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Summer 2011

FWA 1991-2011 "Celebrating 20 Years"

When Glenn Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) saw drastic water cutbacks due to Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the listing of the winter-run Chinook salmon the impacts to the surrounding communities were devastating. The socioeconomic impacts were hard to ignore, and concerned farmers and ranchers got together and created Family Water Alliance to assure that our issues were being heard by key decision makers. Twenty years later, we stand as a strong grassroots voice for the protection of agriculture, private property rights and water rights. The issues that face rural communities affect our urban neighbors much differently and that is why it is our mission to educate the public about the issues that impact rural farming communities. FWA feels that it is important to stand for something, and not against everything, so not only do we educate the public about issues that impact our way of life, but we assist in finding solutions to those problems.

After the water supply cutback at GCID, FWA organized buses of people to go to Sacramento for the largest ever ag rally at the State Capitol. The rally was successful in getting the attention of decision makers to find a solution to the ESA that was crippling our local economy. The ESA still remains a weapon wielded by environmental groups’ against property owners and irrigation districts. FWA has supported efforts to reform the ESA and we will continue to do so.

Some question the effectiveness of grassroots activism, but the questions should really be what’s the cost of doing nothing? Our way of life, and daily farm and ranch practices are constantly under attack by those that simply do not understand. Those in the agricultural industry are villianized as wasters of water who are destroying the environment when nothing could be further from the truth. Being a grassroots voice means speaking out against those who want to make criminals out of those who are just trying to make a living.

Over the past twenty years the support of our communities has truly been humbling. The FWA board of directors and staff thank all those for their unwavering support over the years. Our work is not done and we will continue to fight for rural communities. If you have an issue that FWA can be of help with please feel free to contact us at (530) 438-2026 or at ■

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