10:05 PM

House Drought Bill Disastrous for Environment


June 25, 2015

Contact: Courtney Sexton, csexton@defenders.org; 202-772-0253

House Drought Bill Disastrous for Environment
Latest draft of drought legislation sacrifices fish and wildlife while providing no real drought solutions

SACRAMENTO— Today Representative Valadao (R-CA) introduced a so-called drought relief bill that could have devastating impacts on California’s rapidly-dwindling wetlands and imperiled wildlife, especially salmon and migratory birds. The bill overrides critical federal endangered species protections and undermines environmental laws under the guise of making more water available for consumption.

The following is a statement from Kim Delfino, Director of California Programs, Defenders of Wildlife:

“Environmental protections for wildlife did not create the drought in California and overriding bedrock environmental laws isn’t a credible solution to our state’s water woes. Representative Valadao and others need to stop scapegoating wildlife for the simple fact that we haven’t had enough rain.”

“This legislation is a water grab that does not offer productive solutions to the mega-drought that has plagued California for almost four years. Instead of looking for cynical short-term, shortsighted fixes for widespread and lasting water management problems, we need to take pragmatic and sustainable actions to address the serious impacts from the drought. We cannot do this by gutting environmental protections and placing blame on imperiled wildlife and diminishing wetlands.”

“What we need to do to fight the impacts of the drought is focus on more water use efficiency and conservation, and strategic infrastructure investments to increase water supply reliability and sustainability now and for the future. That’s a real solution to today’s water problems, slashing environmental protections isn’t.”


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.