Madera Farmer Calls for Radanovich to Resign

October 22, 2008 12:35:04 AM PDT
Prominent Madera County almond grower, Dennis Prosperi is urging Republican Congressman George Radanovich to resign.Prosperi says the congressman's continued support of legislation to restore the San Joaquin River shows he's not in touch with his Agricultural constituents.

Radanovich, a Republican from Mariposa, who's served seven terms, has joined with Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, and Democratic Congressman Jim Costa of Fresno in trying to get the San Joaquin River Restoration Bill through Congress.

A federal judge has ruled construction of Friant Dam, East of Fresno, violated state and federal laws by failing to provide enough flow in the river to maintain the once annual Salmon run. The dam was built in the 1940's and was the target of environmental lawsuits since before its completion. The latest suit, brought by the National Resources Defense Council was settled two years ago, after 18 years of litigation. The settlement called for growers to give up some water in order to restore the river, which now runs dry North of Fresno. Irrigation districts in the area agreed to the settlement, but now some are balking because of other developments.

Federal court rulings restricting the pumping of water in the California Aqueduct has Fresno area growers concerned there will not be enough water for their crops if congress approves the river restoration bill.

Prosperi says Radanovich should give up on the bill, or quit. A spokesman for the congressman says he has no intention of resigning, and is continuing to work on the restoration measure.

Prosperi acknowledges the congressman is not likely to step down. He said: "I'm very confident George isn't going to resign, I just wanted to show my displeasure being involved in water for all these years."

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