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.
Randy Fry summarized the federal Sport Fishing Restoration Act (SFRA)
program and stated that the funds from this tax program are going to
MPAs and not enhancement of sport fisheries. He requested that the
Commission create a SFRA oversight committee to improve stakeholder
oversight. He also requested that the Commission direct the Department
to recreate fishing licenses to include multiple copies which would
solve some of the current problems with CRFS.
Vice President Schuchat asked how each state's portion of the
SFRA tax is determined.
Randy Fry responded that each state comes up with grant
proposals and then must provide 25% matching federal funds. He noted
that last year $14 million dollars was allocated to California's
Department of Fish and Game and Department of Boating and Waterways.
Kate Wing provided a handout and discussed SB 1459 which would
transfer management authority of the commercial halibut fishery to the
Commission. She stated that this legislation would also prohibit
trawling in state waters and set up a very basic limited entry fishery
Commissioner Flores asked why the legislation and not the
Commission, was defining the limited entry program.
Ms. Wing explained that the Legislature would only establish a
preliminary program until the Commission takes authority of the
fishery, as implementation could take several years.
Dr. Rick Staub provided handout to the Commission and requested
that rubber boas and California mountain king snakes be added to the
Native Captive Reptile Propagation Permit. He stated that his studies
have shown that captive breeding programs decrease illegal activity
and collection practices. He supplied observation records from the
field to assist with the Department's argument that there is not
enough data, as well as a list of recommendations for reptile
collection licensing such as creating a distinction between fishermen
and reptile collectors. He had both reptile species with him for the
Commissioners to view.
Executive Director Treanor explained that a similar request had
been brought before the Commission before and was left open pending
the submission of additional information that Dr. Staub was now
supplying. He explained that staff would transmit this additional
information to the Department for evaluation and a peer review, and
then the Department would report back to the Commission with a
recommendation. He suggested that the Commission set a time limit in
which the Department must respond.
The Commission directed the Department to report on their
recommendation at the June 24-25, 2004, meeting in Crescent City.
Camilla Fox provided a handout on trapping expressing her
concerns with the wildlife damage control industry and pointed out
that the Department is currently in violation of SB 1645. She stated
that the Animal Protection Institute is concerned over the
Department's lack of commitment to compliance. She requested assurance
from the Commission that these issues will be addressed very soon.
John Carlson responded that a package will be brought to the
Commission in June and the Department is working on a new trapping
guide book which complies with the legislation and in the meantime
have included a disclaimer in the current guide, highlighting the
illegal activity included in "Get Ready to Trap."
Tom Belt discussed wildlife control trapping competency tests in
California and stated that the Department is not ensuring skillful,
proficient and competent trappers. He noted that he has proctored the
Department's test for many years and not one person has ever failed
the test. He read example questions from the current test. He
summarized his efforts to spearhead a committee to research and create
a new test and study materials and stated that the Department now has
all of the draft plans from that committee, but has not implemented
any of the recommendations.
Dr. Gene Trapp supported comments by both Mr. Belt and Ms. Fox.
He provided a handout summarizing his support for additional
requirements for wildlife control operators.
Jamie Ray supported additional requirements for wildlife control
operators and noted that constituents will be arriving tomorrow to
speak on the issue as well.
Paul Weakland provided copies of the Department's news release
regarding the draft Abalone Recovery and Management Plan and asked
when the public will see progress with this plan. He requested that
the Commission President take action to address these problems.
Virginia Handley requested that Enforcement address the sales of
non-native turtles and frogs in California. She pointed out that the
Fund for Animals had voluntarily taken on orphaned leopards and
animals at no expense to the Department and that SB 1645 was also
sponsored by the Fund for Animals. She requested the Commission hold
the Department to the provisions of this legislation.