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LWW
03-01-2012, 04:34 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It’s highly unlikely but somewhere in America there may yet be a more heart-wrenching example of human misery caused by Big Green environmental extremism than the dust bowl that California’s Central Valley is becoming. Regardless, the House of Representatives has an opportunity today to put an end to the needless devastation wreaked upon America’s most fertile farmlands in order to protect the delta smelt, a three-inch fish found almost exclusively in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley estuary. Big Green extremists claim the Endangered Species Act requires the delta smelt to be protected, even if that means putting thousands of people from hundreds of productive family farms in the unemployment lines. House members can stop this insanity today by passing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act.

The bill is needed because, beginning in 2009, 300 billion gallons of water — enough to cover an area the size of Rhode Island — that used to go annually to irrigate the nation’s most productive farm lands have instead been diverted to maintain the level of salinity in the estuary required by the delta smelt to spawn. Rather than irrigating crops, the diverted water flows out into the Pacific Ocean. The result is double-digit joblessness, loss of farms owned by families for generations, and the wasting away of thousands of acres of lands capable of growing as much as half of all the vegetables, fruits and nuts consumed in America. The Big Green extremists and their San Francisco Democrat allies look the other way when confronted with the horrendous consequences of their ESA worship.

Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican who represents a Central Valley district, introduced the bill, which is co-sponsored by two other California GOPers, Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Jeff Denham. Besides requiring restoration of adequate water supplies to the valley, the bill would generate an estimated 30,000 new jobs and $300 million in new revenue for the federal government, according to the House Natural Resources Committee chaired by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash. The Hastings panel describes the bill as a “comprehensive solution that would restore water deliveries that have been cut-off due to federal regulations and environmental lawsuits, ensure a reliable water supply for people and fish, secure water rights and save taxpayer money by ending unnecessary and dubious government projects.”

Something else the bill would do is uphold the sanctity of contracts. Every gallon of water diverted by the federal government for the delta smelt is taken from the farms — both those that are family owned and the commercial operations. As Nunes recently told NetRightDaily, that raises the issue of illegal seizure of private property by federal bureaucrats: “Today, contracted water that is desperately needed in an economically depressed region, and which has already been paid for, is being taken by the government and dumped into the Pacific Ocean. Congress has a 14th Amendment duty to right this wrong.” Failure will deprive thousands of Americans in California’s Central Valley of the equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Constitution. At last check, the Constitution still supercedes the ESA.
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I'm sure these thousands of families will be comforted in the knowledge that they suffered for good causes ... the empowerment of big gubmint and the destruction of capitalism. (http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/editorials/2012/02/house-can-prevent-big-green’s-california-dust-bowl/321401)

cushioncrawler
03-01-2012, 03:26 PM
Save the smelt.
The overpopulated selfish superstitious ignorant pink-arsed apes kan moov.
mac.

cushioncrawler
03-01-2012, 04:49 PM
SACRAMENTO, CA (KGO) -- There is more bad news for the bellwether of the Sacramento Delta. The Delta smelt continue to edge closer to extinction. It is not good news for environmentalists or for the farmers and Southern Californians who count on the Delta for water. ABC7 News went along for this season's fish count.


The California Department of Fish and Game has been casting nets in the Delta for the last couple of weeks. It is not so much about what they catch, as what they don't.

Since 1967, biologists have searched the murky waters of the Delta looking for what is left of the once thriving fish populations. They take detailed notes on everything, from what they catch, where they catch it, to the temperature of the water.

"We sample from San Pablo Bay up to the lower Sacramento River and through the San Joaquin," said Dave Contreas with the California Department of Fish and Game.

But again, the number of fish the department catches is extremely small.

"What we started noticing were downward trends particularly at the start of 2000, 2001," said Contreas.

It is a phenomenon known as pelagic organism decline -- a sudden and dramatic change in a population. In fact, several species continue to be at record lows.

"We've seen drastic abundance changes in Delta smelt -- end of the year striped bass, longfin smelt, and threadfin shad," said Contreas.

The longfin smelt numbers have been so low they could be put on the endangered species list.

But it is the Delta smelt that gets all the attention. It is only found in the Sacramento Delta. It is a tiny little fish with enormous importance. Scientists and environmentalists believe it is the best indicator of the Delta's overall health. It was listed as a threatened species in 1993 and is currently being considered as a candidate for the endangered species list.

"In the seventies, according to catch data, they used to catch hundreds of smelt in a spot, in one station. It's amazing what they used to catch," said Contreas.

No one really knows what is causing the decline, but scientists suspect everything from pollution, to pesticides, to invasive species, to the millions of gallons of water diverted to the Central Valley and Southern California.

Earlier this year, a judge ordered a nearly 30 percent reduction in the amount of water being released to Southern California to protect the Delta smelt.

In a worst case scenario, restrictions to protect both Delta smelt and longfin smelt in 2009 could amount to nearly a 50 percent slash in water deliveries from the state's primary water delivery systems.

Researchers are desperately trying to keep the Delta smelt from going extinct.

"On-site we have probably have, maybe about 50,000 fish," said Joan Lindberg, director of the UC Davis Fish Conservation and Culture Lab in Byron.

Lindberg suspects her lab may have nearly as many fish in captivity as are in the wild. Her goal is to preserve the genetic diversity of the species in case it does become extinct. They will soon begin rearing longfin smelt.

The smelt raised there are primarily for research, but may someday provide a back-up plan should the little fish disappear from the wild.

"There is a possibility if the population really looks like it's going to go extinct, that biologists will consider restocking some of these fish," said Lindberg.

But putting the fish into the water now will not necessarily increase the numbers. Lindberg says there will have to be significant improvement in the health of the Delta in order for that to happen.

According to the Department of Fish and Game, there is little sign of that happening. It will wrap up this season's count next month, but does not expect the numbers to change much. With each pull, there is less hope that the haul will show signs that the Delta smelt population is recovering.

"I think you might have to see 10 times as many fish coming in the hauls to say that it looks like it might be coming back," said Lindberg.

And by Lindberg's assessment, that is a very long way off.

"I think that humans have to work hard to repair some of the damages that they've caused in the past and that will take years and years I think."

Written and produced by Ken Miguel.

cushioncrawler
03-01-2012, 04:52 PM
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http...ved=0CD4Q9QEwCQ (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.fws.gov/sfbaydelta/images/gallery/DeltaSmelt.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.fws.gov/sfbaydelta/&h=433&w=650&sz=247&tbnid=HXlAwUVR_qnnQM:&tbnh=88&tbnw=132&prev=/search%3Fq%3Ddelta%2Bsmelt%2Bphoto%26tbm%3Disch%26 tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=delta+smelt+photo&docid=ZQPRR_PNVXAT-M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Cf1PT8S8E8qriAeM_oDQCw&ved=0CD4Q9QEwCQ)

cushioncrawler
03-01-2012, 04:54 PM
OAKLAND, California, October 31, 2011 (ENS) - The U.S. Supreme Court came down on the side of conservation groups today by refusing to review a lower court decision that ruled federal protections for delta smelt are constitutional.

In March, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a challenge to the listing of the delta smelt under the Endangered Species Act brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation.

The PLF is challenging the listing because providing water for smelt survival has resulted in cutbacks to water deliveries for the agricultural San Joaquin Valley and for Southern California.

The PLF challenged the Endangered Species Act listing, claiming it violates the Commerce Clause of the constitution, which addresses interstate commerce. The challenge claimed the Commerce Clause does not apply since delta smelt have no commercial value and are only found in one state - California.


Delta smelt (Photo by Peter Johnsen courtesy USFWS)
The appeals court ruled in favor of the constitutionality of Endangered Species Act intrastate species protection, citing previous cases that demonstrated a connection between protections for endangered species and interstate commerce, including the value of biodiversity as an underpinning of economic enterprises.

Earthjustice, a national non-profit environmental law firm, joined the federal government in the U.S. District Court in Fresno to help defend the protections for the delta smelt.

The district judge agreed that federal protection of the smelt was constitutional, and Pacific Legal Foundation appealed.

Earthjustice attorney Trent Orr, who argued this case at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in defense of smelt protection, today said, "After five lower courts found that it's in the national interest to preserve all of America's wildlife, including species that happen to exist only within the confines of a single state, the top court in the land agrees."

Orr said, "The law clearly recognizes that all species are important to the web of life, may have benefits to society yet to be discovered, and are fundamental to the nation's commerce."

Pacific Legal Foundation attorneys today pledged to continue fighting "unjustified federal restrictions on water deliveries for Central and Southern California and to keep litigating against federal abuses of power in violation of the Constitution's Commerce Clause."

"It is disappointing that the Supreme Court chose not to review the federal government's intrusive and destructive Delta smelt regulations," said PLF staff attorney Brandon Middleton. "But while we're disappointed, we're also determined. The legal fight against those regulations goes on, as PLF is active in other litigation over the federal biological opinions for the Delta smelt and other species.

"Those federal edicts were based on phony science, but their effect has been all too real," Middleton said. "They've caused devastating water cutoffs that put businesses, farms, and communities on the endangered list."

"We'll also keep challenging the feds when they arrogantly ignore the constitutional limits on their power," said Middleton. "The Delta smelt regulations are far from the only example of federal officials issuing regulations for local species without constitutional authority."

"We will litigate this issue until the Supreme Court ultimately agrees to take it up," he said. "This is a long-term battle to stop federal intrusion that robs people of their livelihoods and liberties, and undermines the basic framework of the Constitution."