[Important UPDATE!] Fish and Wildlife Convoy Headed South Past Miranda
A convoy of approximately eight Fish and Wildlife vehicles have been spotted headed south on Highway 101. This may be a continuation of the warrants served in January up Sprowl Creek related to water usage.
UPDATE 9:25 a.m.: According to Hollie Hall of Hollie Hall and Associates Watershed Resources Consulting, there is expected to be a sweep of enforcement action this week that address properties in the Indian Creek, Jones Creek and Sprowl Creek areas. Hall who is the water agent for several property owners in the area says her clients have received phone calls from WET (The Watershed Enforcement Team) which is a partnership between California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) with the State Water Resources Control Board. The calls have requested access to her clients’ lands for water assessment.
Hall explained, “I act as a liaison for people when I handle their water rights. I am their first point of contact [with the agencies.]…I tend to work with a lot of cannabis farmers..Clients have asked me to accompany them this week.”
She says that WET is looking to identify water storage and usage and potential pollutants to waterways. “They’ve called people in advance,” Hall said. Hall, who also sits on the policy team of California Cannabis Voice Humboldt, says that it is important to “not only protect our watershed but also our farmers.”
But, she says, farmers need to be properly permitted.
Hall insists that it is important to “have your water use activities permitted. [not doing] that is what is triggering enforcement.”
She says, “It is time for people to really make sure that they are using their land in a fish friendly way. They need to depend on stored water to supplement summer needs. They have to have proper Fish and Wildlife exclusion screens on their intakes. They have to manage erosion, prevent soils and sediments from entering the waterways and Keep trash cleaned up and out of the waterways.”
In addition, Hall says, “Petroleum and fertilizers have to be stored in secondary containment.” She explained that even one bag of fertilizer needs to be in a bucket with a lid or similar container.
Hall points out, “From the sky, it is evident you are using water. There are no secrets. If you haven’t filed your permits, [law enforcement has] to come out and visit to figure out what you are doing. Getting into the permit system reduces your liability.”