reporter_carr_031914Thousands of farmers in drought-stricken California are rallying this week in opposition to regulations that have frozen water supplies across the state. “It’s devastating, it’s like I’ll have to sell something. I’ll have to sell half to maintain the other half,” Alfalfa farmer Michael Erskine said. Erskine said the drought, combined with cuts to water deliveries, have slashed his bottom line by more than 50 percent. At issue is a Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last week that upheld federal guidelines limiting water deliveries from the northern part of the state to the southern part of the state — to protect an endangered fish called the Delta smelt. The ruling went against a lower-court ruling that overturned the 2008 guidelines from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Environmentalists fought to preserve those guidelines, but farmers say they’re preventing vital water supplies from reaching the areas that need it most. MORE