The poor smelt don’t know which way to flow

Matt Weiser’s article in today’s Bee has a quote that only Kafka could love.

From the USFWS, on why pumping restrictions were reduced by 60% - not days after they were put in effect:

“No Delta smelt have been reported as salvaged since February 6, 2013, suggesting this year’s unusual ... event may be over,” the agency wrote in a determination letter posted online.

This is so obviously a result of political pressure and/or policy loophole as to be laughable.

“The Department of Nature has determined that strip mining can resume after millions upon millions of tons of coal voiced not a single objection, and coal industry spokesperson Michelle Wadinsky reminded the Department how cheaply their work in the middle of nowhere makes heating our houses.”

It is painfully obvious that the pressures of administering the use of a scarce resource requires a review of environmental regulations and policies. Environmental managers are put in an embarrassing and untenable position when they release public starements like this.

Political leaders on (what used to be) the left need to force a public debate that allows difference of opinion to either recalibrate or reaffirm existing environmental law. It is shameful that duplicitous statements like this one are allowed to stand in for in-depth review, especially in what we all hope is a mature Democracy.


Posted by John Bass on 14 Feb 2013 | Comments (4)


Wait, can I infer from your last paragraph that you think the Endangered Species Act may not be the write tool for the environmental water management job? Or am I just the dude running around with a hammer thinking everything looks like a nail…

John, neither the write tool nor the correct one, and of course you infer reasonably.

You should persuade someone to *write* about what the *right* tool might look like! (I began my career in radio - writing homophones when working without an editor has always been a problem.)

Yes, like you perhaps? Let’s talk about it live sometime.

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