MLPA: A more holistic approach to pro...

MLPA: A more holistic approach to protecting our ocean resources

There are 19 comments on the Eureka Times Standard story from Jun 29, 2010, titled MLPA: A more holistic approach to protecting our ocean resources. In it, Eureka Times Standard reports that:

As a fifth generation resident, I share a deep connection with my North Coast neighbors.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Eureka Times Standard.

Just wondering

San Bruno, CA

#1 Jun 29, 2010
Ms. Strom-Martin--

Since you used the term, can you please tell us how it is "holistic" simply to shut down fishing/gathering/harvesting in parts of the ocean? Wouldn't "holistic" instead actually include water quality and land issues upstream of the ocean? While I am sure it makes sense for the BRTF to start public "PR outreach" in local papers such as this one (while the law suits over the process start in SOCAL), and while I agree people NEED to show up at the open houses so they can see for themselves where all the special interests are driving this process, for you to claim this has been open and democratic and the greatest thing you have been involved in really brings into question your other projects.
Dan Bacher

Elk Grove, CA

#2 Jun 29, 2010
Virginia Strom-Martin
Your claim that the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's fast track MLPA Initiative is "the most open and transparent process" you have ever been involved with is mind boggling.
The truth is that Schwarzenegger's MLPA Initiative is a privately funded process overseen by oil industry, marina development, real estate and other corporate interests. Rather than truly protecting the ocean as the landmark law originally intended to do, the MLPA Initiative under Schwarzenegger has completely taken water pollution, habitat destruction, oil drilling, wave energy projects and all other human uses of the ocean other than fishing and seaweed harvesting off the table.
I have a series of questions to ask you and other proponents of Schwarzenegger's MLPA process. I asked many of these same questions in response to a recent op-ed by Beth Warner and she failed to respond.
Why did the Governor and MLPA officials install an oil industry lobbyist, a marina developer, a real estate executive and other corporate interests as "marine guardians" to kick Indian Tribes, fishermen and seaweed harvesters, the greatest defenders of the oceans, off the ocean?
Why is Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the Western States Petroleum Association, allowed to make decisions as the chair of the BRTF for the South Coast and as a member of the BRTF for the North Coast, panels that are supposedly designed to "protect" the ocean, when she has called for new oil drilling off the California coast?
Why has the Initiative shown very little respect for tribal subsistence and ceremonial rights to date? This is an overt violation of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Article 32, Section 2, of the Declaration mandates "free prior and informed consent" in consultation with the indigenous population affected by a state action ( ).
Why did MLPA staff until recently violate the Bagley-Keene Act and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by banning video and audio coverage of the initiative's work sessions?
Why do the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) and Science Advisory Team continue to violate the California Public Records Act by refusing to respond to numerous requests by Bob Fletcher, former DFG Deputy Director, for key documents and records pertaining to the MLPA implementation process?
Why does the initiative discard the results of any scientists who disagree with the MLPA' pre-ordained conclusions? These include the peer reviewed study by Dr. Ray Hilborn, Dr. Boris Worm and 18 other scientists, featured in Science magazine in July 2009, that concluded that the California current had the lowest rate of fishery exploitation of any place studied on the planet.
Why do MLPA staff and the California Fish and Game Commission refuse to hear the pleas of the representatives of the California Fish and Game Wardens Association, who oppose the creation of any new MPAs until they have enough funding for wardens to patrol existing reserves?
Why are you, a former Democratic legislator, now collaborating with Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the worst Governor for fish and the environment in history, who has presided over the unprecedented collapse of Central Valley chinook salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon, striped bass and other fish populations?
Finally, why is a private corporation, the shadowy Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, being allowed to privatize ocean resource management in California through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the DFG?
"It is only by working together that we can ensure a healthy ocean and successfully teach future generations to be good stewards for our precious community assets," you claim.
How can you possibly conclude that a privately funded initiative filled with so many confllcts of interest and violations of state, federal and international laws will result in a "healthy ocean?"

San Jose, CA

#4 Jul 1, 2010
Dan's assessment of this process and conflicts of interest are accurate.

We all care about the environment. The real threat is big corporations infiltrating government, funding nonprofits which support a legislative path and using cult like tactics to divide the common people of this country.

People care about the land and ocean.

Find an experienced freediver, put a mask on and go explore for a few years. You will ultimately learn how lush our ocean is and how easily extremists groups can create bad data for corporations.

America, wake up! Follow the money and data. The MLPA is a multi-layered tool designed to make huge money for a few select kings.



Muskogee, OK

#5 Jul 1, 2010
who published this dumb a$$ broad anyway? If the Times Standard wanted to hear from the real stewards of the ocean they would ask the men and women that raised their children on it. Start in Shelter Cove... go be a real reporter and get a real story. Give the power of exposure to the working man's truth...instead of corporations and politicians. We have to read enough of their crap.

Arcata, CA

#6 Jul 2, 2010
This is all about big government controlling yet more aspects of our lives. Yet more layers of government committees, boards, commissions, panels, forums, etc etc. Wake up people. Enough is enough. Go Karen!
Bill Clinton

Newark, CA

#7 Jul 2, 2010
You know, there's a lot you can do with an oyster if you know what I mean, hint hint. I love them slippery critters!
Mike Carpenter

United States

#9 Jul 2, 2010
I am sorry for my missing words and my grammar in my statement before.
I have been fishing since i was old enough to hold a fishing pole i have been an Urchin diver since 1986 and dove in Alaska to the Mexican border cold to warm snow on your suit and gear to kelp flies to whales saying hi.I just write thing some times and do not read them over enough because this process has taken my life from me.I sit in a room with Bill L.who is making just $38.00 an Hr. to make his points which the NRDC pays him to do.I have 1000 Min. hrs on and under the ocean i challenge any of these people to show me the decline of abalone on the north coast and from what point do they start.
The complaint i have with Virgina is she co authored a bill that put with, the others(bills) that all fit into this take over of fishing rights and allow NGO's to take over with grant money and tax free donations gotten from lies or well worded text to miss lead the persons who know nothing, about the ocean. I am a diver not a writer and that will cost me dearly i will lose everything i ever worked for to people who have no idea where the fish they eat come from or how it is getting more and more toxic the people who test fish say they would not eat most fish.The north Pacific is OK the fish is not bad for you. Dan Bacher is the MAN what he is writing is all true and i thank him because i know how much time it takes to validate this stuff and then people will not listen until it will be to late. The 21st is the day we can give comment keep listening.

Fortuna, CA

#10 Jul 2, 2010
I'm not scientist, but if the government really wanted to make an IMMEDIATE difference on our local fish populations. Wouldn't they make PG&E remove their fish killing damns from the Eel river?? This MLPA stuff is 10% about saving fish, and 90% about creating more bureaucracy!!

The latest argument from the pro MPA's is that the recent increase in the harvest of rock fish is unsustainable... Well if you own a 20k boat and you're no longer allowed to salmon fish you're going to Rock fish. Thus increasing the annual harvest. I'm wondering also.. Has there been any thought on what will happen to the areas not closed by the MPAs?? Common sense tells me that if you crowd all of the local sport fishermen into certain areas, they are going to over fish it. Why not keep everywhere open as to spread out the harvest.

Some other counter productive restrictions are the size limits and not being able to keep certain species of Rock fish. When a fish is hooked and reeled to the surface it causes stress and possibly even injury. allot of times this stress and injury caused will make any attempt to return the fish to the bottom futile, and result in releasing a dead fish. Now if a fisherman had to keep the every fish he caught (no matter the size or species) until he met his limit. The amount of fish saved from being released dead would be unmeasurable. The repealing of (rock fish) size and species reg.s and the induction of a (rock fish) catch and keep/no upgrading fish reg. would save more fish and cost the state next to nothing. As compared to this MLPA stuff.
McK Fish Bio

Belmont, CA

#11 Jul 8, 2010

Most fishermen and biologists I've talked to have called the MLPA the most UN-transparent process they've ever encountered. I'm in total agreement with the points and questions raised by Dan Bacher and feel that you really need to re-examine what this process is doing, the source of funding driving it, and the agendas of the people involved. There is not a single person on the BRTF that has a technical background in marine fisheries or conservation biology -the panel is loaded with special interest groups that have NO interest in our local economic and social benefits derived from sustainable ocean fisheries. Your current stance on this sham of a process has lost my vote whenever (or if) you run for re-election. Shame on you!

United States

#12 Jul 10, 2010
Shame on Wesley Chesbro for pushing this too. Vote them all out!
Karen Brooks

United States

#13 Jul 11, 2010
You may find this information useful as to one aspect why MLPA is not enforceable.

The law:
Section 25. The people shall have the right to fish upon and from the public lands of the State and in the waters thereof, excepting upon lands set aside for fish hatcheries, and no land owned by the State shall ever be sold or transferred without reserving in the people the absolute right to fish thereupon; and no law shall ever be passed making it a crime for the people to enter upon the public lands within this State for the purpose of fishing in any wate containing fish that have been planted therein by the State; provided, that the legislature may by statute, provide for the season when and the conditions under which the different species of fish may be taken.

SEC. 4. No individual, partnership, or corporation, claiming or possessing the frontage or tidal lands of a harbor, bay, inlet, estuary, or other navigable water in this State, shall be permitted to exclude the right of way to such water whenever it is required for any public purpose, nor to destroy or obstruct the free navigation of such water; and the Legislature shall enact such laws as will give the most liberal construction to this provision, so that access to the navigable waters of this State shall be always attainable for the people thereof.
Brooks For Assembly 2010

United States

#14 Jul 11, 2010
We cannot be complacent in this "openly ignored" process. Virginia has no idea of what is actually happening. North Coast, we must persistently and peacefully protest the state's control of our sustainable fishing industry.

I went to the Eureka and Crescent City Open Houses. What is abundantly clear to me is the "big stick" the staff coerce the public with. The public wants "Alternative Zero", which is to continue with the state and federal regulations, restrictions, limits, and MPAs as they currently exist and monitor the fishery. The monitoring could be conducted by entering into research partnerships with Humboldt and Sonoma State University for studies and compare it to baseline monitoring, saving the state the cost of enforcement.

We want a "carrot" not a "stick." This community has worked hard the past 10-15 years addressing depletion and habitat restoration, but the state comes in and says, "this doesn't fit into our interpretation of the law." The North Coast is already abiding the goals stated in MLPA, but the science advisory wants to shut it down, period.

The SA stated that the proposals the public were reviewing wasn't going to be acceptable to them!!

At these "open houses" staff responds to the public's dislike of the proposals by saying, "you should see what the science advisory wants, they'll shut it all down. We need to know what you can live with." The public is being threatened to go along or else it will be worse! How is this open? How is this cooperative?

This process is more like a forced march off a cliff. This seemly "done deal" is not over by a long shot. Our assemblyman has been deafeningly silent when he chairs the Committee on Fishery and Aquaculture and can easily add, delete, or modify any MPA. So while our fishing community loses sleep and worries about their future, Wesley is hiding out in Sacramento. He is too busy fundraising to care about the "little people."

It is time for the first district to see our assemblyman for what he really is, a spineless empty suit. He doesn't have the courage to do the right thing, he'll wait out the election and if elected double-down on taxes then seal our fate by using the MLPA to shut down our sustainable fishing industry. All the while with his "Cheshire-cat" grin.

The choice is clear, continue being "openly ignored" or send me, your advocate, to clean-up Sacramento. I don't have to wait til November to do the right thing and I'm not even elected.......yet.

We deserve better,
Karen Brooks
Brooks For Assembly 2010

United States

#15 Jul 11, 2010
Thanks Karen Brooks for your input on this issue. People have worked in natural resources related businesses since forever (Indian Fishing Rights). New legislation and new laws in many cases not only shut down our opportunity to work but also are a burden on many fine State Agency employees already overworked and who end up having to implement and enforce them. I'm not a State employee but I know State employees who are already "maxed out". I can't move forward in pursuing my natural resource based employment, and as a result haven't paid Board of Equalization Taxes in quite a while (direct loss of revenue to the State of California). If restrictions are for the benefit of protection of our natural resource base it's one thing, but many times as we all know policy is based on politics and not science. It's more than the MLPA, it's forestry, mining and farming. Policy and law based on science to protect, enhance and restore the natural resource base that support jobs on the Northcoast and not to support Lawyers working to shut down our ability to work, support our families and communities, and pay taxes on our production to support reasonable agency oversight and timely reasonable permitting needed to regulate wise use and management of our natural resources gets me pretty depressed at times. It affects not only my family but many others as well. It's not just about me, it's about my communities "right to work" and as an adjunct being able to pay reasonable tax revenues that support government.
Dan Bacher

Elk Grove, CA

#16 Jul 13, 2010
Strom-Martin still hasn't answered even one of the questions about the MLPA fiasco that I posed to her. How shameful!

I find it appaling that Strom-Martin, a former Democratic legislator, is now collaborating with Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the worst Governor for fish and the environment in history, to railroad his fast-track MLPA Initiative over Indian Tribes, fishermen and coastal communities.

This is the same Governor that has presided over the unprecedented collapse of Central Valley chinook salmon, Delta smelt, longfin smelt, green sturgeon, striped bass and other fish populations. Strom-Martin's false statement about the MLPA process being "open and transparent" only serves to greenwash Schwarzenegger's war on Indian Tribes, fishermen and the California coast.

Strom-Martin is a willing tool of Schwarzenegger's drive to privatize the California coast under the privately-funded MLPA. Let's hope that lawsuits and protests by tribes, fishermen and environmental activists are able to delay this process until the next Governor comes into office. Hopefully, the next Governor, seeing the massive opposition to the MLPA Initiative and violation of numerous state, federal and international laws that have occurred under the process, will suspend the MLPA.

The MOU between the Resource Legacy Fund Foundation and the DFG should be suspended, taking the private corporate money out of the MLPA process. This MOU is a living definition of bad public policy.

Then there should be a complete and independent investigation of the conflicts of interests and the violations of state, federal and international laws under the MLPA. This investigation should include how oil industry, marina development, real estate and other corporate officials - people with clear conflicts of interests in the process - were appointed to the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force.

United States

#17 Jul 13, 2010
The legislature needs to pass the budget. Do your job.

Virginia Strom Martin also shut down miners ability to operate gold dredges by using the fishery as an excuse. Wesley Chesbro also supported shutting down gold mining. They seem more interested in reducing opportunity than creating opportunity. Using the fishery as a political tool to create more laws to make more criminals. If it was about strengthening fish stocks it would be one thing, but both Wes and Virginia are politicians of the worst ilk. Making laws that burden both citizens and state agency folks that have to enforce the new laws they create to punish those of us that live and work on the northcoast. And there is no money for increased enforcement and throwing more people in jail for trying to make a living and feeding our families.

Get to work pass the budget. State workers don't need to be penalized by bad legislators that create more laws and policy based on fictional ideas about how to "bring the salmon back".

Time for change in Sacramento.

United States

#18 Jul 13, 2010
Dan Bacher wrote:
Strom-Martin , a former Democratic legislator, is now collaborating with Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to railroad coastal communities.
Railroad to nowhere. She scre*ed the mining community too. People who work in natural resource based jobs in general are scr*wed as long as these kinds of people are elected. And she's not a former Democrat. She is a Democrat Dan.
Wadi Halfa

San Diego, CA

#19 Jul 23, 2010
Keywords platitudes and rhetoric.
Designed to placate and entrain the public.
Thinking that the only way out of this is a statewide referendum.
virginia strom-martin

Orangevale, CA

#20 Oct 20, 2010
Harry wrote:
<quoted text>
Railroad to nowhere. She scre*ed the mining community too. People who work in natural resource based jobs in general are scr*wed as long as these kinds of people are elected. And she's not a former Democrat. She is a Democrat Dan.
I was "termed out" of office in 2002. Check out my fisheries and tribal legislation when I was in office. I would not have been awarded the Fisheries Legislator of the Year by the PCFF if I was scre*wing the fishermen. I did not vote for the mining bill. PLEASE STOP SPEWING FALSE STATEMENTS. Do a little research and GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.
How soon you forget..........
I remember

Fortuna, CA

#21 Oct 21, 2010
virginia strom-martin wrote:
<quoted text>
I was "termed out" of office in 2002. Check out my fisheries and tribal legislation when I was in office. I would not have been awarded the Fisheries Legislator of the Year by the PCFF if I was scre*wing the fishermen. I did not vote for the mining bill. PLEASE STOP SPEWING FALSE STATEMENTS. Do a little research and GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.
How soon you forget..........
Hey Virginia, I haven't forgot how you failed to do anything for the Eel river. You know, the river that gets it's water stolen by your beloved Russian river. I also remember that you are on the board of directors for the advocacy group "Russian Riverkeepers". What a strange coincidence? You know what else is a funny coincidence ... Russian Riverkeeper is partially funded by VINEYARDS. Vineyards who rely on Eel river water to grow their grapes. That means vineyard money is being funneled through Riverkeeper into your pocket and being called B.O.D. compensation. So quit the flipping posturing and tell us who you really are. A G.D. politician!! Now after you termed out and failed to obtain the Senate seat of Wes Chesbro that you wanted. You get appointed to a multitude of politician appointed positions IE: Blue ribbon task force, Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, Legislative Advocate L.A. unified school dist. etc... I guess those are the perks of being a "good ol boy". Yep Virginia, keep going with the flow and you'll be provided a good taxpayer funded income for the rest of your life.

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