FRESNO, Calif. — On Thursday the San Joaquin River Access Coalition filed a lawsuit against the San Joaquin River Conservancy.
They said the conservancy has halted the project to open an access point to the trail on Palm and Nees.
“Just last month in February, although we hit all the benchmarks, they decided they were not going to go forward with access to Palm and Nees,” said John Kinsey, Attorney representing San Joaquin River Access Coalition.
The coalition said they have gotten close to providing access to the trail to residents, but the conservancy has stopped their efforts. They hope the lawsuit forces the coalition to get back on track.
“It sets everybody back to get access to the river in a timely manner,” said Kinsey.
The Chairman of the Conservancy who the coalition is sewing actually agrees with them.
“For the goal line to be moved at the end, I know it was frustrating, it was for me, so I can’t imagine for them,” said Brett Frazier, Chairman of the San Joaquin River Conservancy.
He said a few new San Joaquin River Conservancy board members are to blame for changing the initial agreement.
“We had new board members that weren’t there at the beginning. They hadn’t gone through the full vetting process and changed it and didn’t have a full grasp of the project,” said Frazier.
The coalition said 90% of their lawsuit is asking the conservancy to rescind the vote they took back in February to halt the project. Our legal analyst David Mugridge says that adds to their credibility.
“The fact that they are not asking for a financial sum speaks well of them because it is not like they are going in to fight about money,” said David Mugridge, legal analyst.