November 24, 2009

Fish Stocking EIR/EIS - Part 5

Anybody who read the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) draft fish stocking EIR-EIS knows that this document is badly flawed. Many of these flaws, such as an inadequate range of alternatives, are fundamental to the entire document and addressing them would require a major rewrite of the EIR-EIS. However, the court-ordered deadline for the final EIR-EIS is January 11, 2010. How is the CDFG going to make all the necessary changes to this document in time to meet this deadline?

One possibility would be that the CDFG could go back to the Court and request a deadline extension. However, the CDFG is apparently determined to meet the original January 11 deadline, so I'm guessing that instead we will see a final EIR-EIS that is only marginally improved from the draft version. That will undoubtedly result in another lawsuit, and given that the same CDFG legal counsel who lost the previous fish stocking lawsuit will be providing advice again this time around, the CDFG will lose again and will be forced to make the necessary major revisions to the EIR-EIS that many people have been calling for all along.

The inadequacy of the current draft EIR-EIS and all the shenanigans that are likely to follow could have been avoided if the CDFG had decided from the very beginning of this process to thoroughly and honestly evaluate the environmental costs and benefits of their fish stocking program. Instead the CDFG did what they usually do on this issue, which was to first decide what the document's conclusion would be (i.e., continue the current fish stocking program), and then use every imaginable argument to justify this conclusion, no matter how ridiculous these arguments are. When this process has finally run its course, I suspect that the CDFG would have spent much less money, done a better job of protecting native species, and produced better recreational fisheries if they had used the CEQA process the way it was intended.

And this from an agency whose stated mission is "to manage California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public". If only the CDFG would take their stated mission seriously....

Back to The Mountain Yellow-legged Frog Site.

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