Thursday, May 16, 2013

CFWC's response to NRDC's Kate Poole

Occasionally a CFWC response is posted to an article that generates a continuing dialogue, such as with this blog. While the author of the blog responded to Mike Wade's initial comment, his second comment, submitted yesterday, has not yet been published by the NRDC blog moderator. Below is Mike's second comment.

Coalition response...I must correct you and say that my beef is indeed with NRDC. You had an opportunity in your blog to discuss what's needed to help endangered species and yet you completely ignored some of the main factors listed in the PPIC report you quoted. In fact, the first bullet in the report's summary states: "Almost all scientists and stakeholders agree that all five categories of ecosystem stressors- discharges of pollutants, direct fish management, changes in the flow regime, invasive species, and alteration of physical habitat-have contributed to the ecosystem decline."

You ignored this top line point in the PPIC report and rather chose to use selected parts to justify your effort to once again blame public water agencies for the fate of salmon.
Consider these points:

* Climate conditions between 2000 and 2005 were wetter than average and did not result in increased salmon population, as GGSA and NRDC claim should have happened.
* In February 2008 a NMFS report ( concluded that the overall cause of the recent salmon decline was ocean conditions.
* A 2009 PFMC report ( said all of the evidence they could find pointed to ocean conditions as being the proximate cause of the poor performance of the 2004 and 2005 broods of Sacramento River Fall Chinook.

Neither of these agencies can be mistaken as biased supporters of the State and federal water projects; rather they appear here as honest brokers of balanced and trustworthy information.

Regarding the quote by Dick Pool about "the state and federal water projects that divert too much water out of the Delta", this too was analyzed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council. And rather than aggregate the total volume of water diverted for the year to create a false correlation with the decline of salmon, such as NRDC has done, PFMC analyzed exports during the critical migration period and found that they were, "... near average during the spring, when fall Chinook are migrating through the Delta." In other words, of the things that changed that could have caused the decline of salmon populations, projects' diversions were not among them.

Public water agencies are translating science into action by supporting, developing and/or implementing solutions that address the need for multi-solution approaches, such as those found in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan. Those solutions will increase both the quality and quantity of habitat diversity through ecosystem based management, as will solutions recommended by a range of science interests from PFMC to the PPIC.

NRDC has the opportunity to be part of the solution but it will take a concerted effort to move beyond the tired old approach of simply blaming the pumps.

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