By FRANK HARTZELL Staff Writer - Fort Bragg Advocate-News
(In part 4 of this series on the Marine Life Protection Act, we look into how the MLPA Initiative fits into the fast evolving history of environmental privatization and how the successes and failures of that movement might impact the Mendocino Coast)
The Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (MLPAI), which arrived in Fort Bragg this summer to begin the process of closing areas to fishing, represents new milestones in privatization of environmental protection.
While the MLPA was a law passed by the California Legislature in 1999, the MLPAI is a private group, operating on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state. The state signed the MOU after twice failing to implement the act itself.
The Santa Barbara Independent newspaper recently called the lending of legal authority to private parties under the MOU "unprecedented"
and "controversial" in the history of the state.