The California Latino Water Coalition is taking up Eric's cause and moving it forward with an international forum April 7 in San Diego's Balboa Park. Click here for details.
Click here to watch the Ch. 10
Capital Press Agriculture News
Eric's letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor's Response to Eric (6/5/08).
Eric's Letter to Mike Chrisman and Lester Snow (6/5/08)
Eric Anderson heads to Sacramento to spur action on critical water issues
For Immediate Release
Contact: Eric Anderson
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May 19, 2008
Local farmer taking tractor and message to Sacramento
ELFIN FOREST, CA - Driven to frustration by a lack of action over the years by California’s leaders to create a water system that is adequate to serve farms and a growing population, farmer Eric Anderson is making plans to drive home a message. On Thursday May 22 at 11:00 a.m., Mr. Anderson will climb aboard his tractor at his family farm in Elfin Forest for a nearly 500 mile drive to the state capitol, arriving on Memorial Day for a picnic at a nearby park.
“Sometimes I wonder if anyone in Sacramento is listening. We have farmers across the state and right here in San Diego County who have had their water supplies slashed,” Anderson recently stated. He added, “While farmers are having their livelihoods threatened all we get from Sacramento is partisan bickering.” Next year the whole Southern California economy faces catastrophe if there is no water to deliver.
When speaking recently to farm colleagues about the long tractor ride, Anderson said he couldn’t sit by any longer. The message he wants to deliver is that it is now time for action. “We’ve known for decades that this day of water shortages was coming, yet nothing has been done. I’m driving to Sacramento and asking for action,” Anderson said.
The action he plans to ask for includes more water storage to carry the state through dry years and a comprehensive fix for the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta where the water used by 25 million Californians originates. About 750,000 acres of farmland are irrigated by Delta water as well. He’ll also call on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to consider asking President Bush to convene the Endangered Species Committee, commonly referred to as the “God Squad,” to examine the Endangered Species Act limitations on water pumping from the Delta to most of California.
Asked why he chose a tractor ride Anderson replied, “I’m just one person, but I feel like I need to do something. I tried to figure out what I could do and writing a letter just seemed too small in comparison to the problem. I was sitting on my tractor at the time and it just hit me.”