Restoration Bills Passed Through California Committee

Two fish and wildlife habitat restoration bills yesterday passed through the California Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. The bills are partly in response to the collapse of the Central Valley chinook population, which the committee says is the result of increased water exports out of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and declining water quality caused by agricultural pollution.

The Fish and Rescue Plans Bill, filed by assemblywoman Lois Wolk (D-Davis) and passed on an 8-5 vote, requires public land managers to prepare emergency fish rescue plans before undertaking a project that would have an adverse impact on fishery resources in the Delta. The vote could free up millions of dollars of mitigation money available for the dwindling chinook salmon and Delta fish populations.

Wolk's other bill, which would create a "Delta Ecological Restoration and Recreation Area" to allow for increased angling, hunting and other access while providing a needed fish and wildlife habitat, passed unanimously.

The next step for both bills is the Assembly Appropriations Committee.


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