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Endangered River

Barry Swenson holds an almost sixty percent stakehold in the irrigation district which drained this river. The multi million dollar land developer is now proposing to build a hydroelectric plant at these same levels.
Click on image for a larger version

meadowfeb.jpg
The beautiful normal flow of this pristine, natural river.
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4-6cfs.jpg
Sheer devastation as a result of diversion.
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poolsmud.jpg
Sediment and mud. Good fish habitat? Swenson's experts advise fish can live in this.
Multi millionaire land developer, Barry Swenson, holds the controlling interest of the public entity, the Modoc County South Fork Irrigation District, possessing almost sixty percent of the participating ranches who have drained this river over 622 times since 1940.

The last major event occurred in February of this year, following a sediment spill into the river in November from a poorly maintained diversion canal.

Now, he is proposing to install a hydroelectric plant, diverting the water from this stretch of river and proposing levels only a few cubic feet more than those indicated in the photographs.

The aquatic life in the river, which includes the threatened redband trout, the endangered Shasta Crayfish, the Modoc Sucker and other wildlife disappeared, their skeletons reappearing in the last several after a large spring flush, amidst the sediment in the river.

This river is Hammawi ancestral ground where they once lived and historical and cultural artifacts will be forever lost.

Please join us in trying to save this river.

Contact Barry Swenson at his San Jose Offices and tell him you are OPPOSED to these actions and opposed to his proposed hydroelectric plant.

His representatives have promised to meet with us since last March regarding this matter and have failed to keep their commitment.

Call your local state assemblymen, state senators, U.S. Senators and Congressional leades and write letters of protest to his project to:

Modoc National Forest
800 12th Street
Alturas, California 96116
 
 


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Comments

Re: Endangered River

View the photos of the river at the website to see what this devastated river looked like before the irrigation district drained it.
 

Re: Endangered River

 

Barry Swenson Builder

Please contact us directly:

777 North First Street, 5th Floor
San Jose, CA, 95112-6303
ph: (408) 287-0246
fax: (408) 998-1737

www.barryswensonbuilder.com/

There is nothing else on the website.

"This site is currently under construction."
 

About Barry Swenson Builder

Barry Swenson Builder
829 Front St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp

Tel: 831-425-5736

Marianne Bacigalupi
Barry Swenson Builder
(408) 938-6307
mbacigalupi (at) barryswensonbuilder.com


Approved Projects in Campbell

Marriott Town Place Suites
Barry Swenson Builder has received City approval to build a new 4-story 95 suite hotel adjacent to the Los Gatos Creek trail by the HWY 17 overpass. Located on E. Campbell Avenue.

photo - jpg:
www.ci.campbell.ca.us/cityservices/rda/DowntownImages/Hotel.jpg

www.ci.campbell.ca.us/cityservices/rda/devandleaseopps.htm

Already under construction is the four-story Townplace Suites, a 95-room extended stay business hotel, being built by Barry Swenson Builder for Marriott Hotels on the south side of E. Campbell Avenue between the Los Gatos Creek (former Andy’s BBQ site). A Fall 2005 completion is anticipated.


About Barry Swenson Builder

In this age of technology, construction has evolved from hammer and nails, brick and mortar, to computer-aided design and scheduling, scientific seismic advances, and innovative materials. Barry Swenson Builder combines 30 years of experience with today's technology to provide a broad range of services. These services include corporate office development, historic building rehabilitation, advanced medical facility construction, investments and ownership, residential development and property management.

Barry Swenson Builder's professional in-house team partners with the most respected engineers, architects, designers and developers to create innovative projects. Barry Swenson Builder combines decades of experience with state-of-the-art design, value engineering, construction and project management.

Barry Swenson Builder Team Members, Barry Swenson, Marianne Bacigalupi, Mike Black, Jeff Lauritzen, Steve Andrews and Dan Hetzler, Echelon Headquarters:

* Architectural Design - AI & Barry Swenson Builder Architectural
* Structural Engineering - Nishkian Menninger
* Landscaping -Guzzardo & Associates, Inc.
* Broker - Kenmark Real Estate Group

Barry Swenson Builder is based in San Jose, California with offices in Campbell, Santa Cruz and Pleasanton.
 

Barry Swenson Builder Team Members

Barry Swenson Builder Team Members, Barry Swenson, Marianne Bacigalupi, Mike Black, Jeff Lauritzen, Steve Andrews, Dan Hetzler and Bill Ryan.

Barry Swenson Builder
Marianne Bacigalupi, Sr. V.P.
701 N. 1st Street
San José, CA 95112

Phone: 408-287-0246
Fax: 408-998-1737
 

Re: Endangered River

I don't understand why someone would do this.
 

Re: Endangered River

"This river is Hammawi ancestral ground where they once lived and historical and cultural artifacts will be forever lost."

Then you can thank the draining of the river for helping to reveal artifacts that were otherwise lost in the submerged riverbed.

"I don't understand why someone would do this."

You don't understand the need for water? Water to grow food and feed livestock? Water to drive non-polluting hydroelectric generators so that less oil can be burned?
 

Re: Endangered River

Barry Swenson and his interests are growing rice in an arid area, which requires inordinate amounts of water. It is not responsible conservation and water and land use.

The multimillion dollar operation is also receiving public funding to accomplish this through farm subsidies. Collecting government money is becoming the "in thing" for multi millionaires, including Charles Schwab. And Swenson is the king of it with most of his projects being federally, state and locally funded.

Subsidy Program Total Payments
1995-2003 for Alturas Ranches owned by the Swenson family:

Subtotal, Farming Subsidies
$144,827
Direct Counter Cyclical Payments
$7,863
Direct Counter Cyclical - Wheat
$7,863
Production Flexibility Contracts
$33,307
Production Flexibility - Barley
$6,329
Production Flexibility - Wheat
$26,978
Mkt. Loss Asst. - Commodity Crops
$26,197
Market Loss Assistance - Barley
$5,711
Market Loss Assistance - Wheat
$20,486
Loan Deficiency Payments
$77,460
Loan Deficiency - Wheat
$77,460

Ownership shares for Alturas Ranches LLC
USDA county office: Names Listed Percentage
Share*
Modoc County, California Mike Higashi
San Jose, CA 95112 3.6 %
Tamara Swenson
San Jose, CA 95112 0.7 %
Rebecca Swenson
San Jose, CA 95112 3.1 %
Case Swenson
San Jose, CA 95126 0.7 %
Brad Schnoor
Chowchilla, CA 93610 12.5 %
Molly Swenson
San Jose, CA 95112 4.3 %
Blair Hull
Chicago, IL 60606 12.5 %
Jack W Schnoor
Chowchilla, CA 93610 12.5 %
Kathleen Hull
Carmel, CA 93923 12.5 %
Barry Swenson
San Jose, CA 95112 11.5 %
Green Valley Corp
Fremont, CA 94539 24.0 %
Green Valley Enterprises
Chico, CA 95928 50.0 %
Hull Farms II
Carmel, CA 93923 25.0 %


Goose Club Farms North: Summary | Programs | Programs by year | Farm Location(s) | Ownership Interest(s)

Year Conservation Subsidies Disaster Subsidies Commodity Subsidies Total USDA Subsidies
1995-2003
1995 $0 $0 $0 $0
1996 $0 $0 $0 $0
1997 $0 $0 $0 $0
1998 $0 $0 $0 $0
1999 $0 $0 $0 $0
2000 $0 $0 $0 $0
2001 $0 $0 $0 $0
2002 $0 $0 $139,714 $139,714
2003 $0 $0 $156,170 $156,170
Total $0 $0 $295,884 $295,884

Ownership shares for Goose Club Farms North
USDA county office: Names Listed Percentage
Share*
Sutter County, California Case Swenson
San Jose, CA 95126 25.0 %
Daniel Lowry
Fremont, CA 94539 20.0 %
Sutter County, California Green Valley Corp
Fremont, CA 94539 25.0 %
Dane Lowry
Fremont, CA 94539 10.0 %
Susan Lowry
Fremont, CA 94539 20.0 %

Subsidy Program Total Payments
1995-2003
Subtotal, Farming Subsidies
$295,884
Direct Counter Cyclical Payments
$161,993
Direct Counter Cyclical - Rice
$160,048
Direct Counter Cyclical - Safflower
$1,945
Production Flexibility Contracts
$103,868
Production Flexibility - Corn
$1,007
Production Flexibility - Rice
$102,861
Production Flexibility - Wheat
$0
Marketing Loan Gains
$30,023
Market Gains Warehouse - Rice
$30,023

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Rich get richer on subsidies
Schwab duck club qualifies for federal rice crop supports

Glen Martin, Chronicle Environment Writer

Wednesday, December 19, 2001


There's not much to mark the place -- a steel gate topped with stylized silhouettes of ducks, a metal sign engraved with the legend, "Casa de Patos." A driveway wends through a grove of oaks. Rice fields stretch to the west, and a thick woodland jungle hugs Butte Creek, the eastern border of the property.

Schwab duck club qualifies for federal rice crop supports

There's not much to mark the place -- a steel gate topped with stylized silhouettes of ducks, a metal sign engraved with the legend, "Casa de Patos." A driveway wends through a grove of oaks. Rice fields stretch to the west, and a thick woodland jungle hugs Butte Creek, the eastern border of the property.

Locals know this 1,550-acre expanse of marsh and cropland owned by stockbroker Charles Schwab as one of the finest duck clubs in the Sacramento Valley.

READ THE FULL STORY IN SC-IMC'S 'OTHERPRESS' NEWSWIRE
santacruz.indymedia.org/otherpress/display/558



The water isn't desired simply for livestock or "feeding America." It is now wanted for a minute amount of hydro electric power to pay the expenses of the approximate $1.53 an acre to irrigate the fields and to pay for the expenses of their water retention program--at the expense of local families, the environment, ancestral grounds.

The average California family pays the same amount for water for their small homes as the corporate rancher and farmer pays for their water from the U.S. Government.

Over twenty families will be DIRECTLY adversely affected by this. Over 1200 recreationalists per year will be adversely affected by this. Sport fishermen will be adversely affected by this. An almost lost culture will lost their history and heritage due to this. Local business will be affected by this and local revenue will be affected by this. Irreparable changes to a entire geographic area will occur. All so the Swenson family and two other families (who showed up at the scoping hearing) can get their farming expenses paid. The other three or four didn't even appear to make a statement. Two of the involved ranches in the SFID are up for sale.

The previous owners didn't file for subsidies on any of the ranches owned by Swenson a Swenson has according to the database.

To expect an entitlement of the ENTIRE natural resources of an area to support one's operation because it is argued by you it is inoperable otherwise is simply unacceptable. To drain an entire three miles of river to facilitate one's own operation is simply unacceptable. To ruin an ecosystem in order to support one's operation is totally unacceptable. To forever ruin an entire culture's history to support one's operation is totally unacceptable. To devalue the properties of everyday people to support one's operation is totally unacceptable. To endanger their public safety and welfare by making their lands into drained swamps is totally unacceptable. To have a canal that is not maintained and that spills sediment onto the property of others is not acceptable. To expect others to sacrifice their futures and give up their retirements for the Swenson ranching operation is totally unacceptable.

Its not that Swenson can not afford to finance his own ranches, he has the enormous numbers of buildings, hotels, high rises and acres of land statewide to show he can. He has another very large project in which he is involved that will produce multi mega watts of power, a giant compared to this very tiny venture on the other side of the reservoir.

It is that his ventures want it ALL...at ANY PRICE to ANYONE. It is that he is insensitive to others, not even bothering to uphold his commitment to meet with the landowners, not caring to see the impact his project is having upon the "little people."

It isn't about the poor rancher or the poor farmer...while federal funds were paying for riparian habitat work on the ranches owned by the SFID, they were draining a river upstream.

It's not about feeding America. It's not about the 18 to 30 basically minimum wage jobs provided in the community. It is about more money for Swenson.

It's about 7.5% interest, as indicated on FERC files on a $2,000,000 construction cost, over seven years. Its about hedging the costs of electricity for his Silicon Valley buildings and Coastal hotels, to make more of a profit. Its about paying for the entire water costs for his ranching operations so he can make more of a profit.

It isn't the noble cause of feeding America. It's about the noble cause of feeding the Swenson family at the expense of many other families and California's heritage.

And its wrong, dead wrong. Without the natural resources, Modoc County will depopulate.

The argument about the need for more energy is simply rhetoric at this point, especially with the size of this project and the lack of feasibility due to low inflows to the river.

The need for power in California, right now, is in Southern California and because of blocks in the grid, Northern California energy can't even get down there. The developer even stated he had no buyer and intended to sell it in Idaho if he couldn't sell it here.

Its about profit. Its about greed and its about draining a tiny river, on a yearly basis, rather than finding ways to conserve the water use and use it in a more efficient manner to the benefit of all.

Its all about entitlement.
 

Re: Endangered River

Business Listing


Barry Swenson Builders
829 Front Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-425-5736


FAX
831-425-0129
Links
E-mail

Affiliations
 

Re: Endangered River

Another river gone. This has been going on under our noses for too long.

Young fish die as water laws go unenforced - Ranchers' cooperation threatened

News/Current Events News Keywords: CA POWER CRISIS
Source: SF Chronicle
Published: 6/22/01 Author: Glen Martin, Tom Stienstra
Posted on 06/22/2001 05:05:22 PDT by randita
Young fish die as water laws go unenforced

Ranchers' cooperation threatened

Glen Martin, Tom Stienstra, Chronicle Staff Writers

Friday, June 22, 2001

Irrigation by ranchers is decimating salmon and steelhead populations on California's second biggest river system, and Department of Fish and Game officials acknowledge they are not implementing a tough state law that could stop the diversions.

Ranchers have diverted most of the flow of the Scott and Shasta Rivers in Siskiyou County to irrigate alfalfa fields and pastures, leaving thousands of young salmon and steelhead without enough water and facing imminent death.

READ THE FULL STORY IN SC-IMC'S 'OTHERPRESS' NEWSWIRE
santacruz.indymedia.org/otherpress/display/559
 

Re: Endangered River

Maybe theres hope.

Posted on Fri, Jun. 24, 2005


Supreme Court rules against California farmers in water use case

JULIANA BARBASSA

Associated Press


FRESNO, Calif. - Individual farmers may not sue the federal government to enforce water contracts entered into by their irrigation districts, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in a decision that limits landowners' ability to seek compensation for reduced flows.

Justices concluded that the 1982 Reclamation Reform Act "does not permit a plaintiff to sue the United States alone," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court Thursday.

Two dozen farmers from California's Central Valley wanted the federal government to pay them about $32 million as compensation for water they were supposed to get under a federal contract. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation diverted the water to comply with Endangered Species Act requirements to protect two threatened fish.

READ THE FULL STORY IN SC-IMC'S 'OTHERPRESS' NEWSWIRE
santacruz.indymedia.org/otherpress/display/560
 

Re: Endangered River

this does NOT look good.
 

Re: Endangered River

I guess where there is money involved...
 

Re: Endangered River

Farm subsidies? Now i've heard it all. No money for the homeless. Decreased funding for children and childcare. Few programs for people without health insurance. The state is broke. The Fed is depleted. Social Security is diminishing. But people who build luxury hotels get farm subsidies. Go figure.
 

Re: Endangered River

I'm surprised there is no mention that this article doesn't state anything about construction in an eagle nesting habitat.
 

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