[env-trinity] Hoopa Tribe Calls on Legislature to Repeal Water Bond

Allie Hostler allieehostler at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 6 08:40:05 PDT 2010

Hoopa Valley Tribe Calls on Legislature to Repeal Water Bond 
by Dan Bacher 

Leonard Masten, chairman of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, today said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's announcement to postpone the California Water Bond (Proposition 18) from the 2010 ballot until 2012 is "indicative of the measure's weakness" and called on the Legislature to repeal the bond. 

"It’s a choreographed political move for Schwarzenegger and his special interest cronies to postpone the measure," according to a statement from Masten. "It buys them more time to falsely convince the public that they need this pork-filled bond to have water when they turn on their spigots." 

Masten noted that the $11.14 billion bond, known as the Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act, "is not really about drinking water." 

"It’s about building and privatizing taxpayer-built dams and moving the control of the California’s water from the public trust to the private sector," he said. "The measure also paves the way for the construction of a peripheral canal that would more easily ship Northern California Water south." 

Masten said he agreed with the statement by Mark Franco, headman of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, that "The peripheral canal is a big, stupid idea that doesn’t make any sense from a tribal environmental perspective. Building a canal to save the Delta is like a doctor inserting an arterial bypass from your shoulder to your hand– it will cause your elbow to die just like taking water out of the Delta through a peripheral canal will cause the Delta to die.” 

The Hoopa Valley Tribe is urging the California legislature to vote NO on postponing proposition 18 until 2012, according to Masten. 

"We also urge legislators to go one step further and repeal the water bond entirely," said Masten. "It is not only fiscally irresponsible, it is a bad idea now and it will continue to be a bad idea in two years." 

Masten said the Hoopa Valley Tribe has lived on the banks of the Trinity River since time immemorial, carrying on traditions that hold the water and fish in the highest regard. The damming and diversion of the Trinity and Klamath Rivers has devastated the Hoopa people’s livelihood, salmon. 

"The Trinity River is the only source of imported water to the Central Valley Project," explained Masten. "A drop of Trinity River water can travel all the way to Los Angeles, over 900 miles, via Central Valley Project plumbing. For decades, over 90 percent of the river was siphoned south to quench the mounting thirst of Southern California. We have fought ever since to restore the Trinity River, with great opposition from Southern California water districts." 

The Hoopa Valley Tribe joins the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, Inter-Tribal Water Commission, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water and many diverse groups in opposing the water bond. 

No on the Water Bond (Proposition 18) is sponsored by a coalition of consumer, education, environmental, fishing, farming, tribal, labor and social justice organizations opposed to the water bond. Proposition 18 opponents include the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, California Teachers Association, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the River, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, Planning and Conservation League, Restore the Delta, Sierra Club California and United Farmworkers Union. 

For more information on the campaign against the water bond, go to http://www.NoWaterBond.com. For more information about the Hoopa Valley Tribe, call Allie Hostler, (530)739-2323, http://www.hoopa-nsn.gov. 


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