Thursday, July 9, 2009

Governor Lounges as Rest of State Scrounges

Rich Holland's Blog

A story in the L.A. Times today about the players in the state’s ongoing budget crisis mentioned how Governor Schwarzenegger made a remark that he was going to go home and enjoy a good cigar in his Jacuzzi to show how little pressure he felt.

I guess that’s why we elect multi-millionaire movie stars to office, so they can think clearly and be free of the day-to-day pressure the rest of us poor working schmucks have to put up with.

Fish and Game Commission President Cindy Gustafson made a statement a couple meetings ago to the effect that there was little socioeconomic impact from the Channel Islands reserves and that meant everyone who is claiming there will be economic havoc from the pending reserves off the North Central Coast and South Coast doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

She blithely ignored the fact her commission was forced to close the coastal shelf to all rockfishing just a year or two before the closures at the Channel Islands or the salmon and rockfish seasons (set by her board) that have shrunk from most of the year to a few months or nothing at all.

How do you tell what has caused the most damage? And whether Ms. Gustafson realizes it or not, both the recreational and commercial fishing industries have been severely impacted.

I can give an instance that strikes extremely close to home. I took over as editor of Western Outdoors® magazine a few years ago. The economy was just starting to falter and fishing companies were careful with their money. The mag has always had a tough time competing for ad dollars with our very own weekly publication, but offered a much larger reach (the entire West Coast) and circulation. But potential advertisers started saying things like, “I don’t know, all we hear about out West is one closure after another.”

Western Outdoors suspended publication after the May issue of this year.

I’m sure it will make all the Fish and Game commissioners and BRTF members, etc. feel better that Western Outdoor News® is still around and so am I.

But like they say on the basketball court when the ball gets away, we sure could use "a little help."

1 comment:

  1. I remember Commissioner Gustafson's remark that day, and it struck a disappointing cord in me as well. Her remark did, however, make me aware of the lack of understanding the Commission has about the workings of the fishing communities here in California.

    I do not believe Commissioner Gustafson, or the majority of the other Commissioners, are willfully trying to destroy the fishing communities. I do think the Commission has been mislead by proponents of the MLPAI into thinking the only way to achieve peace among proponents and validate the funds they have provided, is to do as they say.

    I respect the fact that Commissioner Gustafson took the time to go the northern portion of the North Central Coast Study Region in order to enlighten and familiarize herself with the region. I was surprised by her findings and comments that followed saying we must protect this area with MPA's. Realizing she did not go into the water and see what she is protecting and only looking at the lands and waters before her, it is again clear there is little we can do to inform this viewpoint. This viewpoint is more receptive to the default moral perspective and is not aware of the true functional aspects of the ecosystem. Her heart is in the right place, along with ours, she just isn't aware of the finer elements of consumptive use to feel comfortable making a decision that might be challenged by the proponents of the MLPAI.

    Let me clarify, at this point; I believe we can all agree there can be some benefit from MPA's for the fishing communities if done correctly using sound peer reviewed science and fishermen knowledge base and participation. If anyone states that is the direction being taken at this time, I disagree.