On 26 February 2014, the California Advisory Committee on Salmon and Steelhead Trout sent California Department of Fish and Wildlife Director Charlton Bonham a letter recommending that the Department deny an incidental take permit and Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP) for the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP). The Advisory Committee was established by the legislature to advise the Director on actions necessary to protect and increase salmon and steelhead fisheries.
The letter pointed that populations of salmon and steelhead have experienced 90% declines since the State Water Project began exporting water from the Delta and opposed approving an NCCP for BDCP because:
- BDCP does not contribute to recovery and would jeopardize the continued existence of Sacramento River winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon.
- The concept of habitat restoration measures to offset impacts from increased water withdrawals from the Delta is not supported by science.
- The proponents of BDCP do not assure funding and water supplies for habitat restoration measures.
- BDCP does not include analysis on an alternative or alternatives that would meet the recovery goals for Sacramento River winter-run and spring-run Chinook salmon.
In sum, the BDCP does not meet the requirements of the California Endangered Species Act or a NCCP.