Response to P.D.’s Article on State’s Water Flow Policy

Hey Endangered Fishworriers,

I have not seen the printed paper as of yet, did the print version come out with “Fishworry” as one word and no punctuation as titled in the online version below??

Gotta love it when a new moniker is coined– I say Unite Endangered Fishworry Warriors! No Water in da Crick – No Fish in da Crick!
Simple stuff –hmm…??

Well well well if the property rights Hornet’s Nest had not been feeling kicked before!!!

In Sonoma County we don’t have to plumb our recent memories very far back to recall our collective shock and awe with how years of GP2020 process quickly went down with the irrational and angry mob tactics of the private property zealots of all stripes during riparian setback and well monitoring meetings.

A simple mailing of 40,000 inflammatory & fallacious post cards from the Real Estate posse and Tah Dah – watch the Supes roll over and roll back! Whether we like it or not Dumb-ocracy by sheer agitated force appears to work around here. Granted the level of authority in question here is not simply the easy capitulating Board of Supervisors, but the State Water Resources Control Board, but still! I am not advocating anything here, other than some politically pragmatic remembrances. But now that this hornets nest which encompasses all the same-minded folks only they now are from 5 counties and all their cohorts in the rest of the State and West – it’s big hornets nest!

From having attended/ witnessed the barely skin deep seething ire of many in the audience at the Water Board workshop, and with further fueling by the alarmist one-sided tone of today’s PD article (i.e. Nice interview with Ms. Goldsmith!), I think we all should be clear (to no ones surprise really!) of the reality check that it is game-on time for a mother of all water battles here on the North Coast and beyond. What was that bizness about drinking whiskey and fightin over water…?

We know that the property rights fanatics will not hesitate to use all their tricks, both clean & dirty – political & populous, to forcefully intimidate and browbeat all the Water Board staff at the Regional and State level and I can only imagine the lunch date discussion with Mr. Govenator!

Strikes me that this adds some strange new twisted meaning to the torture concept called “Water Boarding”??!! Sorry…so pun-ish me!

Thus it would appear to me that on our end we would be well served by quick & effective organizing to collaboratively shore up our dis-located yet allied troops/affinity groups (comprised of many strange bedfellows) from the Mattole to Marin & all in between. We must bring to bear a coordinated regional response and rescue operation for this Instream Flow Policy with great verve, vim and vigor, lest we watch it all dry up under the giant sucking sound of those who assert that water flows uphill to money and that dry creeks & dead fish are not line items in their water budget!

Thoughts on next steps here…

Yer simple & concerned bipedal sack of saline solution,


More time for input on waterways proposal
Policy would further protect streams with endangered fishworry about effects on people


Facing pressure from North Coast water users, the state Water Resources Control Board has extended until May 1 a deadline for public comment on a proposal to make sweeping changes to state policies governing instream flows to better protect fish.

A lead critic of the draft policy contends state water regulators will “lock up” the region’s water resources including the Russian River “without even pretending to balance communities’ needs for water against needs of fish.”

At stake are hundreds of pending applications to divert and store more water from local streams and rivers, including proposals from the Sonoma County Water Agency and other municipal providers.

The new regulations could affect dams, irrigation ponds and diversions.

First sought in 2001 by the Audubon Society and other environmental groups, the policy changes were set in motion when legislation was signed in 2004 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The changes are envisioned statewide, but are to be first imposed on the North Coast because it represents the greatest numbers and diversity of permit holders.

Sacramento water law attorney Janet Goldsmith said she represents clients who are alarmed about the potential effects. She said they include vineyard owners, water districts and municipalities in Sonoma and Marin counties, and portions of Napa, Mendocino and Humboldt counties that are covered by the proposed changes.

Goldsmith said some property owners and agricultural users in the five-county region remain unaware of the proposed changes, and those who are can’t “fully understand what the policy requires and how it will affect them.”

The Eel River drainage, at the center of an epic water struggle between users in Humboldt, Mendocino and Sonoma counties, is exempt for now from the policy proposals. But beyond the Eel, the sweeping state proposals encompass coastal streams from the Mattole River in Humboldt County to San Pablo Bay.

The goal of the proposed state action is to further protect waterways that support endangered fish.

Goldsmith contends the state’s supporting documentation doesn’t adequately consider “the economic and social impacts” on the five-county region.

“It would affect the available water supply so significantly that land use decisions would essentially be taken out of the hands of local governments, and put in the hands of the state Water Resources Control Board,” Goldsmith said.

You can reach Staff Writer Mike Geniella at 462-6470 or