Sites upstream of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta

Sites reservoirSites reservoir is a proposition that was on the November ballot of 2014 called prop 1. Prop one would turn the Sites valley into a reservoir that would store winter flood waters that come up from the Sacramento River, However, many families that live in or near Sites fear losing their homes and decade-old ranches due to a law called eminent domain. Sites is a part of a grant given to California to authorize $7.1 billion dollars in water improvements and groundwater storage. It was approved June 3, 2014. Governor Jerry Brown called on the legislature to replace the old $11 billion dollar bond with a cheaper more “affordable” $7.1 billion dollar bond on June 25, 2014, and it passed on Aug 13, 2014. “Its primary purpose is to collect winter flood flows from the Sacramento River, diverting the water upstream of the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta and pumping it into an artificial lake located west of Colusa.” according to Wikipedia. This reservoir project will be 1,800,000 acre’s and store 586 billion gallons of water. Sites can possibly provide fresh water to billions of California homes, companies and  provide a stable environment for native endangered fish However, this artificial lake is not going to be built just anywhere it is going to be built where the town of Sites now stands approximately 20 miles west of Colusa and 10 miles west of our little town of Maxwell. Where dozens of families have spent their lives putting the heart and soul into what they do, Where herds of cattle spend their winters grazing. It’s a place that has stood as a home for dozens of generations of families, ranchers and agriculturists. Under a law called eminent domain, all of their family homes and private properties can be seized by the government for or in the public’s interest they are required to pay the landowner to help with the financial stress. Yes it would bring water to the valley and yes it would bring water to local farms to water agricultural crops. According to KCRA 3 “Sacramento people should look at it as the equivalent of two Folsom lakes and the dam up here.” Says assemblyman Kevin McCarty a Democrat from Sacramento.  So now you must ask yourself by supporting your local farmers and saying yes to prop 1 are you in fact putting your neighboring ranches in danger and at what point do you get to decide which person gets to keep their livelihood and which one loses everything they have worked their whole lives for? Since when did land grabs get justified as public interest? I consider that socialism, your taking away someone’s home and land to make another happy and in my eyes it’s wrong. The definition of socialism is “a political or economic theory of social organization that advocates the production, distribution and the exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole”. “They need to build it it’s a benefit to everybody it’s flood prevention and water storage they are taking out dams so anytime you can get one put in it’s a good thing now if you live up there then it’s not such a good thing since you’ll lose your property,” says Mr.Bernstein a substitute teacher for Maxwell high. But here is another perspective to look at it from… here’s the way my nine year old niece sees the proposal of losing the place where she grew up “I grew up here in sites all my happy memories happened on the White Oak I can’t imagine it not being there i can’t even remember a time before the White Oak ranch it’s just always been a big part of my life.” says Lilly Adams. Too many people losing Sites is like losing a part of them self but in the eyes of some, it’s a compromise that could possibly benefit California as a whole. Although it is a bittersweet battle between the people who love sites and the people who love the idea of the sites reservoir but there is no doubt that we need to figure this out soon because the social and communal tension over the subject is beginning to affect some relationships because of how much people’s opinions vary