BLM Rocks Plan Press release


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Posted by on October 11, 2004 at 03:09:38:

NEWS RELEASE
10/8/04

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:
JIM MARTIN, RFA WEST COAST REGIONAL DIRECTOR, 707/964-8326
ERIC ROGGER, RFA-SOCAL MEDIA CHAIR 310/476-5936

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT THREAT TO COASTAL PUBLIC ACCESS!

On Bill Clinton's last day in office, he issued an Executive Order to fund
and create marine reserves. The Channel Islands reserves were the first
fruits of that, and the extremist movement for no-take marine reserves
gained momentum.

Clinton issued another on that day that is less well-known, but which is
about to be implemented: he declared the entire coast - out 12 miles - as
the "California Coastal National Monument," and gave power over all reefs,
rocks, and small islands above the mean tide line to the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM), a federal agency.

Now the BLM has released its draft management plan for the rocks and reefs
off California's coast. The Preferred Alternative, Plan A, which the
document implies is a "done deal," has some very scary stuff in it and poses
a real threat to low-impact recreational opportunities the public
traditionally enjoys. It can impact you and your family if you walk your dog
on the beach, fly a kite, fish from the beach or in the nearshore from any
vessel, including a kayak.

Plan A seeks to "preserve" all high tide exposed reefs, rocks, and small
islands along the 840-mile California coastline and offshore to 12 miles,
and protect birds, mammals, and "intertidal species" by banning all but "low
impact and non-invasive recreation near these designated structures." The
Plan will only support recreational opportunities that "appreciate from
afar" these public resources.

The Recreational Fishing Alliance is opposing this plan, but we need your
help. Read the document for yourself at the site below, and write a comment
to them that you support sportfishing and coastal public access.

You can obtain a printed copy or a copy on CD by contacting: California
Coastal National Monument, 299 Foam Street, Monterey, CA 93940, or call
(831)-372-6115. You can also submit your public comment to the same address;
it can be as simple as a postcard saying, "I support the Recreational
Fishing Alliance comments on the BLM's 'Monuments' Plan." Or just send an
email to cacnm@ca.blm.gov! Public comments will be accepted no later than
December 16, 2004. The Draft RMP/Draft EIS can be viewed on-line at:
www.ca.blm.gov/pa/coastal_monument/draft_rmp_eis.html

The RFA is sending out postcards for our membership and allies to send in to
the BLM. How far will opponents of recreational fishing take this plan,
should it be approved? Here's what they've told the BLM:

Richard Charter and Rod Fujita of Environmental Defense (Fund), in written
testimony, urged BLM to "establish buffers and exclusion areas for
kayakers..."

Kaitlin Gaffney of the Ocean Conservancy's Monterey Bay office, also chair
of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's "Conservation Working
Group," in written testimony, urged BLM to "Control over-fishing,
recreational encroachment."

The Recreational Fishing Alliance encourages anglers and divers to attend
one of the public hearings on this issue, and control the overarching
encroachments of these fun folks. Here's the list of dates & times:

Monterey Bay
Thursday, October 14
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
The California State University
8272 Moss Landing Road
Moss Landing, CA

Point Arena
Tuesday, October 19
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Point Arena City Hall
451 School Street
Point Arena, CA

Elk
Wednesday, October 20
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Greenwood Community Center
6155 South Highway One
Elk, CA

Trinidad
Thursday, October 21
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Trinidad City Hall
409 Trinity Street
Trinidad, CA

San Diego
Wednesday, October 27
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Sumner Auditorium
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
8625 Discovery Way
La Jolla, CA

Long Beach
Thursday, October 28
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Aquarium of the Pacific (Tentative)
100 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA

San Francisco
Thursday, November 4
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Ft. Mason Officer's Club
Golden Gate NRA
Franklin Street Gate
San Francisco, CA

******************************************************
The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is a national, grassroots political
action organization representing individual sport fishermen and the sport
fishing industry. The RFA Mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater
anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs and ensure the
long-term sustainability of U.S. saltwater fisheries. For more information,
call 1-888-JOIN-RFA, or visit www.joinrfa.org.


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