Letters to the Editor: July 11, 2012

Stuffed Up

Interesting article (“Opportunity Quacks,” June 27). I’m for anything that would diminish the consumption of fatty, artery-clogging foods that result in illness and medical expense. Slaughtering animals is also not high on my list of priorities for having a good time. The force-feeding and limited exercise endured by ducks before their slaughter for this little treat is outrageous. I’m not aware of an underground market for veal, so I’m hoping the predictions along those lines regarding foie gras will prove unfounded. Kudos to Ms. Abrahams for an informative, thought-provoking article.

San Francisco

In the seven years that the California foie gras industry had the opportunity to explore alternative foul-stuffing methods, nothing was done. Shocking, the law went into effect anyway. It appears a lot of time and effort is being put into circumventing the law and developing a black market.

Pshaw. That effort should have been put into exploring and researching more humane efforts of foie gras production. Eduardo Sousa in Spain raises his geese and lets them gorge themselves. At least one chef in New York is working to recreate that sustainable method.

So stop sniveling and conniving, and get it together.

Glen Ellen

Canal Vision

Those who oppose the “Peripheral Canal” fail to include all of the facts in their arguments, because the facts do not support their position (“Delta Blues,” July 4). Claims that a canal would “remove so much water” are just that—claims. Operational limits of a proposed canal have yet to be finalized, yet draft elements of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan already include limits on exports when natural river flows are lower.

There are a myriad of factors impacting salmon (and other fish) populations, including water quality, invasive species, predatory fish and ocean conditions.

A recent report by the National Research Council stated that improving ecological conditions in the Delta will fail if they don’t target multiple stressors, contrary to the constant drumbeat calling for a reduced water supply for farms, homes and businesses.

The Sacramento River fall Chinook escapement, ocean harvest and river harvest index clearly shows population (and harvest) peaks in 1988, 1995 and 2002 with corresponding dips in the intervening years. It is normal to expect a rise in salmon numbers now and in the next few years, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing.

Blaming the pumps or deliveries of water that flow through the Delta as the primary cause of reduced salmon populations is simply an exercise in hiding the facts.

California Farm Water Coalition

Thank you for sharing Alastair Bland’s article “Delta Blues.” As an employee with the Department of Fish and Game, I work closely with the state, the fish markets and fishermen (and women) who have studied these iconic species for decades.

Many consumers and amateur fishers do not realize that hatcheries produce the majority of the Chinook populations, and that very few are in fact “wild salmon.” The DFG regulations and monitoring tactics for our salmon populations are impeccable. However, the requirements for sustaining a bountiful and economically dependable fishery for a species faced with ultimate habitat destruction can never make everyone happy, therefore the DFG is constantly accused of salmon tragedy. It’s an honest case of biting the hand that feeds.

The true culprits are those mandating water rights to regions that had no viable sources to begin with. I encourage every consumer to turn her attention to the disastrous effect that rerouting waterways has already had on countless species, ecosystems and ultimately our local economies. Then perhaps we can start managing our resources, such as the beloved Chinook salmon, based on their needs for survival and not our own desires to manifest destiny.

San Francisco

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