The Attack on California Farms moves to a New Frontier

Is it just me, or is agriculture being attacked on every front you could imagine?

First, the regulatory wars over water in the California Delta dry up a majority of the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most fertile and productive areas in the state, causing lost jobs and long lines of hungry families showing up at food banks. Just when those images disappear from the evening news and there is finally some sanity returning to the water distribution policies, you hear about “new regulations” of the “Reasonable Use” doctrine (a legal framework that determines what is a “reasonable use” for water). For instance, are those pesky farmers watering their crops too much…or for the wrong reasons…or at the wrong time….

Now, about 120 miles of farmland in the San Joaquin Valley has been selected by the California High Speed Rail Authority (“Authority”) for construction of the first leg of the new high speed rail track.

During a time of economic bedlam, the Sacramento Bee reports the Authority is accepting bids for a contract worth up to $40 million for a company that can negotiate, or, if that fails, set up for taking in eminent domain proceedings the farms, businesses and homes of those farmers standing in the project’s way.

As if farmers did not have enough to worry about…Hopefully, none of the farmland is home to any endangered species. I hear that farming can sometimes be disruptive to their habitat….Imagine how disruptive a train going 220 miles per hour will be.


About bwdlg

Environmental Law
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