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CALIFORNIA FISH AND GAME: 'SCOPING SESSIONS' SET FOR ECOLOGICAL RESERVE SITES

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Fish and Game will hold four public meetings in March and April to identify environmental issues associated with the possible designation of four new ecological reserves in California's ocean waters, the department said today.
 The "scoping sessions" are designed to help the department prepare an environmental document the State Fish and Game Commission can use in deciding where to create the ecological reserves. The sessions will focus on identifying issues to be addressed by department staff in the environmental documents.
 Creation of the reserves is mandated by the Marine Resources Protection Act of 1990, passed as Proposition 132 by the voters in November 1990. The act mandates that the commission designate four new ecological reserves along the mainland coast by Jan. 1, 1994.
 The reserves are to be used for research into management and enhancement of marine fisheries. The State Attorney General has issued the opinion that these reserves are to be used solely for research, to the exclusion of other human activities.
 The department currently is evaluating seven alternative sites. From among these, the commission will select four for designation as reserves. As part of its site selection process, the commission plans to hold public hearings during the fall of 1993.
 The seven alternative sites are: Point Arena in Mendocino County, Bodega Headlands in Sonoma County, Big Creek in Monterey County, Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, Point Mugu in Ventura County, Redondo Canyon in Los Angeles County and South Laguna Beach in Orange County.
 The January sessions will focus on identifying the range of potential actions, alternatives, mitigation measures, monitoring and significant effects to be analyzed in depth in the environmental document which the department will prepare for the commission.
 The sessions are scheduled as follows:
 -- Wednesday, March 31, at the VFW Hall, 451 School St., Point Arena (Mendocino County)
 -- Wednesday, April 7, at the Dana Point Resort, 25135 St. of the Park Lantern, Dana Point (Orange County)
 -- Thursday, April 8, at the Porto Finale Inn, 940 East Ocean Ave., Lompoc (Santa Barbara County)
 -- Wednesday, April 14, at the Casa Sirena Marina Resort, 3605 Peninsula Rd., Oxnard (Ventura County)
 All four meetings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
 In addition to verbal presentations at the meetings, the department will accept written comments. These should be addressed to:
 Department of Fish and Game
 Marine Resources Division
 Attn: Don Schultze
 1416 Ninth St.
 Sacramento, CA 95814
 -0- 3/19/93
 /CONTACT: Don Schultze, senior marine biologist of the Marine Resources Division, of the Department of Fish and Game, 916-653-3142/


CO: California Department of Fish and Game ST: California IN: ENV SU:

GT-TM -- SF006 -- 8077 03/19/93 17:37 EST
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Date:Mar 19, 1993
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