Re: California Agriculture Cashing In at Record Breaking Hights...

[Archive] | [Bulletin Board]

Posted by Corey Cate on 2010-09-02 14:52:32 in reply to Re: California Agriculture Cashing In at Record Breaking Hights... posted by Frank S. on 2010-09-01 23:06:11

Thanks for your comments Frank. I appreciate your point of view and welcome your points.

I too love the delta and want it healthy.

While certainly biased and not addressing all issues, the points made in the Bacher piece are not lies, nor do they try to address all the issues. They illustrate a point of view and illustrate that some positions taken by certain politicians and some water districts are overblown or false, or based on falsehoods and lead to strategically created PR that taints any reasonable discussions.

While to many it looks like farms are the target of water advocates, ( and it has been portrayed that way in paid advertising and by paid TV pundits), the target of clean water and fishery advocates (from my view) is to get government to do it's job of balancing health and well being with the demands of a large population and some who would profit from public resources and are less for balance and more for economic gain.
This of course would affect "some farms", but certainly not ALL farms.

What we face is a war of words. Level-headed commentary is often lost.

We also are talking about a non-moneyed interest versus moneyed. The two may speak almost different languages. The non-profits that are advocating for flows, restorations and such are not in it for the money. They may get some payback by the courts, but that's paltry compared to their work as volunteers urging the State and Feds to do the right thing by Public Trust Resources.
The positions taken by some water districts, the accusational rhetoric in Congress, and back room shady dealings are worthy of dime novels. Over characterization of issues by Anti-Environmentalists is being factually and assertively countered. The rhetoric stinks. The facts do not.

Moneyed interests who are NOT farmers AND have the media's ear have shaped public and farmer perceptions with expensive PR and dare I say it, sham organizations created for their purposes. Westlands and Paramount/ Roll International are probably involved. We have to follow the money and document it to know for certain.

If all "water buffaloes" dealt with fisheries issues in the manner you displayed here, much progress could be made. However noisy wheels (not necessarily the best wheels) are being greased. Politicians are listening and going for what sells within their districts, they pander for votes. The greasy wheels here are suspected of greasing palms, but that's beside the point.

Getting respect and getting the government to do it's job of protection of public trust resources without shelling out a lot of money is not easy. Water quantities are over-promised and fish are gone or soon may be gone. Volunteer networks are doing their best, but they're not professional nor do they know the ways of lobbyists.

The folks of the Blanton board are putting up cash money to make the case for fish and clean water. We are not radical enviros as often portrayed in the Congress (Radanovich, Nunes in the House for example). We are concerned for public and ecosystem health and well being. Fish populations in drastic decline are indicators of degradations to both. Unfortunately, "some" farm advocates have chosen to magnify a few problems as widespread, beyond the reasonable or even the true.

Advocates for clean water and fish have been wrongly accused as being against farms, farmers and agriculture. That is twisted. We are ADVOCATES. We hope we can influence political action in favor of fish and clean water.
And those of us who see the limits of advocacy have indeed protested. We have protested what we consider the wrongs of the system, the methods of the anti-environmentalists and the ways of Westlands to name but a few.

There is always room for discussion.
Here is my opinion: arguments of simple economics for a few loud private interests should be trumped by the larger issues of public water, public health, and public trust resource degradations endangering fish and downstream users. This is truly a long term view, begging for sustainability, and not trying to put anyone down.

Advocacy for clean quantities of water for all, and including fish, is a good thing. Including fish is now required by law, as per the endangered species legislations, and is meant to assert long term versus short term.

Advocacy for economic issues is good too, but the long term is important. It is what I call the Big Picture.

...and then we get into the judgemental stuff, like using water for heavily water dependent export crops, for use of salty soils, for watering trees that "should never have been planted" (note the word "should", it's very judgemental) and for water rights and transfer lawsuits and petitions and protests to same... it gets heated and MUST be based on science and law. You get the picture.

I'm speaking for myself here. I don't carry this message for the organizations I am affiliated with, nor have I asked them to support this view.
I have never been an anti-farm or farmer guy. I will stand in front of audiences and say it.
I too want objective and unbiased analysis based on facts.

I and many like me are against abuses to public systems and against special interest profits at the publlc trough and leaving a mess for the public to pay the bill. That smacks of greed and graft.
I am against purposeful misinformation and twists of logic that defy truths. That smacks of bullying.

Fish have no voices. What is told to the public by most of us for them is for their benefit, rarely for our own pockets.

Thanks to Dan for encouraging my response.
And certainly my best to you.
Corey Cate

Follow ups: