California must take aggressive measures to preserve precious water supplies even as scientists assess how much recent rainfall will alleviate drought conditions.

Response to executive order by John McManus, Golden State Salmon Association

“Californians saw a very low number of salmon in last year’s returns following years of water management clearly aimed at aiding a handful of wealthy factory farm operators at the expense of the rest of us.  There’s a good chance the tens of thousands of Californians who work in the salmon fishery and related businesses will be out of work this year if the decision is made to close the fishery.   We’ve got 205 percent of the normal snowpack in the Sierras, most of which will flow into the state’s reservoirs so why is Gavin Newsom telling his water managers to make things worse for every family in California that depends on salmon to make a living?  Why is Newsom acting to divert more water to a handful of his powerful friends at the expense of the rest of us?  Newsom claims he’s using his emergency authority.  What emergency is he responding to?  The emergency is the disappearance of the salmon a statewide industry revolves around.  We’ve asked repeatedly to share our concerns with the governor, why does he ignore our needs? 

Why are families and communities on the coast being told they alone have to absorb more economic pain, especially when water projects like San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy and others are almost overflowing right now?  Everyone saw the heavy rains we got in January and there’s lots more water trapped in snow that will add to those reservoirs in the months to come so why is Newsom encouraging his water managers to cut the spring river flows needed to get baby salmon from the Central Valley to the ocean?  The past several years have been horrible for California’s native salmon runs and this spring we were hoping for a reprieve when we might finally see the river flows needed to move baby salmon to the ocean.  Now Newsom is stepping in to kill our salmon runs, as well as other wildlife that were hoping to catch a break.

Why does Gavin Newsom bend over backwards to give the corporate factory farms, many in the western San Joaquin desert, anything and everything they ask for while driving California’s native wildlife extinct and coastal and inland communities into poverty?

The history of California is one of big wealthy landowners controlling politicians to seize the state’s water.  This executive order is Exhibit A that this dynamic still controls California water policy and politicians like Gavin Newsom.

In addition to those wondering how they’ll pay the bills this year if salmon fishing is cut off, all Californians who care about responsible stewardship of our natural resources should let this governor hear loud and clear that he is not serving us.