Thursday, May 5, 2011

News articles and links from May 5, 2011

Where farmers, fishermen agree


By Brett Baker

From SF Chronicle – Thursday, May 5, 2011

Coalition response...The continued vilification of Westside farmers from the San Joaquin Valley serves no purpose in resolving the issues within the Delta. No group is more interested in seeing Delta ecosystem issues resolved that the farmers who depend on the Delta to convey the water they have a right to use. Baker’s use of highly charged words including “corporate agribusiness” and “heavily subsidized” intentionally misleads readers from the fact that Westside farmers are family farmers just like him. Baker should have acknowledged that Westside interests have already invested millions in the Delta to improve habitat for Delta smelt and are working with biologists on new science to find the real causes of the Delta’s decline.

Major scientific studies and court decisions during the past two years have clearly pointed to factors other than the pumps as being the primary cause of fishery decline in the Delta. Consider:

1. Dr. Patricia Glibert---University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and who holds a PhD in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University---clearly concluded that high ammonium levels in the Delta are destroying the smelt’s food supply and that current strategy of regulating pumping “will likely show little beneficial effect.”

2. The federal judge in Fresno labeled the existing biological opinions governing the flow of water from the Delta as “arbitrary and capricious” in his order to the federal agencies to rewrite the opinions. He directed the agencies to consider the impact on humans the opinions cause in response to economic hits to rural communities and increased unemployment.

3. 2009 research by highly regarded fishery biologist Dr. Charles Hanson estimated that striped bass consumed 21 to 42 percent of endangered winter- and spring-run juvenile salmon, respectively. By comparison, other studies show the state and federal water projects took less than 3 percent.

4. Westside farmers have funded efforts to purchase land in the Delta to provide habitat for Delta fish.

Baker won’t admit it but 20 years of reallocating Westside water to the environment has done absolutely nothing to improve the ecosystem. Now is the time to seek answers to the Delta’s problems but Baker is stuck in the past and that’s not helping anyone, especially the fish he claims to defend.


Dam Builders Celebrate Memories of Shasta Dam


From Bureau of Reclamation – Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Build dams not rail


From Fresno Bee – Thursday, May 5, 2011

Snow runoff being 100 percent utilized


From Porterville Recorder – Thursday, May 5, 2011


Deadline for smelt protection plan extended


From Fresno Bee – Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Federal court buys time for smelt plan


From The Record – Thursday, May 5, 2011


Trinity River water flows second highest since dams installed


From Record Searchlight – Thursday, May 5, 2011


Commission ponders groundwater monitoring changes


From Mercury-Register – Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sonoma County makes move to monitor ground water


From Press Democrat – Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Farming runoff a slippery issue


From The Tribune – Thursday, May 5, 2011


Senate Panel Narrowly Passes Bill Proposing Assessment on Water Retailers


From ACWA – Wednesday, May 4, 2011

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