[env-trinity] SF Chron 2 12 10

Greg King gking at asis.com
Sat Feb 13 10:46:30 PST 2010

This is just incredible. It's not water for farmers, it's water for  
cash. The article says Feinstein is acting primarily at the behest of  
Stewart Resnick. Who is Stewart Resnick? To wit:

"The leader of these recent water privatization efforts in California  
is a Beverly Hills billionaire named Stewart Resnick. Stewart and his  
wife, Lynda Resnick, own Roll International Corporation, a private  
umbrella company that controls the flowers-by-wire company Teleflora,  
Fiji Water, Pom Wonderful, pesticide manufacturer Suterra and  
Paramount Agribusiness, the largest farming company in America and  
the largest pistachio and almond producer in the world. Roll Corp.  
was ranked #246 on Forbes' list of America's largest private  
companies in 2008 and had an estimated revenue of $1.98 billion in  
2007. ...

"Public Citizen's "Water Heist" report uncovered evidence that the  
Beverly Hills farmer was instrumental in the privatization of the  
Kern Water Bank. Not surprisingly, Resnick's Paramount Farms emerged  
with a majority stake in the venture. In fact, Resnick's farm empire  
controls the Kern Water Bank so thoroughly that it is not easy to  
discern where Paramount ends and the Kern Water Bank begins. The Kern  
Water Bank Authority, which administers the bank, is located in  
Paramount's corporate office building outside of Bakersfield,  

Keep reading (from the link above; many thanks to C-WIN) to learn  
about the $73 million sale of Central Valley Project water (that  
would be public water) to the Mojave Water District. These are the  
"farmers" that Feinstein represents, just as she has represented the  
destructive side of virtually every natural resource issue she has  
weighed in on. Don't be surprised if she inserts herself  
significantly into any upcoming Klamath legislation, however dead  
those deals ought to be by now.

On Feb 13, 2010, at 8:35 AM, Emelia Berol wrote:

> From: Byron Leydecker <bwl3 at comcast.net>
> To: FOTR List <fotr at mailman.dcn.org>; Trinity List <env- 
> trinity at mailman.dcn.org>
> Sent: Fri, February 12, 2010 3:25:02 PM
> Subject: [env-trinity] SF Chron 2 12 10
> Feinstein proposes Central Valley water plan
> Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau
> Friday, February 12, 2010
> (02-12) 04:00 PST Washington - -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein ignited a  
> firestorm among fellow California Democrats on Thursday as word  
> spread of her proposal to divert Northern California water to  
> Central Valley farmers.
> <image001.gif><image002.gif><image003.gif>View Larger Images
> Feinstein needs to be put on notice that she will have to become a  
> Republican if she wants to run for governor in this state.
> She might as well switch parties, she has never been a true  
> Democrat anyway.
> More News
> Feinstein wants to attach the proposal as an amendment to a fast- 
> tracked Senate jobs bill. She is pitching the plan as a jobs  
> measure to address the economic calamity in the Central Valley. It  
> would increase farm water allocations from 10 percent last year to  
> 40 percent this year and next, an amount that farmers say is the  
> bare minimum they need.
> Bay Area Democrats were livid, accusing Feinstein of concocting the  
> plan in secret, upending fragile water negotiations that Feinstein  
> has supported and pitting California's Central Valley against its  
> coast. Telephone calls flew as lawmakers learned of Feinstein's plan.
> "I was pretty shocked," said Rep. Mike Thompson, a St. Helena  
> Democrat and ally of North Coast salmon fishermen who support  
> efforts to save fish species that are declining.
> Influential farmer
> Feinstein has long supported California agriculture but began to  
> weigh in on the side of farmers in the water wars after requests  
> from Stewart Resnick, the well-connected owner of Paramount Farms,  
> which grows citrus and nuts on 118,000 acres in Kern County.
> In September, Resnick wrote Feinstein complaining that "sloppy  
> science" by federal wildlife agencies was causing farm water  
> shortages. A week later, Feinstein forwarded the letter to Obama  
> administration officials, who authorized a review by the National  
> Academy of Sciences.
> "It seems to be a complete reversal of her position," Thompson  
> said. "The entire Bay Area delegation had agreed we would do this  
> National Academy of Sciences report to find out scientifically what  
> should and shouldn't be done, and for her to turn that on its head  
> and go out unilaterally with this proposal does not take into  
> consideration the needs of all of California."
> Thompson accused Feinstein of "trying to spin this as a job saver,  
> but that ignores the jobs up north that depend on water." He  
> compared Feinstein's plan to the Bush administration's water  
> diversions in the Klamath River Basin in 2002 that severely damaged  
> fisheries and were later reversed.
> Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, said, "Best I can see, she's making  
> a decision that jobs in the Bay Area and Northern California and  
> the Peninsula south of San Francisco aren't as important as jobs in  
> the Central Valley."
> Feinstein contends that the amendment to the jobs bill would not  
> waive the Endangered Species Act but instead follow a 2003  
> precedent that guaranteed water deliveries in New Mexico despite  
> restrictions imposed to protect the silvery minnow.
> Miller, a former chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee,  
> said Feinstein's amendment would suspend federal environmental laws  
> that protect fish.
> Verifying the science
> Feinstein made no mention Thursday of her demand for the National  
> Academy of Sciences report, due next month, to verify the science  
> behind fish-conservation demands.
> Resnick's business has given $29,000 to Feinstein's campaigns and  
> $246,000 more to Democratic political committees during years when  
> she sought re-election, according to a report by California Watch,  
> an investigative journalism nonprofit organization, that was  
> published in The Chronicle in December.
> Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Atwater (Merced County), defended  
> Feinstein's move. "The situation in the valley is continuing to  
> deteriorate, and we have a situation where even with more rain than  
> usual, we could have less allocations than last year," Cardoza  
> said. He said even with large cutbacks in water allocations to  
> farmers, delta smelt and other fish populations have not improved.
> Cardoza said recent studies show the pumps that environmentalists  
> say pulverize fish are in fact destroying only a handful. "The  
> pumps were shut down for six or 10 additional fish," Cardoza said.  
> "This is the height of insanity, and it's time we quit devastating  
> the California economy and understand what is really going on here."
> In a statement Thursday, Feinstein said that recent weeks of heavy  
> rain and Sierra snowfall have brought snowpacks to 130 percent of  
> their normal level. At the same time, "water has been gushing past  
> the canals and into the oceans while farms on the west side of the  
> (Central) Valley are likely to receive a very low percentage of  
> their water allocations for a second year because that water cannot  
> be pumped and stored."
> Political jockeying
> Feinstein's action comes after months of political jockeying  
> between Republicans and Democrats over whether the Endangered  
> Species Act is destroying California's farming industry. Several  
> fisheries on the coast from southern Oregon to San Luis Obispo have  
> been shut down for three years for lack of runoff, idling  
> commercial and recreational fishing and devastating the small  
> businesses that depend on it.
> Farmers have also seen water supplies evaporate. Before this  
> season's heavy rains, a three-year drought forced big cuts in their  
> water allotments, forcing 400,000 acres to lie fallow and pushing  
> unemployment in some towns toward 40 percent.
> Farmers, fishermen and environmentalists had been negotiating on a  
> long-term remedy to the decline of California's delta estuary, one  
> of the largest in the world and on a scale with Florida's  
> Everglades, but even more heavily damaged by a century of water  
> diversions.
> Byron Leydecker, JcT
> Chair, Friends of Trinity River
> PO Box 2327
> Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327
> 415 383 4810 land/fax (call first to fax)
> 415 519 4810 mobile
> bwl3 at comcast.net
> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org (secondary)
> http://www.fotr.org
> <image001.gif><image002.gif><image003.gif>
> _______________________________________________
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Greg King
President/Program Director
Siskiyou Land Conservancy
P.O. Box 4209
Arcata, CA 95518
gking at asis.com

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