The following is courtesy of the Golden State Salmon Association:
DEAR SALMON SUPPORTER,
GOVERNOR NEWSOM’S PROPOSED BUDGET TRAILER BILLS WILL WEAKEN PROTECTIONS FOR CALIFORNIA’S SALMON FISHERY AND THE ENVIRONMENT UPON WHICH WE ALL DEPEND. FIND AND CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY REPRESENTATIVES BEFORE THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2023 – URGING THEM TO:
Strengthen protections for salmon rivers, salmon runs, and our salmon fishing industry that is fighting to survive.
Reject Governor Newsom’s trailer bills and require the trailer bills to run through the normal legislative process.
These trailer bills include a proposal to permit unlimited numbers of new water diversions during high flow periods – right when Central Valley baby salmon are swimming out to the ocean. Several of these trailer bills appear to be designed to clear the way for the salmon-killing Delta tunnel. One of these trailer bills would allow agencies to exclude internal electronic communications from the administrative record to be considered in court challenges. This would basically allow a state administration to hide internal e-mails by staff that might reveal decisions that ignore science or the law. Also, it would undermine our ability to fight for the survival of our salmon runs. GSSA’s Infrastructure Trailer Bill Letter and Letter Regarding the Flood Diversion Trailer Bill contain more detail regarding these trailer bills.
Astonishingly, despite the fact that most of these proposals were released only a month ago, the Administration is pressing the legislature to pass them as part of the budget by June 15 – this Thursday. These are highly controversial policy bills that have little or nothing to do with the budget. Further, none of these bills are urgent. This legislative end run is clearly designed to limit public participation and bypass the normal legislative process, which would include hearings and amendments by the policy committees with the expertise and jurisdiction to understand and address the many problems in these bills.
The Administration has said that they have been working on this package for a year. Yet during that time, the Administration appears to have not consulted with interested Native American tribes, environmental justice groups, conservation groups or fishing interests. They certainly didn’t reach out to us.
California’s 2023 salmon fishing season has been closed because of a lack of fish, putting tens of thousands of Californians out of work. This decision was forced on the fishing community because of irresponsible water management decisions during the drought. California’s agencies have failed to require enough fresh water to flow down salmon rivers to allow baby salmon to survive. This isn’t complicated. If you kill nearly all baby salmon, a few years later, you don’t have many adult salmon.
We need to strengthen protections for salmon rivers, salmon runs, and a salmon fishing industry that is fighting to survive. We don’t need to slash salmon protections. We urge the legislature to reject these trailer bills and require them to run through the normal legislative process.