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Family Water Alliance hosts fundraiser
Nearly two decades after Family Water Alliance supporters started gathering annually in Maxwell, the organization's largest fundraising event, Hot Cajun Nights, is still going strong.
Saturday's event at the Maxwell American Legion drew its usual large crowd of farmers, business owners and legislators.
About 250 people attended the event, which included a dinner and live auction.
The organization relies on the annual fundraiser, in addition to grant funding, to provide public education and promote legislation and policies that preserve private property rights, water rights and rural agricultural communities, said FWA Chairman Ray Davis.
"This is our one fundraiser that helps us stay on track and do the things we need to do," Davis said.
Family Water Alliance has led a long-term proactive fish screen program to assist farmers with the screening of agricultural diversions to not only protect the fisheries, but to protect their water rights and right to farm.
"We will have completed 40 fish screen diversions by next year," said FWA Executive Director Ashley Indrieri.
In the past year, Family Water Alliance has also address its concerns regarding several issues that effect farming, including the Central Valley Flood Protection Plan. The 2012 plan proposes setback levees and flood bypass expansions encompassing over 40,000 acres of farmland, mostly within the Central Valley.
While some upgrades and expansions are necessary, the private land that would be acquired to make this flood plan a reality is simply unacceptable and contrary to the input the Department of Water Resources received from the agricultural community at the stakeholder meetings, FWA officials said.
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), who spoke briefly at Saturday's event, said there were other issues that impact farming and private property rights the Family Water Alliance and its supporters must continue to be involved with.
"Family Water Alliance is very much heard in high circles," Nielsen said. "There is a concentrated effort in Sacramento to undo everything we have done, and we need Family Water Alliance to help turn the tide."
Nielsen encouraged Family Water Alliance members in 2013 to get out in the community and solicit new membership to keep the organization strong.
Saturday's dinner included its traditional tri-tip and salmon, along with jambalaya and cornbread.
Dinner was served by Maxwell High School Future Business Leaders of America members, who also served as auction runners.
The event was attended by guests and officials from Yolo, Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Glenn and Tehama counties.