WEATHER »

Paul Wellman (file)

Otter Activists Fear Gallegly Proposal

Under Guise of Helping Military, Bill Would Block Protections for Species South of Point Conception


After its initial congressional hearing on April 19, sea otter activists continue to monitor Rep. Elton Gallegly’s “Military Readiness and Southern Sea Otter Conservation Act,” which would make it easier for the Navy to test weapons on San Nicolas Island while protecting commercial fishermen from competition with the threatened marine mammal that loves urchins, abalone, and other shellfish.

The bill is an end-around the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s recent decision to begin extending federal protections for the otter into waters south of Point Conception. “We really have no problem with the military piece of this bill,” said Brad Hunt of The Otter Project. “But they’ve basically hidden the fisheries piece within a military readiness bill.” The bill will be picked up again on May 9, could be voted on by the House as soon as May 14, and then goes to the Senate, but action there is not expected until after the November election.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Montecito Pushes Back on Streamlined Rebuild Process

Not so fast with fast-track rebuilding, leaders tell the county

St. George Files Suit Against Gelb for Unpaid Debt

Pair of Isla Vista landlords in legal tussle over property sales costs.

Thousands of Plaintiffs Added to Refugio Oil Spill Case

Litigation follows footsteps of 1969 Union Oil spill attorneys.

Push Comes to Shove Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health

County supervisors confront too many needs with not enough money.

Helicopter Hits Electrical Wires, Starts Small Fire

A crop duster hit power lines in Ellwood Canyon.