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Environment
California tribe sues over federal water plan


The unrecognized Winnemen Wintu Tribe joined environmentalists and fishermen in filing a lawsuit on Tuesday that challenges a federal water plan in California.

The tribe and its allies say the approval of an October 2004 biological opinion endangers salmon in central California. The plan diverts water to cities and farms in southern California.

A first draft of the opinion said the salmon would face harm. But the final version concluded there would be "no jeopardy" to several endangered species of fish.

"Our brothers, the salmon, are already listed as endangered and threatened due to the dams and their operating procedures," said Gary Mulcahy of the Winnemem Wintu. "This is not just a question of just water, and fish. It is the basic question of life itself. We ask, how much more ‘no jeopardy’ can the salmon withstand?"

Separately, the tribe is challenging a proposal to raise the water levels at Shasta Dam. The tribe says sacred sites will be flooded and destroyed.

Get the Story:
U.S. charged with approving water plan that endangers threatened fish (AP 8/10)
pw1
Press Release: Politics Trumps Science in California Water Management (Earthjustice 8/9)

Relevant Links:
Winnemum Wintu Tribe - http://www.winnememwintu.us

Related Stories:
Tribe to speak out against raising of Shasta Dam (05/18)
Tribe fears raising Shasta Dam will destroy sacred sites (02/28)
Winnemem Wintu Tribe goes to war for sacred sites (09/14)
Wintu Tribe's ceremony will challenge dam proposal (08/31)
Officials allow tribal ceremony at Shasta Dam (8/30)