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Dan Bacher
12-14-2007, 05:59 PM
Here is the copy of the letter that Felix "Public Trust" Smith, retired US Fish and Wildlife biologist and the "gong ringer" in the Kesterson Wildlife Refuge selenium investigation, sent to Assemblywoman Lois Wolk. He connects the Bureau of Reclamation's actions at Prospect Island fish to the decline of the delta smelt and the failure of the Bureau to make progress in adopting flow standards on the American River.

Smith is one of the most respected biologists that has ever worked for the federal government. I wish that every biologist for government agencies had his impeccable scientific knowledge, courage and passion for saving our declining fisheries!

"What happened at the Prospect Island project and Bureauís response is just another example of arrogance and lack of respect for the peopleís resources," Smith says.


December 8, 2007

Honorable Lois Wolk Ė
Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife
State Capital
State of California
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Assemblywomen Wolk:

I share your concerns about the future of the Delta environment and its aquatic resources. * Mr. John Davis of the Bureau of Reclamation failed his responsibility to protect the peopleís fish resources while conducting the Prospect Island levee project. *

Mr. Davis says he deeply regrets the high loss of fish at this levee project. *The big questions are; Where was the Bureauís planning? *Where was the Bureauís on site oversight? * Who was in charge of this project?

Mr. Davis and the Bureau of Reclamation have staff fish biologists. *A couple of these biologists, a rowboat and a sampling gill net could have quickly ascertained the extent of the massive numbers of fish trapped behind the Prospect Island levee. *Mr. Davis and the Bureau of Reclamation often uses his biologists to contest fish resource data gathered by the Federal fish and wildlife trustee, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA- Fisheries, and the State trustee, the California Department of Fish and Game. *

This is the same Mr. Davis and the Bureau of Reclamation that were not in any hurry to protect the Delta Smelt being taken at the Federal Pumping facility near Tracy in June 2007. * This is the same Mr. Davis and the same Bureau of Reclamation that is in not in any hurry to restore the Trinity Riverís salmon and steelhead resources.

This is the same Mr. Davis and the same Bureau of Reclamation that appears in no great hurry to stop or reduce the amount of agricultural wastewater with its magic elixir Selenium that is contaminating the San Joaquin River and its fish and wildlife resources. *Public health advisories are still being issued against eating fish and waterfowl taken from the San Joaquin River and the Grasslands.

Of course the primary reason for this is that the Bureau of Reclamation and the Westlands Water District appear to be tied at the hip. * To make matter worse it frequently looks like the US Fish and Wildlife Service is also tied to the hip of the Bureau of Reclamation and therefore might not have been able to adequately respond in a constructive / protective manner. * *

Closer to Sacramento, the Bureau of Reclamation after months of stalling finally signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the American River Flow Management Standard with the Sacramento Water Forum and its stakeholders in October 2004. *It is now December 2007 over 3 years later and there has been little progress on the Bureauís part.

Mr. Davis and the Bureau of Reclamation are more than 2 years over due in completing its actions and filing for an amended water right permit for the operations of the Folsom / Nimbus project on the American River. * The latest word is that the Bureau of Reclamation is at least 12 to 18 months away from even submitting the amended water right permit. *This Flow Management Standard is to help protect and assure the sustainability of the Chinook salmon and steelhead resources of the Lower American River, protect other public trust resources, uses and values and protect the water supplies of Water Forum purveyors and interests in Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado Counties.

What happened at the Prospect Island project and Bureauís response is just another example of arrogance and lack of respect for the peopleís resources.

The Department of Fish and Game and the US Fish and Wildlife Service also failed to protect the publicís interests in the impacted resources.

Please add these comments to the hearing record of the Thursday December 6 hearing regarding the Prospect Island levee fish kill. *

Sincerely,

Felix E. Smith
Carmichael, CA.

chiselchest
12-19-2007, 03:38 AM
Right on! A stand-up kind of guy, who tells it like it is!

I wish he'd re-enter public service...