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  • Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF)

    A policy-level  board consisting of five public leaders appointed by the secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency to one of the five MLPA study regions. BRTF members were appointed based on their knowledge, vision, public policy expertise, and the diversity of professional expertise.

    The BRTF evaluated Marine Protected Area (MPA) proposals from their respective Regional Stakeholder Group (RSG) before presenting them to the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) for approval. The BRTF also provided information and recommendations for coordinating MPA management with federal agencies.

  • External Array

    A Marine Protected Area (MPA) network proposed in the first round of planning for each study region by local resource users and groups who may or may not be directly affiliated with the MLPA process.

  • Federally Recognized Tribe

    An American Indian or Alaska Native tribal entity that is recognized as having a government-to-government relationship with the United States, and is eligible for funding and services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

    Federally recognized tribes are also recognized as possessing certain inherent rights of self-government (i.e., tribal sovereignty) and are entitled to receive certain federal benefits, services, and protections because of their special relationship with the United States.  At present, there are 566 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages.

  • I-Team

    The MLPA Initiative Team, which consisted of facilitation staff and mediators, staff from both the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and select contractors.

  • Levels of Protection (LOP)

    LOPs were developed by the Science Advisory Team (SAT)  as a means of distinguishing between the ecosystem impacts of allowed uses proposed by stakeholders in different kinds of MPAs. Proposed allowed uses were reviewed by the SAT and assigned one of six LOPs, ranging from “very high” to “low.”. These LOPs were
    then used to group MPAs in several different analyses, including SAT evaluations of habitat representation, habitat replication, MPA size, and MPA spacing.

  • Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA)

    The 1999 California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) required the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) to increase their coherence and effectiveness at protecting the state’s marine life, habitat, and ecosystems through the evaluation of existing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the design of new ones.

  • Marine Map

    A web-based tool that facilitates the visualization of geographic information. Users can draw prospective Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and receive immediate feedback on the protections and impacts afforded by the drawn proposal. Users can then adjust the proposal or share it with other process participants, even those with no background in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

  • Marine Protected Area (MPA)

    A geographic area of the ocean designed to protect and conserve aquatic life, habitat, and cultural resources.  In the United States, there are over 1,600 MPAs in existence, which span a range of habitats, including the open ocean, coastal areas, inter-tidal zones, and estuaries. The characteristics of a MPA commonly include conservation focus, level of protection, permanence of protection, constancy of protection, and ecological scale of protection.

    The activities allowed within an MPA can vary greatly. For example, a marine reserve will typically have a “no take” restriction, meaning that no fishing or other types of resource gathering are allowed within its bounds. Other types of MPAs allow multiple uses within guidelines, such as fishing, gathering, and certain recreation activities.

  • MLPA Initiative

    A public-private partnership established to help the State of California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) implement the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) on a regional basis. In each MLPA study region, the Initiative completed a collaborative design process of potential MPAs with the advice and assistance of scientists, resource managers, experts, stakeholders and members of the public.

  • MLPA Process

    A ten-year long collaborative process, which established a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in California state waters, as required by the 1999 California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA).  Implemented sequentially through four regional processes, the MLPA Initiative ultimately designated 16% of state waters as protected areas.

    Funded by more than $35 million in public and philanthropic dollars, the effort involved an extensive staff team supplemented by contracted professional facilitators to design the process and run thousands of hours of meetings.  Due to California open meetings laws and the desire to ensure transparency of the process, most meetings were recorded by AGP Video, Inc. and archived on the CAL-SPAN Internet distribution network.  The recordings provide an unparalleled record of a complex, science-intensive and conflict-laden process, and the ways that the managers of the process worked to ensure its effectiveness and productivity.

    In each study region, an appointed regional stakeholder group (RSG) developed MPA proposals that were reviewed and evaluated by a science advisory team (SAT), the California Department of Fish and Game, MLPA Initiative staff, and a policy-level blue ribbon task force (BRTF). Based on these evaluations and public input, MPA proposals were then refined by the RSG and presented to the BRTF, who made a recommendation to the California Fish and Game Commission, who had the sole authority to adopt and implement MPAs.

    The general public was involved in a variety of ways, including: direct communication with RSG members, attendance at workshops and public meetings, and by providing input on public documents and MPA proposals as they were developed.

  • Parking Lot

    A conceptual space that holds future agenda items.  By assigning a topic to the parking lot, the mediators acknowledge its importance and provide assurance that it will be dealt with later to the individual(s) who originated the topic. Then, the topic can be scheduled for discussion at a more appropriate moment. Future process developments may also occur that will make the topic less relevant and necessary.

  • Rancherias

    Parcels of land provided to indigent Indians in California who had been forced from their homes. Many rancherias are today federally recognized by the U.S. government.

  • Regional Stakeholder Group (RSG)

    A group appointed by the director of the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) for each MLPA study region, for the purpose of contributing their knowledge about local resources and resource uses to help create a regional profile and redesign the region’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

    The regional stakeholder group worked to develop MPA proposals that were reviewed and evaluated by a science advisory team (SAT), the California Department of Fish and Game, MLPA Initiative staff, and a policy-level blue ribbon task force (BRTF). Based on these evaluations and public input, MPA proposals were then refined by the RSG and presented to the BRTF.

  • Science Advisory Team (SAT)

    A team appointed within each study region by the director of the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) to help advise the science used in the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process. Members of the SAT are technical experts in a range of fields including marine ecology, fisheries, the design of marine protected areas, economics, and social sciences. The SAT provided scientific information and technical judgment while reviewing MPA proposals and master plan documents, and responding to any scientific issues or questions raised by the Blue Ribbon Task Force  (BRTF) or the members of the Regional Stakeholder Group (RSG).

  • State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA)

    An MPA designation that may allow some recreational and/or commercial take of marine resources (restrictions vary).

  • State Marine Recreational Management Area (SMRMA)

    A designation that limits recreational and commercial take of marine resources, while allowing for legal waterfowl hunting to occur; provides subtidal protection equivalent to an MPA (restrictions vary).

  • State Marine Reserve (SMR)

    An MPA designation that prohibits damage or take of all marine resources (living, geologic, or cultural) including recreational and commercial take.

  • Straw Polling

    A method used to survey the stakeholders involved in a collaborative process on a particular issue, which usually consists of asking each person to indicate a preference on said issue.