[env-trinity] SF Chronicle 2 18 10
bwl3 at comcast.net
Fri Feb 19 11:46:31 PST 2010
By Bill Kier U.S Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will try to remake the
Endangered Species Act in her own image early next week to reve up the
federal pumps in the San Francisco Bay Delta. Federal Judge...
Open Forum: Feinstein is wrong about precedent for water rules change
Thursday, February 18, 2010
7529> Forum: Feinstein is wrong about precedent for water rules change
By Bill Kier
U.S Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., will try to remake the Endangered
Species Act in her own image early next week to rev up the federal pumps in
the San Francisco Bay Delta.
Federal Judge Oliver Wanger ordered the pumping diminished earlier this
month to protect endangered fish, including Sacramento River salmon.
Feinstein reportedly intends to attach a pump-restarting rider to next
week's "must pass" Senate jobs bill.
The day after last week's court decision, Feinstein issued a press release
threatening to force an "Emergency Temporary Water Supply amendment." This
would deliver San Joaquin Valley water users, including her Beverley Hills
billionaire contributor Stewart Resnick
, what they want -- Trinity and Sacramento rivers water -- salmon be damned.
Resnick controls the Kern
<http://www.citizen.org/documents/Water_Heist_lo-res.pdf> Water Bank, a
vast underground water storage facility developed at huge State Water
Project expense but placed in Resnick's hands 15 years ago.
Feinstein says there's precedent for the havoc she will wreak on Central
Valley salmon and the communities along a thousand miles of coast that these
fish have supported for 150 years. In her statement
<http://aquafornia.com/archives/20259> Feinstein claims, "There is
precedent for the solution I am pursuing: in 2003 Congress unanimously
approved legislation that provided water supply certainty with regard to
restrictions imposed to protect the Silvery Minnow in New Mexico."
What former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici offered in 2003 was an amendment
making clear that while Rio Grande flows had to be maintained for the
silvery minnow, the water Albuquerque imports from the Colorado River (which
runs down to the Rio Grande), need not be used as well for minnow
Feinstein has taken the New Mexico situation and turned it on its head --
she would pump water from the Trinity and Sacramento rivers, without regard
for their salmon stocks, to deliver the current runoff to the Kern Water
Bank rather that allow it to provide baby salmon safe passage through the
Feinstein's statement oozes compassion for the "tens of thousands of people
unemployed" in the San Joaquin Valley. University studies
<http://swap.ucdavis.edu/> show most unemployment in the San Joaquin Valley
resulted from the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage housing construction
boom, not the drought. About 8,500 jobs have been lost to the drought, and
about 2,000 of those to fish protection at the delta pumps.
Meanwhile California has 23,000 workers idled by the two-year shutdown of
salmon fishing -- a $1.5 billion a year hit to the state's economy.
Feinstein is supposed to be representing all Californians, not just a
handful of her largest contributors.
Bill Kier is a Humboldt County-based consulting fisheries scientist who has
been involved with San Francisco Bay-Delta fish conservation efforts for
more than 50 years.
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
<mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net
<mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org
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