Report: Extinction Looming for Most of California’s Salmon and Trout

According to the report, the most threatened of California’s native salmonids are the southern steelhead, the winter-run Sacramento River Chinook salmon and the Central California coho salmon. The bull trout, last seen in California in the McCloud River in 1975, is already locally extinct. The coastal rainbow trout, the biologists said, may be California’s only native salmonid to survive for the long haul in any abundance.

The scientists wrote that agricultural demands for river water, population growth and alteration of the San Francisco Bay and Delta ecosystem are major factors affecting salmonids’ long-term survival odds.

Trump’s Pick for a Top Interior Post has Sued the Agency on Behalf of Powerful California Water Interests

When President Trump nominated David Bernhardt for the No. 2 spot at the Interior Department, the administration cited his extensive expertise.

What the announcement failed to mention was that much of that experience was lobbying and doing legal work to elude or undermine Interior Department policies and protections.

As a partner in one of the nation’s top-grossing lobbying-law firms, Bernhardt has represented major players in oil, mining and western water – all areas that fall under the purview of Interior agencies that Bernhardt would oversee if confirmed as the department’s deputy secretary.

$400 Million Northern Colorado Reservoir Gets Final Approval

The federal government gave final approval Wednesday for a $400 million dam and reservoir in northern Colorado where 13 cities and water districts will store water from the other side of the Continental Divide. The Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit for construction of the Chimney Hollow Reservoir in the foothills about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Denver. The corps regulates some of the environmental impacts of big water projects. It is the last approval the reservoir needs, said Brian Werner, a spokesman for the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, which oversees the project .

Oroville Dam Spillway Shutting Down For Summer Repairs

Water will stop flowing from Oroville Dam’s badly damaged spillway on Friday, in the hopes it’s the last time it will be used before the next rainy season. Even with a heavy snowpack waiting to melt in the mountains above Lake Oroville, state officials say they’ve drained the reservoir down to the point where they can manage its level through the dam’s primary powerplant outlet. The lake was at 74 percent of its total capacity Wednesday.

OPINION: Lobbyist For Big Ag Gets Ready To Regulate His Past Clients

As the revolving door swings in Washington, D.C., David L. Bernhardt is an understandable choice to be second in command in the Trump administration’s Interior Department, a post with a direct hand in California water. Bernhardt is, according to those who know him, highly intelligent and a skilled lawyer. Given his pedigree in and out of government, Bernhardt certainly understands the complexities of California water policy and politics. But because of his clients, Bernhardt is hardly the ideal choice for this state. The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to convene a confirmation hearing for Bernhardt on Thursday.

OPINION: Visionary Water Supply Projects In San Diego Set National Example

Yes, fellow citizens, there is something that both major political parties agree on: the need for infrastructure investment to get the country’s water systems, highways and other major public facilities rebuilt in order to avoid major failures in the near future. Our politicians are not the only ones working to accomplish this. A growing number of water districts and companies are hard at work on major water supply and wastewater initiatives.

Attorney Demands End To ‘Secret’ Water Board Meetings

A prominent open government attorney has sent a letter to the San Diego County Water Authority demanding the agency open up meetings previously held outside the public’s view. Attorney Cory Briggs on Tuesday called on the water authority to remedy “a pattern of violations” of California’s open meeting law, which limits the scope and frequency of unnoticed, unrecorded meetings. The idea is to prevent officials from conducting government business outside the view of the public.