Fleck check on Feinstein minnow “precedent”

THIS just in from John Fleck, science writer of the Albuquerque Journal: “California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is moving to intervene via Congress in a fight very much like the one that raged here in New Mexico back in the summer of 2003 over the endangered Rio Grande Silvery Minnow. And she’s citing our fish-v-farmers legal and political fight as precedent for the action she is proposing. But is she misrepresenting the history?”

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“Silvery minnow” no precedent for Delta

This follow up to “Soft on Fish” arrived today from a member of the water bar familiar with the 2003 Silvery Minnow legislation cited by Senator Feinstein as precedent for the rider that she plans to attach to a jobs bill to increase water diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to farm interests on the West Side of the Central Valley.

“Senator Feinstein’s press release stated, “There is precedent for the solution I am pursuing: in 2003, the Senate unanimously approved legislation that provided water supply certainty with regard to restrictions imposed to protect the Silvery Minnow in New Mexico. In that legislation, Congress mandated that a Biological Opinion be implemented with a change.”

It is not true that the silvery minnow rider is similar to, or provides precedent for, Senator Feinstein’s Bay-Delta proposal.