Every bit of progress made in the past year to curtail pumping and give habitat a chance to recover is threatened by the close-door meetings now taking place among top water agency officials, regulatory agencies, and three environmental groups.
State Resources Secretary Lester Snow is coleading closed-door sessions to negotiate an agreement about the Bay Delta Conservation Plan before Governor Schwarzenegger leaves office. No one from the Delta is part of these meetings.
Restore the Delta has learned that Snow is now taking a “non-public” proposal to the group.
It includes a proposal for Delta operations and governance that allows flexibility but requires only a “best effort” from agencies to avoid additional water impacts.
The proposal also allows DWR and the Bureau of Reclamation to veto any changes to the range of operations. This could effectively prevent adaptive management intended to protect fish. In fact, it appears that the proposal would allow the feds to gut the biological opinions.
The proposal would require only token funding from water users for habitat restoration. And it would exclude from the EIR/EIS both a small (3,000 cfs) isolated facility and an analysis of the Water Board’s new flow criteria.
Call the Resources Agency at (916) 653-5656 and tell Lester Snow to stop this closed-door negotiating process and bring to the table all affected parties.
Or email Snow directly at [email protected] and let him know what you think of him presiding over this destruction of the state’s resources.