[env-trinity] Urgent Action Alert - Call in today to stop a Klamath-Trinity River Fish Kill!

Dan Bacher danielbacher at fishsniffer.com
Fri Aug 15 10:57:30 PDT 2014

Call in today to Stop a Klamath-Trinity Fish Kill - tell them that the  
Trinity River needs water now!
Call David Murillo, Region Director Bureau of Reclamation,  
916-978-5000 (He visited Hoopa yesterday, the staff Jewell sent)
Call Sally Jewell, Department of the Interior, (202) 208-3100
(His boss)

Federal officials at the Department of the Interior recently announced  
that, unlike previous years, they would not release Trinity River  
water from Lewiston Dam to avoid a Klamath River fish kill. The  
Trinity River is the Klamath’s largest tributary and is home to the  
Hoopa Valley Tribe. The Yurok and Karuk Tribes on the Klamath also  
depend on the salmon that are affected by lack of water in the  
Klamath.Water will instead go to the Central Valley to allow farmers  
to irrigate the dry eastern valley.

Juvenile and adult salmon are already dying in the Klamath River yet  
almost 90% of the Trinity River’s water is being sent to the Central  
Valley. If water is not released from the Klamath's largest tributary,  
the Trinity, there is little doubt we will have a repeat of the 2002  
Klamath River fish kill, which killed at least 60,000 adult salmon.  
The last fish kill lead to disaster declarations, and severely hurt  
the West Coast fishing industry. We cannot let this happen again.

Call The Department of Interior now and say it is politics, and not  
science and reason, which are stopping the release of Trinity water. A  
preventative release of Trinity water needs to happen now.

For more information, read the following article and watch the short  
klamathmedia video link that is included in the piece:



Chairwoman Vigil-Masten also mentioned the lack of water in the  
Klamath and Trinity rivers having a profound impact on tribal members,  
especially during a time when there are no jobs, a lack of industry  
and a lack of financial resources.

“But, the people taking the water are doing quite well,” said Vigil- 
Masten. “To me, it’s really frustrating to that millions of dollars  
are being made on the backs of our salmon and our drinking water.”

original image ( 1280x720)

Tribal protesters urge Secretary Jewell to stop Klamath River fish kill

by Dan Bacher

Tribal members from the Trinity and Klamath rivers, carrying an array  
of colorful signs, converged on a press conference in Redding,  
California on Tuesday, August 12 to urge Sally Jewell, Obama's  
Secretary of Interior, to release Trinity River water out of Lewiston  
Dam to stop a massive fish kill from taking place on the Klamath.

Jewell met with the protesters, including Hoopa Valley Tribal  
Chairwoman, Danielle Vigil-Masten, outside the press conference, but  
made no promises, according to a press release from Got Water and the  
Alliance to Stop a Klamath River Fish Kill.

Slogans on the signs held by tribal members included "Free Our River,"  
"Water + Fish = Life," and "Our Salmon, Our River, Our Culture," "Save  
the Trinity," "Sally Jewel, Trinity River Salmon Need Water Now,"  
"Quit Killing Our Fish," and "Release the Dam Water." You can view a  
klamathmedia video of the protest at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QouOWqNizs

River advocates say releasing water from the Trinity River, the  
largest tributary to the Klamath, could prevent a large scale Klamath  
adult fish kill like the one that occurred in September 2002, when  
over 68,000 salmon perished, due to disease fostered by low, warm  
water conditions.

Although the press conference was focused on California fires,  
fishermen and Tribal members said Jewell is ignoring an "even more  
dire looming disaster," according to Dania Colegrove, Hoopa Tribal  
member and activist with Got Water.

“The Klamath fish kill of 2002 led to poor salmon returns devastating  
West Coast fisheries for years afterward. Since then Tribes,  
scientists and the Department of Interior have worked together to  
avert fish kills by preventively releasing water during drought years,  
” said Colegrove.

Colegrove said preventively releasing water from the Lewiston Dam into  
the Trinity River cools water and curtails fish diseases in the  
Klamath River. This scientifically proven method has worked in past  

"This year Secretary of the Interior Jewell and the Bureau of the  
Reclamation say fish must begin to die and test positive for disease  
before emergency flows will be considered," explained Colegrove.

Tribal members told Jewell the fish are already dying. Yet 2,800 cfs  
is currently going to the Central Valley to benefit corporate  
agribusiness interests while only 400 cfs, roughly 17%, is going down  
the Trinity River.

“Once disease starts to spread to large numbers of fish it can’t be  
stopped. Fish are dying now. We cannot wait any longer, ” Colegrove  

Colegrove said Jewell is sending about 90% percent of the Trinity  
River to the Central Valley Project to meet the demands of large-scale  
agribusiness interests such as the Westlands Water District and  
Stewart Resnick's Paramount Farms in Kern County. When the dams and  
tunnels were constructed on the Trinity, it was established that  
Central Valley users have junior water rights and a series of laws  
were set up to protect the river and fish. These laws established that  
fish, and the Tribes that depend on them, are the top priority for the  
Trinity River’s flow.

“Although she met with us and promised to send someone, we are not  
sure she will act to stop a fish kill. Hopefully we were loud enough  
for her to hear us,” Colegrove said.

Colegrove said Tribal members and fishermen are "fed up" and have  
weeks of actions planned to make sure the Department of Interior stops  
a fish kill.

Secretary Jewell, after being unexpectedly greeted by demonstrators,  
agreed to have a discussion with the Hoopa Valley Tribal Chairwoman,  
Danielle Vigil-Masten, where Jewell stated, “There is an opportunity  
to do emergency releases, if we see temperature rise, we’ll make sure  
that people come out.”

Members of the Hoopa Valley Tribe emphasized that will be too late,  
since stressed and dying salmon need water now.

Chairwoman Vigil-Masten also mentioned the lack of water in the  
Klamath and Trinity rivers having a profound impact on tribal members,  
especially during a time when there are no jobs, a lack of industry  
and a lack of financial resources.

“But, the people taking the water are doing quite well,” said Vigil- 
Masten. “To me, it’s really frustrating to that millions of dollars  
are being made on the backs of our salmon and our drinking water.”

Vigil-Masten's statement is backed up by recent USDA data stating that  
California almond growers, one of the major recipients of exported  
Trinity River and Delta water, will harvest a record 2.1 billion  
pounds this year.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service's estimate is up 5  
percent from last year’s crop and 8 percent from the initial 2014  
forecast on May 1. If this figure hold ups as the harvest proceeds, it  
would exceed the record of 2.03 billion pounds in 2011. (http://www.modbee.com/2014/06/30/3417479/usda-forecasts-record-almond-crop.html#storylink 

California supplies about 80 percent of the almonds for the world  
market and the Northern San Joaquin Valley accounts for nearly a third  
of the state's production. County crop reports reveal that almonds  
brought approximately $1.4 billion in gross income to the valley's  
growers in 2012.

Secretary Jewell also said that she has not made it to the Klamath and  
Trinity rivers to see the drought’s consequences.

Chairwoman Vigil-Masten suggested that Secretary Jewell look out of  
her airplane window and see the brown and fire scorched areas of  
Northern California for herself and then compare that to the green  
landscape and flooded fields of Southern California.

Chairwoman Vigil-Masten pointed to herself and the protest group,  
stating, “Then think of us…the people that you are taking water from!”

As documented in my article, "The Emptying of Northern California  
Reservoirs," the state and federal water agencies systematically  
emptied Northern California reservoirs during a drought year, 2013, to  
fill Southern California reservoirs and supply the Westlands Water  
District and the Kern County Water Agency with subsidized Delta and  
Trinity River water. As a consequence, Trinity, Shasta, Oroville,  
Folsom and other Northern California reservoirs were drained to record  
or near-record low levels, leaving little water for carryover storage  
in 2014.

While the drought is very real, it has been aggravated by complete -  
some say criminal - mismanagement of the state's reservoirs and rivers  
by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and California Department of Water  
Resources. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/07/1275862/-The-Emptying-of-Northern-California-Reservoirs 

Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown is fast-tracking his Bay Delta  
Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral tunnels under the  
Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. If built, the project would hasten  
the extinction of Sacramento River Chinook salmon, steelhead, Delta  
and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other fish species, as well as  
imperiling the salmon and steelhead populations of the Trinity and  
Klamath rivers.

Under the guise of habitat "restoration," the $67 billion project  
would take vast tracts of Delta farmland, among the most fertile soil  
on the planet, out of agricultural production in order to ship large  
quantities of northern California water to corporate agribusiness  
interests irrigating toxic, drainage-impaired land on the west side of  
the San Joaquin Valley.
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