The bread basket of America is at risk because a 2″ smelt that is an endangered species was being killed by the water irrigation system that watered the valley. Federal guidelines and a court injunction by environmentalist have resulted in the shutdown of the irrigation system. The result is a drastic drop in farm production and 40% unemployment in the valley. Have we lost our minds? We are now putting bait fish ahead of our citizens – this is an outrage! This does not only affect those in the valley – it is going to affect all of us. This is going to effect the price and availability of fresh US grown produce. Do you really want more of the food you eat to come from places like South America, China and Asia? Any samonella concerns there?
See the Associated Press story below:
Schwarzenegger demands response to water crisis
By GARANCE BURKE Associated Press Writer
Posted: 09/02/2009 02:58:19 PM PDT
Updated: 09/02/2009 06:01:19 PM PDT
FRESNO, Calif.—Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called on the Obama administration Wednesday to intervene immediately in California’s water crisis, saying environmental restrictions that have slashed water deliveries to farms and cities were having “catastrophic impacts.”
The Republican governor sent a letter demanding a federal response to the state’s prior requests to hold talks about reduced supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the delicate ecosystem that serves as the main conduit moving water from north to south.
A three-year drought is to blame for the bulk of the state’s current water shortages, and it has caused cities to ration their supplies and farmers to fallow a quarter-million acres.
The environmental restrictions, which were designed to protect the estuary’s struggling fish populations, also have limited the amount of water pumped to Southern California residents and farmers.
The governor and the farming industry have been pressing the federal government to rewrite plans protecting species like the chinook salmon in a way that will lessen impacts on the water supply.
Idled farmworkers have driven the unemployment rate to nearly 40 percent in some dry pockets of the fertile San Joaquin Valley.
“What is the path forward so we can protect the species as well as the economy?” said California Department of Water Resources Director Lester Snow. “If they have a better way of doing this, they need to come forward with that better way.”
An attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has sued to protect the fish, said the restrictions were based on sound science, and would help support commercial fishermen, who have not been able to fish for two seasons because salmon have been so scarce.
A spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the agency was reviewing the letter.
America, wake up! This is the type of environmental activism that needs to be stopped. Contact your Senators and tell that San Joaquin Valley needs their help!