Clarity Blog

Clarity Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Fish & Wildlife Service’

Water Weekly 3: I’m Backin’ Up

What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days?  Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here.  You’ll find the Big Three here every Thursday, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here.  This week:

Back to the Drawing Board

This week, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service teetered in the latest Sacramento Delta teeter-totter, as did its friends among the more radical environmental groups.  Judge Oliver Wanger threw out the Service’s current Delta smelt biological opinion – basically the fed’s fishy protection plan – calling portions of it arbitrary, capricious, biased and, overall, a failure in justifying the pumping cutbacks that have hurt farmers and city-dwellers alike.  Cheers and howls followed – but we know what’s next:  just more studies and more strife.  We have to ask, though: Just how much more lousy federal science can we tolerate?

Breeze through the 225-page decision here

Read the best news coverage of the decision here

And for the “fish not folks” side, read this

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Judicial Whippings and Delta Pumps

Judge Oliver Wanger today dropped a bomb on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and its supporters in the environmental movement by ruling that the Service’s efforts to protect the delta smelt by cutting off water supplies to folks and farmers from San Jose to San Diego lacked scientific justification.  In a 225-page decision issued late this afternoon, Wanger threw out the biological opinion (“BiOp”) written by the Service, and used by the Service to severely limit pumping of Sacramento-San Joaquin delta water to thirsty users to the south.

“[T]he public cannot afford sloppy science and uni-directional prescriptions that ignore California’s water needs,” Wanger wrote, as he endorsed some of the Service’s science as just fine, but called other elements “arbitrary and capricious,” that it “represents a failure to use the best available science,” and that the Service failed to address or explain “material bias” in the data.  He also said these mistakes “fatally taint” other scientific findings used by the Service to cut water deliveries.

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