Federal wildlife regulators have a legal responsibility to consider the impact of federal actions on endangered wildlife. That is their legal argument for their program to de-water the farms and communities of California’s San Joaquin Valley, by holding that water for endangered fish in the Sacramento Delta instead.
The Delta smelt, which were to benefit from the Valley’s engineered drought, continue to decline. And other endangered species, like the kit fox and the iconic California condor, which rely on irrigated Valley farms for habitat and other resources, are likely harmed by the Smelt protections. You can read more about it in my op ed in the Fresno Bee, and check out our short video below.