BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1254
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   January 21, 2010

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                Kevin De Leon, Chair

               AB 1254 (Tom Berryhill) - As Amended:  January 14, 2010 

          Policy Committee:                              Water, Parks and  
          Wildlife     Vote:                            11-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              No

           SUMMARY  

          This bill makes several modifications to the Fish and Game Code  
          regarding hunting and fishing.  Specifically, this bill:

          1)Authorizes the Fish and Game Commission (FGC) to hold no fewer  
            than eight regular meetings per year, instead of no fewer than  
            10 as currently required, provided FGC has adequate travel  
            funding. 

          2)Increases from two to three the number of FGC's regular  
            meetings that can be held in Sacramento each year. 

          3)Repeals existing statute, which is duplicative of other  
            statutes, making it unlawful to hunt on private property  
            posted with "PRIVATE PROPERTY NO HUNTING" signs.

          4)Modifies existing law, which currently requires the Fish and  
            Game Commission (FGC) to encourage multiple recreational uses  
            of state wildlife management areas, to require the FGC to  
            particularly encourage hunting and fishing.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Possible minor savings of about $50,000 per year resulting from  
          FGC's authority to hold one more of its regular meetings in  
          Sacramento each year.

           COMMENTS  

              1)   Rationale  .   The sponsors contend this bill:
           








                                                                 AB 1254
                                                                  Page  2

                a)     Provides flexibility to FGC meeting requirements  
                 that allow the commission to better respond to funding  
                 deficits;

               b)     Repeals statute regarding hunting restrictions on  
                 private property that is unnecessary because it  
                 duplicates other sections of statute; and 

               c)     Result in more wildlife management areas in the  
                 state that allow hunting and fishing.



             1)   Background.  

                a)     Fish and Game Commission meeting requirements  .    
                 Current law requires FGC to meet no less than 10 times a  
                 year, with no more than two of those meetings occurring  
                 in Sacramento.  Recurring funding constraints have  
                 strained FGC's ability to fulfill this meeting  
                 requirement.

                b)     No means no .  This bill repeals Section 2017, which  
                 prohibits hunting on lands posted with "PRIVATE PROPERTY  
                 NO HUNTING" signs.  Similarly, Fish and Game Code Section  
                 2016 also prohibits hunting on lands posted with no  
                 trespassing signs.  Indeed, the Department of Fish and  
                 Game previously has proposed eliminating Section 2017,  
                 though no such change to the codes has been made.  While  
                 it is true that these sections are duplicative, it is not  
                 clear what problems result from this duplication.

                c)     Many activities encouraged, hunting and fishing  
                 included  .  Section 1528 of the Fish and Game Code  
                 declares the desirability of "multiple recreation use" of  
                 state wildlife management areas.  The statute requires  
                 FGC to encourage such use.  The section specifically  
                 references certain activities, including hunting,  
                 fishing, camping, and boating.  The section does not,  
                 however, prioritize any possible recreational use or uses  
                 over any other.

              2)   Supporters  , including several hunting and fishing  
               advocacy groups, contend the bill is needed to help FGC  
               manage funding constraints, clean up duplicative sections  








                                                                  AB 1254
                                                                  Page  3

               of the law, and encourage hunting and fishing on public  
               wildlife management areas.

              3)   Opponents  , including several animal protection  
               organizations, expressed concerns in policy committee with  
               provisions of the bill that were struck by the committee.   
               Presumably, these organizations still oppose provisions of  
               the bill that would require FGC to specifically encourage  
               hunting and fishing on public wildlife management areas.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Jay Dickenson / APPR. / (916) 319-2081