is a public event, please invite your friends, neighbors, anyone who cares about the future of our community!

Un-Dam the Klamath! State Water Resources Control Board Hearing - Miner's Inn, Yreka - 5-7 pm

This rescheduled hearing is to take public comment on scoping the EIR needed to remove the obsolete Klamath River dams (note correct time and date, above). It's important for county residents who support dam removal to let their views be known, since the board of supervisors will oppose removal and the consequent restoration of traditional salmon fisheries. We support Klamath Riverkeeper and the Karuk Tribe on this important issue! 

Thursday, February 2

Siskiyou Superior Court - 311 Court St. 2nd Floor, Yreka - 8:30 am

Show your support for WAWA at the first court hearing for their lawsuit on CEQA compliance. Come join your neighbors!
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