[env-trinity] Delta and Fishing Activists Disrupt Secret Delta Meetings

Dan Bacher danielbacher at fishsniffer.com
Thu Sep 30 17:01:16 PDT 2010

Press Release from Restore the Delta: http://www.restorethedelta.org.

September 30, 2010
Delta and Fishing Activists Disrupt Secret Delta Meetings

For Immediate Release -- September 30, 2010
Bill Jennings - 209-464-5067
Dan Bacher - 916-685-2245, ext. 224
Brett Baker - 916-719-6586

A Thursday morning meeting of Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP)  
principals was disrupted by a fisherman, two environmentalists, and a  
Delta farmer protesting the closed process.

The Department of Water Resources has told legislators that they're  
not welcome at meetings of signatories to the Bay Delta Conservation  
Plan, the plan that state water exporters have undertaken to secure  
their water supplies.

The meetings have been going forward behind closed doors since August  
in what Resources Secretary Lester Snow told lawmakers was "a key  
procedural component of the public BDCP Steering Committee process."

Showing up this morning at the meeting convened at the California  
Farm Bureau Federation in Sacramento were Dan Bacher, fisheries  
activist, researcher, and editor of The Fish Sniffer; Bill Jennings,  
Executive Director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance  
(CSPA); Jim Crenshaw, President/Treasurer of CSPA; and Brett Baker,  
sixth generation pear farmer from Sutter Island in the Northern Delta.

Speaking seats at the meeting had been reserved for "principals,"  
representatives of the entities who have financed the planning  
process. Bacher, Jennings, Crenshaw, and Baker were asked not to  
report the names of any of the participants or attribute quotes to  
them. They refused.

When asked to leave, the four asked whether they would be arrested if  
they refused. In response, Secretary Lester Snow disbanded the meeting.

In an interview last week, Jonas Minton of the Planning and  
Conservation League told the Central Valley Business Times that  
exporters had withdrawn from the public BDCP process when confronted  
with overwhelming scientific evidence that exports from the Bay-Delta  
would have to be reduced to save the Estuary.

Said Minton, "They've been frantically trying to come up with some  
kind of agreement that could be signed before this Governor leaves  

A similar push by the Governor has driven the Marine Life Protection  
Act (MLPA) process going forward in coastal Northern California.

The MLPA process, like the BDCP process, has been characterized by  
attempts to bypass open meeting laws. In that case, MLPA officials  
have limited media coverage of their "work sessions," which they  
distinguish from public meetings. One independent journalist was  
arrested for trying to film "work session" proceedings.

Newspaper industry and civil liberties attorneys say the process  
violated the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act and the 1st Amendment.

The Delta and fishing activists involved in disrupting today's  
meeting are available for interviews.
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