Sites Reservoir Talks Surface Again

Before I comment on this news report, I wanted to cite the source and some relevant paragraphs because news reports often get dropped off websites after a short time.

A proposed reservoir project in Western Colusa County would help keep more water in Folsom Lake, according to Rep. Ami Bera.

The Elk Grove Democrat announced on Thursday his support for the Sites Reservoir project. The announcement came as state park rangers took Bera on a tour of the dry bed of Folsom Lake.

Later in the article

Bera joins fellow Democratic Rep. John Garamendi and Republican congressmen Doug LaMalfa and Jeff Denham in supporting Sites.

In a statement to KCRA 3, Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, said she believe Sites “could be a piece of the puzzle in solving California’s water crisis, but there are important financing and operational details that are still being finalized and under my consideration.”

My grandfather used to tell me tales of the Sites Reservoir Project back when Ronald Reagan was Governor of California. The land earmarked for this lake included the thirty thousand or so acres owned by my great grandfather. We used to go deer hunting on the property when I was a kid. In fact I killed my first deer at age ten on this very property.

After my great grandfather died, the estate was thoroughly screwed-up by the Bank of America and then the IRS. As a result the family had to liquidate the property. The new owners promptly came in and cut down every single oak tree on the property. It was horrifying to behold thousands of acres denuded by bulldozers and chainsaws. Somehow cutting all the trees was believed to be a benefit to the cattle that the new owners introduced to the property.

Concerning the Sites Project, I find it a real stretch of credibility that any Democrats would claim to support the construction of Sites were we not in a drought; especially since they are the ones that oppose any new water storage anywhere in the state. Clearly the Sierra Club has not gotten to these folks or perhaps they are remaining quiet in hopes that we will forget these quotes by Democrats hoping for re-election.

As a newcomer, I can somewhat excuse Bera for his remarks; however, John Garamendi and Doris Matsui are without excuse; especially Doris. It was her husband Bob that singlehandedly worked to block the Auburn Dam. It was special interest groups in his Sacramento congressional district that coordinated the campaign with Matsui to kill the dam project.

The proposed Sites Project was well known to Matsui, Garamendi, and other elected officials in California. This project was old news in the 1970’s. Oh, yeah. Jerry Brown knew about it before he ever served his first term as governor. If these folks wanted Sites for water storage, it could have happened decades ago.

Unfortunately, much of this is lip service to current conditions and not a genuine concern for California’s future. After all, a politician’s chief job is to get re-elected.