Bacher, Dan

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

Bill Requiring Peripheral Canal Cost-Benefit Analysis Clears Committee

By Dan Bacher

In a major win for Delta advocates, the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee on April 24 voted 10 to 2 to approve legislation requiring an independent cost-benefit analysis before committing the public to pay tens of billions of dollars to build a peripheral canal or tunnel to divert more Delta water.

A coalition of consumer, environmental and fishing groups and Delta cities and counties backed the legislation, AB 2421 (B. Berryhill), while agribusiness groups, the California Chamber of Commerce and southern California water agencies opposed the bill.

Assembly Members Jared Huffman (D), Bill Berryhill (R), Bob Blumenfield (D), Nora Campos (D), Paul Fong (D), Beth Gaines (R), Das Williams (D), Roger Hernández (D), Ben Hueso (D) and Mariko Yamada (D) voted yes, while Ricardo Lara (D) and Linda Halderman (R) voted no. Brian W. Jones (R) didn't vote.

Tribal Leaders Challenge Forest Service to Protect Native Women's Rights

By Dan Bacher

Members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe from northern California on Monday challenged Randy Moore, U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester, at his Vallejo office to protect indigenous women from racial slurs and physical harm during coming of age ceremonies planned for this summer.

Caleen Sisk, Winnemem Chief and Spiritual Leader, and Tribal leaders met with Moore after members of the Winnemem, Yurok, Karuk, Hoopa Valley, Ohlone and other Tribes picketed outside the office for an hour.

Obama 'Celebrates' World Water Day by Approving Polluting Pipeline

By Dan Bacher

After rejecting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline proposal in January, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced his plan to fast- track the construction of the pipeline's southern end at a speech in Cushing, Oklahoma.

As Native American activists protested the pipeline on the motorcade route miles from the President’s pro-oil event, Obama explained that the TransCanada company has applied to build a new pipeline to "speed more oil" from Cushing to state-of-the-art refineries down on the Gulf Coast.

Klamath Riverkeeper Plans To Sue Shasta River Dam Operator

By Dan Bacher

In a major effort to restore coho salmon to the Shasta River, the Klamath Riverkeeper (KRK) is planning to sue the operator of a dam and reservoir on the major Klamath River tributary.

On March 12, the group filed a 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue the Montague Water Conservation District (MWCD) for ongoing operation of Dwinnell Dam and associated diversions in violation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The Notice provides an opportunity for the District to propose measures to settle the claims before initiating a judicial proceeding, according to KRK Executive Director Erica Terence.

Environmentalists Say Reserves Should Ban Oil Drilling, Military Testing

By Dan Bacher

Grassroots environmentalists on California's North Coast are urging that the controversial "marine protected areas" being created under Arnold Schwarzenegger's Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative include full, comprehensive protection - and not just create additional restrictions on fishing and gathering on a coast that has the strictest fishing regulations of any place on the planet.

The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) announced that the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is now complete for the Marine Protected Area (MPA) proposals covering California’s North Coast Study Region. A 45-day public comment and review period will run through April 16.

Corporate Welfare Republicans Vote to Make California Salmon Extinct

By Dan Bacher

The House of Representatives, dominated by big government/corporate welfare Republicans, passed one of the worst job-killing bills in U.S. history, HR 1837, the “San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act,” on February 29.

The House voted 246-175 to approve a water grab by powerful corporate agribusiness interests in California’s San Joaquin Valley and reverse decades of laws that protect fish, wildlife and water supplies. The bill will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in the recreational and commercial fishing industries in the Delta, coastal communities and the Central Valley, adding more economic devastation to communities already ravaged by the Wall Street-engineered economic collapse.

Surprise: New PPIC Report Promotes Peripheral Canal

By Dan Bacher

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has just released a new report, “California 2025: Planning for a Better Future,” touching on an array of issues including water. Other topics included in the report are budget, climate change, economy, education, housing, population and the workforce.

Those hoping that the PPIC might break with its past reports calling for the construction of the peripheral canal to export more Delta water to corporate agribusiness and Southern California will be disappointed, since the report includes a rousing endorsement of the peripheral canal as the “solution” to both ecosystem restoration and water supply needs in California.

Nunes Bill to Remove Delta Protections Passes Committee

By Dan Bacher

The House Natural Resources Committee on Thursday approved H.R. 1837, a bill that would eliminate environmental protections for the Delta and Central Valley rivers, secure more water for corporate agribusiness on the San Joaquin Valley's west side and upend water rights in California.  

Congressional Republicans and agribusiness interests celebrated the Committee's passage of the legislation as a "historic North-South compromise that will protect all users," while Northern California Congressional Democrats, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Delta advocates slammed the bill as a "job killer" and "water grab."   

Feds Approve Ban on Cruise Ship Sewage Discharge

By Dan Bacher

The federal government on February 9 approved a landmark California proposal banning the discharge of more than 22 million gallons of treated vessel sewage to shorelines and shallow marine waters in California every year, drawing praise from environmental and shipping industry groups alike.

U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld signed a rule that will finalize EPA’s decision and approve a state proposal to ban all sewage discharges from large cruise ships and most other large ocean-going ships to state marine waters along California’s 1,624 mile coast from Mexico to Oregon and surrounding major islands.

The action established a new federal regulation banning even treated sewage from being discharged in California’s marine waters.

Winnemem Wintu Tribe Slams Federal Plan to Raise Shasta Dam

By Dan Bacher

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on February 6 issued a controversial draft report claiming that a $1.07 billion plan to raise Shasta Dam by 18-1/2 feet is "feasible" and "economically justified," a contention that the Winnemem Wintu Tribe strongly challenged.

The dam raise would increase Lake Shasta's storage about 14 percent, supposedly benefitting municipal and agribusiness water users throughout California, according to the "Shasta Lake Water Resources Investigation" draft feasibility report.

Raising the dam would also "increase the survival" of chinook salmon, steelhead and other anadromous fish populations in the Sacramento River by increasing the cold water pool in Lake Shasta, the report claimed.