Tag Archives: San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors

The perils of approving a marine sanctuary

The word sanctuary has a nice sound. A holy place or natural retreat for animals. Add marine. Marine sanctuary. A safe place for Dory. Add Native Americans. It’s a trifecta: Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary. Sounds so beautiful. Or is it? Our San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors has had two hearings on this subject in recent weeks. Other cities and agencies have also been hearing this proposal. But, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 against the establishment of a sanctuary off our coast. How can this be? Proponents for the sanctuary delivered 12,000 signatures on petitions to demonstrate local support. On the other side, the opponents appeared to have fewer than 400 supporters. On one hand, thousands of local citizen have faced off against the small business community as represented by commercial fishermen, ranchers, farmers and the Chamber of Commerce. An analogy may be that this is a case of popular vote versus the Electoral College as we saw in the recent presidential election. Another wrinkle is the name of the sanctuary. Although “Chumash” is used in the title, the only state and federally recognized Chumash Tribe, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has not endorsed the sanctuary bearing their name. Another state recognized tribe, The Salinan Tribe, has not endorsed the sanctuary either. What’s going on? Great read! Read the story here 08:56

SLO County supervisors vote 3-2 to oppose Chumash National Heritage Marine Sanctuary

After hours of public comment and discussion, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 passing a resolution to oppose the proposed Chumash National Heritage Marine Sanctuary. Prior to the 9:00 a.m. meeting, protestors rallied in front of the County Government Center in downtown San Luis Obispo, holding signs in support of the sanctuary,,, Opponents of the sanctuary argue it’s unnecessary.  “The marine sanctuary is an overreaching regulatory issue and we don’t need it here on the Central Coast,” said Amber Johnson, a local political consultant. Others who also opposed the sanctuary said it would hurt the small commercial fishing industry and that there doesn’t need to be another layer of government. Chris Voss, a commercial fisherman from Santa Barbara, said he’s experienced the negative side of coastal sanctuaries.  “Their declaration that they will not interfere with local fisheries has not been the case,” Voss said. Read the story here 09:00