The US Fish and Wildlife Service announced on October 28 that they are reopening the comment period on their proposal to end the Southern Sea Otter Translocation Program which will also remove the “No-Otter” Zone. The Service is responding to a September 2011 request by the California Sea Urchin Commission for an extension to the comment period on the proposed rule and revised draft SEIS.
This is just another ploy by the sea urchin commission to try and delay the process and a final decision to terminate the program once again. The Commission was an “intervener” in our lawsuit and was well aware that the Service was required to have the Draft SEIS available by September 1, 2011 followed by the comment period.
The sea urchin industry was created in the absence of the urchins natural predator, sea otters. We do not want this industry to collapse and for fisherman to lose their jobs but they should realize that all businesses must adapt to change in order to survive and this is what they will have to do over the next decade or so. Otters were almost wiped out in the early 19th century, yet they adapted to the “changes” forced upon them and survived. The sea urchin community could learn a lot from otters.
The comment period will REOPEN this Friday, November 4th for 15 days. If you have not submitted comments of support for the Services’ proposal to END the Southern Sea Otter Translocation program. Please take the time to do so now! This will be the last opportunity to make sure your voice is heard.
Make sure to visit our resources page at freetheotters.org if you’re unclear about what to comment on or for ideas to help you compose your comments.
Here is how you can comment:
1. Go to the www.regulations.gov webpage to submit comments. Please note there is a 20 minute time limit for this page so we suggest writing your comments first. Fill in the required information form. Then, you can upload your document (pdf preferred) or you can copy and paste your comments in the comment box. For an example of what to include in your comment box, read our issues page.
2. When you are done, make sure you click Submit!
Let’s help the otters float on and reclaim their natural range!