The following arrived as an e-mail from Dave Dempsey:
I cannot remember my password and have requested a new one. In the interim I would like to post the following. There is a sense of urgency here as Commissioner Flores is being termed out and most fisheries folks DO NOT want him re-appointed!!! I cannot use their names because of the potential political fallout but we have been furiously emailing back and forth and trying to build on the momentum we have. The Governor may nnounce his choice in early January!
"s some of you know, my "fishing" had to be scaled back in part due to my involvement with an advisory committee to the Fish and Game Commission. As well I've been a somewhat outspoken advocate for many of our fisheries on a number of Internet bulletin boards.
Right now we have an opportunity to influence the Governor on a Fish and Game Commission appointment.
Here is some background:
Fish and Game policy and regulation is often set or directed by the Fish and Game Commission (FGC) , often with input from the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) biologists. However the FGC are all political appointees and have been less than sympathetic to the plight of many of our fisheries. It has been our experience that most appointees are tied to development and agribusiness interests to the extent that Californias fisheries have suffered tremendously and are now in dire straits.
Recent and repeated news stories are a litany of the collapse in the Bay Delta system also known as the Pelagic Organism Decline; and the virtual collapse of Klamath River salmon fisheries in addition to many other threatened or imperiled fisheries. Adding insult to injury several threatened or endangered species are impacted as well.
This is a big issue, perhaps federal in it's scope but in our very specific arena Commisioner Michael Flores is being termed out. Numerous angling and conservation groups would like to ensure that Mr Flores not be re-appointed as he has not been especially helpful in dealing with fisheries issues and has in fact gone so far as to speak out against a ban on lead ammunition in the Condor Refuge as well as speaking out against the Endangered Species Act.
Taking this a step further, we would like to see a commissioner appointed who is more proactive environmentally and "fish friendly". I've done some of my homework so you folks NOW need to do yours. We need a voice on the Fish and Game Commission who is less tied to agribusiness and development, a person who actually wants to be there--and is concerned about ALL of our resources--which should include our fisheries. To date we have had some real "characters"--some of whom are too closely tied to agribusiness and the development community or the building trades...too closely! Many of our fisheries are struggling, declining or on "hatchery life support" and we now have an opportunity to help remove one commissioner who has not been especially helpful to fisheries issues and advocate for one who is! Mr Michael Flores has, since I have been on the Taucher Commitee failed repeatedly to give fisheries issues a fair hearing. I personally would go so far as to say he has gone out of his way to side with agribusiness and has repeatedly given fisheries folks the "brush-off". He has typically sided with the Department in their repeated failures to take action on numerous fisheries issues (most notably the Delta and the slot limit) that have been brought up in subcommittee or before the full Taucher group; and he is now being termed out. Let's make sure he is not re-appointed and at the same time let our legislators know that we want someone in there who will advocate for healthy fisheries!
Please write to Don Perata, our State Senate leader; Fabian Nunez, the ssembly Speaker of the House; and to the Governor himself. You can also contact or write to Pedro Nava who has been instrumental in the fight for some protections for the condor and other environmental issues or your local assemblyperson.
We need letters! We are going toe to toe with some very "monied" special interests and instead of asking you for "donations" or to join one more "group" fighting for our fisheries we need votes. Each letter, each person that takes the time to write that one letter (not a form letter or an email) represents a whole bunch of "voters" who feel the same but just couldn't squeeze the time out of their already overscheduled day. We do not want to compete--and probably cannot compete--with the big money special interests but we can spend 39 cents and about a half hour to write the Governor to let him know our fisheries are in trouble--serious trouble (the Delta, the Klamath and speaking of that--here have all the steelhead on the Gualala gone?) and there is no light at the end of the tunnel unless it's a vehicle about to hit us head on!
I personally have managed to meet with Jared Huffmans (our new assemblperson) office and have contacted Pedro Nava's office staff. I have also asked Carol Migden for an appointment and have been writing up a storm behind the scenes. We have an opportunity here to strike a positive blow for our fisheries, given the momentum we have and the constant news articles about our declining fisheries all over the state. Please do your part--write or visit your legislators on this!
Contact info as follows—and please add to this list:
The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor of California
Attn: Ryan Clovis
1st Floor State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814
Hon. Don Perata, Chair
Senate Rules Committee
State Capitol, Room 400
Sacramento, CA 95814
Ph 916 651 4009
attn: Nettie Sabelhaus
Hon. Pedro Nava
Assemblyperson 35th District
PO Box 942849
Sacramento CA 94249
Ph 916 319 2035
Attn: Andrea Graham
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