Pages of History: Del Norte fisheries scuttled

By Nita Phillips May 24, 2014 01:03 pm

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, May 1952:

The Bureau of Reclamation was accused of deliberately scuttling Del Norte’s fishing economy to irrigate the Sacramento Valley with Trinity River waters. Warren Hornsby, chairman of the supervisor’s study committee on the Trinity River diversion plan, pointed out that fisheries, both sport and commercial, are one of Del Norte County’s two major resources. 

“This is one of the many instances in which the bureau becomes autocratic and disregards all laws and Supreme Court decisions and administers power and water resources as they see fit. 

He cited the Big T project on the Colorado River, where Fish and Game recommendations were cut from 80 cubic feet per second to 7.5. 

The annual estimated runoff on the Trinity River is 1.1 million acre feet per year. Under the proposed bureau plan, the fluctuating release will total only 120,000 acre feet per year. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service submitted three plans for runoff, and listed 300 cubic feet per second as the runoff that would benefit the fish the most. However, the proposed Trinity bill (H.R. 7343) calls for a minimum of only 175 cubic feet per second. The three management plans were submitted by Drs. Ronald Smith and James Moffett, noted fish biologists. 

The congressional committee hearings are scheduled for about May 15 and it has been decided that it is necessary for representatives from Del Norte County to attend, as it will be the county most affected by this disastrous plan. 

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Log scaling platform

A log-scaling platform has been installed on Highway 101 near the entrance to the Standard Veneer plant. The platform will be operated by the Northern California Scaling Bureau, an independent organization sponsored by loggers and millmen alike. The bureau is a corporation with headquarters in Eureka. This is the first time it has extended their services so far north.

The local platform was instituted by McNamara & Peepe Lumber Company, Lucas Lumber Company Standard Veneer, Sunset Logging Company, Paragon Plywood Corporation and Crescent Plywood Company.

The scaling bureau will give independent and certified scaling checks to logger and mill owners. 

Terwer Valley Tidbits

Another newcomer to the valley, Bobby Ray, a 7-pound 2-ounce boy, was born May 5 to proud parents Mr. and Mrs. Harold Shafer at Seaside Hospital in Crescent City. Mother and baby are reported doing well. 

Mrs. Al Hansen, of Goshen, Utah, mother of Mrs. Shafer, is caring for the house during Mrs. Shafer’s stay at the hospital.

Mr. and Mrs. Ray Wehler, of Klamath Glen Resort, motored to Portland last month for a brief visit.

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