MLPA Task Force Named



Former Assembly member Virginia Strom-Martin and current Humboldt County Supervisor Jimmy Smith are among the appointees to the Blue Ribbon Task Force that will oversee local implementation of the controversial Marine Life Protection Act, according to an MLPA press release. (Click here for background info.)

Local fishermen have expressed concerns that Marine Protection Areas (MPAs) established by the MLPA are unnecessary here on the North Coast and will jeopardize their livelihoods by making the best fishing spots off limits. The eight-member task force announced today will be charged with developing alternative MPAs and presenting their suggestions to the Fish and Game Commission late next year. The process will include input from fishermen, scientists, elected officials, conservationists, stakeholders and the public, according to the release.

The full task force is listed after the break.

In addition to Strom-Martin and Smith, the panel will include Roberta Cordero, a lawyer and co-founder of the Chumash Maritime Association, and Cindy Gustafson, general manager for the Tahoe City Public Utility District. They'll join the following four, who already have MLPA task force experience, according to the release:

• William W. Anderson, president of Westrec Marina Management, Inc.
• Meg Caldwell, director of Stanford Law School's Environment and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program
• Catherine Reheis-Boyd, COO of Western States Petroleum Association, and
• Gregory F. Schem, president and CEO of Harbor Real Estate Group

Secretary for Natural Resources Mike Chrisman said the appointments reflect the importance of local participation. "This diverse and knowledgeable group ... will ensure that all interests are heard as the MLPA planning process moves to the north coast," Chrisman said.

The task force's first meeting will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Red Lion hotel in Eureka.

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