Paul Lebowitz – IT'S JUST FISHING

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
New commissioner gets axed
Thursday, September 30, 2010
MLPA: Critical times for us-- again

Thursday: Update on MLPA Commission debacle


Commission Votes Sets the Stage for South Coast MLPA Adoption

SACRAMENTO - MLPA fisheries closures are on track for a December adoption after today's Fish and Game Commission special session. The 5-0 vote in favor of a 15 day extension of a public environmental review comment period was more about politics than good public process. 

“Math was not one of my best subjects in school. This math I can figure out. 45 days is not even a topic of discussion at this point,” Commission President Jim Kellogg said, acknowledging Governor Schwarzenegger’s new commission calculus. 


The governor withdrew his nomination of Michael Sutsos on Monday in favor of Heal the Bay member Jack Baylis. The move virtually assured South Coast MLPA adoption before the lame duck governor leaves office. Baylis is expected to vote in lock-step with Michael Sutton and Richard Rogers, staunch MLPA proponents. Kellogg and Commissioner Dan Richards previously favored extending the public comment period to 90 days to give the public a better opportunity to review the complex, 545 page Draft Environmental Impact Report.


“When you’re dealing with so many people’s lives, their jobs, their businesses and their livelihoods, I don’t see anything wrong with extending the comment period on a decision that is going to last forever,” Kellogg said.


Commissioner Dan Richards was blunt in his criticism. “The elephant in the room is the election of a new governor. This is all contingent on that. Failure to acknowledge that and say it loudly would be a mistake eon my part. I’m not a politician; I’m just a guy trying to do the right thing,” Richards said.


The commission will resume MLPA deliberations on October 20-21 in San Diego, before holding an adoption hearing in Santa Barbara on December 15-16, the shortest possible timeline. Circle the dates. The new balance of power on the commission means anglers have to guard against attempts to pile additional closures.


The new DEIR public comment period deadline is October 19. The document is available online at www.dfg.ca.gov/mlpa/impact_sc.asp.    



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