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Take A Stand Event Against MLPA A Big Success
by Dan Bacher
Tuesday Sep 29th, 2009 3:51 PM
Local environmentalists, fishermen, seaweed harvesters, Native Americans and other supporters of environmental justice showed in force at the "Take A Stand Concert and Seafood Tasting" against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's corrupt Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process in Albion, on September 22. Over 500 people attended, enjoyed great music, and won lots of raffle prizes.

Photo of Archie Richardson giving electric guitar to Rick Parrish, a member of the Kashia Tribe and the Black Horse Blues Band who performed at the benefit. Courtesy of Jim Martin.
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Take A Stand Event Against MLPA A Big Success

by Dan Bacher

Local environmentalists, fishermen, seaweed harvesters, Native Americans and other supporters of environmental justice showed in force at the "Take A Stand Concert and Seafood Tasting" against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's corrupt Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process in Albion, Mendocino County, on September 22. Over 500 people attended, enjoyed great music, and won lots of raffle prizes.

"A lot of people had their eyes opened about the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative," said Jim Martin, West Coast Regional Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance. "We raised close to $10,000 for the California Fisheries Coalition."

Mike Carpenter, a sea urchin diver and organizer of the event, made the vital connection between the MLPA process and the campaign to build a peripheral canal, both of which are funded by the Resource Legacy Fund Foundation. Carpenter emphasized that the MLPA is just a "coverup" for the Governor's plans to build a peripheral canal around the California Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast of the Americas, through the Delta Vision and Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP) process.

"The event was magical," said Carpenter. "Something that should have fallen apart grew stronger. There were so many random acts of kindness throughout the event, especially the one by Archie Richardson, one of the owners of the Richardson Ranch on the Sonoma Coast."

Martin said the highlight of the event was when Richardson won a Fender electric guitar donated by Faultline Music in Paso Robles.

"Arch graciously donated the guitar back for an impromptu live auction," said Martin. "During the auction, Arch bid up his own guitar to $550 and then he gave it to a young member of the Black Horse Blues Band, Rick Parrish of the Kashia Tribe of Pomo Indians from Stewarts Point. The crowd went nuts."

The purpose of the fundraiser was to united diverse North Coast communities against Schwarzenegger's MLPA initiative, a process rife with corruption, conflict of interest, mission creep and environmental racism. The California Fish and Game Commission in August voted to ban the Kashia Tribe from harvesting abalone, seaweed and mussels as they have done for hundreds of years off Stewarts Point in northern Sonoma County. The vote, tainted by the Governor's appointment of Schwarzenegger "yes man" Don Benninghoven to the Commission just a couple of days before the vote, also closed large areas off Stewarts Point and Point Arena in Mendocino County to sustainable seaweed harvesting, fishing and abalone diving.

For more information about the battle against the corrupt MLPA process, contact: Jim Martin (707) 964-8326, flatland [at] mcn.org, or Mike Carpenter (707) 937-4362, carp16axeman [at] gmail.com.