Our response to the Department of Water Resources’ statements regarding abandoning the BDCP Habitat Conservation Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546; steve@hopcraft.com; Twitter: @shopcraft;
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209/479-2053 barbara@restorethedelta.org; Twitter: @RestoretheDelta


Restore the Delta’s response to the Dept. of Water Resources’ statements regarding abandoning the BDCP Habitat Conservation Plan

Stockton, CA – Restore the Delta (RTD), opponents of Gov. Brown’s rush to build water export Tunnels that would drain the Delta and doom sustainable farms, salmon and other Pacific fisheries, today offered additional comments regarding the Department of Water Resource’s comment on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan from April 7, 2015.
Statement by Restore the Delta’s Executive Director Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla:
“Recent reports by the Los Angeles Times and E&E News make it clear that the habitat conservation plan associated with the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, aka Delta tunnels, is being abandoned and that BDCP planners will be pursuing regular take permits for fish species, managing the Delta in the same way as has been done over the last thirty-years, bringing us to the current fisheries crisis. DWR now asserts that they ‘have invested eight years of exhaustive work producing a draft plan, including four years of hard-earned experience operating the State Water Project and Central Valley Project during historic drought. We now have a much better understanding of the tradeoffs associated with possible solutions and much greater sense of urgency.’
“BDCP proponents have spent eight years and $240,000,000 dollars to sell the public on why the Delta tunnels were a necessary part of the habitat conservation plan for the Delta. We are calling on DWR to tell the public what did not work in their planning process regarding the habitat conservation plan. What is their hard-earned experience? What were their assumptions?  When will they publish their findings? What are the reasons for scrapping their plan and starting over? 
“Water exporters to date have yet to pay for all the mitigation legally required for thirty years of water exports, but now these same water takers are planning to move forward with Delta tunnels which will forever damage the hydrology of the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary and the Sacramento River watershed without having fulfilled their prior mitigation requirements.  They have yet to create a viable public plan for recovering fisheries. Additionally, the proposed Delta tunnels stand to be one of the most expensive public projects proposed for California. Therefore, the public deserves the right to know what in DWR’s analysis caused them to drop the habitat conservation plan. The public deserves inclusion in the planning and scoping process. Otherwise, the proposed Delta tunnels will be put forth as solely for the interests of the water exporters, and DWR will become the public agency facilitating the largest water grab and transfer of public wealth to private interests in the history of California, and perhaps the United States.”

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