maggies farmmaggies farm's Journal
For the last 15 years I have worked in one of the wealthiest zip codes in the nation. I provide computer services. In Montecito California there are a lot of small home offices. I will not name drop but you would clearly recognize some of the clients I have had over the years if I were to disclose.
I have a story that I am going to greatly truncate.
Several years back it came to my attention that some land was about to enter the market. It has a set of mineral hot springs. It produces about 50 million gallons a year on the front range of the San Ysidro Mountains and within 6 miles of the city of Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands has a very long history with the Chumash people dating back over 10,000 years. The Spanish Mission era started at around 1769 when the path to the springs were first noted by Europeans. It is at the point of a young state of California that the present history of the springs took a sharp departure. These springs used for upwards of 10,000 years were shared with a white dying man that likely had heavy metal poisoning from quicksilver (mercury) mining over the mountain. (Mineral thermal water are known for chelating heavy metal toxins.) The man healed and promptly filed a land patent on the springs starting the history of coming to Santa Barbara to take advantage of the clime and it's mineral waters in the area.
Mineral waters throughout the US were respected and revered much like the Roman baths but it reached a peak in America and with the beginning of medical colleges and patented medicines those waters as therapy went into decline. There were a series of hotels from the 1860's all the way to the 1964 Coyote Fire.
In 1897 a set of water rights were wrangled at the springs for the downstream estates in Montecito. In that elaborate set of water rights 50% of the water went to a private water company and the other 50% remained with the land owner to be used for the various soaks and plunges.
When the land came for sale a local land trust organization spearheaded the effort to acquire the land and springs. I learned such an organization is not an environmental or conservation organization but a 'fixer' of properties that have various constraints and might not be fully developable. The outcome might provide some form of tax remedy and might include conservation easements or open spaces. In this case it was to be an outright conveyance to the USFS which has surrounding land.
What I discovered in the end was this. The idea was to convey the land and springs to the USFS, but forever remove water so that the public would not be able to soak in the springs! The USFS is notorious for poorly managing hot springs. To them it often is little more than an attractant nuisance, and with increasing budget constraints they cannot manage resources like springs.
My client at the time was the last house of one side of Hot Spring creek, told me when I knew what the endgame would be said, "don't worry all of the donors are democratics", the primary donor that put up 6 million dollars for the purchase lives across the creek and last house before entering into the chaparral forest leading up to the springs a mile away told me by direct conversation, "I considered buying the land for myself and bulldozing and capping the springs so no one would ever be able to soak in those waters again!" A classic case of NIMBY and wealth.
Today the USFS now owns the land, and it also now controls 50% of the water and that 50% is provided as permissive use at no cost to a private water company to feed estates that rival many municipal parks found throughout the U.S. We are talking about 25 million gallons of water a year given freely by our government - that is your water to the detriment of an effectively dewaterd creek with endangered steelhead downstream along with the needs of the flora and fauna found within the watershed itself. To soak in waters that were used for therapeutic and the lesser recreational purposes of relaxation for over 10,000 years are no longer available to the public on public lands and is an actual crime to enter those waters.
I must say I have seen the impacts and greed of wealth and particularly democratic wealth first hand. The fella that put up the 6 million dollars is a heavy democratic funder.
You can dig deeply through this facebook page Montecito Hot Springs and get a good idea what we are really faced with regarding the collusion of government with the lofty one percenters (democratic and republican). Here is an example of one of the estates receiving OUR water that is considered as non-potable irrigating water. These springs make this estate possible!
What does the Malheur Refuge have in common with Mormons and Paiutes? The location falls within the boundaries of Deseret and the land of the Paiute.
When the Mormons reached Utah in 1847, Smiths successor Brigham Young founded the breakaway state of Deseret
Deseret extended north just above Lake Malheur.
State of Deseret
The Territory of Deseret comprised roughly all the lands between the Sierra Nevada and the Rockies, and between the border with Mexico northward to include parts of the Oregon Territory, as well as the coast of California south of the Santa Monica Mountains (including the existing settlements of Los Angeles and San Diego). It included the entire watershed of the Colorado River (excluding the lands south of the border with Mexico), as well as the entire area of the Great Basin.
As is typical of Great Basin lakes, Malheur Lake's surface area changes dramatically with the local weather, climate, and season because the lake is in a very flat basin. A large influence on the water volume is local snow melt, especially from Steens Mountain, south of the lake. For example, large snowpacks in the mid-1980s caused the lake to expand from approximately 67 to 160 square miles (170 to 410 km2) within three years, flooding usually dry areas and damaging a branch of the Oregon Eastern Railway. Soon afterward, drought in the early 1990s reduced the lake size to just 200 acres (0.31 sq mi), exposing large mudflats and dusty playas.
Conquest and Settlement: 500 years ago until today
The relationship between the Indians and the settlers deteriorated significantly during this period. The great influx of outsiders took over important camping and travel routes. They competed for game and destroyed camas fields by plowing and draining them. They fouled the streams with waste from their mining and so reduced the fish runs. Conflicts with settlers became increasingly violent and newspaper accounts show that the settlers wanted a solution to the "Indian problem." Recommended solutions ranged from keeping the Indians on reservations to outright murder and genocide.
Around 1877 a reservation of 1.7 million acres were established for the Paiutes around Lake Malheur, soon after the contrived Bannock war lead to the disintegration of the reservation and the dispossession of the Paiute and the overtaking of that land by white mormon settlers creating one of the largest cattle operations in the west.
Most would enjoy the romantic notion that the genocide perpetuated against the first nations were done by the U.S. government when in fact most of the atrocities were carried out by citizens formed into militias. Often by incursion of white settlers the indigenous had little choice but to defend their homeland with some events being contrived.
They also were sent to guard the Overland Trail, keep the Mormons under observation by the establishment of Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, and fought a campaign against the Shoshone culminating in the Battle of Bear River. In Nevada, Oregon and Idaho Territory California, Oregon and Washington Territorial Volunteers tried to protect the settlers and pacified tribes from each other and they fought the Goshute, Paiute, Ute and hostile Snake Indians in the Snake War from 1864 until 1866. In California Volunteer forces fought the Bald Hills War in the northwestern forests until 1864 and also the Owens Valley Indian War in 1862-1863.
Following just received from General Howard: BAKER CITY, 11 June 1878
"The Malheurs left their reservation 6th instant. Bannocks evidently working to junction with them, as I feared. Whipple and Bendire about a day's march from Boise. Sanford, unaccountably to me, less than one hundred miles from Kelton tonight. Stewart delayed two whole days for wagons, and was making short marches instead of long ones. At last accounts Cochran waited several days at Cayuse, and then, by my orders, started this way. Is near Meacham's tonight. Hope you have permission to repair telegraph line where broken between Union and Walla Walla. Warm Spring Scouts very important to help me hunt main camp of the Indians. Can you get them? Answer Boise. Grover will forward if necessary."
TELEGRAM BOISE CITY, IDAHO, 12 June 1878
ASSISTANT ADJUTANT GENERAL, DIVISION PACIFIC, SAN FRANCISCO
May I accept services of volunteers for the emergency in any exposed quarters not exceeding one hundred. The Indians are raiding on a circuit of one hundred miles, and will need watching in different directions. Citizens offer their services; some through Governor and some directly independent of his recognition."
History is important and if you want to understand the Malheur retaking by Ammom Bundy and Capt Moroni on behalf of Deseret start by learning about Peter French and how he desecrated the Paiute land.
French took the time to explore the watershed, scouting out springs and streams and good box canyons and better meadowlands, the better to control the region Fencing the public domain was illegal The general Land Office report of 1886-87 stated that Peter French had illegally enclosed 30,000 acres of public domain
Where Land & Water Meet
When you read of BLM taking land what is really occurring is that they have been buying out inholdings acquired by dubious means that were at the expense of the Paiutes and native flora and fauna.
Before the federal government limited grazing at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, ranchers had turned the land to "mud and cow shit."
While Bundy wants to continue with his dreams of Deseret the Paiutes will get this land back before the ranchers which means that this will remain under federal control.
(Please watch this video) Burns tribe says armed activists 'desecrating' Oregon land
Tribe Denounces Malheur Refuge Occupation