Groups are trying to reach an accord on restricted areas
By Kurt Madar, The Daily Triplicate
February 01, 2010
Marine protected areas are coming to the North Coast, and a local effort to influence where and what size they are culminates Monday.
The MPAs could include the establishment of no-take zones for fishermen.
The state-sponsored Marine Life Protection Act Initiative includes an option that allows MPA proposals to be submitted by individuals and groups outside of the official process.
Meanwhile, part of the official process is forming a Science Advisory Team (SAT) and a Regional Stakeholder Group, both of which will be responsible for developing the state-sponsored proposal for the location and types of MPAs along the North Coast.
The names of the regional stakeholder group were released Thursday night.
External proposals for potential MPAs are developed by individuals and groups outside of the SAT or stakeholder group, and they have to be submitted by Feb. 1.
In response to the MLPA Initiative starting its process along the North Coast, local governments and organizations formed a work group in an effort to have a cohesive region-wide alternative proposal.
“We’ve been working non-stop to meet the deadline,”
said Zach Larson, Del Norte County’s work-group coordinator. “We were looking to have one external array proposal for the whole region, but now it looks like there may be as many as six.”
This was not due to a lack of cohesiveness in the North Coast effort to submit an external proposal, he said.
Larson said that the people on a tri-county work-group have not only worked well together, “they have been able to compromise and everyone learned a lot about working together as a region.”
“We invited all 18 groups that sent in an intent to submit (external proposal),” Larson said. “There were a lot of cross interests.”
Of the various external proposals that may be submitted Monday, Larson feels that the one that represents Del Norte County is as palatable as possible.
“Our goal was to meet all the science guidelines while limiting the effect on the local economy as much as possible,” Larson said.
Nine of the 31 members of the North Coast stakeholder group whose names were released Thursday are Del Norte County residents. The North Coast study region includes Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.
Local members include:
• Redwood National Park Superintendent Steve Chaney
• Smith River Rancheria Tribal Administrator Russ Crabtree
• Smith River Alliance and Friends of Del Norte board member Don Gillespie
• Fisheries Biology consultant Zach Larson
• National Conservation System Foundation California Program Officer Kevin McKernan
• Yurok Tribe Assistant Self Governance Officer Megan Rocha
• Del Norte Fisherman’s Marketing Association member Rob Wakefield
• Elk Valley Rancheria Tribal Administrator Reweti Wiki
• Crescent City Harbormaster Richard Young