[env-trinity] Northern California Developed Water Resources

Byron bwl3 at comcast.net
Thu Jan 27 14:01:54 PST 2005

Valley congressmen tapped for key posts 

Representatives will give region stronger voice on local issues.

Fresno Bee - 1/27/05

By Michael Doyle, staff writer

WASHINGTON - The San Joaquin Valley is gaining a stronger voice on some of
the region's signature issues, thanks to some new congressional leadership

Yosemite National Park and other public lands now will be overseen by
Visalia Republican Devin Nunes, as he takes over his first House
subcommittee chairmanship. Mariposa Republican George Radanovich, meanwhile,
will have his hands on the tap of Western water policies, as chairman of the
House water and power panel.

"It really consolidates my efforts for infrastructure in California,"
Radanovich said in an interview Wednesday. "In some ways, I can really
target my efforts for water in California." 

With Tracy Republican Richard Pombo still chairing the full House Resources
Committee, the new moves mean San Joaquin Valley representatives dominate
congressional resource policy-making slots.

It also marks an unusual concentration of authority for one region. "It's
great for California," Radanovich said. "Any way we can benefit the Valley,
we'll do it."

When Californians want to build new dams- or stop them- they will now have
to go through Radanovich's office.

The conservative lawmaker, who has been critical of measures such as the
Endangered Species Act, also will be overseeing a $389million California
water bill passed last year. 

This Cal-Fed money is not guaranteed and must be negotiated each year; how
the law is put into practice also will bear close watching.

"This chairmanship was tailor-made for George," Pombo said.

In order to take the water and power job, Radanovich had to give up the
parks subcommittee he has chaired for several years.

That's fine with Nunes, though, because the musical chairs means the
sophomore lawmaker will get his own shot at running the parks panel.

His congressional district includes Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks,
as well as other big chunks of federal land.

"I believe we need to look closely at the budgets of the National Park
Service and Bureau of Land Management," Nunes said. "There is a need to
address maintenance backlogs in our public lands as well as the
implementation of the Healthy Forests Initiative, among others."

Nunes added that he also wants to focus his attention on "oil, gas and
renewable energy development on public lands, including resources available
in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge." 

Like most other Western Republicans- and unlike most Democrats and Eastern
Republican moderates- Nunes backs drilling in a portion of the sprawling
Arctic refuge.

Radanovich and Nunes share many of the same political beliefs, particularly
on perennially controversial Western resource issues. The liberal League of
Conservation Voters gave both men a 5 out of 100 on votes scored in 2003,
while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce scored both men near the top in its own
vote rankings.



Byron Leydecker

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

Consultant, California Trout, Inc.

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 ph

415 519 4810 ce

415 383 9562 fx

bwl3 at comcast.net

 <mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org




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