US Congressman Jeff Denham (R) who represents all of Stanislaus County and portions of San Joaquin County is upset over predation and the loss of water through pulse flows.
Denham was Friday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.
The former Mother Lode Representative said that he has frequently written in his newsletter about the impact the ongoing, brutal drought and the effect that it has on jobs, families, and local livelihoods.
Last week, Denham made this point during a Natural Resources committee hearing on predation and conflicting federal statutes on native and endangered fish species. Denham had the opportunity to question Will Stelle, regional administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service for the West Coast region, about the lack of action from the Administration as millions of California families suffer through a crippling drought.
“Our committee has offered a number of predation bills, including one of my own, all of which have been ignored by this Administration, said Denham. “We’ve got people that are out of jobs. It’s affecting our entire community, and it feels like the Administration continues to ignore the fact that we’re struggling through a record drought. Last month we pushed out 200,000 acre feet of water in pulse flows without addressing predation. 700,000 acres of farmland will go fallow this year. That’s 1,500 jobs that will be lost. In our community that’s 400,000 families – enough water for an entire year for 400,000 families.
This administration continues to talk about social justice. Where is the social justice in our area? With the high unemployment, with communities that are being devastated, with the breadlines? This is no longer just a farming issue. This is no longer just an issue between northern California and southern California. This is a national issue in the breadbasket of the world where lives are being damaged and people are losing jobs.”
At the same hearing, Denham invited Doug Demko, president of FishBio in Oakdale, to testify about the impact of predation in the Valley. According to Denham, estimates show that predator fish eliminate 97-98% of the native fish in the local rivers.
The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 AM.