What's new on the Delta?
This item is cross-posted by permission from Legal Planet.
Quite a bit, and most of the news is bad.
American Rivers has declared the Sacramento-San Joaquin the most endangered river in the United States.
The longfin smelt has been listed as threatened by the state, but it is not going to be federally listed, at least not yet.
Commercial salmon fishing off the California coast is one step closer to being formally closed for 2009.
And while late rains have increased water supplies, some farmers are still slated to get little or no water this summer.
* The American Rivers report listing the Sacramento-San Joaquin as the nation’s “most endangered” river has garnered substantial media attention. The report cites the need to overhaul both water and flood management systems. As Matt Weiser pointed out in the Sacramento Bee, that’s no surprise to locals, but there is apparently hope in several quarter that the national attention will increase pressure to take action.
* The US FWS has declined to list the longfin smelt population in the Bay-Delta as endangered or threatened under the ESA. FWS found that the Bay-Delta population did not qualify as a Distinct Population Segment meriting listing on its own. Last month, by contrast, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to list the longfin smelt as a threatened species under the California ESA. Those two decisions are not necessarily inconsistent, since
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