Mammoth Lakes Community Center 1000 Forest Trail Mammoth Lakes
ALL MEETINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
DEPARTMENT PRESENTATION OF HUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR AWARDS.
President Flores presented the following Hunter Education Instructor of the Year awards to:
Blaine Nickens, Region 2 Bill Brimmer, Region 4 Bill DeVroom, Region 6
Jeff Banke was presented with the Hunter Education Instructor of the Year for the State of California.
PUBLIC FORUM - Any member of the public may address and/or ask questions of the Commission relating to the implementation of its policies or any other matter within the jurisdiction of the Commission. As a general rule, action cannot be taken on issues not listed on the agenda. Staff will normally be requested to follow up on such items at the discretion of the Commission.
Dick Noles provided a photograph of a guzzler to the Commission and reported on the Water for Life Program which installs water systems in the mountains for animal use, converting bird drinkers into water receptacles for all animal populations as well as large metal drums that are available to wildlife year round. He indicated this is a community project with over one hundred volunteers, proving to be very successful. He noted this program is privately funded and they are very proud of it.
Paul Weakland provided a handout to the Commission from Marine Management News regarding the abalone management recovery plan. He commented that "special" meetings have been changed several times and have not been publically announced.
Executive Director Treanor clarified that the Commission did not have a meeting in January and as soon as all of the arrangements have been confirmed for those three meetings, the information will be published.
Paul Weakland also provided an article on "Farmed Fish Populations" and commented on how devastating these fish can be to the environment.
Executive Director Treanor noted an email sent to the Commission from a group of squid fishermen, asking the Commission to take emergency action to establish a twelve hour per day fishery for squid in Monterey Bay on weekdays; a joint letter of support was also faxed to the Commission from The Ocean Conservancy and NRDC. He reported that he had asked the Department to review the situation to see if there is a resource issue that needs to be addressed, but had not heard from the Marine Region on the matter.
Deputy Director Mastrup stated that at this point there is no data to evaluate, it may be an issue of over-harvesting the squid. He stated that squid life cycles are not easy to research as they appear and disappear, only spawning once in the life cycle; because of this research would be long term. He commented that the fishermen may need to be spread out or limited.
Commissioner Schuchat noted that this is one of the few limited-entry programs where quite a few squid fishermen have pushed for greater restrictions.
Executive Director Treanor commented that the Department has developed a draft fisheries management plan, which includes a restricted access recommendation that he believes will be presented at the early August meeting.
President Flores commented that he did not want to get caught up in a group that would like to restrict others from access.
Executive Director Treanor stated that he would work with Deputy Director Mastrup to provide a memo with updates and a recommendation to take action or not, and will address it further at the next Marine subcommittee.
Commissioner Chrisman reported that this item is kept on the agenda to provide the public an opportunity to comment on its Strategic Plan. He reviewed the development of the Strategic Plan and indicated that a formal review process would be commencing sometime this year, as needed to look for a funding source. He encouraged the public to submit comments and/or suggestions. Received public testimony.
REPORT BY THE FRIENDS OF SIERRA TROUT ON RESULTS OF THEIR STUDY TO REDUCE MORTALITY ON BAIT CAUGHT AND RELEASED HATCHERY SIZE AND TROPHY TROUT.
Dick Noles of The Friends of Sierra Trout provided and summarized their written report; received public testimony.
Received the Department's recommendation; No public comments received; Commission adopted recommendation to accept the petition. The plant will be noticed as a candidate species and the Department will have up to twelve months to complete its Status Review and Recommendation.
CONSIDERATION OF 2003-2004 CALIFORNIA DUCK STAMP AND DUCKS UNLIMITED M.A.R.S.H. PROJECTS.
Received the Department's memo and proposal; Commission approved the 2003-2004 California Duck Stamp and Ducks Unlimited projects as identified in the Department's memo.
Deputy Director Mastrup provided the Department's report and recommendation on the need for the following policies: Warm-water Game Fish Stocking; Season Opening Dates; and Training, Testing and Trialing of Hunting Dogs. He proposed a change in season opening dates for the sage grouse season, and legislative changes to the hunting dog statutes; received public testimony.
RECEIPT OF DEPARTMENT LEGISLATIVE REPORT.
No report provided by the Department; President Flores briefly summarized current legislation and positions taken by the Commission; received public testimony.
RECEIPT OF DEPARTMENT INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.
UPDATE ON DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET.
Deputy Director Mastrup reported the Department's budget is eroding as are the staff who are suffering as a result of the hiring freeze and the loss of senior staff members; they are looking into community outreach programs to help manage newly acquired land. President Flores stated he would like to set up another budget subcommittee meeting and asked the Department to coordinate with Mr. Treanor. Deputy Director Mastrup agreed.
UPDATE ON MARINE LIFE PROTECTION ACT TIMELINE.
Deputy Director Mastrup reported the Department has developed draft budget proposals to implement elements of the MLPA and is currently seeking funding; received public testimony.
UPDATE ON DEPARTMENT MONITORING PLAN FOR THE CHANNEL ISLANDS MPAS.
Received public testimony.
UPDATE ON COHO RECOVERY PLANNING PROCESS.
Gail Newton, Team Leader for the Coho Recovery Project, reported that at the May 29 meeting the statewide team completed the watershed recommendation portion of the task, which looked at one hundred and seventeen watersheds; the team has also put together a series of statewide recommendations that deal with issues not specific to watersheds; it was noted that all recommendations are currently preliminary and will be finalized at the July meeting; they have also developed the recovery criteria, a watershed prioritization scheme, integration of the Scott/Shasta recovery team, with the statewide recovery team including an integrated timeline to bring the two projects together. She commented that one of the greatest accomplishments of the team is the level of commitment that all the team members have shown; and that the different groups have been very respectful despite the extreme intensity and duration of some of the meetings. President Flores commented that he would like to attend the next public Scott/Shasta meeting in July. Commissioner Schuchat asked how much of the watershed is public versus private land. Gail Newton responded that it is viewed by looking at the two different ESUs which are volunteered numbers in regard to the private property. Vice President Chrisman asked who is driving the proposed changes in the Legislature. Gail Newton responded that it is a painful process where parties have two opposing views, it is not an easy process but it is also working. Joe Blum, NOAA Fisheries, added that there is a timber task force that was prepared to walk away from the process as a result of the possibility of the petitioners having spoken to members of the Legislature, which the petitioners denied. He noted that credit should be given to the Department for their role in helping this process move forward.
RECEIPT OF COMMISSION INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.
Executive Director Treanor stated that the meeting scheduled for May 30th had been postponed to July 31; received public testimony.
AL TAUCHER POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
President Flores reported that the Committee discussed current legislation as well as establishing a relationship with Colorado in regards to their recognition of hunter safety certificates. Vice President Chrisman added that the Legislative subcommittee has been working on following-up with individual Legislators, and have become very involved. President Flores noted that in regard to AB 396, they are ready to help facilitate the legislation if passed, and helping in the effort to maintain hatcheries. Vice President Chrisman acknowledged and thanked Deputy Director Mastrup for his contributions and efforts toward the Advisory Committee. Deputy Director Mastrup commented that the Department appreciated the opportunity to participate in such a forum.
No RAPT report.
Assistant Executive Director Duffy reported on the recent County Fish and Game Commission County Meeting; the major concern voiced at the meeting was the slow erosion of the relationship with the Department, including failed communication; and it was noted that the County Commissions would appreciate individual recognition from the Commission, perhaps in November, of the long-term commitment of several of their members. President Flores stated that the Commission would be happy to recognize these individuals. President Flores reported on the recent letter received by the Governor, from Assemblyman Koretz, regarding the Commission's opposition to AB 342; the letter accuses the Commission of violating, among other things, the Bagley-Keene Act. Vice President Chrisman stated that the Commission had regularly and publicly talked about this piece of legislation and that when the Commission feels very strongly about a piece of legislation, they need to be able to respond either in support or opposition; this is something that is done very sparingly; the procedure that was used in this instance was appropriate; the Commission to send a letter to Assemblyman Koretz addressing the factual misunderstandings of his letter.
RECEIPT OF FEDERAL AGENCIES INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.
Joe Blum, NOAA Fisheries, provided a brief update regarding the status of the Southwest Region and that it would not be merged with the Northwest Region; Hawaii has become it's own region; they are advertising for a full-time Regional Administrator in Long Beach; this region may become the "California Region" in the future; there may be some action taken on boccacio this week; NOAA and the Department have begun a three year project to develop a monitoring protocol program for anadromous fish and California will be receiving about $13 million and NOAA plans to keep 1% for administrative work and to develop a database. Vice President Chrisman asked for an update of the marine recreational data collection. Joe Blum stated there was no update since the last time they spoke.
RECEIPT OF LEGAL COUNSEL INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.
Deputy Attorney General Cunningham briefly reviewed [that the Commission is governed by] the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, and in spirit and the letter of the law, its business is to be done in public, which has always been the Commission's intent. He noted that this Commission stands proud as one of the only state agencies where public input has always been solicited and encouraged, even before the adoption of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act.
FIELD TRIP - TIME PERMITTING, THE COMMISSION WILL HAVE A FIELD TRIP TO THE SIERRA NEVADA AQUATIC RESEARCH LABORATORY. THE PUBLIC IS INVITED, BUT MUST PROVIDE ITS OWN TRANSPORTATION, SOME AREAS MAY HAVE RESTRICTIONS ON PUBLIC ACCESS.
The Commission took a field trip to the University of California's Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Facility.