BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       



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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 2376
          Author:   Huffman (D)
          Amended:  7/15/10 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE NATURAL RES. & WATER COMMITTEE  :  6-3, 6/29/10
          AYES:  Pavley, Kehoe, Lowenthal, Padilla, Simitian, Wolk
          NOES:  Cogdill, Hollingsworth, Huff

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  10-0, 8/2/10
          AYES:  Kehoe, Alquist, Ashburn, Corbett, Emmerson, Leno,  
            Price, Wolk, Wyland, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Walters

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  48-27, 6/2/10 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Fish and wildlife: strategic vision

           SOURCE  :     Author


           DIGEST  :    This bill requires the Secretary of the Natural  
          Resources Agency to convene a committee to develop and  
          submit to the Governor and Legislature, a strategic vision  
          for the Department of Fish and Game and the Fish and Game  
          Commission.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law:

          1.Establishes the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) as a  
            department of the Natural Resources Agency, administered  
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            through the director, with responsibility for managing  
            and conserving the state's fish and wildlife and their  
            habitat. Provides that the fish and wildlife resources of  
            the state are held in trust for the people of the state  
            by and through DFG. 

          2.Establishes in the state constitution, Article IV,  
            Section 20, the Fish and Game Commission (FGC), composed  
            of five members appointed by the Governor, subject to  
            Senate confirmation. Authorizes the Legislature to  
            delegate to the FGC such powers relating to the  
            protection and propagation of fish and game as the  
            Legislature sees fit.  The Legislature has delegated to  
            the FGC and to DFG various responsibilities for the  
            protection, management and regulation of fish and game  
            and their habitats. 

          3.Provides that the FGC shall formulate general policies  
            for the conduct of DFG, and provides that the DFG  
            director is to be guided by those policies and  
            responsible to the FGC for administering DFG in accord  
            with those policies. 

          This bill: 

          1.Directs the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to  
            convene a committee to develop and submit to the  
            Legislature, by July 1, 2012, a strategic vision for DFG  
            and FGC. 

          2.Provides that the committee shall include the Secretary,  
            the Director of DFG, the President of the FGC, the Chair  
            of the California Energy Commission, a representative of  
            the University of California, and representatives of the  
            U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine  
            Fisheries Service. 

          3.Requires that the strategic vision address specified  
            matters relating to fish and game management, by both DFG  
            and the FGC, including but not limited to:  biodiversity  
            management and ecosystem functions; permitting and  
            regulatory functions; opportunities for recreational and  
            commercial harvest; scientific capacity; relations with  
            the public, landowners, nonprofits and other land  

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            management agencies; reforms necessary to address  
            challenges of the 21st Century; use of technology and  
            data systems; clarification of the roles of DFG and FGC;  
            and strategies for identifying other stable funding  
            options to reduce DFG's dependence on the General Fund. 

          4.Directs the committee to seek input from other entities  
            and interested parties, and review existing reports and  
            other state models. 

          5.Requires the Governor or the committee to appoint a "blue  
            ribbon" or citizen commission or task force, a  
            stakeholder advisory group and any other group the  
            Governor or committee deems necessary or desirable to  
            assist in carrying out this task.  Requires that a  
            stakeholder advisory group appointed shall be broadly  
            constructed to represent a diverse range of interests as  
            specified. 

          6.Provides that this section shall sunset after the  
            strategic vision is submitted or January 1, 2015,  
            whichever date is later.  Requires that the strategic  
            vision be submitted in compliance with Government Code  
            Section 9795.

           Background
           
          DFG is a department of the State Natural Resources Agency,  
          administered through the director, with responsibility for  
          managing and conserving the state's fish and wildlife and  
          their habitat.  The California Fish and Game Code states  
          that the fish and wildlife resources of the state are held  
          in trust for the people of the state by and through DFG. 

          Among its many activities are:  conducting biological and  
          field investigations, operation of fish hatcheries,  
          licensing for hunting and fishing, wildlife disease  
          investigation, review of CEQA documents that affect  
          streambed alterations or wildlife habitat, review of timber  
          harvest plans, land management for lands under its  
          jurisdiction, habitat planning and management, enforcement  
          of wildlife protection and hunting and fishing laws, and  
          oil spill planning, enforcement, and response. 


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          The state constitution, Article IV, Section 20, created the  
          FGC, composed of five members appointed by the Governor,  
          subject to Senate confirmation.  Section 200 of the Fish  
          and Game Code delegated to the FGC powers relating to the  
          protection and propagation of fish and game.  Elsewhere,  
          the Legislature has delegated to the FGC and to DFG various  
          responsibilities for the protection, management and  
          regulation of fish and game and their habitats.  For  
          example, the FGC is generally granted the power to regulate  
          hunting and fishing seasons. 

          State law provides that the FGC shall formulate general  
          policies for the conduct of DFG, and provides that the DFG  
          director is to be guided by those policies and responsible  
          to the FGC for administering DFG in accord with those  
          policies.    

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee: 

                          Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions                2010-11     2011-12     
           2012-13   Fund  
          Staff support & expenses                $300      Special*

          *Fish and Game Preservation Fund

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/31/10)

          Green California
          California Fish and Game Commission
          Audubon California
          California Coastkeeper Alliance
          California Council of Land Trusts
          California Trout
          Defenders of Wildlife
          Monterey Bay Aquarium
          Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
          The Nature Conservancy
          The Sportfishing Conservancy
          Trout Unlimited

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          Trust for Public Land

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/31/10)

          Association of California Water Agencies 

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    Defenders of Wildlife states that  
          DFG's previous reliance on hunting and fishing revenues is  
          inadequate for its contemporary tasks and that the result  
          of a strategic planning process could help both DFG and FGC  
          again be leaders in natural resource protection and  
          stewardship. 

          California Council of Land Trusts notes that California is  
          home to approximately 110,000 species of plants and  
          animals, of which more than 350 are threatened or  
          endangered. Additionally, the state's extensive waterways,  
          wilderness areas, and other public lands are an integral  
          part of the state's infrastructure and deserve the best  
          management and oversight that can be provided. 

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The Association of California  
          Water Agencies (ACWA) believes that DFG should be supported  
          with increased general fund revenues and that the search  
          for other DFG funding sources could result in higher fees  
          paid by its members, which ACWA would oppose. 


           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES:  Ammiano, Arambula, Bass, Beall, Block, Blumenfield,  
            Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, Caballero, Charles  
            Calderon, Carter, Chesbro, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De  
            Leon, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Hall,  
            Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill, Huber, Huffman, Jones, Bonnie  
            Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Monning, Nava, V. Manuel Perez,  
            Portantino, Ruskin, Salas, Saldana, Skinner, Solorio,  
            Swanson, Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Yamada, John A.  
            Perez
          NOES:  Adams, Anderson, Bill Berryhill, Blakeslee, Conway,  
            Cook, DeVore, Emmerson, Fletcher, Fuller, Gaines,  
            Garrick, Gilmore, Hagman, Harkey, Jeffries, Knight,  
            Logue, Miller, Nestande, Niello, Nielsen, Norby, Silva,  
            Smyth, Tran, Villines
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Tom Berryhill, Galgiani, Lieu, Audra  

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            Strickland


          CTW:nl  8/31/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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