25. June, 2012California MLPANo comments
With the recent adoption of marine protected areas in California’s northern region, a vast network of no-fishing zones along California’s coastal waters is now in place. However, the legal status surrounding how these no-fishing zones were established in the first place remains a question.
Coastside Fishing Club, a member of the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO)which represents the recreational fishing and boating community, announced that legal efforts against the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process, which established the no-fishing zones, continues. Coastside recently filed an opening brief in its appeal of an October 2011 ruling that upheld the regulations created through the MLPA process.
“While anti-fishing groups have celebrated the adoption of MLPA regulations throughout the state, we remain confident that these regulations were enacted without legal authority,” said Coastside Fishing Club’s President Rick Ross. “We are hopeful that through this appeal, the serious flaws in the MLPA process will be recognized by the court and, subsequently, overturned.”
Coastside Fishing Club, along with United Anglers of Southern California and California citizen Robert Fletcher, filed a lawsuit in January 2011, against the California Fish and Game Commission to invalidate regulations established through the MLPA process. The lawsuit cites a lack of statutory authority for the California Fish and Game Commission to adopt the closure regulations.
The Commission relies on a statute that was enacted as part of the Marine Managed Areas Improvement Act. This Act has certain prerequisites to regulatory action, which the Commission admittedly did not satisfy. Despite this, a judge in the San Diego Superior Court ruled against Coastside Fishing Club in October 2011, upholding the MLPA regulations.
After a careful review, Coastside concluded that the ruling is inconsistent with the mandates of the law as established by the legislature, and initiated the appeal process. A ruling from the appellate court is expected by year’s end.
“The legal effort against the MLPA is our best chance to stop these burdensome closures from continuing to negatively impact California’s fishing community,” said Ali Hussainy, president of BDOutdoors.com. “The best way for anglers to help fight for their fishing rights in California is to visit www.SaveCAFishing.org and make a contribution. All anglers need to stand together and fight for our right to fish before it’s too late.”
Along with the PSO, BDOutdoors launched www.SaveCAFishing.org to raise awareness of the legal challenge against the flawed MLPA process and to provide an opportunity for all anglers, boaters and anyone interested in a fair, legal process to contribute to the effort.
Under the “Donate” section of the site, individuals can contribute $5 or more a month on a recurring basis, or make a one-time donation. All proceeds directly support legal action to keep California’s healthy and abundant coastal waters open to recreational fishing.
15. March, 2012California MLPANo comments
Thanks to overwhelming response from anglers and hunters, the California state legislature backed off the resolution to remove Dan Richards from the California Fish and Game Commission. Richards had been unfairly attacked for taking part in a legal hunt and was being pushed to resign his post as president of the commission.
Anlgers reacted and began a petition to save Richards, who has been a voice or reason throughout the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) initiative, and a friend to fishermen. The public’s voice was heard and the state legislature is no longer considering a resolution to remove Richards from the commission.
For the past two weeks, California sportsmen and women have let their voice be heard speaking out in support of Richards. An avid angler and hunter, Richards had been attacked by extreme environmental and animal rights organizations for taking part in a legal hunt in Idaho.
Thousands of California sportsmen and women sent messages through KeepAmericaFishing to the state legislature and the commission in support of Richards. Many anglers also attended the March 7th commission meeting to provide comment and show support for Richards.
Why is Retaining Commissioner Richards So Important?
The organizations leading the charge against Richards have a much broader agenda. As a commissioner, Richards has consistently voted on the side of sound science and proven fish and wildlife management.
Richards has been a voice of reason throughout the MLPA initiative, a controversial program that threatens sport fishing in California, and the businesses and 20,000 jobs that depend on it by unnecessarily closing large areas of the ocean to recreational fishing.
If they had been successful in their efforts to remove Richards from the commission, these anti-fishing groups would have been one step closer to shutting anglers out of more of California’s best fishing spots.
KeepAmericaFishing does not believe the attacks are over and expects that the next tactic will be an attempt to unseat Richards as president of the commission. Please be ready to voice your support for keeping angler friendly members on the commission.
Richards was on hand at the Fred Hall sportsman show to speak with anglers and called the groups pushing the MLPA initiative the most “corrupt” entity he has dealt with in his career.
4. March, 2012California MLPANo comments
KeepAmericaFishing.org recently reported that Dan Richards, president of the California Fish and Game Commission and an avid angler, hunter and friend to sportsmen, is being unfairly attacked by extreme environmental and animal rights organizations for taking part in a legal hunt in Idaho. Now, Richards is being pressured to resign from his post by California legislators and Lt. Governor Newsom.
The California Fish and Commission will be hosting a public meeting on March 7 at the Mission Inn Hotel and Spa located at 3649 Mission Inn Ave in Riverside at 8:30 a.m. It’s crucial that the fishing and hunting community stand behind Dan Richards and attend this meeting to show their support.
Even if you are unable to attend next week’s meeting, you can still take action by sending your message of support to the California Legislature and the Fish and Game Commission. Click here to send your message today.
With all of the pressure from anti-fishing and anti-hunting interests, it is vital that California’s sportsmen and women speak up in support of Dan Richards. Attend the March 7 meeting in Riverside and deliver the message that you are a recreational angler, a conservationist and a strong supporter of Commission President Richards.
The organizations leading the charge against Richards have a much broader agenda. Richards has consistently been a voice of reason throughout the flawed Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) initiative, a controversial program that threatens sportfishing in California, and the businesses and 20,000 jobs that depend on it, by unnecessarily closing large areas of the ocean to recreational fishing. If successful in their efforts to remove Richards from the commission, these anti-fishing groups will be one step closer to shutting anglers out of more of California’s best fishing spots.
Key Messages to Share at the FGC meeting:
• As an avid angler and staunch conservationist, I support Dan Richards as President of the California Fish and Game Commission and oppose any measures to remove him from this position.
• Commissioner Richards understands his responsibility to both conserve California’s natural resources and take into account the impact of regulations on California’s citizens, its economy and the thousands of jobs that recreational fishing and hunting support.
• Commissioner Richards is an avid angler, a strong advocate for California’s sportsmen and women and a champion of statewide conservation measures. As a commissioner, Richards has consistently voted on the side of sound science and proven fish and wildlife management.
• Commissioner Richards should not be pressured to resign as President of the Fish and Game Commission for participating in legal, well managed hunting activities in other states.
Republican senators are standing behind Dan Richards and sent a letter to Senate Leader, Darrell Steinberg, expressing their concern over the unjustified campaign Animal Rights activists have waged against Richards who was photographed with a mountain lion he legally hunted in Idaho.
Several assembly members amped up the debate late last week by calling for Commissioner Richards’ resignation because hunting mountain lions is illegal in California.
“Hunters and anglers, who actually spend time outdoors, are those most invested in ensuring that California manages wildlife responsibly, and Dan Richards certainly fits that description,” said Senator Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale). “Once again, some Californian legislators are revealing their elitist attitude by trying to impose our laws on other states. Perhaps those calling for his resignation could be more informed about how a federalized system of government works.”
24. February, 2012California MLPA, UncategorizedNo comments
According to KeepAmericaFishing, Dan Richards, president of the California Fish and Game Commission and an avid angler, hunter and friend to sportsmen and women, is being unfairly attacked by extreme environmental and animal rights organizations for taking part in a legal hunt in Idaho. While hunting cougars may not be licensed in California, it is both legal and well-managed in Idaho.
These anti-fishing and hunting organizations initially pressured Richards to resign from his post as Fish and Game Commissioner. Now that he had rightly refused to yield to this pressure, legislative action is being considered to forcibly remove him from the commission.
All that is needed to remove Richards from the commission is a simple majority vote by California’s state legislature — and KeepAmericaFishing is requesting your help!
KeepAmericaFishing encourages all California sportsmen and women to send a letter to their state senate and assembly members expressing support for Commissioner Dan Richards and urging legislators to oppose any measure that would remove Richards from the commission. Click here to send your message today.
10. February, 2012California MLPA, UncategorizedNo comments
By Erik Landesfeind
I’ve been following the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) dog-and-pony show since it first came to town. I attended meetings, perused reports and read countless internet arguments about its pros and cons. But it wasn’t until yesterday that I truly realized just how convoluted the whole thing actually is.
While reading an argument about it on BD’s message board, I came across a question that I can’t believe I’d never asked myself: “Which particular species of marine life are they actually trying to protect?”
This may sound like a simple question, but after all that I’ve seen over the last three or four years, I still don’t have an answer to it.
The scientists on the payrolls of Big Oil and the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) claim that our fish stocks are in a state of complete collapse. The “Angry Housewives of Orange County” weep openly while waving pictures of dead pelicans and baby sea lions to try and keep the “evil-doers,” or in this case fishermen, out of their backyards.
In exchange for some extra credit, a souvenir t-shirt and a free box lunch, school kids turned into shills for the MLPA and were bussed to meetings to have an opportunity to share their vast knowledge on the state of California’s fisheries and smile for a great photo-op.
The omnipotent Packard Foundation proclaimed that fish should never be disturbed in their natural habitat. Instead they could be conveniently viewed at the Packard-funded Monterey Bay Aquarium, where the general public can get an up-close-and-personal look at fish in a replica of their natural environment for only $32.95 per person. Their only request is that you turn a blind eye to the massive amount of wastewater that the aquarium pumps directly into the natural environment of Monterey Bay as they feel that this is but a small price to pay for the opportunity to witness the wonders of the open ocean while munching on a $6 hot dog in air-conditioned comfort.
Fishermen are as guilty as anyone of having strong opinions about the MLPA and the consensus among them is that there’s nothing wrong with our fisheries and that we don’t need any more restrictions.
Opinions about the MLPA are like gaudy Christmas sweaters — most of us have one, but it’s never a good idea to wear it in public. You’re just going to make yourself look like an ass.
Dog-and-pony show aside, what is the actual intent of the MLPA? Well, the Surfrider Foundation’s website states, “The MLPA’s goals are to: ‘set aside’ areas of the ocean to increase fish populations, enhance marine habitat, and improve recreational and educational opportunities.”
That sounds really nice, doesn’t it? Heck, if I was coming out of the supermarket and someone asked me to sign up to support something like that I’d do it in a heartbeat. I mean, who wouldn’t want more fish, enhanced marine habitat and improved recreational opportunities? I always hated going to school, so I’d have a little trouble getting behind the “educational opportunities” part, but I figure it’s a small price to pay for getting all of that other cool stuff. The sad part is, that when you look at the actual interpretation of this enticingly written bit of legislature, there is no cool stuff — at least not for us fishermen.
The former leader of our great state, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who I’m ashamed to say I voted for, pushed the MLPA through in hopes of leaving behind a legacy of environmental protection and to draw attention away from the fact that he left our state in the economic toilet. But the implementation of his grandiose plan just isn’t feasible. The California coastline is one of the most densely populated parts of our country and no matter what we do, it will never return to the pristine beauty of 100 years ago. Too many toilets get flushed, too many cargo ships and oil tankers dock here and too many developers build homes down to the waterline.
Unless everyone that lives within 10 miles of the coast is willing to move to Riverside, stop buying foreign-made goods, walk rather than drive and dig an outhouse in their backyard, the waters along our coastline will never go back to being pristine. So what can the environmentalists do? Well, the obvious choice is to find a scapegoat to blame for the problem. And fishermen drew the short straw.
Since it was more practical than relocating half the population, they decided to protect the best marine habitat. It was as easy as gathering data on where people catch the most fish and closing those areas off, because the areas where people catch the most fish are obviously the areas that have the best marine habitat. The scientists used confusing terms like “deep rock, larval dispersion and persistent kelp” to explain why they chose certain areas, but even an idiot like me can figure out that they simply closed the areas that held the most fish.
Banning fishing in these areas may increase the fish populations within them, but how does it enhance the marine habitat and how does it offer improved recreational and educational opportunities? The bottom line is that it doesn’t. It just makes it appear as if the environmentalists are doing something productive.
The bottom line is that the entire MLPA process is a complete joke, but if left unchecked, it could very easily lead to a complete collapse of our fishing lifestyle. The pro-MLPA people have a lot of big money behind them and they weren’t satisfied with the amount of closures that they got, so you can bet they are going to be pushing for more in the near future.
The good news is that the MLPAs are currently being challenged in court and there has been some positive rulings that, with a little luck, might result in them being overturned.
If you’re a fisherman, now is NOT the time to sit back and wait to see how it all shakes out. It’s time to take action. Joining the fight is as simple as going to www.savecafishing.org and donating as little as $5 per month to help with the legal costs associated with this battle. I’d rather spend my money fighting this than paying $40 to look at fish behind glass.
This article was originally published on www.bdoutdoors.com. Erik writes a weekly column for BD called So Cal Scene, detailing all of the Southern California fishing action. To read more of Erik’s articles, CLICK HERE.
10. February, 2012California MLPA, UncategorizedNo comments
Court of Appeals Rules Against the Fish and Game Commission and Allows Appeal to be Heard
On January 30, 2012, the California Court of Appeals ruled in favor of allowing an appeal filed by Coastside Fishing Club, one of the three petitioners in litigation before the San Diego Superior Court challenging MLPA regulations adopted by California’s Fish and Game Commission for the North Central Coast, to proceed without delay. Coastside filed its appeal on December 15, 2011 with California’s 4th District Court of Appeal. In response, lawyers for the commission asked the Court to dismiss Coastside’s appeal on grounds that it was premature. The Court denied the commission’s request without comment.
Coastside appealed Judge Ronald Prager’s denial of its request for a Writ of Mandate voiding MLPA regulations adopted by the commission for California’s North Central Coast in 2009 based on legal defects in implementing California law. After a careful review, Coastside concluded that Judge Prager’s October 2011 ruling is inconsistent with the mandates of the law as established by the legislature. The outcome of the appeal of Judge Prager’s ruling on the North Central Coast regulations would likely influence the resolution of a similar challenge to the validity of the South Coast regulations brought in the same lawsuit by Coastside’s co-plaintiffs, United Anglers of Southern California and Robert C. Fletcher.
“Now that the MLPA regulations have gone into effect in Southern California, I hope anglers fully recognize the significant threat these unwarranted closures pose to the future of saltwater fishing in California,” said John Gaebel, chairman of United Anglers of Southern California. ”Fortunately the battle is not over yet, as the legal challenge continues to move forward in the Court of Appeals. Now, more than ever, we need folks to step up and contribute as much as they can to help us keep up the fight.”
To raise funds for the legal challenge, the PSO is urging anglers, boaters and anyone interested in a fair legal process to donate what they can through www.SaveCAFishing.org and contribute to the effort. Under the “Donate” section of the site, individuals can contribute $5 or more a month on a recurring basis, or make a one-time donation. All proceeds will directly support legal action to keep California’s healthy and abundance coastal waters open to sportfishing.
“Based on initial returns, the SaveCAFishing.org website has tremendous potential to raise the funds needed to protect sportfishing access in California,” said Bob Fletcher, former president of the Sportfishing Association of California and a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “In order to keep the legal challenge going over the coming months, we need anglers to step up and pledge their support. A simple $5 or more monthly contribution to the legal effort will go a long way towards ensuring that current and future generations can enjoy accessing California’s coastal waters.”
5. November, 2011California MLPA, UncategorizedNo comments
The California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) recently announced that it has selected January 1, 2012 as the effective date for implementation of the marine protected areas (MPAs) in Southern California. The revised effective date is for the South Coast Study Region, which spans from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the U.S./Mexico border.
According to DFT, the Commission adopted regulations to create a suite of MPAs on December 15, 2010 in this study region.
Here’s what the agency said in the statement: “Developed pursuant the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), this network of 49 MPAs and three special closures covers approximately 354 square miles of state waters and represents approximately 15 percent of the region.
“The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) requested clarification and further information, thus disapproving the original regulatory package. This ineffectuated the Commission’s previously selected implementation date of October 1. All of the information requested by OAL is expected to be provided in time for the Commission to put the potential re-adoption of the regulatory package on its October agenda.
“If re-adopted, the new effective date of January 1, 2012, selected today, allows time for OAL to review and approve the re-submitted regulations, finalizing the lawmaking process. It also allows the Commission and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to better inform affected ocean users of the new regulations.”
You can read more about the DFG’s planning for the MPAs or MLPA at www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/southcoast.asp.
Several groups are battling against the MPA and MLPA on behalf of anglers as we will be the ones most affected from this action. To join in the fight against the MPA, visit the United Anglers of Southern California website at www.unitedanglers.com and read about the Ocean Access Protection Fund. This is a grass-roots effort to raise funds to fight the MPA and the big enviros behind it. Everyone’s help is needed to keep this closure from happening.
3. October, 2011California MLPA, UncategorizedNo comments
The Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) and Master Plan Team (MPT) did not produce important information under California’s Public Records Act in their mission to create no-fishing zones, and it’s going to cost them. A March 10, 2011 California Superior Court ruling ordered that the BRTF and MPT payback 100-percent of the legal fees incurred by recreational angling groups in a 2010 lawsuit stemming from the MLPA’s lack of producing important information about their actions in adopting marine protected areas in the ocean waters off the California coast. The amount of retribution was not disclosed.
The court found in favor of Robert C. Fletcher, former president of the Sportfishing Association of California, a member of the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans, ordering the provision of information in regards to the activities and decisions of the BRTF and MPT. This ruling confirms that these are in fact public agencies and therefore required to carry on their business in an open and transparent manner.
“This is a significant monetary award on our behalf, but it represents only a small portion of what we’ve invested in battling the unlawful MLPA process so far,” says David Elm, Chairman of United Anglers of Southern California and director of the Ocean Access Protection Fund. “Even more important than the financial ramifications of this decision is the signal that it sends. The court has now decided in our favor twice based on the merits of our original case against the BRTF and MPT.”
Although this represents a major victory for recreational anglers in the state of California, the battle is far from over. With such a major legal battle before anglers, Elm was quick to point out how important contributions are to fight off this unlawful practice. He stressed the need to contribute to the Ocean Access Protection Fund, the nonprofit organization established to finance legal representation on behalf of recreational fishermen against the MLPA.
“This latest court decision has given both encouragement and additional resources to our efforts,” says Elm. “But we have a long way to go, and continued success will only be possible with ongoing support from anglers across California. We will continue our aggressive awareness and fundraising campaigns, allowing us to keep up our full-court press on the flawed MLPA process.”
The United Anglers of Southern California, Coastside Fishing Club and Robert Fletcher filed another lawsuit on January 27 in the San Diego County Superior Court seeking to set aside the MLPA regulations for the North Central and South Coast study regions. This pending lawsuit cites a lack of statutory authority for the Fish and Game Commission to adopt the regulations, and, in the case of the South Coast regulations, numerous violations of the California Environmental Quality Act in the commission’s environmental review of the regulations.
It’s extremely important that recreational anglers continue to support the work of UASC and the American Sportfishing Association in their fight to keep California’s waters opent to anglers. The best way to stay informed on the legal action regarding the MLPA Process is to visit www.keepamericafishing.org. To do your part, please make a contribution to the Ocean Access Protection Fund, by visiting www.oceanaccessprotectionfund.org. You can also purchase a $10 “Let Us Fish” cap and all of the proceeds go to the OAPF. Purchase your cap through the AFTCO website by clicking here.
You can also stay abreast of these closures and many other issues by visiting the Keep America Fishing website.
24. September, 2011California MLPA, UncategorizedNo comments
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the KeepAmericaFishing.org website have formally asked California Governor Jerry Brown to remove Richard Rogers from the California Fish and Game Commission. According to ASA, Rogers’ voting record shows he is no friend to California’s sportfishing community or the state’s economy.
“At a time when California faces record unemployment levels, Governor Brown can take one simple action to remove a major impediment to the state’s economy — remove Richard Rogers from the Fish and Game Commission,” the ASA said in a written statement. “Even though his term expired on January 15, 2011, Rogers continues to sit on the Commission because the Governor has yet to appoint a replacement.”
Since his 2005 appointment, Rogers has been one of the most vocal supporters of the anti-job and anti-fishing Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative. The MLPA is a controversial program that threatens sportfishing in California, and the businesses and 20,000 jobs that depend on it, by unnecessarily closing large areas of the ocean to recreational fishing. The MLPA is costing California jobs and harming communities and businesses, while ignoring the real problems affecting California’s coastal waters, such as coastal development, habitat loss and pollution.
On December 15, 2010, Rogers was one of three commissioners who voted in favor of a wide-ranging array of marine protected areas, essentially no-fishing zones, along the southern California coast. Other MLPA regulations — which Rogers also supported — are already in place and have cost jobs and fishing opportunity in California’s central and north-central coast regions.
Because of the flawed nature of the MLPA process, these regulations are currently being challenged in the courts. The Partnership for Sustainable Oceans believes that Governor Brown should replace Rogers with a commissioner who understands his or her responsibility to conserve California’s natural resources, understands the role of anglers in conservation and takes into account the impact of regulations on California’s citizens, its economy and jobs for working families.
What You Can Do?
Make your voice heard and ask Governor Brown to remove Richard Rogers from the California Fish and Game Commission. Here’s how you can make it happen:
• Call the Governor’s office directly at 916-445-2841. Suggested talking points can be found by entering your zip code on the following website: keepamericanfishing.org.
• Send a FAX and email to the Governor. You can also do this on the keepamericafishing.org website by entering your zip code. Click here to do your part. A copy will be sent your state legislators.
8. July, 2011California MLPA, UncategorizedNo comments
California Anglers Misinformed on Closures
In June, the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) voted to delay implementing regulations adopted last December for the South Coast Study Area under the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) until October 1, 2011. These new regulations, which would close much of southern California’s best coastal waters to sportfishing, are not yet in effect. Misinformation — including statements by the Department of Fish and Game several months ago — has many anglers under the false impression that these waters are now and have been closed since early spring.
“Anglers need to understand that the ‘marine protected areas’ designated by the Commission last December are still open for fishing, and will be at least until October 1 of this year. And, the validity of these regulations is being challenged in court; that battle is far from over,” said Mike Leonard, Ocean Resource Policy director for the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). “Much can happen between now and October 1. The Department should not have made statements that the areas are already closed. These statements are simply not true and are unfair to the millions of anglers who pay for California’s fisheries management through license sales and the federal excise tax on fishing tackle and motorboat fuels.”
The Department’s Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet, posted March 1, 2011, erroneously states that the regulations went into effect in spring 2011. Prior to the vote, the department’s website stated only that the regulations were expected to be effective mid-2011.
In response to the general uncertainty within the sportfishing community regarding the South Coast MLPA regulations, the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO), which represents California’s recreational fishing and boating community, sent a letter to the Department of Fish and Game. The PSO expressed its serious concerns about the misinformation provided to anglers about the effective date of the South Coast MLPA regulations. The errors have since been corrected.
“We’ve never seen a state so determined to destroy an activity that generates both income and jobs and as well as funding for fisheries conservation,” Leonard further said.
“In talking with numerous anglers, I’ve noticed that there is considerable confusion about whether or not coastal waters are still open to recreational fishing,” said Bob Fletcher, former president of the Sportfishing Association of California. “The state’s miscommunications are causing anglers to unnecessarily stay off the water for fear that the regulations are already in place. On behalf of the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans, I’d like Southern California’s anglers and the tens-of-thousands more who come to this region to fish each year to know they are still free to pursue our state’s healthy marine fisheries.”
Apart from controversies about their effective date, the MPA designations in the South Coast are currently being challenged in the courts. On January 27, 2011, United Anglers of Southern California, Coastside Fishing Club and Bob Fletcher filed a lawsuit in the San Diego County Superior Court seeking to set aside the MPA designations for the North Central and South Coast study regions. The lawsuit cites a lack of statutory authority for the Fish and Game Commission to adopt the regulations, and, in the case of the South Coast regulations, numerous violations of the California Environmental Quality Act in the Commission’s environmental review of the regulations.
On May 31, the California’s sportfishing community claimed its third legal victory in the legal effort against the MLPA Initiative when a San Diego Superior Court judge ordered that two environmental ocean closure advocate organizations had no legal right to intervene in the aforementioned lawsuit. Last year, Fletcher filed and won a suit against the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force and Master Plan Team for failing to provide documents related to their MLPA planning efforts. These groups incorrectly claimed that they were not required to make their records available to the public under the Public Records Act on the mistaken theory that they are not “state agencies.”
Once these records were finally disclosed, numerous long-standing suspicions about the lack of openness and transparency within the MLPA process were confirmed, including that the Blue Ribbon Task Force met numerous times outside of the public view in scheduled private meetings. A California Superior Court ruling later ordered the Blue Ribbon Task Force and Master Plan Team to pay 100-percent of the legal fees incurred by members of the PSO in the Public Records Act case.
All anglers, and anyone who supports public access to public resources, are urged to help fight the flawed MLPA process in the courts by visiting www.OceanAccessProtectionFund.org and making a donation today.