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« Participation, Funding Increase for Recreational Fishing | Main | Way to Go, Cody! »
Thursday
Aug162012

Anti-Fishing Groups Attempt Power Grab in California

Based on the Civil War, states aren’t allowed to secede. But I’m wondering if we can evict them.

If so, I’d like to start with California. Considering what’s happening out there right now, on so many fronts, it would be best to become 49 states before the rest of us are further infected with Left Coast insanity.

That’s especially true for management of natural resources, including fisheries.

First, California enacted the Marine Life Protection Act. It has resulted in recreational fishing being banned --- with no scientific justification --- in many of the state’s coastal waters. And it serves as the perfect example of what the Obama Administration hopes to achieve with its National Ocean Policy.

Now, incredibly, the California legislature is considering two bills that would allow California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) to partner with well-financed nonprofits, many of which have made it their mission to end recreational fishing.

Not coincidentally, these bills also would take away the Fish and Game Commission’s regulatory power over marine protected areas and listing of threatened and endangered species and give it to the now-compromised DFG. In effect, the nonprofit, anti-fishing groups would control fisheries management.

“This could result in nonprofit partners making important decisions that further limit fishing access to public waters without any public forum or transparency in the process,” according to Keep America Fishing (KAF)

The bills originally were intended to improve how the department operates. “But special interest groups have succeeded in amending the bills to include provisions detrimental to anglers,” KAF added.

And the Partnership for Sustainable Oceans says this:

“SB 1148 and AB 2402 were strategically designed as companion bills to deny California’s recreational anglers a voice in fisheries management and conservation. These bills remove an important part of the checks and balances that are integral to the policymaking process, and grant unaccountable department employees unrestricted powers currently reserved for the California Fish and Game Commission.

“The Commission is a body represented by members of the public appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the California State Senate. Through monthly meetings and extensive public review processes, the Commission operates in a transparent manner and its members are accountable to the public.

“Should this power grab occur, recreational anglers and boaters will no longer have a public forum at which to petition their government on controversial issues such as Marine Protected Areas, fish stocking regulations, endangered species and other issues that have a profound impact on sportfishing.

“These two bills combined make significant changes to the mission and scope of the DFG, and reduces the transparency and openness of the Department.”

If you’re a California angler, go here to oppose this power grab by anti-fishing groups.

And if you live in another state, be warned: What starts in California eventually will threaten your fisheries as well. 

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