WESTERN OUTDOOR NEWS
At a time when the approval rating for politicians in California and the nation in general is at an all-time low – and justifiably so – we are surprised and very pleased to see a politician shake off the power of the anti-everything community and stand up for we, the people.
State Senator Dean Florez (D) recently announced his intent to call for an oversight hearing on the questionable aspects of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) that is set on a path to close almost every productive fishing water off the California coast.
It has been obvious to even the most casual observer, and especially those who are inside the MLPA practices, that the decision-making process is weighed heavily towards the anti-fishing side. In fact, while pro-fishing forces have, on occasion, had their say at the hearings, the net result is for the majority to ignore them, and go ahead as they had planned – to keep anglers from harvesting fish from prime habitat.
And further, it’s obviously a conflict of interest in having California Fish and Game Commission member Michael Sutton, who has very close ties to preservation groups and those who are funding a big part of the MLPA process, involved.
Which brings us to funding for the MLPA. Originally the price tag was set at $250,000, but has now soared to a bureaucracy requiring $35 million to maintain, almost all of it coming from those who want every fishable rock, outcropping and productive area in the ocean declared off limits to anglers.
Senator Florez is, indeed, a breath of fresh air. He has exhibited the courage to look at the issue, see a bad thing, and call it out in public. We know he’s fighting not only city hall, but the state Capitol and other U.S. legislators who are in the pockets of the environmental community, and we commend him for that.
Other state and federal politicians would do well to look towards his leadership in their own actions by considering the good of the people rather than the size of their pocketbooks and contributions. We sincerely hope this investigation will shed light on what has become a pre-determined course of action – negatively impacting California sportsmen in a huge way.