[env-trinity] Senators' Letter to Governor on His Start of the Peripheral Canal

Byron bwl3 at comcast.net
Wed Feb 27 17:00:03 PST 2008

February 27, 2008


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

State Capitol First Floor

Sacramento, CA 95814


Dear Governor:


We are shocked to learn that your administration has acted unilaterally to begin work on an alternative delta conveyance system, i.e. The Peripheral Canal.




1. In recent correspondence with the Chair of the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee, your water department opined that, without any further legislative action, it had broad authority and discretion to construct facilities like the Peripheral Canal under current law (Letter to Assembly Member Wolk - November 21, 2007-page 1, Paragraph 2)


2. Your proposed 2008 budget seeks eight permanent positions to produce engineering and environmental documents for the construction of an Alternative Delta Conveyance System (i.e. peripheral canal) funded through revenues in the State Water Project. Among other things, the budget request states that the state needs to act quickly to construct new water conveyance and that Department of Water Resources should be the sole agency overseeing the construction of the canal. (Budget Change Proposal #10, Element 20--Department of Water Resources July 31, 2007)


3. It was reported to us that last Friday, a resources agency official stated in a public meeting on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan that the administration is preparing an executive order directing to begin environmental and engineering documents for a canal facility despite the fact that the budget request has not been acted upon and the request contends that no staff currently are available for that purpose.


We are vexed that only last week, you invited Senator Diane Feinstein to meet with us to help forge a comprehensive agreement on a water bond for the November 2008 ballot.


At that time, you repeatedly stressed the singular importance of reaching a balanced, statewide consensus on water policy that meets the needs of the entire state, and not acting in a manner that addresses some concerns while ignoring others.


You appointed a Blue Ribbon Task Force to review the state of the Sacramento San Joaquin Delta and make recommendations to fix the fragile delta. The task force emphasized the need to integrate actions to save the delta into a single, comprehensive plan.


Launching a peripheral canal without addressing ecosystem, water quality, structure and governance simply enflames old sectional passions and suspicions. And, it moves us in the exact opposite direction from a comprehensive water policy.


Frankly, we find it difficult to negotiate seriously with D.W.R. and other interests in view of this.


We urge you to withdraw the executive actions cited above and to direct your agency to work with all parties of interest to ensure California’s water policy truly reflects the needs of the entire state.











Byron Leydecker

Friends of Trinity River, Chair

California Trout, Inc., Advisor

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810

415 519 4810 cell

415 383 9562 fax

bwl3 at comcast.net

bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org (secondary)




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