"At one point, the Humboldt River Valley was only inhabited by a few hundred people who never stayed for extended periods of time in any one place," Burns said. "Then tens of thousands of wagons passed through the valley in the 1840s. Tens of thousands of oxen, mules and horses ate the grass growing along the riverbanks. Tens of thousands of wagon parties chopped down trees to repair their wagons or make their campfires. Tens of thousands of thirsty people and animals drained the river when the water level was at its lowest. Without the plants to filter out the river, the water became even more soapy and bitter. The immigrants were complaining about a problem they created."
He notes that as an attorney Screnock defended Gov. Scott Walker's Act 10 collective bargaining law and legislative maps drawn by Republicans.