Cows showed up this weekend at Lake Davis in Plumas County, angering 79-year-old Bob Baiocchi, president of California Fisheries and Water Unlimited, a local non-profit.
On Monday, Baiocchi sent an e-mail to Tom Tidwell, chief of the U.S. Forest Service - which leases the area to local ranchers for grazing - asking him to take action.
"For the past several years, we have attempted to obtain relief and have the cattle removed by the Regional Forester Randy Moore ... He did not take any actions."
Lake Davis, Biaocchi noted, is a major public water supply reservoir and popular for trout fishing and other recreation. Among other things, he asked Tidwell to remove cows from the area "as soon as possible because of effects to the public health and water quality."
His concerns are similar to those of retired U.C. Davis medical professor Robert Derlet, featured in a recent Bee story, who has published peer-reviewed studies in scientific journals showing that U.S. Forest Service lands leased for grazing across the Sierra Nevada high country often harbor levels of bacterial contamination high enough to sicken hikers and others with Giaridia, E. Coli and other diseases.