Bacher, Dan

Dan Bacher is an editor of The Fish Sniffer, described as "The #1 Newspaper in the World Dedicated Entirely to Fishermen."

California Legislators Back Request to Delay Canal Announcement

By Dan Bacher

Fifteen California legislators asked Natural Resources Secretary John Laird on July 6 to support the request of 12 Congressional Representatives to not finalize or formally announce the new framework for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral canal or tunnel "until a more detailed description is made available for review."

Senators Lois Wolk, Jared Huffman, Mark Desaulnier, Noreen Evans, Loni Hancock and Ellen Corbett and Assembly Members Alyson Huber, Joan Buchanan, Paul Fong, Susan Bonilla, William Monning, Dr. Richard Pan, Mariko Yamada, Michael Allen and Wesley Chesbro signed the letter to Laird.

"California and the Federal Government have a long history of missteps in the Delta," the Legislators wrote. "We urge you to put aside proposals that advance plumbing before policy and refocus the BDCP on the many sustainable solutions that can be supported by sound science and realistic financing."

Legislature Delays Water Bond Until November 2014

By Dan Bacher 

The California State Legislature voted on Thursday, July 5 to postpone the controversial water bond from November 2012 to November 2014 "to improve its odds of success with voters," according to a statement from Assemblyman Henry T. Perea's Office. 

Delta advocates have blasted the $11.14 water bond for funding questionable "habitat restoration" they say is designed to greenwash the construction of Governor Jerry Brown's peripheral canal or tunnel, an environmentally destructive and enormously expensive project to export more Delta water to southern California and corporate agribusiness. 

Thirty-Six Groups Demand Return To “Policy Before Plumbing”

By Dan Bacher

Thirty-six California fishing, environmental and consumer advocacy organizations on June 27 demanded that the Obama administration delay the imminent announcement of a peripheral canal or tunnel proposed under the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) until “fundamental details” are made available.

“The Departments of Interior and Commerce are poised to join with the State of California to recommend the construction of a multi-billion dollar plumbing project before defining how much it will cost, how it will be operated, or how much water it will produce without environmental damage,” the groups wrote in a joint letter to Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior, and Rebecca Blank, Secretary of Commerce.

Jerry Brown's Peripheral Canal or Tunnel Hasn't Been Downsized

By Dan Bacher

Delta advocates dismissed claims made by the Brown administration that the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build the peripheral canal or tunnel is being "downsized."

"The chunnel has not been downsized," challenged Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Restore the Delta (RTD) executive director. "While three intake pumps may only pump 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) of Sacramento River flows, the chunnel pipe itself - according to Resource Agency claims - will be sized to carry 15,000 cfs, nearly the entire flow of the Sacramento River."

"What is to stop project operators from simply adding a few more intake pumps, especially after they ‘configure’ the science to justify taking more water away from the Delta?” she asked.

Coalition Tells Salazar Peripheral Canal is 'Enormous Mistake'

By Dan Bacher

Restore the Delta released a powerfully-worded letter Wednesday from 38 environmental, fishing, consumer, Native American and other groups alerting U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar of the enormous environmental and economic perils posed by the Obama administration's support of the peripheral canal or tunnel.

The groups said the administration is "poised to make an enormous mistake…and potentially drag the American people along with it,” by backing “construction of a world-record-size tunnel or pipes capable of diverting 15,000 cubic feet per second from the Sacramento River – nearly all of its average freshwater flow.”

The broad coalition sounded the alarm after the Brown Administration informed them that the State intends to proceed with construction of a peripheral canal or tunnel that the groups say “would have devastating ecological impacts.”

Peripheral Canal Is Not 'Almost Assured'

By Dan Bacher

The San Francisco Chronicle editorial published on June 3, "California Peripheral canal coming soon," poses many good questions challenging the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) to build a peripheral canal or tunnel.

However, the statement that "a proposed giant canal to move water from Northern California to the south appears almost assured" is not supported by any facts.

In reality, the plan is even more tenuous now than it was five years ago when Arnold Schwarzenegger resurrected the project, a Nineteenth Century solution to Twenty-First Century problems, in a cynical effort to create a monument to his "environmental" legacy.

Why is this peripheral canal plan destined to fail?

Winnemem Wintu Tribe closes McCloud River During War Dance

By Dan Bacher

Winnemem Wintu Tribe members joined with members of other Indian Tribes and environmental activists in multi-colored kayaks and rafts to place a banner over the McCloud River on Lake Shasta proclaiming “River Closed" on Saturday, May 26.

The direct action took place in conjunction with the Tribe’s four-day War Dance (H’up Chonas in the Winnemem language) held from May 24 to May 27 at the site where they have held their Coming of Age ceremonies for thousands of years.

The War Dance signified the tribe’s spiritual commitment to defend at all costs the ceremony from heckling, flashing and other disruptions by recreational boaters that have occurred in previous years.

Riverkeeper Files Lawsuit To Protect Shasta River Coho

By Dan Bacher

The Klamath Riverkeeper (KRK) Thursday filed a federal lawsuit over the harm caused to endangered coho salmon by Dwinnell Dam and a series of water diversions operated by Montague Water Conservation District (MWCD) on the Shasta River.

The Karuk Tribe also said it would file its own 60-day notice of intent to litigate on the same grounds on Friday, May 18.

The legal filing by the citizens group follows a 60-day notice period during which KRK offered MWCD an opportunity to negotiate a settlement outside the courtroom, according to a press release from KRK and the Tribe.

The March KRK letter stated, “Klamath Riverkeeper is interested in discussing effective remedies for the violations noted in this letter. If you wish to pursue such discussions in the absence of further litigation, we suggest that you initiate those discussions within the next 20 days so that they may be completed before the end of the 60‐day notice period."

Delta Stewardship Council Releases Plan Recommending Canal

By Dan Bacher

The Delta Stewardship Council staff on May 14 released the final draft Delta Plan, drawing a response from Delta advocates that “the fix is in” to build a peripheral canal or tunnel.

Council Executive Officer Joe Grindstaff touted the plan, submitted to the seven-member Council for review, comment and adoption, as "a common sense approach to achieving the coequal goals of restoring the Delta ecosystem and providing a reliable water supply for California.”

“We expect the Council to make revisions, and make a final decision after an appropriate environmental review,” he claimed.

Secretary Laird Announces Delay In Release of Peripheral Canal Plan

By Dan Bacher

California Natural Resources Secretary John Laird announced Friday that the release of a controversial state-federal plan to build a peripheral canal or tunnel will be delayed.

In a May 3 letter to David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Interior, Laird said the state "will not be ready" to release public review drafts of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) and its environmental impact report/statement at the end of June, as originally expected.

Laird did not directly explain the reason for the delay, but said, "The fish and wildlife agencies are currently reviewing and responding to a substantially improved scientific analysis of habitat restoration, water flows, and other ecological measures to achieve regulatory standards of the federal Endangered Species Act and Natural Community Conservation Planning Act. As a result, we anticipate that we will soon be able to announce some significant adjustments in the overall program that will reflect our commitment to using the best science."