20,000 signatures reached
To: U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Senator Feinstein: Don't Destroy California's RIvers to Benefit Big Ag
Don't give agricultural interests special access to water at the expense of rivers, streams, and the wildlife that rely on them. Please respect existing environmental protections in any drought response legislation.
Why is this important?
Senator Feinstein is working with her colleagues to pass legislation to respond to California's historic drought. Her legislation calls for a variety of actions that, on paper, respect the crucial, existing laws that protect salmon and California's rivers, lakes, and streams.
However, in her letters to state and federal agencies she repeatedly instructs these agencies to take actions on behalf of agricultural interests that violate the flexibility of the laws and puts water and wildlife at great risk.
A recent editorial by the San Jose Mercury News 1. asserted that "Sen. Dianne Feinstein's willingness to do Big Ag's bidding at the expense of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is increasingly alarming." It noted that billionaire Stewart Resnick has used his fortune attained through agriculture to donate $321,000 to federal candidates and PACs in just 3 years in an attempt to influence water policy in favor of agriculture.
I am a lifelong resident of California, living in both the north and south. I've always been a fisherman, with a love for fish and wildlife.
When I retired from my 25 year Chiropractic practice I began working in earnest on environmental issues, specifically fish and rivers. I discovered how important the Endangered Species Act was to fish and wildlife, and that water management decisions determined the life or death of many fish species in California. Drought becomes an excuse for legislators to weaken protections, and use the drought to benefit some communities over others. A balanced approach is what is needed, not sacrificing our historic natural resources for short term gain.
Senator Feinstein needs to stop speaking with a forked tongue, and support the flexibility built into these laws that already compensate for drought.
1. Mercury News editorial: Feinstein bill risks further damage to Delta http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_25608771/mercury-news-editorial-feinstein-bill-risks-further-damage
2. San Francisco Chronicle: California drought: Feinstein pressure helps farms over fish
Dr. Mark Rockwell is the California Representative with the Endangered Species Coalition.
How it will be delivered
We will attempt to deliver the petition in person to Senator Feinstein.