national wildlife refuge
Sibling embryos of the bird species Stilt collected from a single nest on the same day from a Tulare Basin evaporation pond in the Southern San Joaquin Valley in 2001. The overtly teratogenic embryo on the left, exhibiting stunted growth, no eyes, deformed bones (in right foot) contained 72 parts per million selenium(dry weight, whole egg), while the overtly normal sibling, on the right, contained 16 parts per million selenium. (photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) Selenium triggered massive wildlife deformities in birds at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in Merced County in the early 1980s. The deformities were caused by selenium in drainage water from the Westlands Water District moving up the food chain into the birds nesting at Kesterson. The federal government has never enforced international and federal bird protection laws in the Tulare Basin to halt the selenium poisoning.
Is another selenium-poisoned wildlife disaster like that which occurred at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in Merced County in the 1980s going to occur again? READ AN ARTICLE HERE about the latest United States Geological Survey report which indicates more problems for western San Joaquin Valley agriculture. CLICK HERE for the USGS report. READ MORE »
From the Sacramento Bee...
Lloyd G. Carter: A California water story of individual tenacity
By Lloyd G. Carter - Special to The Bee
Published 12:00 am PDT Friday, April 25, 2008
Story appeared in EDITORIALS section, Page B7
You have to give 75-year-old Felix Smith of Carmichael credit for tenacity.
A quarter-century ago, Smith became the conscience of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when he blew the whistle on the selenium poisoning of the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in western Merced County. READ MORE »
Felix Smith, the whistleblower on the bird deformities at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge back in the 1980s, has filed a complaint with the State Water Board over the continued irrigation of high selenium soils in the Western San Joaquin Valley. He wants the water board to declare irrigation of these tainted soils an unreasonable use of water under California law. He is joined in his complaint by the California Salmon and Steelhead Assocation. The Water Board has asked the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which supplies Northern California to federal irrigation districts farming the high selenium soils, to explain what is being done to solve the selenium crisis, now in its third decade. The Bureau of Reclamation recently replied to the Water Board's inquiry. See if you can spot the flaws in the Bureau of Reclamation's arguments that the problem is being solved. Here is the Bureau's response: CLICK HERE READ MORE »