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Old 04-01-2009, 06:43 PM
landwhale landwhale is offline
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Default Breaking MLPA News and call to action

From Western Outdoor News. This is Pat McDonnell’s column. %20DRAW%20SOME%20ATTENTION%20IN%20SACRAMENTO

Monday, March 30, 2009

One has to liken the MLPA process to a baby elephant. When it was first brought into the house in 1999 it was manageable, an effort signed into law that would organize, improve and link our state’s patchwork of coastal reserves.

It has, in the years since, evolved into a massive marine resource land grab with dubious intentions, high costs, conflicts of interest and no indications our state will be able to fund the science or the enforcement. The elephant has outgrown its welcome. We can’t house it, and we sure can’t afford it.

The outcry from sportsmen is now being heard in Sacramento. The costs have escalated from $250,000 to $35 million a year, and it’s a price tag we simply can’t stomach at a time when public safety budgets are being cut, our best and brightest teachers are being pink-slipped and we may end up with a force of wardens that, laughably, will be 100-strong for the entire state. A “Thin Green Line” indeed.

Last Saturday, at a fundraising dinner in San Francisco, Senate Majority Speaker Dean Florez (D-Shafter), had an interesting topic for his rubber chicken speech: “The runaway cost of the MLPA and the special interests running the process.”

Florez told the assembled crowd of recreational anglers and press he will convene a hearing into the MLPA process to determine how the costs have escalated in 10 years to $35 million with no way to fund it. Further, Florez said that Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) is aware of the issue and in favor of such a hearing. Music to our ears. Finally someone in political power has tuned into this madness.

Better yet, Florez intends to look into claims of conflict of interest in the State Fish and Game Commission, which is the end of the line for any MLPA proposal. A massive closure in the Central Coast has already been rubber stamped by the commission and the EIR was just finished for the North Central Coast, opening the way for final commission approval for that area. The South Coast project and the SoCal closures it promises are coming at us like a freight train and is yet one more indication of the unholy alliance between the well-heeled enviro community and Governor Schwarzenegger’s appointees.

Florez also told the crowd he intends to have Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman called before the Committee to answer “tough questions” at that hearing about the finding sources for running the MLPA process and possible conflicts of interest. We’ve been asking those questions for years. In our mind, sportsmen are being led to slaughter in the face of a monumental effort by environmentalists to fund the process and skew it for their own reserve-grabbing agenda.

Conflicts of interest will be as easy for Florez and other senators to spot as, well, an elephant. At the dinner, he cited Fish and Game Commissioner Mike Sutton and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The conflict there is only too obvious. Florez will be asking Commissioner Sutton why he neglected to list his income from the Monterey Bay Aquarium on state Form 700 during the Commission vetting process, and whether Sutton, an officer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and who was once an officer in the Packard Foundation, should be allowed to vote on the MLPA closures. Of course not!

It is the Packard Foundation that is pouring money into the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation (RLFF) that is funding the MLPA process, since the DFG has nowhere near the resources to keep it going. The RLFF kicked in $18 million into the process so far (but has not committed to any funding after the state lands are stolen from sportsmen). The biggest red flag? It has been reported that the Packard Foundation has provided $120 million over three years to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where Sutton works.


To Everyone Concerned With The Threat of MPAsfficeffice" />
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:05 PM
Granite Goliath Granite Goliath is offline
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Default Re: Breaking MLPA News and call to action

Thanks for the heads up
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