Spotted Owl Lie Killing Another Town

McCloud is another small town in Jefferson killed off by the Spotted Owl Lie. It did hang on a little longer than Hayfork, but the result is the same. The last mill in town closed and the people left soon after. But this little town has a bigger renewable resource than trees. What could be more renewable than trees? Water. This little town sits at the base of Mt. Shasta and the whole area is covered with natural springs, rivers, creeks and the ever present glaciers on Mt. Shasta. There has never been a problem with water in this area. So a deal was made to save the little town.

Mt. Shasta

The town of 1,300 people in far Northern California struck a deal with Nestle in 2003 under which the Swiss company would build the nation’s largest water bottling plant to tap three of the many springs on the mountainside and bottle up to 521 million gallons of water a year.

Sounds like the perfect match, clean industry, plenty of resources, good paying jobs and nice tax revenue for the town. What could be wrong with this deal? The usual suspects, of course.

The project is still awaiting an environmental review from the county and could be several years away from approval, having run into opposition from scientists, fishermen, conservationists, and some members of the community 280 miles northeast of San Francisco.

Most of the locals have a different view. They want their little town to survive and have a future, for themselves and for their children.

But others in town are growing frustrated by the delays and want to see something – anything – to replace the lumber mill that was driven out of business by the logging restrictions that have hurt the timber industry across the Pacific Northwest.

“When they had the mill, this town was jumping,” said homeowner Paula Kleinhans. “As soon as the mill closed down, people moved, they lost their jobs, and now there are no children here. It really needs industry here.”

In my opinion, it is better to use the water up here, rather than let it flow into the Sacramento River where it just goes to the city folk who don’t give a crap about us anyway. If there’s one thing we have plenty of here, it is water. It’s better to get paid for it here, than have it stolen from us to supply the city folks with water for their lawns.

The Rest

Original Post: How Lies Killed a Small Town

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