SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

California | Central Valley | East Bay | U.S. | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections

Another Bullet Dodged In Corporate Agriculture's War on Fish and People
by Dan Bacher
Friday Sep 25th, 2009 1:21 PM
A surprise amendment to prevent the federal government from implementing plans to prevent the extinction of Delta smelt, Central Valley salmon, green sturgeon and southern resident killer whales was defeated by a coalition of fishing and environmental groups. The amendment was orchestrated by a coalition of south valley agricultural groups led by Westlands Water District and only a quickly organized response defeated it by a 61-36 vote. The attempt to prevent the funding of the biological opinion took place as corporate agribusiness, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Senator Diane Feinstein and California Legislators are campaigning from a peripheral canal and more dams that would only accelerate the extinction of these imperiled fish and sea mammal species.
Another Bullet Dodged In Corporate Agriculture's War on Fish and People

Compared to Pearl Harbor

by Bill Jennings

On September 22, Senator DeMint (R-South Carolina) introduced an amendment to an Interior Department funding bill on the floor of the Senate that would have prevented any federal funds from being used to restrict exports of water from the Delta. Had it passed federal agencies would have been prevented from implementing the recent salmon and Delta smelt biological opinions.

The surprise amendment was orchestrated by a coalition of south valley agricultural groups led by Westlands Water District and only a quickly organized response, by a coalition environmental and fishing groups, defeated it by a 61-36 vote. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer withstood a vigorous last-minute e-mail lobbying campaign and opposed the amendment. Senator Feinstein likened the amendment to “Pearl Harbor.”

The amendment was virtually identical to one proposed by Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Visalia) that was defeated in the House of Representatives. Congressman George Radanovich (R-Mariposa) lobbied Feinstein to support it.

The environmental coalition included the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Bay Institute, Central Delta Water Agency, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Endangered Species Coalition, Environmental Defense Fund, League of Conservation Voters, National Wildlife Federation, American Rivers, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, Save Our Wild Salmon, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and WildEarth Guardians

The amendment's supports included Westlands Water District, San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority, California Farm Bureau Federation, Tulare County Farm Bureau, Fresno County Farm Bureau, Kings County Farm Bureau, Families Protecting the Valley, Chowchilla Water District, California Grape and Tree Fruit League, Fresno County Board of Supervisors, Western Growers Association, California Poultry Federation, California Citrus Mutual, California Cotton Ginners Association, California Cotton Growers Association, Nisei Farmers League, California Tomato Growers Association, National Cotton Council of America and Campos Brothers.

Eternal vigilance is the price of viable fisheries.



Bill Jennings, Chairman
Executive Director
California Sportfishing Protection Alliance
3536 Rainier Avenue
Stockton, CA 95204
p: 209-464-5067
c: 209-938-9053
f: 209-464-1028
e: deltakeep [at] aol.com
http://www.calsport.org