Trump Administration Loosens Protections For Endangered Fish in California

The Departments of Interior and Commerce issued this week a new biological opinion under the Endangered Species Act that governs the division of water among, farmers, cities, and farmers in California, and the new opinion fundamentally changed the prior allocations in favor of more water for agriculture. 

Why This Matters: It appears that political leadership at both agencies pushed aside the agency scientists who were set to release a biological opinion that would continue the prior water allocation balance in order to protect the fish, and replaced them last summer with a hand-picked new group of lawyers, administrators, and biologists to “refine” and “improve” the rules, according to local NPR station KQEDCareer scientists in both agencies had been quite adamant about the water needs of the fish in my (Monica’s) past experience on these issues. 

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