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ESAblawg is an educational effort by Keith W. Rizzardi. Correspondence with this site does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Photos or links may be copyrighted (but used with permission, or as fair use). ESA blawg is published with a Creative Commons License.

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florida gators... never threatened!

If you ain't a Gator, you should be! Alligators (and endangered crocs) are important indicator species atop their food chains, with sensitivity to pollution and pesticides akin to humans. See ESA blawg. Gator blood could be our pharmaceutical future, too. See ESA musing.

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Follow the truth.

"This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820.

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Thanks, Kevin.

KEVIN S. PETTITT helped found this blawg. A D.C.-based IT consultant specializing in Lotus Notes & Domino, he also maintains Lotus Guru blog.

« FWS expands proposed critical habitat for California red-legged frog | Main| More information on FWS's proposed actions on reticulated salamanders »

In long-shot legislation, California Congressman seeks to exempt Sacramento Delta from Endangered Species Act

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Implementation of the Endangered Species Act in the Sacramento Delta has been a frequent topic on the pages of ESA blawg.  See ESA blawg on OCAP decision and July PCFFA decision.  While the slow-motion train wreck, thanks to litigation over the delta smelt and other species, continues to plod along in the Federal Court system, the BradentonHerald.com reported yesterday that California Republican George Radanovich "wants to suspend one of the nation's premier environmental laws in order to increase water pumping out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.  In a long-shot bill being introduced Thursday, Radanovich proposes to exempt two Delta-area pumping plants from the Environmental Species Act during designated droughts."  See also, the Sacramento Bee and Merced Sun-Star.  Although the text of the bill is not yet available (I keep checking Thomas and the Rep.'s website), Radanovich's past official statements before the Congression Subcommittee on Water and Power, blaming the implementation of the ESA and the litigation, are readily available:
 
We must confront these radical environmental decisions that threaten the way of life of many Valley residents.  Had it not been for the Wagner decision and reduced Delta exports, our farmers would have been better equipped to handle this year’s drought and we would not likely have been in the dire situation that has brought us here.  Instead of looking just at the pumps, Judge Wanger should be looking at predation, overfishing, toxic from the Delta and other things.  It will never happen in the Pelosi Congress, but we should look at enacting legislation that keeps the pumps running at full capacity until there’s a consensus that the pumps have been the sole cause of fish predation...  We cannot afford additional environmentally charged judicial decisions, propped up by a woefully misguided Endangered Species Act, that would further reduce water exports from the Delta, which is already operating at two-thirds capacity.

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Rep. Radanovich, who represents the Yosemite Valley region, also endorsed the idea of a perimeter canal to divert waters around the Delta, a solution that might avoid some of the endangered species problems:

Additionally, it is imperative that we have an alternative conveyance around the Delta.  The West Side of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California depend on the water supply provided from the Delta.  Without an alternative conveyance, another judicial decision with similar effects to the Wanger Delta Smelt decision could devastate California agriculture and the entire economy of the West Side of the San Joaquin Valley.  

P.S.  Heading southbound on I-5 (depending on traffic), the L.A. Times published Andrew Wetzler's editorial column on the Endangered Endangered Species Act.