Letters to the Editor

Jerry Couchman: State water policies are endangering our farmers, again

In 1994 an immigrant from Thailand purchased 720 acres near Bakersfield. He intended to grow vegetables and began preparing to plant his crops. At that point, federal and state agents descended by air and ground to arrest him and hauled away the equipment. They said he was destroying the environment of the endangered kangaroo rat, and could not farm its natural habitat.

In Northern California and Oregon, environmentalists are destroying dams on the Klamath River for fish. They denied farmers water for irrigation, reducing farming and all related businesses. They have no concern about the electricity that will be lost or how it can be replaced. The cost will be passed onto customers, including removal of dams. The State Water Resources Control Board(SWRCB) and Environmental Protection Administration are putting the rights of fish over and above farmers and cities that built the dams.

Seizing our water for flushing the Delta and to help salmon spawn is based on a theory of fish needing greater flows.

The SWRCB does not care about lost production from thousands of acres, which they have predicted. Growing, harvesting, processing and retailing these products and byproducts of agriculture will be eliminated; at whose expense? The SWRCB and EPA have too much power. Farms and farmers are becoming endangered

Jerry Couchman, Modesto

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