Greenson fails to mention one of the most significant aspects of this embezzlement scandal. This is the fact that the validity of the science employed by the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Science Advisory Team under LeValley’s "leadership" becomes highly suspect when one considers that LeValley and the Team repeatedly and inexplicably refused to allow the Yurok Tribe, the same tribe he embezzled from, to present their scientific studies regarding "marine protected areas."
The Tribe exposed the questionable science of the MLPA Initiative in a statement on June 6, 2012 that questioned the "protection" provided in the so-called "marine protected areas, showing how two species, Pacific eulachon and mussels would be "summarily mismanaged." (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/1…)
"Under the MLPA each marine species is assigned a certain level of protection," according to the Tribe. "Species like mussels are given a low level of protection, which in MLPA-speak, translates to more regulation.
"To date, there has been no scientific data submitted suggesting that mussels on the North Coast are in any sort of danger or are overharvested. In fact, it's just the opposite. The readily available quantitative survey data collected over decades by North Coast experts shows there is quite an abundance of mussels in this sparsely populated study region," the Tribe continued.
"Fish like Pacific eulachon, also known as candle fish, are given a high level of protection, or in other words, their harvest is not limited by the proposed regulations. Eulachon are near extinction and listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act," the Tribe stated.
"Both of these marine species are essential and critical to the cultural survival of northern California tribes," said Thomas O'Rourke, Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. "However, under the proposed regulations they would be summarily mismanaged. It's examples like these that compel our concerns."
The Tribe said it attempted on numerous occasions to address the scientific inadequacies with the MLPA science developed under the Schwarzenegger administration by adding "more robust protocols" into the equation, but was denied every time.
For example, the MLPA Science Advisory Team Co-Chaired by LeValley in August 2010 turned down a request by the Tribe to make a presentation to the panel. Among other data, the Tribe was going to present data of test results from other marine reserves regarding mussels
The Northern California Tribal Chairman's Association, including the Chairs of the Elk Valley Rancheria, Hoopa Valley Tribe, Karuk Tribe, Smith River Rancheria, Trinidad Rancheria, and Yurok Tribe, documented in a letter how the science behind the MLPA Initiative developed by Schwarzenegger's Science Advisory Team is "incomplete and terminally flawed." (http://yubanet.com/california/Dan-Bacher-M…)
On the day of the historic direct action protest by a coalition of over 50 Tribes and their allies in Fort Bragg in July 2010, Frankie Joe Myers, Yurok Tribal member and Coastal Justice Coalition activist, exposed the refusal to incorporate Tribal science that underlies the "science" of the MLPA process.
“The whole process is inherently flawed by institutionalized racism," said Myers. "It doesn't recognize Tribes as political entities, or Tribal biologists as legitimate scientists."
The no-take state marine reserves created under LeValley's leadership currently prohibit tribal gathering and fishing at Redding Rock, the False Klamath and other traditional tribal gathering areas on the North Coast, in spite of numerous requests by the Yurok and other North Coast Tribes to protect tribal gathering rights.
Wouldn't it have been prudent for the Natural Resources Agency and Department of Fish and Wildlife to have postponed the implementation of the alleged North Coast "marine protected areas” until this case had been resolved in the courts - and when the legitimacy of the "science" of the MLPA Initiative was already facing severe criticism from respected Tribal scientists?
And now that the trial is over, isn't it time for a complete investigation into the questionable "science" of the MLPA Initiative, especially when the Co-Chair of the MLPA Science Advisory Team is headed to federal prison after forging documents in a conspiracy to embezzle $852,000 from the Yurok Tribe?
You did an excellent job covering this issue.
The roots of MLPA Initiative corruption run deep.
In a groundbreaking investigative piece in the Laguna Beach Independent on February 11, Ted Reckas exposed the private money that is behind the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, a widely-contested program to create a network of “marine protected areas” on the California coast.
“Five non-profits, including one based in Laguna Beach, donated a total of $20 million to see the drafting process to completion since the state legislature never budgeted adequate funding for the marine-protection law, which was enacted in 1999,” according to Reckas in his article, “Marine Hearings Buoyed by Nonprofits.” (http://www.lbindy.com/2011/02/11/marine-hearings-buoyed-by-nonprofits/)
The Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, a shadowy organization that North Coast environmental leader John Lewallen describes as a “money laundering operation” for corporate money, received the funds from these foundations to implement the unpopular MLPA process.
The David and Lucillle Packard Foundation contributed $8.2 million to fund MLPA hearings, according to Reckas. Julie E. Packard, the executive director and founder of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the foundation.
The Laguna Beach-based Marisla Foundation, founded by Getty Oil heiress Anne Getty Earhart, gave another $3 million over several years.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation donated $7.4 million. Gordon and Betty Moore are the founders of the Foundation, and Gordon also serves as chairman of the board.?Gordon Moore is co-founder of Intel Corporation and Chairman Emeritus of the Corporation's Board of Directors.
The Keith Campbell Foundation’s contributed $1.2 million to the MLPA Initiative. D. Keith Campbell founded Campbell and Company in 1972, and currently serves as Chairman of its Board of Directors. Campbell and Company is now one of the largest derivative investment managers in the world.
Finally, the Annenberg Foundation contributed $200,000.
MLPA critics, including fishermen, environmentalists and Indian Tribal members, have charged the initiative with corruption, conflicts of interest and institutional racism since Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger privatized the initiative in 2004 by directing the Department of Fish and Game to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Resources Legacy Fund Foundation.
The MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces that implement the law are dominated by oil industry, real estate, marina development and other corporate interests.
MLPA opponents also slam the MLPA process for setting up marine protected areas that fail to protect the ocean from water pollution, oil spills and drilling, military testing, wave energy projects, corporate aquaculture and all other uses of the ocean other than fishing and gathering.
Arnold’s MLPA: An Egregious Case of Corporate Greenwashing
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process, funded by the shadowy Resources Legacy Foundation, is one of the most egregious examples of corporate greenwashing in California history. Rather than actually protect the ocean as the law was originally intended to do, Schwarzenegger and his collaborators have taken pollution, oil drilling, habitat protection and all other human uses of the ocean other than fishing off the table.
The MLPA Initiative is responsible for engaging in cultural genocide by banning the Kashia Pomo Tribe from harvesting seaweed and shellfish off their sacred site, “Danaka,” in Sonoma County. It has showed no respect for tribal subsistence and ceremonial rights. This is an overt violation of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. Article 32, Section 2, of the Declaration mandates “free prior and informed consent” in consultation with the indigenous population affected by a state action (http://www.iwgia.org/sw248.asp).
The MLPA Initiative is responsible for killing an endangered blue whale off Fort Bragg in October 2009 by contracting out a law-breaking survey operation to survey the ocean bottom.
It is responsible for until recently violating the Bagley-Keene Act and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by banning video and audio coverage of the initiative’s secretive work sessions.
It is responsible for installing an oil industry lobbyist, a marina developer, a real estate executive and other corporate interests as “marine guardians” to kick Indian Tribes, fishermen and seaweed harvesters, the greatest defenders of the oceans, off the ocean.
It is responsible to attempting to divide and conquer environmentalists, fishermen and tribal communities by trying to split them into separate groups in the Regional Stakeholders Group on the North Coast.
It is responsible for completely discarding the results of any scientists who disagree with the MLPA’s pre-ordained conclusions. These include the peer reviewed study by Dr. Ray Hilborn, Dr. Boris Worm and 18 other scientists, featured in Science magazine in July 2009, that concluded that the California current had the lowest rate of fishery exploitation of any place studied on the planet.
Finally, it is responsible for refusing to hear the pleas of the representatives of California Fish and Game Wardens Association, who oppose the creation of any new MPAs until they have enough funding for wardens to patrol existing reserves. That’s why the wardens refer to MPAs as “Marine Poaching Areas.”
There needs to be an immediate federal and state investigation of the corruption, conflicts of interests, mission creep, violations of human rights and other violations of state and federal laws that have occurred under the MLPA.
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In Print This Week:
Apr 28, 2016
vol XXVII issue 17
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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