University of Wyoming Seeks Participants in Non-Fee Grazing Costs Study
CCA is working closely with researchers at the University of Wyoming (UW) to analyze the non-fee costs of grazing livestock on public lands (the research is funded by CCA-affiliate the Public Lands Council). A random sample of permittees was selected to participate in California and a research packet for the study should have been received earlier this fall. If you were one of those permittees who received the UW survey, CCA encourages you to participate in this study.
Non-fee grazing costs research first began in the 1960s and extended into the 1990s but has not been updated in 20 years. The current project will provide an update on differences in total cost of grazing livestock on private and public land over time (or note if no real change has occurred). The information gained from this research could be used to develop a trend in total costs that can be used for future research and policy.
In order to fully compare federal vs. privately-leased land, this study is also looking for individuals who lease private land for livestock grazing. If you lease privately-owned rangeland to graze cattle, please contact Kasey Dollerschell (whose information is listed below).
One benefit of this study is that it provides CCA and PLC hard data to combat radical environmentalists’ slander that public lands ranchers are ‘welfare ranchers’ based on their willful disregard of the time, money and other resources that ranchers put into improving our public lands. That data is useful in engaging Congress, federal land management agencies and the public on the extra costs involved with grazing livestock on federal land.
If you received the research packet or graze on privately-leased land and are willing to assist CCA by participating in this research, please contact Kasey Dollerschell, the UW graduate student spearheading the study, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (970) 589-9339. Kasey has a quick survey that can be filled out over the phone or sent out and returned via mail or email.
BQA Refresher Webinar Happening Nov. 19
For beef producers who have previously been Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified, it’s important to dust off your notes from time to time and ensure your practices are still in-line with current BQA standards. On November 19 from 6:00-7:00PM, the California Beef Council (CBC) is hosting a virtual webinar to serve as a BQA refresher course.
During this webinar, Dr. Gaby Maier, Beef Cattle Herd Health & Production Specialist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. James Oltjen, Animal Management Systems Specialist at UC Davis, will provide a deeper dive into some emerging issues, including current carcass quality issues, record keeping guidelines, and a review of available record keeping software and tools that today’s beef producer may find useful. Moderated by the CBC’s Jill Scofield, this one-hour webinar will be the first in a series of BQA-focused virtual events for California producers.
To register for the free event, click here.
Gray Wolves Delisted from Federal ESA; California Management Unchanged
Late last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced its final decision to delist gray wolves throughout the contiguous 48 states from the list of threatened and endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act. The decision returns management of gray wolves to the states.
The announcement was made by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and USFWS Director Aurelia Skipwith at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota. Skipwith called the decision “a wildlife success story decades in the making.”
Secretary Berhhardt and Director Skipwith were joined at the ceremony by the Vice President of CCA-affiliate the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Don Schiefelbein (himself a Minnesota rancher), and the President of CCA-affiliate the Public Lands Council, Niels Hansen. “The recovery and delisting of the gray wolf is an outstanding victory under the Endangered Species Act and should be celebrated accordingly,” Schiefelbein said.
Unfortunately, while federal delisting of gray wolves is a sound scientific and management decision and will benefit many ranchers throughout the lower 48, it does nothing to ease the burdens on ranchers in gray wolf territory in California. The federal desilting decision means that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife now has sole management authority over gray wolves in California, where the species is fully protected as an endangered species under the California Endangered Species Act.
CCA continues to advocate for state delisting and for improved state management of the gray wolves.
Virtual AB 589 Water Measurement and Reporting Course Scheduled for Nov. 18
The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) has announced that it will offer a virtual water measurement and reporting course as authorized by CCA-sponsored AB 589 (2017) on Wednesday, November 18 from 8:30-11:30am. Those interested in attending the virtual course can pre-register and pay for the course here. There will be a limited number of seats offered for this training in 2020, so early pre-registration is encouraged.
Senate Bill 88 (2015) required all water right holders who have previously diverted or who intend to divert more than 10 acre-feet of water per year (for riparian and pre-1914 claims), or who are authorized to divert more than 10 acre-feet of water per year under a permit, license or registration, to annually measure and report the water they divert. Detailed information on the regulatory requirements for measurement and reporting is available on the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) Surface Water Measurement webpage. As originally written, the legislation required that, for diversions of 100-acre feet or more annually, installation and certification of measurement methods be approved by an engineer, contractor or other specified professional. Diverters across California were concerned about this requirement.
CCA heard from our membership and worked with Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) on a bill that would provide a self-certification option. Assembly Bill 589 was passed and became law on January 1, 2018. This bill, until January 1, 2023, allows any diverter who has completed an instructional course on measurement devices and methods administered by UCCE, including passage of a proficiency test, to be considered a qualified individual when installing and maintaining devices or implementing methods of measurement. The bill requires the UCCE and the SWRCB to jointly develop the curriculum for the course and the proficiency test.
At the workshop you will:
- Clarify reporting requirements for ranches;
- Understand what meters are appropriate for different situations;
- Learn how to determine measurement equipment accuracy;
- Develop an understanding of measurement weirs; and
- Learn how to calculate and report volume from flow data.
Should you have any questions about this training, please contact Larry Forero at email@example.com or Sara Jaimes at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Shasta UCCE office at (530) 224-4900.
CCA will keep members apprised of any additional trainings scheduled for 2020.
DUE TOMORROW: CDFA, Wildlife Services Accepting Comments on Wildlife Damage Management Program
In September, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and USDA APHIS Wildlife Services-California noticed their intent to prepare a joint Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the environmental impacts of the agencies’ wildlife damage management activities in California. The notice kicked off a 60-day scoping period during which the agencies will accept public comment to help inform the production of the EIR/EIS.
Attendees of CCA’s Property Rights and Environmental Management (PREM) Committee meetings during the 2019 Midyear Meeting and 2019 Convention may be acquainted with this effort, as Wildlife Services personnel and consultants from the environmental consulting firm Dudek spoke at those meetings regarding the need for the joint EIR/EIS.
The joint analysis should resolve California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) concerns that have spurred litigation in numerous California counties and resulted in some of those counties terminating their wildlife damage management program agreements with Wildlife Services. CCA is hopeful that the joint EIR/EIS will allow Wildlife Services to resume activities in counties which have terminated or suspended their contracts with the agency while allowing Wildlife Services to continue providing vital services in those counties currently under contract with the agency.
The Notice of Intent to prepare the joint EIR/EIS can be viewed in the Federal Register here, and additional scoping documents can be found at www.californiawdm.org. CCA staff has reviewed these documents, and will file scoping comments with the agencies before tomorrow’s deadline.
Scoping comments are due no later than 8:59pm on November 10. You can submit comments via email to info@CaliforniaWDM.org; via mail to California WDM, 2121 Broadway, P.O. Box 188797, Sacramento, CA 95818; or online at the California WDM website here or at the regulations.gov website here.
“Sustainable Management of California’s Fire-Prone Landscapes: Using Grazing to Help Keep Communities Safe” Workshops Continue This Week
The California Range Management Advisory Committee and the California Fire Science Consortium welcome your participation in the next two “Sustainable Management of California’s Fire-Prone Landscapes” workshops “to discuss the use of prescribed livestock grazing as a sustainable fuel reduction and environmental management tool.”
Last Thursday the series kicked off with the “Wildland Fuels: A Primer for Concerned Citizens & Grazers” workshop. “Using Grazing for Fuels Management 101: Practices & Strategies” is the next workshop in the series and will be held this Thursday, Nov. 12 from 10:00AM-12:00PM. Speakers for this Thursday’s meeting include, Glenn Nader, UC Cooperative Extension; Tony Toso, Mariposa County Rancher and CCA First Vice President; Andree Soares, Star Creek Land Stewards; and Marie Hoff, Full Circle Wool.
The final workshop “Organizing Community-Based Wildland Fuels Management Projects: Approaches and Examples” is set for Nov. 19 from 10:00AM-12:00PM. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an hour of virtual networking following the conclusion of both of the remaining workshops.
To register for the workshops and learn more, click here. Contact Edith Hannigan at email@example.com with any questions about the workshops.
Ranch Water Quality Planning Guide Released
The Ranch Water Quality Plan Instructor’s Guide is now available through the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Publications Catalogue and on the UC Rangelands Website, including the associated instructional and educational videos curated on YouTube. Click here to see an overview video of the Ranch Water Quality Planning Guide.
The online and PDF presentation of these materials is the next evolution of the Ranch Water Quality Planning program, based upon the more than 30 years of research and education conducted by UC Cooperative Extension and partners. The Guide provides the resources and tools to plan and implement Ranch Water Quality Planning workshops and field days for grazing livestock producers, agency staff, and other stakeholders interested in grazing management and water quality.
These new resources provide a wealth of contemporary information about water quality management on rangelands.
For questions and additional information please contact Morgan Doran- firstname.lastname@example.org, David Lewis- email@example.com, or Ken Tate- firstname.lastname@example.org.