BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 815
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          AB 815 (Berryhill)
          As Amended April 30, 2007
          Majority vote 

           WATER, PARKS & WILDLIFE    11-0 APPROPRIATIONS      15-0        
          |Ayes:|Wolk, Maze, Anderson,     |Ayes:|Leno, Walters, Caballero, |
          |     |Berryhill, Caballero,     |     |Davis, DeSaulnier,        |
          |     |Charles Calderon,         |     |Emmerson, Huffman,        |
          |     |Huffman, La Malfa, Lieu,  |     |Karnette, Krekorian, La   |
          |     |Parra, Salas              |     |Malfa, Lieu, Ma,          |
          |     |                          |     |Nakanishi, Sharon Runner, |
          |     |                          |     |Solorio                   |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           SUMMARY  :  Prohibits a city of county from adopting an ordinance  
          or regulation that affects the taking of fish or game within its  
          jurisdiction except under narrow circumstances relating to  
          public health and safety.  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)States legislative findings and declarations regarding a 1927  
            California Supreme Court decision holding that local  
            governments are prohibited from regulating or interfering with  
            the taking of fish and game, and the Legislature's delegation  
            of regulatory powers to the Fish and Game Commission (FGC)  
            over hunting and fishing.  States legislative findings that  
            hunting and fishing are statistically among the safest of  
            outdoor recreational activities, and are compatible with other  
            recreational uses on many public lands and waters.

          2)States legislative intent to affirm the exclusive legal  
            authority granted to FGC and the Department of Fish and Game  
            (DFG) with regard to the taking of fish and game, and to  
            ensure continued statewide control by FGC and DFG over all  
            fish and game matters.  States legislative intent to protect  
            public health and safety, and to minimize the need for  
            litigation by serving as a guide for cities and counties.

          3)Declares that the state has fully occupied the field of fish  
            and game.


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          4)Prohibits a city or county from adopting an ordinance or  
            regulation that affects the taking of fish and game unless the  
            ordinance or regulation is necessary to protect public health  
            and safety, protection of public health and safety is its  
            principal purpose, and the ordinance or regulation only has an  
            incidental effect upon the field of fish and game.

          5)Authorizes a city or county to take into consideration  
            specified factors when adopting ordinances that comply with  
            the above requirements.

          6)Provides that no ordinance or regulation adopted by a city or  
            county that would affect taking of fish and game shall apply  
            to any areas where the taking of fish and game may take place  
            without endangering public health and safety.

          7)Prohibits any city or county ordinance or regulation from  
            applying to the taking of fish and game in any of the  
            following areas, as long as the taking complies with all  
            applicable state and federal laws, including state law  
            restricting the use of weapons in "safety zone" areas, defined  
            under current law as within 150 yards of an occupied dwelling:

             a)   On any lands or waters owned and managed by state or  
               federal government;

             b)   On any private lands outside of a city's geographical  
               limits where the taking of fish and game may occur safely;

             c)   On any lands or waters outside a city's geographical  
               limits where FGC or DFG determines that the taking of fish  
               and game is necessary for wildlife management, public  
               health and safety, or other purposes;

             d)   On any private lands inside a city's geographical limits  
               where certain limited-range weapons may be used safely to  
               take fish or game.

          8)Requires FGC, DFG, or any other governmental entity authorized  
            to impact taking of fish and game on navigable waters held in  
            public trust to consider the fishing and hunting rights of the  
            public guaranteed under the California Constitution.

          9)Provides that unless otherwise expressly authorized by law,  


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            FGC is the only entity authorized to adopt or promulgate  
            regulations regarding the taking of fish and game on any lands  
            or waters within the state.  Provides that this subsection  
            does not prohibit a private landowner or their designee from  
            restricting the taking of fish and game on property they own  
            in fee.

          10)States that this section does not necessarily invalidate an  
            ordinance or regulation in its entirety, and only those  
            specific geographical areas not meeting the requirements of  
            this section shall be affected.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Authorizes the Legislature, under the California Constitution,  
            to delegate to FGC powers relating to the protection and  
            propagation of fish and game.  The Legislature, by statute,  
            has delegated to FGC the power to regulate the taking or  
            possession of fish and game, in accordance with state fish and  
            game laws.  The California Constitution also guarantees the  
            right to fish on the public lands and waters of the state and  
            prohibits laws to impede access to these lands for the purpose  
            of fishing.

          2)Gives local governments authority, under the California  
            Constitution, to make and enforce within their limits all  
            local, police, sanitary and other ordinances and regulations  
            not in conflict with general law.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, negligible costs to FGC and DFG to review local  
          ordinances and regulations.

           COMMENTS  :  The author has introduced this bill to ensure  
          comprehensive, biologically-based state control over the  
          management of fish and game by keeping local governments from  
          regulating fish and game matters unless legitimate public safety  
          reasons require otherwise.  This bill also seeks to prevent  
          duplicative or contradictory fish and game regulations, provide  
          guidance to local governments, encourage greater communication  
          between local governments and DFG, and maintain hunting and  
          fishing as incentives for private landowners to enter into  
          conservation easements or other habitat protection agreements.


                                                                  AB 815
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          Opponents of this bill assert that cities and counties should  
          retain the right to determine activities within their  
          jurisdiction according to their best judgment and local  
          preferences.  Arguments raised in opposition include that this  
          bill would shift the balance of power between local governments  
          and the state, would prohibit a local government from adopting  
          an ordinance to prohibit the setting of traps which might injure  
          or kill pets or pose a hazard for young children, and would have  
          a chilling effect on the exercise of police powers by local  
          governments to protect public safety and property.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Diane Colborn / W., P. & W. / (916)  

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