BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó


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                                    THIRD READING

          Bill No:  SB 749
          Author:   Wolk (D), et al.
          Amended:  4/16/13
          Vote:     21

          AYES:  Pavley, Cannella, Evans, Fuller, Hueso, Jackson, Lara,  
            Monning, Wolk

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 5/23/13
          AYES:  De León, Walters, Gaines, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg

           SUBJECT  :    Habitat protection:  endangered species

           SOURCE  :     Author

           DIGEST  :    This bill allows lease revenues generated on lands  
          managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to be used  
          to manage those lands, makes changes to the procedures for  
          listing threatened and endangered species, extends the sunset  
          date on accidental take provisions, and encourages the  
          enhancement of upland nesting cover and associated habitat.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Requires that lease revenues generated by DFW from lands that  
             it manages are deposited in the wildlife restoration fund  
             managed by the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB).  These and  


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             related sections in the Fish and Game Code authorize the WCB  
             only to acquire, not manage, lands for DFW. 

          2. Establishes numerous procedural provisions in the California  
             Endangered Species Act that pertain to the scientific review,  
             the contents of the administrative record, ground rules for  
             public participation, and the conduct of public hearings that  
             may be involved in a decision by the Fish and Game Commission  
             (FGC) and DFW. 

          3. Establishes that the "accidental take" of a candidate,  
             threatened, or endangered species that occurs in the course  
             of routine and ongoing agricultural activities is not  
             prohibited.  This provision is scheduled to sunset on January  
             1, 2014. 

          This bill:

          1. Authorizes the DFW to lease department-managed lands for  
             agricultural activities, as specified.  Provides that the  
             moneys collected from those agricultural leases may be used  
             to support the maintenance and operations of  
             department-managed lands from which the moneys were  
             originally collected.  

          2. States that leasing of department-managed lands shall be  
             consistent with the purpose for which the lands were acquired  
             and, if a management plan has been approved, then the leasing  
             must also be compatible with that plan.  Allows lease  
             revenues to be used for operations and maintenance at the  
             lands from which the lease revenues were generated. 

          3. Makes changes to the procedures for listing threatened and  
             endangered species. FGC will have new authority to close the  
             public hearing and the administrative record except under  
             specified circumstances.  These circumstances include a  
             change in federal or state law or when FGC determines that it  
             requires further information.  Requires FGC to make a finding  
             either that the petition to list a new species is inadequate  
             and state the reasons therefore, or that the petition is  
             accepted for consideration and the reasons for that decision.  
              Requires that a peer-reviewed scientific report be completed  
             with 12 months and made available on the DFW Web site for at  
             least 30 days prior to a hearing to consider a listing  



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             decision.  These provisions sunset on January 1, 2017. 

          4. Requires DFW to annually solicit comments and recommendations  
             for the management of lands from the upland game bird  
             advisory committee, that DFW identifies as those lands it  
             will manage to improve upland nesting cover and waterfowl and  
             upland bird brood habitat.  State agencies will be prohibited  
             from actions that will restrict the establishment of these  
             habitat areas. 

          6. Extends the sunset for the accidental take to 2020.  Adds a  
             definition of accidental take which states that it means  
             "unintended or unforeseen."   Accidental take will be limited  
             to an act and not a series of acts which is consistent with  
             the original purpose of the provision. 

          7. Urges DFW and FGC to encourage the restoration and  
             enhancement of upland nesting cover and associated waterfowl  
             brood habitat to support the production of resident  
             waterfowl, upland game birds, and other birds.  Requires DFW  
             to identify which department-managed lands DFW will manage  
             for the purpose of restoration and enhancement.

          8. Prohibits a state agency from restricting the establishment  
             of these habitats without the concurrence of DFW. 

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

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

                   Cost pressure of up to $1.7 million for lost revenues  
                to the Wildlife Restoration Fund.

                   Ongoing costs approximately in the low hundreds of  
                thousands of dollars from the Fish and Game Preservation  
                Fund (special fund) for increased DFW responsibilities  
                when reviewing whether a candidate species should be  
                listed under the California Endangered Species Act. 

                   Ongoing costs approximately in the tens of thousands  
                of dollars and cost pressures in the hundreds of thousands  
                of dollars to the Upland Game Bird Account (special fund)  
                in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund.



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           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/23/13)

          California Association of Winegrape Growers
          California Cattlemens Association
          California Farm Bureau Federation
          California Outdoor Heritage Alliance
          California Waterfowl Association
          Pheasants Forever

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The California Farm Bureau Federation  
          (CFBF) is in support of the sunset extension of the accidental  
          take provisions in this bill as well as the administrative  
          record changes for listings of species pursuant to the  
          California Endangered Species Act.  On the first point, CFBF  
          contends that the accidental take provision is an assurance that  
          the pure accidental take of listed species will not be used to  
          impose liability on farmers and ranchers.  On the second point,  
          CFBF states that the clarification of when the administrative  
          record is open will improve the procedures used by DFW and to  
          have the DFW status report subject to peer review will ensure  
          that scientific data is better incorporated into the listing  

          The California Cattlemen's Association supports both the  
          accidental take provision in this bill as well as the provision  
          that returns lease revenues to the DFW lands that generated  
          those lease revenues. 

          The California Waterfowl Association supports those provisions  
          in this bill that will benefit increased duck and upland game  
          bird habitat and the provision pertaining to the return of lease  
          revenues to the parcels that generated those revenues.

          RM:k  5/23/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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