SYRCL, Tribal Leaders Denied Entry to Upcoming Regional Water Symposium

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Leaders Call on Reps. LaMalfa, McClintock to Hold Town Hall Meetings

Tom McClintock, U.S. Representative for California’s 4th congressional district (left), and Doug LaMalfa, U.S. Representative for California’s 1st congressional district (right).

Local conservation, community and tribal organizations are calling on U.S. Representatives Doug LaMalfa and Tom McClintock to hold a public town hall meeting on water issues after being prevented from attending an upcoming meeting about regional water issues with federal and state representatives.

The Mountain Counties Water Resources Association (MCWRA) promoted a February 24th all-day symposium, “The New Trump Administration – A View from the Top,” as an opportunity for members and non-members to hear from state and federal representatives, including Congressmen Doug LaMalfa and Tom McClintock, about “their views on the new Trump Administration on regional water interests.”

On Tuesday afternoon, more than a dozen local leaders, who had purchased $40 tickets online, had their money refunded and were told in an email from MCWRA Executive Director John Kingsbury that due to member interest in the February 24th event, “space capacity prevents us from being able to accommodate your registration. The registration fee will be refunded.” According to the MCWRA website, the organization has 67 member organizations. The hosting facility at The Ridge Golf Course in Auburn holds 300 people.

“I am deeply concerned about how the Trump administration’s water and environmental policies may impact the Yuba watershed and beyond,” said Caleb Dardick, Executive Director of the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), which represents more than 3500 members. “I was looking forward to hearing directly from our representatives about how they plan to address serious flood control, climate change, and water management issues in the region.”

“These ancestral waters are sacred to my Tribe, which is why I wanted to hear from the government officials who will be considering how to repair our aging dams like Oroville or even build new dams like Centennial that would flood Nisenan cultural sites on the Bear River,” said Shelly Covert, spokesperson for the Nevada City Rancheria Tribal Council, whose ticket was also refunded.

“Doug LaMalfa should schedule some Town Halls in his district so that his constituents can meet with him. With so much uncertainty coming out of Washington, we need to hear what our representative is doing to address climate change and water security for our families, farmers and businesses, especially in light of the recent failure of important water infrastructure at Oroville Dam,” said Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, former Nevada County Supervisor and non-profit foundation executive, who was unable to secure a ticket to the event before it sold out. “The Mountain County group offered a much-needed opportunity, and they should have been prepared for this level of interest.”

Dardick, Covert and Martin join a growing call for Congressmen LaMalfa and McClintock to engage with the community on these critical regional water issues and other community concerns.

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