CA Farm Bureau Favors Fed Fish Plans
California Farm Bureau Federation is pleased with the biological opinions issued by the Trump administration for fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
CFBF President Jamie Johansson said the opinions open the way toward additional flexibility in the California water system.
Johansson:“We’re encouraged. This is the relook at the 2008-09 Biological Opinions so ten year later. What we understand on water flows and fish habitat and opportunities there has changed dramatically. We’re encouraged that maybe this new Biological Opinion puts on a path of getting more water where it needs to be. That is to the folks who have contracted for it and also paid for its delivery.”
There is some hope that water pumps south the Delta may remain on longer.
Johansson: That’s the goal. We were successful in 2017 with the WIN Act. The Water, Infrastructure for the Nation Act. And that did have significant benefit for the water users south of the Delta. We know that if we can put flexibility in the system that is good for our communities as well as our farmers and we know that it can be good for our environment as well. There’s a variety of tactics that we’re using in terms of habitat restoration or flexibility and dedicating enough water at the right time. It is kind of old science that the more water in the river is good for fish and that will solve the problem.
Johansson said,“Everyone wants to see endangered fish recover,” “But the methods of the past haven’t worked. Doubling down on those failed methods would make no sense. It’s time to try something new, and we’re satisfied that the career scientists at the federal agencies have taken the time they need to create well thought-out plans that reflect advances in knowledge acquired during the past 10 years.”
Johansson said the biological opinions can lead to progress in restoring balance to California water management.