BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1716


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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          1716 (McCarty and Cooley)


          As Amended  August 19, 2016


          Majority vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  |59-20 |(June 1, 2016) |SENATE: |27-12 |(August 23,      |
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          Original Committee Reference:  NAT. RES.


          SUMMARY:  Requires the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) to  
          implement and administer a Lower American River Conservancy  
          Program to receive and expend moneys for the benefit of the  
          Lower American River, in consultation with an advisory  
          committee.


          The Senate amendments:


          1)Remove the provision creating a new Lower American River state  
            conservancy, and instead creates a Lower American River  
            Conservancy Program to receive and expend bonds or other  
            appropriations for the benefit of the American River Parkway,  
            and requires the WCB to implement and administer the program.


          2)Require the WCB in administering the program to prioritize  








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            expenditures to develop and implement a natural resource  
            management plan and to improve access to and protection and  
            restoration of the American River Parkway.  


          3)Require the WCB to establish an advisory committee consisting  
            of specified members as follows:


             a)   Three members of the Sacramento County Board of  
               Supervisors or their designees;


             b)   Two representatives of the City of Sacramento, including  
               the mayor or city council members, or their designees;


             c)   One member of the city council or mayor of Rancho  
               Cordova or designee.


             d)   Representatives from the Natural Resources Agency, the  
               Department of Finance, and the State Lands Commission.


             e)   Three members from the public at large with demonstrated  
               knowledge of and interest in the American River Parkway and  
               the American River Parkway Plan.  Requires that one of the  
               public members shall be appointed by the Governor, one by  
               the Senate Rules Committee, and one by the Speaker of the  
               Assembly.


          4)Require the WCB in implementing the program to:


             a)   Coordinate with the County of Sacramento and each city  
               along the Parkway, local and regional flood control  
               districts, and relevant state agencies.


             b)   Prior to approving any project for funding, consult with  








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               the County of Sacramento as to whether the proposed action  
               is consistent with the American River Parkway Plan, and  
               prepare a staff report containing all information submitted  
               by the County of Sacramento as to whether the action is  
               consistent.


             c)   Provide funding and assistance to the County of  
               Sacramento for a natural resource management plan for the  
               American River Parkway, and grants to other local agencies  
               and nonprofit organizations as approved by the County of  
               Sacramento for implementation of the plan.


             d)   Require, for any acquisitions that are funded within the  
               American River Parkway, that the title shall be held by the  
               County of Sacramento or another local public entity willing  
               to hold title.


          5)Authorize the WCB in administering the program to:


             a)   Provide grants to local agencies and nonprofits for  
               acquisition, restoration, enhancement and maintenance of  
               fish and wildlife habitat and other natural resources,  
               including resources impacted by wildfire, for the  
               improvement and expansion of public access and recreation  
               including trails, for interpretive and educational  
               facilities, and for control of invasive species and  
               propagation of native species. 


             b)   Improve and enhance lands within and adjacent to the  
               American River Parkway


             c)   Provide grants to local agencies for storm water capture  
               and treatment projects to improve water quality of the  
               American River Parkway and increase habitat for fish and  
               wildlife downstream of the Nimbus Dam and within Sacramento  
               County.








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             d)   Solicit grants, donations and in-kind services from  
               other sources for these purposes.


          6)Prohibit the WCB in administering the program from doing any  
            of the following:


             a)   Funding or implementing projects without written consent  
               of the landowner.


             b)   Manage lands owned by another entity except per written  
               agreement with that entity.


             c)   Levy any tax or special assessment.


             d)   Provide any grants or take any actions inconsistent with  
               the American River Parkway Plan, the Bushy Lake  
               Preservation Act, or the Urban American River Parkway  
               Preservation Act.


             e)   Own or acquire land.


          7)Require the WCB to give preference to projects that use the  
            services of the California Conservation Corps or Community  
            Conservation Corps to the extent feasible.


          8)Create the Lower American River Conservancy Program Fund and  
            make any moneys in the fund available upon appropriation for  
            the purposes of the program.  Also authorizes the WCB to  
            accept contributions to be deposited in a Donation Account in  
            the Fund.  Moneys in the Donation Account would be  
            continuously appropriated to the WCB for purposes of the  
            program.








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          9)Modify the legislative findings and declarations to:


             a)   Acknowledge the role of Sacramento County in the  
               American River Parkway Plan and in management of the  
               Parkway.


             b)   Reference several instances in which the Legislature has  
               recognized the statewide and national significance of the  
               Lower American River Parkway, including its designation as  
               a wild and scenic river and the function of the American  
               River Parkway Plan as the management plan for the river.


             c)   State legislative intent that the Lower American River  
               Conservancy Program continue the state's historic role in  
               funding the protection and management of the natural  
               resources of the Lower American River, and Sacramento  
               County's role in managing the lands and uses of the  
               Parkway.


          10)Revise and add definitions, including:


             a)   Define adjacent to mean downstream of the Nimbus Dam and  
               next to or in the immediate vicinity of the American River  
               Parkway.


             b)   Define American River Parkway as those portions of the  
               area described in the American River Parkway Plan between  
               Nimbus Dam and the confluence of the American and  
               Sacramento Rivers.


             c)   Define the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors as the  
               Parkway manager.









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          11)Provide that nothing in this bill supersedes or diminishes  
            the existing authority of the County of Sacramento to manage  
            the lands and resources of the American River Parkway and to  
            interpret and implement the American River Parkway Plan. 


          EXISTING LAW:


          1)Establishes the WCB which is responsible for administering a  
            capital outlay program for wildlife conservation and related  
            public recreation.  The WCB's three main functions are land  
            acquisition, habitat restoration and development of wildlife  
            oriented public access facilities, which are carried out  
            through its programs. 


          2)Defines the American River Parkway Plan (Plan) to mean the  
            management plans for the Lower American River adopted by the  
            County of Sacramento on September 10, 2008, by Resolution No.  
            2008-0946, and by the City of Sacramento on November 6, 2008,  
            by Resolution No. 2008-731, and endorsed by the City of Rancho  
            Cordova on September 15, 2008, by Resolution No. 110-2008.


          3)Defines the Lower American River to mean the portion of the  
            American River between Nimbus Dam and the confluence of the  
            American River with the Sacramento River and the adjacent  
            lands as described in the Plan.


          4)Declares that the Legislature has adopted the Plan in order to  
            provide coordination with local agencies in the protection and  
            management of the Parkway. Requires land use decisions of  
            state and local agencies to be consistent with the Plan.


          5)Prohibits the codification of the Plan from doing any of the  
            following:










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             a)   Impair the authority and responsibility of the state or  
               local public agencies to maintain and operate the flood  
               channel, levees, and pump stations;


             b)   Affect the existing authority of the City of Sacramento  
               to litigate the validity or application of the Plan;


             c)   Prohibit reasonable expansion of the water treatment  
               facility operated by the City of Sacramento;


             d)   Impair the authorities and responsibilities of state  
               agencies in managing the California Exposition flood plain  
               or Bushy Lake Area; and


             e)   Affect existing water rights.


          6)Permits the Plan to be amended through a local amendment  
            process.  Specifies that area plans can only be amended if  
            they are consistent with the Plan.  Specifies amendments to  
            area plans will be conducted by the Sacramento County Board of  
            Supervisors through a process outlined in the Plan.


          7)Declares it is the intent of the Legislature that the duties  
            and responsibilities required by adoption of the Plan shall be  
            accomplished by utilizing existing staff resources and that no  
            additional funding shall be provided other than that which is  
            appropriated by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act.


          8)Designates the Lower American River Parkway as part of the  
            California Wild and Scenic Rivers System and the National Wild  
            and Scenic Rivers system.  The American River Parkway Plan  
            serves as the management plan for the Lower American River  
            under the California Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.










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          9)Establishes 10 conservancies in the Natural Resources Agency  
            to acquire, manage, direct the management of, and conserve  
            public lands in the state. 


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee:


          1)Approximately $300,000 (special fund) in costs for the WCB.


          2)Significant cost pressures (various special funds) to fund  
            programs and projects in the program area within existing  
            resources.


          COMMENTS:  Sacramento County established the American River  
          Parkway in 1959 with support from the state and other entities  
          to provide recreational, flood control, water supply, water  
          quality, and wildlife habitat in the greater Sacramento region.   
          The American River Parkway is recognized in state law in the  
          Urban American River Parkway Preservation Act and the Bushy Lake  
          Preservation Act.


          This bill as passed by the Assembly proposed to create a new  
          state conservancy called the Lower American River Conservancy.   
          As amended in the Senate, this bill instead creates a new  
          program to benefit the Lower American River Parkway that would  
          be administered by the WCB, with assistance from an advisory  
          committee consisting primarily of local Sacramento area  
          representatives.  The program responsibilities and duties that  
          would have been carried out by the new conservancy would instead  
          be administered by the WCB.  The WCB would be required to  
          consult with Sacramento County in carrying out the program, and  
          to ensure that any projects funded through the program are  
          consistent with the Lower American River Parkway Plan.


          The program created by this bill is different in several aspects  
          from other existing programs administered by the WCB.  The WCB's  








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          existing programs consist primarily of statewide habitat and  
          resource programs, whereas this program would be focused  
          specifically on one defined geographic region.  This bill would  
          also require the WCB to coordinate closely with Sacramento  
          County as the program manager for the Lower American River  
          Parkway.


          The author of this bill notes that despite its location and  
          opportunities for both access and environmental benefits, the  
          Lower American River has missed out on opportunities for  
          improvements.  According to the author, creating a state  
          conservancy program would create a framework to bring together  
          the diverse stakeholders, including the state, to make decisions  
          on the best way to improve and protect the Lower American River  
          and take action to make those improvements.


          While this bill creates the Lower American River Conservancy  
          Program within the WCB, the scope of the program will depend  
          largely on the amount of future appropriations approved for the  
          program.


          Analysis Prepared by:                          Diane Colborn /  
          W., P., & W. / (916) 319-2096                         FN:  
          0004775