|California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814 916.654.1885
March 18, 2010
Statement from MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force Chair Cindy Gustafson on Implementation
of California’s Marine Life Protection Act
Misinformation was generated during the March 3 California Fish and Game Commission
meeting and through the media regarding public service that I as well as former and current
colleagues have committed to protecting California’s environmental legacy.
I served on the California Fish and Game Commission for four years and currently serve as
chair of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force. In these roles I have worked closely with the public
leaders who have devoted their personal time to help implement the Marine Life Protection Act
(MLPA). These public policy experts have done a remarkable job to help California establish the
nation’s first science-based network of marine protected areas.
I take personal offense to the allegations that members of the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force
lied to the commission about business partnerships. Bill Anderson and Greg Schem have never
been business partners and neither of them has ever invested in one another’s projects.
Further, their ownership interests in marina properties have been fully disclosed and no conflicts
of interest exist. False statements are being used in an attempt to derail implementation of the
MLPA and undermine the significant work of our stakeholders and dedicated members of the
public who have maintained their commitment to an open and inclusive public process.
Unlike what some interest groups have alleged, I never questioned the science used in the
MLPA Initiative. My resignation from the commission was based solely upon my new position as
general manager of the Tahoe City Public Utility District, which was incompatible with my public
service role on the commission.
Commission President Jim Kellogg, while not always supportive of the MLPA process,
personally told me that he stands by the hard work and dedication from all those who participate
in the public process and condemns any unsubstantiated claims of misconduct by members of
the MLPA task force members as well as fellow commissioners.
The role of the commissioners and MLPA task force is to remain unbiased, to ensure that the
law is implemented in a way that balances the need for ocean protection while to the extent
possible minimizing the potential negative socioeconomic impacts that may result. Finding this
happy medium between diverse interests is no easy task, and yet, the MLPA task force
members recently guided a regional stakeholder group in southern California to create a “livable
compromise” based upon the best science available that balances the protection and use of our
Seeking this compromise is what should continue to guide good public policy to protect
California’s ocean legacy.
General Manager, Tahoe City Public Utility District
Chair, MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force
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