BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

           AB 2376
                                                                  Page  1

          AB 2376 (Huffman)
          As Amended  July 15, 2010
          Majority vote
          |ASSEMBLY:  |48-27|(June 2, 2010)  |SENATE: |21-15|(August 31,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2010)          |
           Original Committee Reference:    W., P. & W.

          SUMMARY  :   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 (DFG) and the Fish and Game Commission (FGC).

           The Senate amendments  :

          1)Modify the scope of the committee's work to include  
            recommendations on improvements to the FGC in addition to DFG.

          2)Delete the requirement that the committee to be created by  
            this bill seek funding from nonstate entities.

           EXISTING LAW  :  

          1)Establishes DFG as 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.  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 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  


           AB 2376
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            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.

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill:

          1)Required the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency to  
            convene a committee to develop and submit to the Governor and  
            Legislature, a strategic vision for DFG and FGC by July 1,  
            2012.  The committee would 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 United States Fish and  
            Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.  

          2)Called for the strategic vision to address specified matters  
            relating to fish and game management, 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 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.  

          3)Required the Governor or the committee to appoint a "blue  
            ribbon" or citizen commission or task force, and a stakeholder  
            advisory group to assist in carrying out this task.  The  
            committee was required to seek funding from non-state entities  
            to minimize the use of state funds, and provided that this  
            bill be implemented to the extent nonstate funds are available  
            for that purpose.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, estimated costs of $300,000 in 2011-12 (Special  

           COMMENTS  :   The mission of DFG is to manage California's fish,  
          wildlife and plants, and the habitats upon which they depend,  
          for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by  
          the public.  In addition to its traditional role of managing  
          fish and game activities, DFG is the state's lead public trustee  


           AB 2376
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          charged with conserving and restoring California's wildlife and  
          ecosystems.  The author introduced this bill with the long-term  
          goal of improving and enhancing DFG's capacity and effectiveness  
          in fulfilling its public trust responsibilities for protection  
          and management of the state's fish and wildlife, for their  
          ecological values and for the benefit of the people of the  
          state.  Numerous past reports and studies, including reports by  
          the Legislative Analyst's Office, the State Auditor, the Little  
          Hoover Commission and others have highlighted the need for  
          reform of DFG.  The Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee,  
          on February 9, 2010, held a day-long informational oversight  
          hearing on DFG during which the Committee reviewed DFG's many  
          mandates and emerging challenges, identified areas where  
          improvements are needed, and received recommendations on ways  
          that DFG's capacity, effectiveness and accountability could be  
          enhanced.  While a number of common themes emerged from the  
          hearing, it was clear given the complexities, that a  
          comprehensive review and strategic analysis is needed.  This  
          bill provides a pathway for developing that strategic vision,  
          through creation of a state agency-level committee that can look  
          in depth at the issues, with assistance of a blue ribbon or  
          citizen commission and stakeholder advisory group.  A process  
          similar to this approach was used to develop the Delta Vision  
          and strategic plan.

          The Senate amendments are generally nonsubstantive.  The  
          amendment deleting the requirement for the committee to seek  
          nonstate funds was taken in the Senate policy committee.  The  
          policy committee analysis stated in part that "while this bill  
          represents an important step in focusing on ways to improve the  
          work of DFG and FGC,?the important role of the stakeholder  
          committee should not be dependent on private funding?The state  
          costs are admittedly minor, but the stakeholder process, which  
          is a required component of this bill, should not be dependent on  
          the identification of non-state funds." 

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

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