The California High Speed Rail Authority is considering a new route for its cross-state system that will literally split farms in two, to avoid a bird sanctuary.
Mike Monteiro, owner of the Lakeside Dairy in Hanford, which is just about three miles down the road from the sanctuary, said he learned of the plan only through a concerned neighbor who warned that draft rail routes would split his land apart.
“It’s amazing to me that they’ve moved this rail across this farmland without any input from me or any of my neighbors on the impact that it’s going to have on my dairy,” said Monteiro, who owns 7,000 cattle on his thousand-acre farm. He’s certain that his business will be dramatically affected.
“The fact that I have three dairy operations that are going to be half on one side and half on the other (of the tracks), the transfer here on a daily basis is just going to be absolutely miserable for us,” he said.
Earlier projected maps showed two different alignments going through the Tulare Lake Bed, a wetlands-like region that attracts 200 species of birds, including waterfowl, gulls and shorebirds. Parts of the 1,300-acre region, maintained by the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District (KDWCD), Corcoran Irrigation District and Central Valley Flood Protection Board provide a habitat for the birds and are recommended for protection by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.
End this boondoggle now.