Advertisement

The State

October 25, 1987

The California Department of Fish and Game plans to require private operators of selenium-poisoned farm waste water ponds in the southern San Joaquin Valley to institute programs to scare birds away. A bird-scaring program using noisemakers and ground patrols--known as "hazing"--has been under way since 1984 at the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge, where massive numbers of bird deformities and deaths have been attributed to toxic levels of the trace mineral selenium in farm drainage water. Recent analysis of ponds and birds in the Tulare Lake Basin at the south end of the San Joaquin Valley revealed selenium levels in livers of some shorebirds nearly double those of similar birds at Kesterson. Some of the largest agribusinesses in the state drain their waste waters into the Tulare Lake Basin ponds in Kern and Kings counties. Tulare Lake was dried up and made available for farming when the Kings River was dammed in the 1950s.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|