The Interior Department has finally decided to honor a contract made with Humboldt in 1955 to release 50,000 acre-feet of water from Trinity Lake for local use. For decades, the economic power of Central Valley farmers have prevented the release of water we own, water crucial for salmon survival. The water was withheld in violation of the law because Central Valley farmers hired hundreds of lobbyists to convince the Federal government to steal our water.
For the first time in decades, the Federal Government believes we're economically relevant because of a threat of a lawsuit. Our economic growth forced the release of water from Trinity Lake and will ultimately preserve local salmon. This is another example of economic growth leading to environmentally sound policy. The decision to allow us to use our own water will be good for salmon, farmers, and business.
Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) welcomed the U.S. Interior Department’s disclosure of its internal legal opinion that outlines Humboldt County’s right to water from the Trinity River:
“Humboldt County’s annual right to 50,000 acre feet of water from Trinity Lake is not a close call – it was explicitly guaranteed by statute and in a federal contract six decades ago, but these commitments have been ignored by the federal government,” Huffman said. “I’m gratified that the Solicitor thoroughly examined this issue and that the Interior Department heeded my requests to publicly release the solicitor’s findings. The disclosure of the Solicitor’s legal opinion confirms the position I have argued for the past two years and is an important step toward honoring the promise Congress made 60 years ago.”