Re: More MLPA Stakeholders named

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on November 20, 2008 at 18:21:31:

In Reply to: More MLPA Stakeholders named posted by Divebum Don on November 18, 2008 at 14:46:48:

This is not meant to single Elaine out but since she's been so vocal, that's where I'm going to focus for the moment. Elaine wrote (lower down):

"I just haven't seen a huge community based effort to provide input." (And understand that I'm reading this comment as "No one's been asking us what we think or telling us how to get involved.")

Absolute baloney.

I perosnally have posted here numerous times either inviting people to join the process or to contact me directly with any thoughts and I'll relay them.


Melissa Miller-Henson, who is the program Director for MLPA, has posted annoncements here repeatedly about how to get involved, e-mail comments. etc.

No response.

Kelly Sayce is the Director of Strategic Ocean Solutions, LLC. It is a non-profit formed specifically TO PERFORM OUTREACH TO THE DIVING (AND OTHER STAEKHOLDER) COMMUNIIESY FOR INPUT. She posts here frequently. She's organized outreach meetings. She mails flyers to groups.

Guess what? Minimal response at best.

You claim to have no time Elaine (and I'm simply using you as an example of what others are doing too) yet you have time to volunteer at the Chamber, you have time to not only go diving but to post trip reports and pictures on this website, and you have time to make multiple posts here about how you have no time.

How about taking some of that time and draft a well-thought cogent memo to the BRTF and the RSG about the need to deal with ghost gill nets if you think that's a problem AND it;s within the scope of their mandate? How about taking time to go to the MLPA website (http://www.dfg.ca.gov/MLPA/) and educate yourself as to the various ways you can have input?

Guess what? When someone (the community, not you as an individual) is continually invited to the dance yet no one ever bothers to reply, let alone show up, the invitations stop coming.

And do you know WHY those fishing groups have lawyers and lobbyists? Because they understand how the game is played. They're also very good at mobilizing their members.

At the very first Fish & Game Commission hearing where I spoke about the need for MPAs, there were about 300 recreational fisherman, all wearing red shirts, packing the room. You think that doesn't make an impression on the people deciding thse things?

You think that if we had 300 divers show up at a meeting wearing masks and snorkels and blue shirts that that wouldn't have a visual impact to show that we care?

In this process, the squeaky wheel DOES get the grease. More specifically, these commissions respond to what they perceive to be the public interest which is reflected by the voices they hear.

And just to be clear, the BRTF and the DF&G commissioners don't read this website so complaining or airing your views here is NOT the same thing.

But if we could channel just half the energy exerted by divers (not just you) complaining about (1) We don't get any input, or (2) It won't make any difference, or (3) We're not well-organized, or (4) It's too much work, or (5) Any other lame excuse . . .

If we could channel just a fraction of the energy spent complaining towards trying to manuever and manipulate the process, we'd be in much stronger shape and on much better ground.

End of rant. (For now.)

- Ken
Ken Kurtis
Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Member - MLPA SIG
Beverly Hills, CA

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