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Bill Would Expand Protections For California's Rivers

morganhh / Flickr

morganhh / Flickr

A bill to expand protections for California's wild and scenic rivers is working its way through the state legislature.

The measure approved by an Assembly committee Monday would bring state rules in line with more expansive federal laws.

Supporters say California needs to step in now in case the federal government relaxes its rules under the new administration.

Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen voted against the bill and based his position on the state's water needs.

"This impacts the amount of water that's available to all Californians for future generations," Allen said.

Democratic Assemblyman Mark Stone disagreed.

"It's a false choice to say 'water for people, water for the environment,'" Stone said, "it's just a false choice, it always had been, and we don't need to get sucked into that rhetoric."

The California Farm Bureau was the only group registering opposition, but did not list anything specific at the hearing.

The bill is now headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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