[env-trinity] Merced Star Editorial 2 15 10

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Mon Feb 15 15:28:39 PST 2010

Here's the entire Merced editorial.A better headline


 <http://www.mercedsunstar.com/177/index.html> Opinion

Monday, Feb. 15, 2010

Our View: Feinstein could spoil years of work

Her bill amendment isn't the long-term solution that has been in the works
for a long time.


In her long and mostly distinguished career, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has
championed many environmental causes. At times she has also challenged
environmentalists to consider interests other than their own.

That's good. Feinstein's independent streak is one of her assets as a U.S.
senator and a leader of California.

Feinstein, however, also has been known to take reckless stands. She is
doing so now, with plans to amend a fast-moving jobs bill to reduce
Endangered Species Act protections for fish, including salmon, in the
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. 

Feinstein's amendment, if enacted, would increase Delta pumping to benefit
certain farms in the San Joaquin Valley. Those agricultural operations,
ranging from small farms to lucrative corporate empires, have seen their
irrigation supplies drop because of drought and court decisions involving
delta smelt and other fish.

In a statement Thursday, Feinstein said she was seeking this amendment
because, in so many words, water is being wasted. "Water has been gushing
past the canals and into the oceans while farms on the west side of the
Valley are likely to receive a very low percentage of their water
allocations," she said.

Feinstein is grossly oversimplifying the water situation in the delta and
the Valley.

At certain times of the year, juvenile salmon and other fish need adequate
flows to reach the ocean or to avoid being sucked into the giant pumps that
deliver water to Southern California, the Bay Area and the San Joaquin
Valley. Feinstein's amendment threatens those fish. It could be especially
harmful to California's salmon runs, which shrank to record low numbers in
2009, according to a report last week by the Pacific Fisheries Management

Feinstein's action poses other threats. For the last two years, moderate
environmental groups have been working with water exporters on a
conservation plan for the delta. This coalition helped pass water
legislation last year and is studying plans for a canal, tunnel or other
form of conveyance for the delta. That could possibly reduce conflicts over
fish and produce more reliable water supplies for exporters.

Yet if Feinstein's amendment were to pass, it would likely end this delicate
detente and lead to years of more litigation and fighting over the delta.

Feinstein should be smart enough to know this. The question is: Is she smart
enough to acknowledge that she's made a serious error in judgment?

(This editorial was written by our sister newspaper The Sacramento Bee.) 




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)

www.fotr.org <http://www.fotr.org/>  


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