BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS

          Bill No:  SB 1303
          Author:   Wolk (D)
          Amended:  6/2/10
          Vote:     21

           SENATE NATURAL RES. & WATER COMMITTEE  :  9-0, 4/13/10
          AYES:  Pavley, Cogdill, Hollingsworth, Huff, Kehoe,  
            Lowenthal, Padilla, Simitian, Wolk

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8 

           SENATE FLOOR  :  30-0, 5/10/10
          AYES:  Aanestad, Alquist, Calderon, Cedillo, Cogdill,  
            Correa, Cox, DeSaulnier, Ducheny, Florez, Hancock,  
            Hollingsworth, Huff, Kehoe, Leno, Lowenthal, Negrete  
            McLeod, Padilla, Pavley, Price, Romero, Runner, Simitian,  
            Steinberg, Strickland, Walters, Wolk, Wright, Wyland, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Ashburn, Corbett, Denham, Dutton,  
            Harman, Liu, Oropeza, Wiggins

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  71-0, 8/5/10 (Consent) - See last page for  

           SUBJECT  :    Protected species:  accidental take:   
          agricultural activities

           SOURCE  :     Author

           DIGEST  :    This bill extends the repeal date on the  
          exemption in the California Endangered Species Act for  


                                                               SB 1303

          accidental take of species resulting from otherwise lawful  
          routine and ongoing agricultural activities to 2014, and  
          encourages public education of voluntary programs for  
          agricultural activities that promote wildlife habitat.

           Assembly Amendments  further extend the repeal date  
          regarding accidental take of endangered species from  
          January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2014, authorize the  
          Department of Fish and Game to approve specified  
          applications, and require specified organizations to file  
          an annual report. 

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law:

          1.Exempts, until January 1, 2011, accidental take of  
            candidate, threatened or endangered species resulting  
            from acts that occur on a farm or ranch in the course of  
            otherwise lawful routine and ongoing agricultural  
            activities from the prohibitions of take under the  
            California Endangered Species Act (CESA). 

          2.Requires the Department of Fish and Game (DFG), in  
            cooperation with the Department of Food and Agriculture  
            and other entities, to adopt regulations authorizing  
            locally designed voluntary programs for routine and  
            ongoing agricultural activities on farms or ranches that  
            encourage habitat for species listed under the CESA and  
            wildlife generally. Authorizes agricultural  
            commissioners, farmers and others to propose such  
            voluntary programs to DFG. 

          3.Authorizes DFG to enter into a safe harbor agreement with  
            a landowner who voluntarily undertakes activities to  
            benefit wildlife and allowing incidental take of listed  
            species upon a finding of "net conservation benefit." 

          This bill: 

          1.Makes legislative findings and declarations regarding  
            CESA, voluntary habitat management and safe harbor  
            agreement programs, the importance of providing  
            incentives to private landowners for voluntary  
            conservation activities that promote wildlife habitat,  
            and the importance of efficient and timely permitting  


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            processes for such projects. 

          2.States legislative intent to authorize nonprofit  
            agricultural organizations to develop educational  
            materials and to conduct public outreach to farming  
            communities that will inform stakeholders of CESA,  
            existing voluntary habitat conservation programs,  
            economic incentives available to landowners, and existing  
            statutory protections for adjacent landowners. 

          3.Authorizes DFG to approve applications submitted by  
            nonprofit agricultural organizations and other nonprofits  
            for public education and outreach activities to promote  
            voluntary programs for routine and ongoing agricultural  
            activities that encourage wildlife habitat. Requires the  
            applications to include specified information. 

          4.Requires a participating organization to file an annual  
            report with DFG before the end of each calendar year  
            covered by the application that includes information on  
            activities conducted, all means used of communicating  
            with the public and agricultural community, responses  
            received, an assessment of existing knowledge on existing  
            programs and laws, and information on any farm or ranch  
            that has expressed an interest in participating in a  
            voluntary program. 

          5.Extends the sunset repeal date on the existing CESA  
            exemption for accidental take resulting from otherwise  
            lawful, routine and ongoing agricultural activities for  
            three years from 2011 to 2014.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/5/10)

          Agricultural Council of California
          Alliance of Western Milk Producers
          Association of California Water Agencies
          California Association of Winegrape Growers
          California Cattlemen's Association
          California Chamber of Commerce
          California Citrus Mutual


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          California Cotton Ginners Association
          California Cotton Growers Association
          California Farm Bureau Federation
          California Grape and Tree Fruit League
          California Outdoor Heritage Alliance
          California State Association of Counties
          California Tomato Growers Association
          Imperial Irrigation District
          Kern County Water Agency
          Kings River Conservation District
          Kings River Water Association
          Modesto Irrigation District
          Nisei Farmers League
          Regional Council of Rural Counties
          Resource Landowner's Coalition
          Solano County Water Agency
          Western Agricultural Processors Association
          Western Growers 

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author's office,  
          this bill is needed to avoid the sunsetting of the  
          accidental take provisions and to implement educational  
          outreach activities that promote the objectives of CESA.   
          Supporters note that farmers and ranchers provide habitat  
          for wildlife throughout the state, and that extension of  
          the accidental take exemption provides an incentive for  
          farmers not to use "scorched earth" farming practices.   
          They assert that continuation of the sunset further  
          encourages development of wildlife friendly farming  

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  
          AYES: Adams, Ammiano, Anderson, Arambula, Bass, Beall, Bill  
            Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bradford,  
            Brownley, Buchanan, Caballero, Charles Calderon, Carter,  
            Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto, De La Torre, De Leon,  
            DeVore, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fong, Fuentes, Fuller, Gaines,  
            Galgiani, Garrick, Gatto, Gilmore, Hagman, Hall, Harkey,  
            Hayashi, Hernandez, Huber, Huffman, Jeffries, Jones,  
            Knight, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Miller,  
            Monning, Nava, Nestande, Niello, Nielsen, Norby,  
            Portantino, Ruskin, Salas, Saldana, Silva, Skinner,  
            Solorio, Audra Strickland, Swanson, Torlakson, Torres,  


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            Torrico, Tran, Villines, Yamada, John A. Perez
          NO VOTE RECORDED: Blakeslee, Davis, Fletcher, Furutani,  
            Hill, Lieu, V. Manuel Perez, Smyth, Vacancy

          CTW:nl  8/6/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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