Otter Bill Bad for Otters?

Rep. Elton Gallegly’s Attempt to Help Military Testing and Sea Creatures Gets Attacked by Otter Activists

Last week, Representative Elton Gallegly announced the introduction of the Military Readiness and Southern Sea Otter Conservation Act, which the Republican Congressmember promised would protect the Navy’s ability to test its weapons on San Nicolas Island while “allowing the southern sea otter to expand its habitat to wherever it wants.”

But within hours, sea otter advocates fired off their own press release, explaining that Gallegly’s bill would undermine the recent decision by the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service to extend protections for otters in Southern California waters, and is instead a means of keeping shellfishing industry — which sees the voracious otter as an enemy — happy.

Said Steve Shinmek of The Otter Project, “This stealth bill should properly be renamed the We Don’t Want No Stinkin’ Otters Act.” Meanwhile, the Fish & Wildlife Service also appeared to be caught off guard by Gallegly’s bill, as spokesperson Lois Grunwald explained, “We are still reviewing the text of the bill to gain a thorough understanding of it.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Dyer Returns as Interim Fire Chief

When Eric Peterson steps down, Mike Dyer will fill in for County Fire.

Santa Barbara Bodybuilder Wins Mr. Olympia Competition

At 43, Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden ties for the oldest champ in the contest's history.

Renovated Cabrillo Ball Park Now Open

The park got new exercise equipment, multi-use grass turf areas, and an upgraded softball field.

UCSB Researcher Charged with Molesting Child on Campus

Dr. Hongjun Zhou was arrested September 6.

Teen Serial Robber Caught and Confesses

The suspect was identified through an anonymous tipster.