February 18, 2020 – Trump and his Interior Secretary are in California this week to push another shady deal. This one seizes more northern California water, which will decimate the environment and the state’s valuable salmon runs, to give to his supporters in the desert-like western San Joaquin valley.
Trump’s Interior Secretary Bernhardt worked for the huge corporate ag operators in the dry western San Joaquin Valley for years, fighting to bring them more water when the law prohibited it. Having lost every court battle when he was their attorney, he’s now attempting to change the rules to allow huge increases in water diversions and pumping highly detrimental to the environment and jobs. The Golden State Salmon Association and allies have gone to court to stop this water grab and to protect the jobs of tens of thousands of Californian’s in the salmon industry.
The state previously concluded that the increased water diversions under Trump fail to protect salmon and the environment. Governor Gavin Newsom said he’d stand up to Trump’s assault on California and go to court to stop it but other voices have apparently gotten to him, and so far, Newsom has failed to act.
The governor should immediately authorize Attorney General Becerra to file litigation to protect the state, as AG Becerra successfully did when Trump administration tried to choke the upper Sacramento River and destroy parts of the McCloud River by raising Shasta Dam.
California needs Newsom to stand up to Trump and protect jobs, California’s waters, and the coastal and rural communities that rely on salmon.
The Golden State Salmon Association (www.goldenstatesalmon.org) is a coalition of salmon advocates that includes commercial and recreational salmon fishermen and women, businesses, restaurants, a native tribe, environmentalists, elected officials, families and communities that rely on salmon. GSSA’s mission is to restore California salmon for their economic, recreational, commercial, environmental, cultural and health values.Currently, California’s salmon industry is valued at $1.4 billion in economic activity and 23,000 jobs annually in a normal season and about half that much in economic activity and jobs again in Oregon. Industry workers benefiting from Central Valley salmon stretch from Santa Barbara to northern Oregon. This includes commercial fishermen and women, recreational fishermen and women (fresh and salt water), fish processors, marinas, coastal communities, equipment manufacturers, the hotel and food industry, tribes, and others.