its October 25-26 meeting, the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue
Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) unanimously voted to forward the north coast’s
community-based marine protected area (MPA) proposal to the California
Fish and Game Commission. This decision honors the hard work and
comprise made by the MLPA North Coast Regional Stakeholder Group (NCRSG)
and recognizes the value of this cross-interest proposal.
The BRTF also recommended an alternative MPA proposal that maintains the
placement of MPAs developed by the stakeholders, but strengthens the
level of protection to more closely follow science guidelines while
considering the unique environmental conditions and important cultural
and socioeconomic interests specific to the north coast. Additionally,
the BRTF adopted several other recommendations, once of which is focused
on respecting and honoring traditional uses by California tribes and
tribal communities. All of these recommendations will be presented to
the California Fish and Game Commission on February 2, 2011 in
Sacramento (BRTF motions).
As I reflect on the last year and the incredible work exhibited by the
north coast community, BRTF, NCRSG, and science team, I am humbled by
the dedication and perseverance of all involved in the planning of MPAs
for the north coast study region. Throughout the planning process, we
relied heavily on local knowledge provided by you, the public, to help
guide the development of the MPA proposals. On behalf of the MLPA
Initiative Team, I wish to thank you for your dedication to our shared
coastal resources and for your tremendous contribution to the MPA
planning process in the north coast. May you and yours have a very happy
~Ken Wiseman, Executive Director
Master Plan Science Advisory Team
October 13-14, 2010 – Meeting Agenda and Materials
During its ninth meeting, the MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team
(SAT) focused on the evaluation results for the Round 3 MLPA NCRSG MPA
Proposal (NCP). The SAT approved:
- all Round 3 evaluation results;
- responses to science questions; and
- additions to the water quality chapter of the SAT draft evaluation methods document.
Additionally, the SAT reviewed existing and new potential levels of protection (LOP) and approved a number of new LOPs.
The evaluation results were presented to the BRTF during its October 25-26, 2010 meeting in Fortuna.
November 17, 2010 – Meeting Agenda and Materials
On November 17, 2010, the tenth SAT meeting was held via teleconference and webinar. During the meeting, the SAT:
- Received an update on the north coast planning process, which summarized the seven motions adopted at the October 25-26, 2010 BRTF meeting, including sending forward two MPA proposals to the California Fish and Game Commission.
draft responses to science questions. The SAT agreed to postpone a vote
on this agenda item until its next meeting to allow SAT members and
members of the public to review the revised responses to questions.
discussions from its October 13-14 meeting regarding proposed LOPs and
the language used in the LOP decision tree. For the SAT’s upcoming
meeting, the SAT LOP Work Group will clarify the wording in the decision
tree, add information to some LOP supporting text, and complete
Appendix C of the LOP chapter in the evaluation methods document for
review and potential approval.
SAT will next meet on January 13, 2011 via webinar/teleconference to
review and potentially approve final evaluations of the Revised Round 3 NCRSG MPA Proposal (RNCP) and the North Coast Enhanced Compliance Alternative MPA Proposal (ECA).
Blue Ribbon Task Force
October 25-26, 2010 – Meeting Agenda and Materials
The BRTF held its eighth meeting on October 25-26, 2010 in Fortuna.
During this meeting, the BRTF reviewed the Round 3 MLPA NCRSG MPA
Proposal (NCP) and Round 3 NCRSG Special Closures Recommendation, and
considered what to include in its recommendations to the California Fish
and Game Commission (Commission).
The BRTF received analyses and evaluations of the NCP from the SAT,
California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), California Department of
Parks and Recreation (State Parks), and MLPA Initiative staff. Members
of the NCRSG also provided the BRTF with background and process
information regarding the development of the NCP; the NCRSG also recommended changes to the proposal.
Members of the public participated in providing comments to the BRTF,
both in-person and via the public participation locations in Fort Bragg
and Crescent City; this input was supplemented by written comment
received prior to the meeting.
After two days of discussion and deliberations, the task force
unanimously voted to forward the Revised Round 3 NCRSG MPA Proposal
(RNCP) to the Commission and North Coast Special Closures
Recommendations, together with the North Coast Enhanced Compliance
Alternative MPA Proposal (ECA). In addition to the RNCP and ECA,
the BRTF adopted a number of additional recommendations, including a
recommendation to recognize tribal uses within MPAs, a recommendation
for the state to seek co-management partnerships between sister agencies
and California tribes and tribal communities, and a recommendation to
retain existing MPAs at MacKerricher, Russian Gulch and Van Damme state
parks (BRTF motions). The BRTF adopted a total of seven recommendations that will be presented to the Commission on February 2, 2011.
At the conclusion of the BRTF’s October meeting, MLPA Initiative
staff initiated an extensive quality control process to ensure that the
motions accurately reflected the BRTF’s intent and to ensure that staff
had accurately translated the intent into action items. Based on
feedback from BRTF members, it became clear that some individuals had
different understandings about Motion 4 related to the ECA.
A teleconference/webinar meeting was scheduled for December 9, 2010
to better understand the original intent of the motion that led to the
ECA, and to explore the need for potential additional action.
December 9, 2010 – Meeting Agenda and Materials
The BRTF held its ninth meeting via
teleconference/webinar on December 9, 2010. During this meeting, the
- reviewed the north coast recommendations adopted by the BRTF in October, and
- discussed the original intent of Motion 4 (related to the ECA) and the potential need for additional action.
members each provided their perspective on the potential action, many
reiterating the desire to meet the science and feasibility guidelines,
support the community MPA proposal, and not interrupt traditional tribal
activities. BRTF members acknowledged that the Commission is likely to
have to make modifications to what is being forwarded in order to ensure
that the goals of the MLPA are being met, further emphasizing the need
for state administrative or legislative action in a timely manner to
address traditional tribal activities. At the end of the discussion the
BRTF chose not to take any additional action since a solution is outside
the authority of the BRTF.
The task force is scheduled to present its
final recommendations at a joint meeting with the Commission on February
2, 2011 in Sacramento.
All meetings are open to the public and
simultaneously webcast on the day of the meeting (field trips not
included). Meeting details are available on the MLPA website.
To the extent possible, public participation
locations are also set up in at least one other city within the study
region (Crescent City, Eureka and/or Fort Bragg) to provide members of
the public with a stable Internet connection for the webcast and the
opportunity to provide comments during the public comment period(s).
Meeting agendas are posted to the MLPA website at
least 10 days in advance of the meeting. Meeting materials are posted as
soon as they become available. In addition to the simultaneous webcast
of meetings, the video and audio archives are posted online within two days of each meeting.
Thursday, January 13, 2010
Master Plan Science Advisory Team
Meeting agenda and details regarding remote meeting locations will be posted on the MLPA Initiative website and circulated via the MLPA Initiative listserve.
What changes were made to the Round 3 NCRSG MPA Proposal (NCP) to create a revised version (RNCP)?
During its October 25-26 meeting, the task force
recommended forwarding the Round 3 NCRSG MPA Proposal in its entirety,
but with modifications recommended by the NCRSG, as well as changes by
staff regarding proposed tribal uses. The “Revised Round 3 NCRSG MPA Proposal,” or RNCP, includes the following modifications:
MPA names (Ten Mile State Marine Reserve, Ten Mile Beach State Marine
Conservation Area, and Ten Mile Estuary State Marine Recreational
Management Area) were modified to add “Skip Wollenberg/…” to the names
per the NCRSG’s recommendation.
proposed allowed uses intended to accommodate tribal uses were updated
based on staff review and recommendations to ensure that legally
appropriate species and gear types were included; the findings from this
review were presented at the October BRTF meeting. Summary document.
What are the next steps in the north coast MPA planning process?
On January 13, 2010 the SAT will meet via
webinar/teleconference to review and potentially adopt evaluations of
the RNCP and ECA.
On February 2, 2011, the California Fish and
Game Commission (Commission) will hold a joint meeting with the BRTF.
During this meeting, the BRTF will present to the Commission its
recommendations for the north coast, which will mark the transition from
the north coast MPA planning process to the state regulatory and
environmental review processes. As has occurred in past study regions,
on February 2, 2011 the Commission may identify one of the task force’s
recommendations as the “proposed project” to allow staff to initiate the
regulatory process under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the
environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality
As required by the APA, the Commission will
hold at least two hearings to receive public comment on the proposed MPA
regulations in the north coast to help inform a final decision; these
hearings are anticipated to take place in the spring of 2011. Members of
the public are also invited to provide general comments via the
Fax: (916) 653-5040
Mail: California Fish and Game Commission
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
There will also be an opportunity for
members of the public to comment on the draft environmental impact
report developed under CEQA that is expected to be released for public
review in 2011. Information about the commission meeting schedule, draft
agendas, proposed regulations, and how to provide public comment can be
found on the Commission website at www.fgc.ca.gov.