Regional News

Assembly Candidate Belle Starr Sandwith Shares Her Thoughts

By Duncan A. Kennedy

On April 29th, as part of a countywide tour held by the Sierra County Democrats in conjunction with Dr. Kermit Jones’s congressional campaign, your correspondent was able to interview Belle Starr Sandwith, Democratic challenger for Assembly District 1. The following is a synopsis of the answers given to questions posed to the candidate:

Tell us a bit about yourself – what’s your life story?

Sandwith was born in Kansas but moved to California early in life when her father found employment in Napa County. Soon afterward, her mother began working for CalTrans in Nevada County, so she grew up in the Donner Pass area. Sandwith attended College of the Redwoods as a basketball player, then transferred to the University of Nevada, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Administration. After that, she worked as a traveling chef for NASCAR racers before returning to her Lost Sierra roots and moving to Sierra Brooks.

What inspired you to run for Assembly?

After the events of January 6th, 2021, Sandwith was “horrified”; this, coupled with a pandemic response that she found underwhelming and two bad wildfire seasons that left her “tired of being burned out of the Sierras,” left her yearning for change. Eventually, congressional candidate Max Steiner (challenging Doug LaMalfa in CA-01) recruited her as a potential candidate.

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Commentary: Balanced Approach to Water Needed for Farms, Fish

By Justin Fredrickson, Ag Alert, California Farm Bureau, May 4, 2022

(SACRAMENTO) – Project operators recently explained unprecedented emergency plans for cold-water temperature management to support endangered salmon below Shasta Dam, the federal Central Valley Project’s largest reservoir. Based on what they told the California State Water Resources Control Board, the effort is pulling out all stops imaginable.

The goal is to get at least a few nests of Central Valley winter-run chinook salmon eggs to hatch, while still leaving something in the reservoir at the end of this summer, should dry conditions continue next year. But conditions this year are so abnormally dry, and feasible flows below the dam will be so low, it’s not clear what will happen.

Amid blast furnace heat during the peak of summer, this process seeks to maintain water temperatures as cold as a beer in the ice chest of an angler casting his lure from the shore.

Such cooling is possible in most years, thanks to the elaborate machinations of armies of planners, project operators and biologists. Carefully managed releases of very cold water from rain and melting snow, generally provided courtesy of Mother Nature, are critical drivers. But in bone-dry droughts, such as the historic one we are now experiencing, this whole enterprise becomes much more difficult.

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Soaring Soon – Condors to be Reintroduced to Northern California

By Juliet Grable, Redwoods (Spring-Summer 2020)

(HOOPA) – Condors once commanded the skies from British Columbia to Baja California until the 19th and 20th centuries, when the giant vultures fell victims to shooting, egg collecting, habitat degradation, and the intentional lacing of carcasses with poison to reduce predator numbers. Poisoning from ingestion of lead ammunition in carcasses was also a major contributor to the decline. The federally endangered bird had dwindled to just 22 individuals in 1982. Since 1992, when the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) began reintroducing captive-bred condors to the wild, the agency and its partners have grown the population to more than 518 birds, with 337 of them flying free.

Before too long, visitors to Redwood National and State Parks may spy the condors, which have been missing from the area for more than 100 years.

Overlapping portions of the park is the ancestral territory of the Yurok Tribe, which is leading the effort to reintroduce the California condor to the Pacific Northwest. The National Park Service and USFWS are partners in the project. The condor figures prominently in the Yurok Tribe’s World Renewal ceremonies, where Yuroks pray and fast to balance the world.

“It’s our understanding of the world that if any component is missing, the system is unbalanced; it’s unable to right itself,” said Tiana Williams-Claussen, Director of the Yurok Tribe Wildlife Department. “That’s actually why we’re here as Yurok people, to help manage the landscape in a balanced way.”

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