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Thread: Updated MLPA Information.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Planet Earth

    Default Updated MLPA Information.

    Feel free to add...

    Updated MLPA Information. DFG Projected Implementation - Summer 2011

    Final Map.

    GPS Coordinates.

    Latest Detailed Restrictions.

    Additional information.

    Sacramento, CA – December 15, 2010 – Despite ongoing legal concerns, the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) voted 3-2 to approve a wide-ranging array of marine protected areas (MPAs), essentially no-fishing zones, along the southern California coast. In its latest effort to implement the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), the commission’s vote indefinitely closes approximately 12 percent of southern California’s ocean to recreational fishing – including many of the state’s best recreational fishing areas.

    “It’s beyond comprehension that the commission would go through with approving these regulations given the serious flaws in the process,” said Bob Fletcher of the Sportfishing Association of California and former Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Fish and Game. “The commission obviously had no desire to assure that a fair, open, objective and legally conducted process was in place before such a vote occurred. This vote leaves little doubt that the MLPA has is based on political agendas instead of the needs of California’s citizens and natural resources.”

    The Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO), which represents recreational fishing and boating interests in California, has been actively engaged in the MLPA process since the North Central Coast phase. The PSO has voiced its concerns regarding the numerous flaws and a lack of transparency in the process. One of the PSO’s members, United Anglers of Southern California (UASC), has retained legal representation to investigate the legality of the MLPA process.

    During the December 15, commission meeting, the PSO’s attorneys presented to the commission the numerous examples of defects in the rulemaking process, including many flaws that were discovered after reviewing MLPA planning documents that have only recently become public.

    On October 1, 2010, a California Superior Court ruled that two MLPA planning groups – the Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) and Master Plan Team , also known as the Science Advisory Team, are state agencies and therefore compelled by California’s Public Records Act to share information that they were withholding from public view. These groups would not respond to a Public Records Act request, incorrectly claiming they were not state agencies. In light of a PSO review of the documents provided to date, the commission was presented several notable findings prior to their vote, including evidence that the BRTF held numerous scheduled, agendized meetings which were closed to the public.

    Other notable flaws and concerns with the MLPA process that were not taken into consideration by the commission include:

    * Lack of funding for the necessary monitoring and enforcement of MPA regulations – a $40 million annual price tag.
    * Negative economic impact of closures to saltwater recreational fishing, which contributes $2.3 billion to California’s economy annually and supports nearly 20,000 jobs.
    * Major flaws in the environmental analysis of the impacts of the proposed South Coast regulations.
    * Inconsistent and shifting guidelines throughout the process.

    “The MLPA attempts to resolve a fisheries ‘crisis’ that simply does not exist. As a result of decades of successful traditional fisheries management, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service, there is not one marine fish stock currently experiencing overfishing in California’s waters,” said Gordon Robertson, Vice President of the American Sportfishing Association, a PSO member. “Simply put: fisheries management in California is working and the MPAs are not necessary.”

    “While we are deeply disturbed that the commission would go forward with approving these regulations, the process is not over yet,” noted John Riordan, Board Member of UASC. “The PSO legal effort is working to protect the interests of recreational anglers and is making significant progress. I urge all anglers and anyone concerned with the MLPA to visit and make a donation to help the fight against this flawed process in the courts.”
    Last edited by Wingnut; 12-22-2010 at 07:42 PM.

  2. #2


    Well, lets hope for an injunction on these laws during the upcoming lawsuits!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Fossilized SWAT Bones


    UPDATE from the "Fisherman" side !!

    Check out what PSO (Partnership fo Sustainable Oceans) did recently. We are not going to go down without a fight. Let us hope that our new governor wants to help California's economy instead of hurting it more. He dislikes the Packard Foundation and the enviro's but even more notably........He is targeting alot of Arnie's policies.

    Recreational fishing groups file lawsuit to invalidate regulations that unnecessarily deny access to public waters
    January 27, 2011 - Sacramento, CA - Member organizations of the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO), which represents California’s recreational fishing and boating community, have filed a lawsuit in the San Diego County Superior Court seeking to set aside regulations established by the California Fish and Game Commission in connection with the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA). The commission approved regulations for the North Central and South Coast study regions in August 2009 and December 2010, respectively, establishing marine protected areas – essentially no-fishing zones – in large areas of the state’s coastal waters. The lawsuit, filed by United Anglers of Southern California, Coastside Fishing Club and Robert C. Fletcher, cites a lack of statutory authority for adopting the regulations, and, in the case of the South Coast regulations, numerous violations of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in the commission's environmental review of the regulations.

    "From the outset, it was clear that the MLPA process was set up to reach a predetermined outcome under the fiction of an allegedly open and transparent process," said Bob Fletcher, former president of the Sportfishing Association of California. "In a rush to establish regulations based on political timelines and a pre-determined agenda, the Fish and Game Commission has ignored the legal requirements it must follow."

    Most notably, the petition states that:

    •The commission does not have the statutory authority to adopt, modify or delete marine protected areas under the MLPA's main rulemaking provisions until it has approved a final Master Plan for the state. The final Master Plan has yet to be written or approved.
    •The other statutory authorities that the commission relies on do not provide the commission with the authority it needs to adopt these MPAs.
    •The privately-funded "MLPA Initiative" process has been conducted in a manner inconsistent with the process the state legislature directed in the MLPA, and meetings held by MLPA planning groups that should have been open meetings were closed to the public.
    •The South Coast study region regulations were adopted on the basis of an environmental review process that is in violation of CEQA.
    "Our concerns were presented to the commission prior to its December 2010 vote to approve regulations for the South Coast," Fletcher further said. "Ignoring the information before them, the commission went forward with approving regulations to close 116 square miles of southern California’s coastal waters to recreational fishing. Many of the best sportfishing areas are included in the closures. These closures don't just disappoint the fishermen – they take away jobs and income for many California small businesses along the coast and elsewhere. Particularly concerning are the flaws in a regulatory process that has been fueled with private money from special interests. The end result of this process has been a rush by the commission to adopt regulations without the authority it has to have to adopt them, and without a proper review of the environmental consequences of what they're doing. That should be a concern for all Californians, whether they fish for fun or for a living, or whether they've never been fishing at all."

    "Much of the best fishing areas are now closed under the MLPA process," noted Dan Wolford, Science Director for the Coastside Fishing Club. "Anglers in the North Central region are now suffering because of excessive, unnecessary closures that we believe were improperly established. We find it extremely concerning that anglers, who are the original conservationists, are being taken off the water through a seriously flawed process, while the real threats to the health of our ocean, such as contaminated stormwater runoff and industrial pollutants, are allowed to continue unabated."

    The petition is the second lawsuit involving the MLPA by members of the PSO. In May 2010, Fletcher filed suit against the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force and Master Plan Team – also known as the Science Advisory Team – for failing to respond to a Public Records Act request, as state agencies are required to do. These groups claimed that they were not required to make their records available to the public on the ground that they are not "state agencies." Last October, a California Superior Court ruled that the Blue Ribbon Task Force and the Science Advisory Team are indeed state agencies and therefore are compelled by California’s Public Records Act to share information that they were withholding from public view.

    "The good intentions of the MLPA have been derailed by private interests and political motivations," said Fletcher. "We urge anglers, outdoors enthusiasts and anyone who supports good government and the public’s right to know what its government is doing, to visit and donate what they can to help us to continue to fight this flawed process in the courts."
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    Last edited by bones; 01-30-2011 at 09:47 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Map that details all the finalized closures along with a nice breakdown of regulations courtesy of WON. If the MLPA process does not get held up in court or put on hold due to our lack of funds to enforce them (CA is bankrupt), then these closures will go into effect in 2011. They aren't in effect yet, so get out and fish!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Lakewood, CA


    Hi Wingnut,

    Thanks. I'll be including some of this stuff in my asides from time to time.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    On a plate


    Coalition Exposes Secret MLPA Meetings

    by Dan Bacher

    George Osborn, spokesman for the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO), presented a 25 page document documenting illegal private, non-public meetings of Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative officials to the California Fish and Game Commission during its meeting on February 2 in Sacramento.

    The PSO, a coalition of national and regional fishing organization including the Coastside Fishing Club and United Anglers of Southern California, filed suit in San Diego Superior Court in late January, seeking to overturn South Coast and North Central Coast MLPA closures, alleging violations of the State Administrative Procedure Act.

    During his brief public testimony, Osborn exposed the corruption and violations of law by the MLPA's Blue Ribbon Task Force (

    “After reviewing the documents turned over to us, which previously the BRTF had improperly withheld from the public, we now have evidence, indicating that the public meetings of the BRTF have been an elaborately staged Kabuki performance, choreographed and rehearsed down to the last detail, even to the crafting of motions, in scheduled private meeting held before the so-called public meetings of the BRTF," said Osborn. "Clearly, this has not been the most open and transparent process, as it has so often been described.”

    “The BRTF’s behavior taints the regulations that are the end product of its work, and these regulations must be reversed,” he emphasized. “The PSO respectfully requests that the Commission begin the process to un-do these wrongs committed against California’s recreational anglers and as all Californians, see that the MLPA is implemented properly, and reverse actions that unnecessarily close areas to fishing.”

    “Let’s work with Governor Brown and direct California’s meager resources to solve real problems that harm the ocean we love,” he concluded.

    Commissioner Dan Richards asked Osborn for proof about the secret meetings that PSO has accused the privately funded MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force of conducting.

    Osborn then submitted to the Commissioners the copies of emails and correspondence by MLPA officials documenting private, non-public meetings. Secret meetings of the Blue Ribbon Task Force were held in April 2007 and on November 3, 2008, December 10, 2008, February 25, 2009, October 20, 21 and 22, 2009.

    The documents included correspondence by Ken Wise, MLPA executive director, Don Benninghoven, former Fish and Game Commissoner, Melissa Miller-Henson, program manager of the MLPA Initiative, Meg Caldwell, BRTF member and others.

    The documents also include the email by Fort Bragg City Council member Jere Melo on November 5, 2009, regarding his resignation from the MLPA Statewide Interest Group (SIG) for its failure to obey state laws.

    "I cannot continue on a body that advertises its functions as 'public' and then provides very little or no public notice of its meetings," said Melo. "There is a real ethics question for a person who holds a public office."

    The February 2, 2011 meeting was a joint hearing of the Fish and Game Commission and the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force for the North Coast. The Commission adopted a unified proposal crafted by recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, environmentalists and business owners that would create marine protected areas in approximately 13 percent of the North Coast state's waters - and for the first time acknowledged tribal gathering rights on the ocean.

    The Yurok and other North Coast Tribes did not endorse the proposal, but accepted it, providing that the state formally acknowledges the sovereign rights of Tribes to gather along the coast as they have done from thousands of years.

    “There is no evidence that tribes have had a negative impact upon the ecosystem," said Thomas O'Rourke, Chair of the Yurok Tribal Council. "They have been part of the ecosystem since time immemorial. Science needs to recognize people as part of the ecosystem. If you don’t include people, the proposal will fail. Our rights are not negotiable.”

    He emphasized, "The Tribe doesn't endorse the unified proposal, but it accepts the proposal."

    "Nothing is final until it's final," O'Rourke said after the meeting, in responding to the Commission's decision to move the unified proposal forward. "We are as comfortable as we can be in this stage of the process."

    In reference to the lawsuit filed by PSO, O'Rourke stated, "If the state doesn't listen to us and tries to impose regulations on the Tribes, the fishermen's lawsuit is possibly one of many they will have to deal with."

    The Commission also heard from supporters of Option Zero, who felt shortchanged because they were only given one minute each to comment at the end of the public comment period. This was done in spite of a letter from Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro and Senator Noreen Evans urging the Commission to "allow for a briefing from Option Zero supporters."

    Option Zero proponents, including environmentalists, recreational anglers, and commercial fishermen, support managing fisheries on the North Coast through existing regulations - and criticize the MLPA process for setting up marine protected areas that fail to protect the ocean from water pollution, oil spills and drilling, military testing, wave energy projects and all other uses of the ocean other than fishing and gathering.

    MLPA critics also slam the process for its many conflicts of interest, including the domination of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces by oil industry, real estate, marina development and other corporate interests. Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the Western States Petroleum Association, served on both the North Central Coast and North Coast task forces and chaired the South coast task force.

    The MLPA process was privatized in 2004 when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger directed the shadowy Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, a private corporation that North Coast environmental leader John Stephens-Lewallen described as a "money laundering operation for corporations," to fund the controversial process through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Fish and Game.

    Since then, the MLPA Initiative has violated numerous state, federal and international laws, including the Bagley-Keene Open Meetings Act, the California Public Records Act, the State Administrative Procedure Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

    The copy of the PSO lawsuit is below.
    Last edited by NachoFish; 02-07-2011 at 12:21 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Rat Beach


    Those colored maps make it much easier to see the areas.
    Thanks for posting it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Rat Beach


    Keep in mind that these areas MAY BE CLOSED TO HUMAN ACCESS !!!

    Not just fish but, ALL MARINE SPECIES starting at the high tide line.


    Restrictions [36710(a) PRC]: Therefore, access and use (such as walking, swimming, boating and diving) may be restricted to protect marine resources.

    Starting at the high tide line.

    Example; Some enviromental group discovers that Sunblock hurts abalone, or that surfers are killing sea slugs. The green abalone are making a major comeback in Laguna Beach. WHAT IF they begin to decline in numbers.


    They closed several miles at Cape Hatteras ' No Surfing ' thanks to a rare bird that uses the dunes for nesting. Look at the Calif Delta Smelt.


    An enviro- legal group called the Southern Enviromental Law Center, is suing to close Cape Hatteras National Seashore to all 4wd traffic, thus making many places innacessable. Last year a Judge ordered the Beaches closed because of a supposedlack of regulations, but the Park Service has allowed traffic anyways, with an interim set of rules until a new set is made.-The Beaches may be closed for the alleged protection of the endanhered species, the Piping Plover.

    These are people who are a political machine with limitless funds, and great political clout. They are relentless in there efforts to keep people out of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. They are threatening a vital tourist industry, thus threatening the local economy on Hatteras Island. There is a Bridge that connects the barier Islands from the manland called The Bonner Bridge, that needs re building.( ) The S.E.L.Center has fought it tooth and nail. Basically this group can slow tourism to the Islands to a trickle, which can cripple the local economy-which has surivived quite well so far. That and a ban on beach driving would be devestating.

    Wait till the enviro groups go to shut down places like Laguna. Hey City Council
    Your closure you voted for just closed your coastline

    Summer beach tourists will go somewhere else.
    You guys will be HURTING $$$ in the wallet with beach closures

    Future Marine Protected Area Violaters ! Write that kid a ticket.

    Last edited by DockRat; 03-01-2011 at 04:47 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Planet Earth


    Howling Mad Murdock - Yesterday 07:32 PM

    I don't really know much about the MLPA, as it really doenst affect me up here in SF; I don't fish too much up here. But I was talking to him about how it affect sportsfishermen down south, and how the closures impact the California budgets. I am not very versed in the MLPA, but I figure you are.
    Now the step father has a direct line into Govenor Brown. When he was the Mayor of Oakland we did tons of construction for the city, as well as a huge subdivision. Jerry Brown is somewhat of a friend, and I have access to him. I hypothetically supposed a situation that if I got a letter with signatures, I could get it in front of the Jerry Brown. Maybe it's too late? But I suspect it would do a whole lot of good.
    I subscribe to this board and to so I would send an email to the site admin, but I figure you may know them too, and I have talked with you some on the boards. What do you think?


    • Wingnut - Today 06:29 PM
    • That is fantastic Kevin, I know that Jerry Brown is no fan of the Packard Foundation. Let me make a couple of phone calls and I'll get in touch with you via PM's.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Fossilized SWAT Bones


    Update June 2011......

    California's Anglers Claim Another Legal Victory
    Judge Denies Motion by Environmental Groups to Intervene
    in Litigation Challenging Regulations Closing Ocean Areas to Sportfishing

    Sacramento, CA – June 6, 2011 – A San Diego Superior Court judge has ordered that the Natural Resources Defense Council and Ocean Conservancy have no legal right to intervene in a lawsuit that seeks to preserve ocean sportfishing in California. That lawsuit, filed on January 27, 2011, by members of the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans (PSO) – United Anglers of Southern California, Coastside Fishing Club and Bob Fletcher – asks the court to set aside regulations established through the "Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative" which created massive fishing closures along California's North Central and South Coasts. On the matter of intervention, members of the PSO argued, and the judge agreed, that the two environmental organizations did not have a direct and immediate interest in the litigation, and therefore will not be allowed to intervene on the side of the Fish and Game Commission.

    "This is a significant victory for our overall legal effort," said Dave Elm, Chairman of United Anglers of Southern California. "The state is capable of representing itself in this case, and allowing the Natural Resources Defense Council and Ocean Conservancy to intervene on their side would have only created additional burdens for the Court and unnecessarily added to our legal costs."

    The lawsuit against the MLPA Initiative cites a lack of statutory authority for the California Fish and Game Commission to adopt the closure 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. Soon after its filing, legal counsel for the Natural Resources Defense Council and Ocean Conservancy announced that they would seek to intervene on the side of the Commission. Had intervention been allowed, these groups would have become parties to the litigation with full rights to participate.

    "These environmental groups have played a major role in influencing the MLPA Initiative towards excessive and unnecessary fishing closures through a seriously flawed process," said Bob Fletcher of the Sportfishing Association of California and former Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Fish and Game. "Throughout the MLPA process, anglers have had the deck stacked against us due in large part to the deep pockets of these pro-closure environmental organizations. We finally have a level playing field in the courts, and fortunately we have one important factor on our side – we're right."

    The ruling on intervention is the latest in a series of victories for California's sportfishing community in the legal effort against the MLPA Initiative. Last year, Fletcher filed and won a suit against the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force and Master Plan Team– also known as the Science Advisory 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 ground 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.

    On March 11, 2011, a California Superior Court ruling 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.

    "Clearly our legal effort has strong standing, as the court has now decided in our favor three times," noted Elm. "However, these victories don't come cheap. I urge all anglers, and anyone who supports public access to public resources, to help us fight the flawed MLPA process in the courts by visiting and making a donation today."

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