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Environmental leader applauds OAL decision, MLPA lawsuit
Dan Bacher
"Hopefully all these products of a privatized process rife with secret meetings, bad science, conflict of interest and scorning of state meeting and administrative law will be invalidated," said John Lewallen, North Coast environmental leader and longtime advocate for democracy and transparency in government. Photo: Over 300 people, including members of 50 Indian Tribes, recreational anglers, immigrant seafood industry workers, commercial fishermen, conservationists and environmental justice advocates, marched through the streets of Fort Bragg on July 21, 2010 to protest the privately funded MLPA Initiative. The protesters peacefully took over the meeting of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force to protest the violation of tribal gathering rights under the MLPA. To date, the California Fish and Game Commission has refused to acknowledge tribal gathering rights on the California coast under the MLPA Initiative, a process overseen by a big oil lobbyist, agribusiness hack, real estate executive, coastal developer and other corporate operatives. “Any attempt to institutionally diminish our right to gather coastal resources is essentially an act of ethnic cleansing,” Yurok Tribal Chairman Thomas O’Rourke said in a news release on June 27, 2011. “We depend on these traditions to carry on our culture for the rest of time.”

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