Happy Holidays from the Madera County Farm Bureau! As Fall has officially arrived so too have the holiday festivities. I hope everyone has a chance to take time and enjoy their families this season.
Onto our ever-lasting water fight here in Madera County. Late last month, we learned that the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), under the authority of the Bureau of Reclamation (Bureau), is finalizing a proposed rule to place 50,600 juvenile Chinook Salmon into the San Joaquin River next spring. The proposed rule was published early this year, met with high opposition and concern, but is now being pushed rapidly through under threat of suit by the NRDC. The rule, once published in the Federal Register and soon after considered final, will open the door towards requiring all stakeholders on the San Joaquin River to create suitable living environments for these fish –habitat conditions be damned.
My worry is the water; where will we find enough going to into an extremely dry year? Will there be enough to support the near glacial temperatures these fish need to survive –let alone keep the riverbed wet? Precedents set today have the ability to rue tomorrow. Hopefully the Bureau and NMFS will make the right choice and slow down on their urge to kill all their fish in an effort to honor an unworkable agreement.