Extirpation

Submitted: Jul 14, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board


"To extirpate" means to destroy completely or to extinguish. It is a fancy word used by resource-agency biologists in the past participle, "extirpated," as professional jargon for "extinction". Agribusiness, Southern Californa water agencies and state and federal resource agencies have been working together for years to extirpate the Delta smelt because it is the principle endangered species that obstructs agricultural corporations and urban water agencies from unlimited use of Delta water. Exstirpation of the Delta smelt would render moot the entire ediface of official biological opinion and state and federal judges' rulings that tend to limit the amount of water that primarily corporate agricultural interests (which use 80 percent of California's water) can legally take from the Delta. 

The federal Bureau of Reclamation may be able to guarantee at least some water to junior water-rights holders in the Westlands Water District after the Delta smelt disappears from memory. If so, the gamble that west side growers took -- to plant permanent crops without a guarantee of receiving water in dry years -- will pay off and a new "balance" will be achieved.

The balance will be, as usual: Agribusiness gets everything it wants and has taken by illegality, lawsuits and a perpetual whine broadcast by the finest propagandists money can buy.

Extirpation of the Delta smelt may rival the 1982 "extirpation" of the 160-acre limitation, a prominent feature of the federal Reclamation Act of 1902 which states that the BOR was not to provide federally subsidized water to any more than 160 acres per farmer. That established a "new balance" of a 960-acre limitation that has been routinely violated by corporate agricultural interests.

Perhaps in a few years Congress will be invited to consider a bill called the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta Water-Skiier Protection Act, seeking to extirpate sharks which would have followed the salt water intrusion from the San Francisco Bay up the Delta and would now be menacing water skiiers in Sacramento. -- blj


 Press Release

14 July 2014

For Immediate Release 

Contact: Bill Jennings, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance: 209-464-5067; cell 938-9053; email,deltakeep@me.com; website, www.calsport.org

Court Denies Injunction Sought to Stop Water Transfers to Protect Fish

Delta smelt on the scaffold

On 11 July 2014, Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, of the U.S. District Court in Fresno California, denied a motion for preliminary injunction to stop the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) from transferring water through the south Delta export pumps to the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (SLDMWA).  The motion for preliminary injunction was filed by the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) and AquAlliance and alleged that the environmental assessment (EA) was seriously flawed and that the transfers posed an eminent threat to threatened Delta smelt.  

The injunction request pointed out that the EA failed to consider the relaxed flow and water quality standards recently ordered by the State Water Board, actual outflows were lower than represented and that Delta smelt were being drawn into the Delta and exposed to lethal water temperatures.   USBR and SLDMWA denied that Delta smelt were in the Delta and referred to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Delta smelt Biological Opinion that provides no protection for smelt in July because smelt are supposed to be in Suisun Bay and not in the Delta.  The decision was predicated on “agency deference,” with Judge O’Neill writing, “Courts should defer to the agency on matters within the agency’s expertise unless the agency has completely failed to address a factor that was essential to making an informed decision.” 

CSPA Executive Director, Bill Jennings, said, “We’re disappointed with the decision and will consider next steps.  The ruling is contrary to the facts: Delta smelt abundance is at an historic low, Delta smelt are presently in the Delta, USBR’s alleged outflow numbers are seriously exaggerated and the species is at a severe risk of extinction.”  Jennings added, “The USFWS, USBR and SLDMWA have escorted Delta smelt to the scaffold and the judge signed the warrant.  We did what we could to prevent disaster.” 

An abundance Index of Delta smelt showing the historically low population, the CDFW’s late June and early July 20mm Delta smelt surveys since 1996 demonstrating that Delta smelt are actually in the Delta during this period in all but the wettest years and a comparison of USBR’s alleged Delta outflow with actual outflow monitoring from USGS’s state-of-the-art flow gages is attached, titled Delta Smelt on the Scaffold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@me.com
www.calsport.org

 

| »

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Copy the characters (respecting upper/lower case) from the image.

To manage site Login