By Colleen Cecil
January /February Editorial
Butte County Farm Bureau News
Tuscan Water District
Maybe you have heard about it. Maybe you haven’t. If you are a groundwater user – agricultural and/or domestic – in the Vina or Butte Sub Basins of Butte County then you should probably make yourself aware. This is a necessary and important step in ensuring groundwater reliability for future generations in Butte County to be able to live and farm.
The Tuscan Water District is being formed to create an organization that can and will represent all groundwater dependent landowners, to be able to preserve and protect agricultural and domestic water supplies in the rural areas of the Vina and Butte sub basins and meet the sustainability goals of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
Through the Butte Local Agency Formation Commission, a process to form the district will be by a landowner-voter petition. The proposed Tuscan Water District will include more than 94,000 acres. This will encompass from the Tehama County line south to the Western Canal Service area; the eastern boundary is Highway 99 and the City of Chico corporate boundary and the western boundary generally following the Sacramento River, Big Chico Creek, M and T Ranch, Llano Seco Ranch Water District and Reclamation District 2106. In total the district will be approximately 147 square miles.
If you are one of the 52,000 acres within the proposed district boundary that have already lent support to this effort, I am not telling you anything you don’t already know. Thank you to those who have already voiced and demonstrated support. If you are part of the 42,000 acres that have not given your support, I encourage you to ask the questions and learn about the Tuscan Water District formation process.
The actual application for the district formation has not been filed yet. It is slated to happen in early 2020. For more than two years now, upwards of 50 landowners have been meeting quarterly to get our community to where we are today. Preparations are underway to file the necessary paperwork.
Many of you have likely had personal phone calls or in-person meetings with Rich McGowan, Ed McLaughlin, Darren Rice or Todd Turley. These gentlemen have been pounding pavement, dirt roads and orchard rows talking to and educating you and your neighbors about the importance of forming this district. If you have not heard from them yet, then call me and I will get them in touch with you. With four of them and many of you, they have not talked to everyone but they are committed to talking to anyone that will benefit. And yes, this is a beneficial project.
It’s an Election Year
The year 2020 is now here and that brings with it an election. New to California this year will be an earlier Primary Election. We will now vote on March 3. It’s also important to note that this election will be 100% mail-in ballot too. You can still drop your ballot off but there will not be any polling places in March to go and vote this year. Make sure your mailing address is correct with the Butte County Clerk Recorder.
In this issue of the Butte County Farm Bureau News you will find our March Primary Voter Guide. You will notice three names for Butte County Supervisor. It is imperative that these three candidates win their seats. And preferably in March too. It is these three seats that have agriculture’s best interest at the County Board of Supervisors. If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to attend an upcoming Board of Supervisors meeting or watch one from the past twelve months. They are all available online.
December in DC
Despite the tremendous amount of televised drama taking place in Washington DC the last year, there have been some major accomplishments. The House of Representatives passage of USMCA HR 5430 and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act HR 5038 in December, and both with tremendous bi-partisan support, have us eager to see both these bills voted on by the Senate and ultimately to the Presidents desk. Both bills will benefit California agriculture. We are appreciative of Congressman LaMalfa and his leadership and support in seeing both these bills get passed in the House.
We look forward to seeing you at the BCFB Annual Dinner on January 3st at Gold Country Casino where we will thank outgoing President Darren Rice, welcome our new president elect Lee Heringer and then dance the evening away to local favorite Decades.
We are looking forward to working for you in 2020 and thank you for your membership in the Butte County Farm Bureau. Happy New Year!