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What You Can Do About River Deal

The idea of restoring salmon to the San Joaquin River is not realistic.

Jun 05, 2014

There is a grassroots movement growing throughout the Friant Division to request our Congressional and Senate political leaders to come together on a compromise on their respective Emergency Drought Bills. 



Urgent and Timely Effort Required


The Senate and House are in Conference


Please sign, e-mail and send hardcopy


To Senator Feinstein

Congressmen Valadao, Nunes, Costa, McCarthy
Denham, McClintock, Hastings, et al.

Make copies and share with neighbors

Trade Associations and Suppliers.

Encourage Trade Associations to send to membership with instructions to complete and forward. Don't procrastinate.
The window to affect change in this Congress is very short.


The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20515


The Honorable David Valadao
U.S. House of Representatives
1004 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20515


Dear Senator Feinstein and Congressman Valadao:

I farm _______ acres near the community of __________ in the Friant Division of the CVP. I understand the Friant Authority and individual districts entered into a settlement agreement with the NRDC under jurisdiction of the Federal Court. Under terms of the settlement agreement the Authority and the Districts believe they cannot petition the Congress t amend the settlement. Therefore, I petition you on my own behalf.

The Friant Division of the CVP was created to provide a conjunctive use program wherein surface water was stored and applied to approximately one million acres of fertile ground on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley during wet years (on-farm banking by turning off pumps) and drawing from the underground during periods of drought. This program worked as planned for many decades until water was diverted by CVPIA, ESA and the San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act.

We all recognize the restoration of the San Joaquin River as originally envisioned in the settlement has not worked. The idea of restoring salmon to the San Joaquin River is not realistic. It is time to accept the reality that river restoration will be much more costly and difficult to achieve than was originally thought when the legislation was was passed by Congress. The continued dedication of large amounts of money and time to restoring salmon is a waste of federal resources and a drain on our local communities. It must stop now.

Rather than the fruitless approach that we are currently engaged in, a restored San Joaqun River that is based on practical, real-world goals and objectives similar to those in place on the Kings River should be your focus as you work towards compromise legislation.

Landowners and water users in the Friant districts have contributed millions of dollars into a failed river restoration program. I demand that Congress use these dollars to do something positive that will benefit the San Joaquin River while at the same time benefit our local communities, local environment and local economies. I implore each of you to roll up your sleeves, put aside your partisan differences, and get something done for your constituents. Specifically, I request:

1. End the salmon fishery water releases and replace with a more modest release for the development of a local fishery between Friant Dam and Mendota Pool;

2. Dedicate existing and future river restoration funds to the development and maintenance of a local fishery above Mendota Pool that is coupled with real water recovery and recirculation projects;

3. Provide long-term protection against additional loss of Friant water supplies due to state and federal regulations.

We are counting on your bi-partisan efforts to bring sanity back to water resources of the dommunities that you serve.





cc: Your Congressional Representative




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