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Items that affect all of California.

Bay MLPA process delayed until peripheral canal plan completed

In a joint statement, Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird and Director of Fish and Game Chuck Bonham announced today that implementation of so-called "marine protected areas" in San Francisco Bay will be delayed until the completion of "planning efforts" for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).

The BDCP is a plan to build a peripheral canal or tunnel to export more Delta water to southern California and corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley. A broad coalition of Delta residents, recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, Indian Tribes, family farmers, grassroots environmentalists and elected officials is opposing the peripheral canal's construction because it would hasten the extinction of Central Valley salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt and other fish species and take vast areas of Delta farmland out of production under the guise of habitat "restoration."

Report documents record Delta water exports and splittail 'salvage'

A report written by Geir Aasen of the California Department of Fish and Game documents the massive numbers of fish salvaged at the federal Central Valley Project's Tracy Fish Collection Facility (TFCF) and the State Water Project's Skinner Delta Fish Protective Facility (SDFPF) during the 2011 water year, as well as the record amounts of water exported to corporate agribusiness and southern California by the state and federal projects.

The report appeared in the Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary Newsletter, Fall/Winter 2012 edition. (

The State Water Project reported record high water exports, 4.90 billion cubic meters of water, the highest export rate recorded since 1981, the report stated. The federal Central Valley Project exported 3.13 billion cubic meters of water, an increase from exports in 2008-2011, but comparable to exports from 2002 to 2007.

Secretary Laird announces delay in release of peripheral canal plan

California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird announced Friday that the release of a controversial state-federal plan to build a peripheral canal or tunnel will be delayed.

In a May 3 letter to David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Laird said the state "will not be ready" to release public review drafts of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its environmental impact report/statement at the end of June, as originally expected.

Laird did not directly explain the reason for the delay, but said, "The fish and wildlife agencies are currently reviewing and responding to a substantially improved scientific analysis of habitat restoration, water flows, and other ecological measures to achieve regulatory standards of the federal Endangered Species Act and Natural Community Conservation Planning Act. As a result, we anticipate that we will soon be able to announce some significant adjustments in the overall program that will reflect our commitment to using the best science."

Laird noted that the delay "should not interfere in any way with our preparations for a public announcement of the key elements of a framework for the proposed project with the Governor and Secretary Salazar in mid-to-late July."

Who is Scytl? And Why You Should be Aware if You're a Voter

Source: The American Dream

Do you know who is going to be counting the votes on Election Day 2012?  Most Americans never even think about this.  Most Americans just assume that their votes will count and that the government will ensure that the counting process is done honestly and fairly.  But is this really the case?  Sadly, the vast majority of people never take the time to “look behind the curtain” to see how things really work.  If they did, they might find themselves extremely upset about what they would find.  The integrity of our voting process is of the utmost importance.  If we do not have the ballot box, then what avenues for changing our government do we have left?  Unfortunately, the integrity of our elections has been called into question quite a few times in recent years, and now a Spanish company known as Scytl will be involved in reporting election results for hundreds of jurisdictions across the United States this upcoming election day.  Will those election results be accurate?

Tribe asks Commission to better protect traditional harvesting rights under MLPA

The Yurok Tribe delivered a proposal before the California Fish and Game Commission in Eureka on Wednesday, April 11 "giving the board an opportunity to better protect the Tribe’s right to traditionally harvest of marine resources," according to a press release from the Tribe.

The Fish and Game Commission meeting is one of the final steps in the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative process to create "marine protected areas" in the North Coast Study Region. The North Coast Study Region begins at Alder Point near Point Arena and ends at the California/Oregon border.

The deadline for written comments regarding the MLPA environmental impact report (EIR) was Monday, April 16. The Commission plans to make its final decision regarding the marine protected areas in Eureka on Thursday, June 14.

Tribal representatives proposed the following:

• Reading Rock- Tribal Take Option (B) Reclassify Reading Rock from a State Marine Reserve to a State Marine Conservation Area. This would allow for specific federally recognized tribes to take living marine resources pursuant to existing regulations.

Delta group says levees are better investment than peripheral canal

In conjunction with the Delta Levees Standards Conference being held today in Sacramento, Restore the Delta proposed that Delta levees be upgraded as part of any Bay-Delta water solution - and emphasized that they are a much better investment than building a peripheral canal or tunnel.

The conference, sponsored by the Delta Protection Commission and Water Education Foundation, takes place at Woodlake Hotel at 500 Leisure Lane, Sacramento.

“Fat, robust levees protect the Delta," said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta. "An emergency preparedness plan against the greatest threat – flood – is also needed. But floods can be managed."

“We are well-positioned to deal with sea level rise – we can raise levees one to two inches per year," she noted.

Scientific report shows HR 1837 is big threat to Central Valley salmon

In their response to a report released by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), two prominent Representatives from California slammed legislation that would eviscerate protections for Central Valley chinook salmon.

Reps. Grace F. Napolitano (D-Norwalk) and Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena) responded on April 26 to the scientific review by the PFMC warning that H.R. 1837, the San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, would damage salmon populations and undermine the recreational and commercial fishing industries that rely on them.

The Council staff report, titled “A General Review of Potential Effects of H.R. 1837 the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act, on Central Valley Salmon Productivity and Salmon Fisheries In Ocean and Inland Waters,” blasted the legislation for the negative impact the legislation would have on Central Valley salmon fisheries.

“West Coast fisheries and coastal communities rely on a healthy level of salmon production from the Central Valley,” the report stated. “It appears that H.R. 1837’s provisions would have an adverse effect on Central Valley salmon habitat, total salmon production, fishery participants, and fishery economic benefits.”

Imagine a Nuclear-Free California (It’s Already Here)

Imagine a Nuclear-Free California (It’s Already Here)

By: Gregg Levine Friday April 27, 2012 6:17 am

    California has two nuclear power plants. San Onofre, between Los Angeles and San Diego, has been offline for months as everyone tries to find an excuse for the alarmingly rapid wear on new reactor tubing. (Being shut down, however, did not prevent a fire from breaking out this week when a pipe ruptured and released radioactive steam.)

    But as of Thursday, Diablo Canyon, the nuclear plant to the north, is also offline–thanks to. . . uh, salp?

    Yes, salp–those loveable, gelatinous, jellyfish-like, plankton-eating sea creatures that multiply like, well, salp–have swarmed Diablo Canyon’s water intake system. D-Can draws in tens of thousands of gallons of seawater every day to cool its reactors, and with all that salp clogging the intake pipes, the plant could no longer operate safely.

Bill requiring peripheral canal cost-benefit analysis clears committee

In a major win for Delta advocates, the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 24 voted 10 to 2 to approve legislation requiring an independent cost-benefit analysis before committing the public to pay tens of billions of dollars to build a peripheral canal or tunnel to divert more Delta water.

A coalition of consumer, environmental and fishing groups and Delta cities and counties backed the legislation, AB 2421 (B. Berryhill), while agribusiness groups, the California Chamber of Commerce and southern California water agencies opposed the bill.

Karuk, Winnemem Wintu Tribes respond to release of state consultation policy

Resources Secretary Announces Tribal Consultation Policy

by Dan Bacher

John Laird, the California Secretary for Natural Resources, on Wednesday announced the release of a draft policy directing the resources agency and its departments to "increase communication and collaboration with California’s Native American tribes."

The lack of consultation by the agency with tribes on environmental programs including the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, Delta Vision, Bay Delta Conservation Plan and other processes has led to frequent conflicts between the Tribes and the state. This failure to consult has led to many protests, including the peaceful take over of an MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force meeting in Fort Bragg on July 21, 2010 by over 300 Tribal members and their allies to protect Tribal gathering rights.

The draft policy letter is available at:

Cenk Uygur Slams Millionaire CNN Host Erin Burnett for Protecting Her Own With Fawning Coverage

Cenk Uygur Slams Millionaire CNN Host Erin Burnett for Protecting Her Own With Fawning Coverage

    Most of his ire was reserved for CNN host Erin Burnett, who is one of the millionaires herself that would be affected if that rule ever passed and her penchant for quoting sources like the Tax Foundation and bringing on billionaires like John Paul DeJoria to discuss why the rich should not have to pay more in taxes.

Tribal leaders challenge Forest Service to protect native women's rights

by Dan Bacher

Members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe from northern California on Monday challenged Randy Moore, U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester, at his Vallejo office to protect indigenous women from racial slurs and physical harm during coming of age ceremonies planned for this summer.

Caleen Sisk, Winnemem Chief and Spiritual Leader, and Tribal leaders met with Moore after members of the Winnemem, Yurok, Karuk, Hoopa Valley, Ohlone and other Tribes picketed outside the office for an hour.

Although claiming to be unfamiliar with the issue, Moore promised to review the Winnemem's request to close 400 yards of the McCloud River arm of Shasta Reservoir for 4 days in late June so that the Tribe can conduct the ceremony. Moore committed to respond to the Tribe's request by May 1, 2012.

"This is a very important issue that we will look at very seriously," said Moore. "Our concern is that the Winnemem Wintu are not a federally recognized tribe, although they are a state recognized tribe."

Feinstein pledges support for raising Shasta and Exchequer dams

A report on the Radio KMJ 580 AM website reveals how Senator Dianne Feinstein vowed her support for the water bond, the raising of Shasta Dam on the Sacramento River and the expansion of Exchequer Dam on the Merced River during two fundraisers at the homes of San Joaquin Valley agribusiness leaders this week.

The station reported first on a lunch on Wednesday at the Sanger home of the president of the Nisei Farmers League where Feinstein said the controversial $11.14 water bond "must appear on the ballot." (

"In Sanger - at the home of Manuel Cunha, Jr. - Senator Feinstein told a gathering of 64 specially-selected people that she had their backs when it came to several key issues facing San Joaquin Valley farming," the article stated. "She told the group that she has discussed the state water bond measure with Governor Jerry Brown and insisted that it must appear on the ballot in November. The governor has indicated a preference to move the bond to 2014 so as not to compete with his plan to raise taxes."

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average California Taxpayers $423 a Year, Each California Small Business $2,010

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average California Taxpayers $423 a Year, Each California Small Business $2,010

    With tax day approaching, a new study released by CALPIRG found that the average California taxpayer in 2011 would have to shoulder an extra $423 tax burden to make up for revenue lost from corporations and wealthy individuals shifting income to offshore tax havens. The report additionally found that to cover the cost of the corporate abuse of tax havens in 2011, small businesses in California would have to foot a bill of over $2,010 on average.

    Every year, corporations and wealthy individuals avoid paying an estimated $100 billion in taxes by shifting income to low or no tax offshore tax havens. Of that $100 billion, $60 billion in taxes are avoided specifically by corporations. A GAO study found that at least 83 of the top 100 publically traded corporations use offshore tax havens.

Brown reappoints Jim Kellogg to Fish and Game Commission

James Kellogg, 68, of Discovery Bay, has been reappointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Fish and Game Commission, where he has served since 2002 after being appointed by then Governor Gray Davis.

Kellogg has been an international representative for the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry since 1992, according to a news release from the Governor's Office.

Fishing groups reacted positively to his appointment. "Jim has exercised a steady hand in implementing good Fish and Game policies for the state for the past 10 years," said Dick Pool, president of Water for Fish. "We look forward to his continued leadership."

“It’s been great news that he’s been reappointed, “ said Jim Martin, West Coast Regional Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). “He has always been a good friend of fishermen and his long experience as a Commissioner will provide continuity for decision making and institutional memory.”