Shasta Lake water levels continue to fall

A boat ramp sits high and dry at Shasta Lake in northern California as drought claims the large reservoir.

Is environmental activism speeding up extinctions?

Here’s a joke for you: “Agriculture has fared better than fish.”

Wanna hear another one? “State and federal agencies have redirected water to human needs at the expense of Chinook salmon, Delta smelt and other endangered species.”

I can’t make this stuff up. I’m not that good.

These statements come from a June 4 story in the Sacramento Bee under the headline: “Environmentalists sue over California drought management plan.”

Apparently a number of environmental groups have their shorts knotted up over recent decisions by state and federal agencies and their management of stored water.

Managing surface water and river flows has been a delicate balancing act over the last couple years because of too little rain and snow to fill reservoir basins each spring. The natural ebbs and flows of climate have left California high and dry for the past several years. You already know this.

Couple that with biological opinions written by unelected bureaucrats and codified by the courts that forced the release of millions of acre feet of water that could otherwise have been held in storage and eked out in a manner that could have been better for fish and human, and it’s not difficult to see why California is in a mess.

What environmentalists refuse to recognize is how much different things would be for the fish they worship if it weren’t for California’s dams. Winter rains would cascade down the watersheds, making much of California’s Central Valley inhospitable because of epic flood flows at certain times of the year.

Those flows would be so chalk full of sediment that the fish could not survive. Then, once the flows diminish the fish that did remain in puddles and pools left behind would be short-lived because of inconsistent stream and river flows.

Without dams to control these flow and push salt water west in the Delta, you would have salt water in places like Sacramento and Stockton. Pumping the water to homes and farms would be futile.

The reason California is in the water mess it’s in is environmental organizations that have little else to do but file lawsuits in federal court. Rather than seek useful, real solutions to make water a sustainable resource for human beings and wildlife, these antagonists of agriculture and common sense continue on paths of destruction.

Meanwhile, their efforts to help fish and wildlife are arguably hurting the creatures they purport to protect. Rather than allow nature to struggle in a manner that allows creatures to become stronger or die through natural selection and evolution, they seek to coddle these creatures, making them biologically weak and susceptible to faster extinction.

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