“Bi-partisan” Action at the Expense of California Salmon


Aerial view of Shasta Dam, how is the WIIN Act hurting salmon?
Aerial view of Shasta Dam | Robert Campbell, Wikimedia Commons

What is the WIIN Act, and why are congressional representatives from California pushing to extend it 5 years before it expires?

Friends of the Eel River’s Conservation Director Scott Greacen explores these questions and more with guests John McManus and Regina Chichizola. John is the president of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, which represents both sport and commercial fishermen in its effort to restore salmon runs in the central valley. Regina is the salmon and water policy analyst for the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and co-director of Save California’s Salmon.

Senator Diane Feinstein teamed up with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republicans in supporting a rider bill attached to budget legislation which extends the expiration of the 2016 Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act from 2021 to 2028. Provisions in the WIIN act intended as emergency responses to drought run counter to California objectives to reduce central valley diversions and improve conditions for native fish. The WIIN Act also provides $670 million for new water storage projects including raising Shasta dam – a project that violates California state law because it would flood the Wild & Scenic McCloud River. Raising Shasta dam would also inundate several of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe’s sacred sites.

Jerry Brown is now supporting the Feinstein-McCarthy rider, a move that has many questioning whether he did so to secure support for his Delta Tunnels project from the Trump administration.

Learn more about this legislation here, and follow Save California Salmon on facebook for opportunities to get involved.