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Crisis In Court: Mega-farms Trying to Seize Salmon Water

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
16 August 2013, 12:05 PM
Court hearings this week may decide fate of Klamath/Trinity River salmon
Local fishing communities depend on healthy salmon runs. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)

This is the time of year when Chinook salmon head back up the Klamath/Trinity River system to spawn—if they have abundant, cold water.

But this year—this week—powerful business interests are in court trying to seize that water, putting tens of thousands of salmon, and an entire generation of their offspring, in peril.

Here’s why:

Because California faces drought this year, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BuRec) has developed a plan to release extra water from dams along the Trinity River (a tributary of the Klamath) to prevent another disaster like the ‘Fish Kill of 2002.’ Also a drought year, 2002 saw the Klamath running low, slow and with high temperatures. The Bush administration prevented water from being released, leading to a massive die-off of adult Chinook salmon, one of the worst fish kills in U.S. history. Coastal communities dependent on those salmon suffered $200 million losses.

Fast forward to this year: Corporate agricultural interests, led by the powerful Westlands Water District in California’s Central Valley, have sued to block water releases that will protect salmon. This despite the fact that more than half the water from the Trinity River is already diverted to industrial agriculture.

The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, represented by Earthjustice, intervened last week in defense of BuRec’s plan to protect the salmon run. A 3-day hearing this week will determine the salmon’s fate.

“Healthy salmon runs are the sustainable lifeblood of Northern California coastal fishing communities,” explains Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman. “But without enough water in the river for salmon to survive, these resources will disappear.”

Stay tuned.

Natural resources before agribusiness!Save the salmon!

Natural resources before agribusiness!Save the salmon!

There's no substitute for fresh salmon, salmon farms are unsatisfactory and prone to disease. We need to PROTECT further loss of what we have. It is incontrovertible that this and similar serious problems are a result of world overpopulation that most people are too selfish to confront. Does no one see the warning signs of decades?

I hope that the salmon are given the water they need to swim upstream and spawn. They are an important part of the ecological system.

Viewing the video, seeing all the dead fish and knowing that a
many forms of animals are suffering from actions of this sort, brought tears
to my eyes and fear to my heart.
We are destroying our ecosystem and ourselves for the future.
I won't be here then; but my grandchildren may be.
I wish we cared more and protected those things that are truly important and significant
in Life.

Please don't allow this to happen. We must protect our environment before there's nothing left to protect. Nature suffers everyday because of big business, and poor decisions. Leave our rivers alone, and protect our fish, and other wildlife.

"more than half the water from the Trinity River is already diverted to industrial agriculture" The drought is not the problem. The problem is governor Brown and his "fracking" cronies. Any judges who side with powerful business interests should be remembered and villainized as the greedy, corporate puppets they are.

Your honor -It's not smart to fool with Mother Nature.

I understand completely what this article is saying. Salmon Farms - filled with Genetically Modified Salmon that are pumped full of antibiotics. Yes, we know the 'true' story...of farms, fish farms and what the Federal Government does. We also know the real reason for the 'intentional droughts', weather manipulation, military owns the weather by 2025, which they themselves stated.

First and foremost, the damming of water needs to be done away with. It's not only hurting all farmers, forcing them to pay for irrigation, but it's totally destroying the meandering rivers. The planet is on the brink of devastation because the powers that be cannot control themselves and their practices to 'own everything.'

I only can wish I was a wealthy person; and I'd fund your entire project if I were able. But I barely survive on SS. I won't even start on this administrations plans to take more money away from what is rightfully ours and that has been paid out over all the years we were their 'slaves'. I will say one thing though. Prayer is a might warrior, and that's something I can do.

Much love to all, and I'll focus all my attention on this.


The damages we are inflicting on our environment should be considered in irreversible terms.

Stop choosing money over life!

Human beings need to wake up to the responsbility that we carry. We have the capacity to care and to understand that all beings are interconnected in a web of life that supports one another in an amazing and complete way. We need to care for all those other beings who are now in many ways dependent upon us. MIndlessly exploiting precious resources, water, earth, air, that are vital for other creatures is wrong and we must be all that we can to shift this direction into one of support and nourishing others.
A dialogue is necessary and in terms of the salmon in this, their waters need to stay open....
Mass killings of any beings is a heavy heavy burden for ourselves and future generations...

Protect this water. Our environment is more important than the needs of business.

Protect this water. Our environment is more important than the needs of business.

Healthy salmon runs are important to many communities who make their money from fishing. Also, these fish are a very nutritional food for many people. The rivers must be kept open with adequate water so the salmon are able to make their runs successfully.

This is yet another example of our willingness as humans to put profit over protection. There will be a day when we've stripped ourselves of all of the beauty and diversity in the world in the name of money. We have got to operate with an eye to responsible use of our resources and moderation of our actions.

Absolutely ATROCIOUS and unfortunately not surprising in the least. Go after all the golf courses in southern California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas while you're at it. They're sucking Canada - and other states in the U.S. dry so people can play a game that's a horrible waste of land and natural resources.

"Greed is so destructive. It destroys everything." Eartha Kitt

When are we going to stop allowing corporations to make all our decisions for us? What is DEMOCRACY?

When are we going to stop allowing corporations to make all our decisions for us? What is DEMOCRACY?

Stop the madness!

Screw every body, my greed comes first !!!

Please protect the salmon and the communities that depend on them for their livelihoods.

Do the right thing. Preserve natural balance sustaining wildlife and waters with concern for the long run not the instantaneous needs of people refusing to accept unpredictable nature and and our world for what it is. Leave the salmon their water and they will feed us in our future.

Allow the salmon populations to rebound before imposing another death blow to the various species of salmon struggling to remain extant.

WE need the natural salmon. No GMO salmon, if you kill off these you destroy so many other species. PLEASE DON"T DO THIS!!!

Big Business interests seem to take priority over everything in this country lately. What big business wants, big business gets and it doesn't matter how many animals or people are hurt or killed to do it.. We need the courts to start standing on the side of right!

This should not happen at all. I am very angry by this

PLEASE support the BuRec’s plan to protect the salmon run.


Please help to resolve this problem, and help these salmon.

Thank you

Please help to resolve this problem, and help these salmon.

Thank you

Stop the insanity. People, animals and plants over profit.

With the records of 2002 written in black and RED, how can there be any other decision but to release the water needed for this generation of salmon to complete it's ingrained mission. The fact that 200 million was lost in 2002 to so many different levels and walks of people should be enough to make the right decision. For some reason it seems like everyone wants to see how far they can push people and how far those people will then push back. In the meantime common sense is flying out the window at astronomical speeds with NO sign of returning. For goodness sake get off the fence and do something that is right for this world...that is the ONLY thing we can leave behind that is worth anything to or generations from now.

Please help save the animals

Nothing can replace wild salmon, both in our environment and what we eat. How can we allow corporations to change our food chains and encourage more unhealthily farmed salmon. Do the right thing and support BuRec's plan.

The judge will make the wrong decision, empty headed puppets always do what their employer wants them to do.

Hasn't been a judge with a backbone and brain in over a century.
They are the most spineless cowards the world has ever seen.

Financial greed is the reason animals are killed.

Water or the lack thereof is also the reason horses are being slaughtered in the mid west. What can we do to end the murder of our animals?

Stop destroying so many species out of greediness.

Stop destroying so many species out of greediness.

Stop destroying so many species out of greediness.

Protect nature against the greed of money!

The greed of business for always " Have to have a profit"' regardless, sickens me. Unfortunately the hugh fortunes of the Republican party will be difficult to fight. They have little if no regard for the environment as profit is their god.

WTF is wrong with you Dumb Bastards....

Please help preserve the salmon

hmmhmm.., wonder what's going on up at the Bonneville Damn in No. Oregon '?'
gee, I wonder WHY all of the Sea Lions are being TORTURED & murdered !
Maybe I'll go take a look at the website for more info. "?"
golly, it's too bad that I LIVE in Oregon and I signed a petition on Biological Diversity's website for the NUTRIUM that are getting killed - and then a couple months later 3 poisoned ones are tossed at night in my yard and my dog was carrying it around in his mouth !!!

What are we leaving our children & grandchildren.

We are approaching a state of war in the US, between citizens and business. War has casualties, but salmon should not be that. The caualties shpuld be the greedy and the selfish - the business interests.

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