By TIM HEARDEN
YREKA, Calif. -- A motion by environmental groups to intervene in the Siskiyou County Farm Bureau's water lawsuit against the California Department of Fish and Game was denied here today.
Siskiyou County Superior Court Commissioner JoAnn Bicego ruled that the Karuk Tribe, Klamath Riverkeeper and other groups don't have a compelling interest in the case.
The Farm Bureau is seeking a legal interpretation of the Fish and Game Code relating to whether irrigators must notify the state before they divert water.
Wendy Park, the environmental groups' attorney, argued that the decision in the case could effect the health of fisheries from which her clients make their livelihoods. But Bicego said the issues being discussed in the case are more narrow in scope.
"The proposed intervenors have not met the burden" of having a direct interest as defined in case law, she said.