CCA Calls on Governor to Authorize Emergency Livestock Grazing on State Lands
On Friday, CCA sent a letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom asking that he authorize emergency livestock grazing on state-owned lands to mitigate the drought-induced feed shortage confronting California’s livestock producers.
Specifically, the letter asks that the Governor “direct the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) to evaluate grazing grounds and livestock feed opportunities that could be made available on state-owned and -managed lands where those activities are consistent with the ecological needs of those lands.”
On August 15, the Western Governors Association wrote to President Biden asking that he declare a FEMA drought disaster throughout the west, allowing western states to access additional resources to address the drought crisis. In the letter signed by Governor Newsom, Governors of western states also asked that President Biden direct the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to “evaluate grazing grounds and livestock feed opportunities that could be made available for emergency situations where lands can support the additional use” to help alleviate drought impacts on agricultural producers.
CCA’s letter to Governor Newsom simply asks him to take the very action on state-owned lands that he has advocated on federally managed public lands.
While CCA’s letter calls for emergency (that is, temporary) access to livestock forage on state-owned lands, CCA continues to advocate policies to permanently expand livestock grazing on state-owned lands as an ecologically sound land management tool. For instance, CCA has sponsored Assembly Bill 434 (R. Rivas), which will be considered during the 2022 Legislative Session.
CCA will continue to press the Governor, CNRA and the California Department of Food & Agriculture to take swift action to mitigate the drought’s impacts on California ranchers and will keep members apprised of any developments on this front.
Governor Signs Climate Bills, Including $1.5 Billion in Funding for Wildfire Resilience
At the site of the KNP Complex Fire in Sequoia National Park on Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $15 billion climate budget package and several bills intended “to protect communities and advance the state’s climate and clean energy efforts.”
During the ceremony, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 170, the “budget bill junior” advanced in the final days of the 2021 Legislative Session, giving final approval to $5.2 billion in funding for water and drought resilience projects, $3.7 billion in climate resilience funding, $1.5 billion earmarked for wildfire prevention and forest resilience and $1.1 billion for climate-smart agriculture.
As previously reported in Legislative Bulletin, SB 170 includes $20 million for a Prescribed Fire Liability Pilot Program which will “support coverage for losses from permitted prescribed fires by non-public entities.” Throughout the 2021 Legislative Session, CCA fought for liability protections for prescribed fire practitioners which would help incentivize additional use of controlled burns within the state; the Governor’s signing of SB 170 represents significant progress on this CCA priority.
Newsom also signed CCA-supported Assembly Bill 9 (Wood) during Thursday’s ceremony. AB 9 will bolster the Department of Conservation’s Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program, supporting local and regional efforts to develop and implement projects that create fire adapted communities by improving forest health, community wildfire preparedness and fire resilience. AB 9 will also establish within the Office of the State Fire Marshal a Deputy Director of Community Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation.
More information about Governor Newsom’s Thursday action on climate legislation is available here; further information about Newsom’s action on bills advanced to his desk is available here.
Governor Newsom has not yet acted on CCA’s sponsored bills regarding wildfire preparedness, AB 1103 (Dahle), which would establish a statewide framework for local “Livestock Pass” programs, and SB 332 (Dodd), which incentivizes prescribed fire application by minimizing practitioners’ financial liability. The Governor has until October 10 to sign or veto bills presented to him by the Legislature, and CCA will keep you updated on developments regarding legislation impacting the ranching industry.
SWRCB Releases Lists of Non-Compliant Water Users for Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watersheds
On Friday, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) issued two lists of rightsholders in non-compliance with the August 20 emergency curtailment regulation that curtailed thousands of water rights in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed.
The emergency regulation required recipients to submit a Compliance Certification Form for all their water rights or claims of right by September 10, regardless of their curtailment status. Additionally, the emergency regulation required water rightsholders whose diversions in 2018 or 2019 had a face value or reported diversion of 5,000 acre-feet or more to submit enhanced reporting information monthly. The first enhanced reporting forms were due September 17.
As of Thursday, Delta Watershed Compliance Certification Forms have not been submitted for the water rights and claims listed here. These rightsholders are officially considered out of compliance.
Also as of Thursday, September Enhanced Reporting of Prior Diversions and Projected Demands Forms for water rights of 5,000 acre-feet or more have not been submitted for the rights listed here.
CCA encourages all ranchers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed to review the non-compliance list and to take corrective action if your name or diversion appears on the list.
Failure to submit a Compliance Certification Form is a violation of the regulation and violators may be subject to enforcement action, including an Administrative Civil Liability Complaint that has potential fines of up to $500 per day per water right for each day of non-compliance. You can submit each form online on the Water Rights Form and Survey Submittal Portal with the login information provided on the curtailment order you received in the mail. Tutorials for completing the Compliance Certification Form and Monthly Enhanced Reporting Forms are available on the Delta Drought webpage under the “Reporting Requirements and Resources” tab.
For assistance completing the Compliance Certification forms, ranchers may contact the Rancher Technical Assistance Program at (916) 406-6902 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions may also be directed to Bay-Delta@waterboards.ca.gov or the Delta Drought phone line at (916) 319-0960.
Stories from California Cattle Country Podcast Launches
The California Cattle Council and the California Cattlemen’s Foundation have launched Stories from California Cattle Country—a new podcast that takes listeners to some of the most beautiful parts of this diverse state to learn more about the people and practices of ranches and dairies. Follow our host, Ryan as he darts around the state meeting cattle ranchers and dairy farmers learning about the animals and land they care for everyday.
The podcast’s first episode is from Koopmann Ranch in Sunol, California. In the episode, Tim Koopmann a third generation rancher discusses how Koopmann Ranch has been sustained for over 100 years while navigating the federal inheritance tax and how a small salamander among other vulnerable species helped save his ranch from insolvency. Later on the episode, Tim’s son and daughter-in-law, Clayton & Natalie Koopmann discuss the future of the ranch and their newly formed retail operation.
To listen now, search “Stories from California Cattle Country” on your preferred platform for streaming podcast episodes or click on one of the following links to go straight to it: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.
2021 CCA Scholarship Applications Due Friday
Applications for the 2021 CCA Scholarships are being accepted now through THIS FRIDAY, October 1. In 2020, CCA awarded over $51,000 in scholarships to students studying agriculture, although scholarship amounts and quantities vary year to year.
Current CCA members (producer, feeder or YCC) that are currently enrolled (or accepted for fall 2021) at a university or college are eligible to apply. Past recipients of the CCA scholarship program may also apply again this year. For a complete list of awards and to download the application visit calcattlemen.org/scholarship. Contact Katie in the CCA office at email@example.com with any questions.
USDA Expands ELAP Program to Cover Costs of Feed Transport Necessitated by Drought
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will update its Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to help drought-stricken ranchers cover the cost of transporting feed for livestock.
ELAP already reimburses ranchers for the cost of hauling water during drought. ELAP will now also cover feed transportation costs in areas which have a drought intensity of “D2” for eight consecutive weeks according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, have a drought intensity of “D3” or greater for any duration or where USDA otherwise “has determined a shortage of local or regional feed availability.”
According to USDA, “eligible ranchers will be reimbursed 60% of feed transportation costs above what would have been incurred in a normal year” for such costs incurred on or after January 1, 2021. That 60% will be applied to a “national cost formula…which will not include the first 25 miles and distances exceeding 1,000 transportation miles.” For 2021, USDA has set the initial cost formula at $6.60/mile, which may be adjusted on a regional basis.
Further details are available on the Farm Service Agency’s ELAP webpage; ranchers can find contact information for their local USDA Service Center here. The deadline to file an ELAP application for costs incurred in the 2021 program year is January 31, 2022.
USDA Announces Oct. 12 Deadline for CFAP 2
The United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced that October 12 is the deadline by which all eligible agricultural producers must apply for or modify their applications under Round 2 of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (“CFAP 2”).
As previously reported in Legislative Bulletin, FSA reopened applications under CFAP beginning April 5. CFAP 2 provides payments of $55 per head for a producer’s highest inventory of eligible livestock owned between April 16 and August 31, 2020. Cull cattle and breeding stock are ineligible for the per-head payment. More information on CFAP 2 can be found here.
Reservations for Tradeshow Booths Now Open
CCA invites you to exhibit at the 2021 California Cattle Industry Tradeshow held in conjunction with the CCA/CCW Annual Convention. This year’s tradeshow will be held December 1-3 at the Peppermill Resort Hotel in Reno, Nevada. With over 100 exhibitors at the 2019 event you won’t want to miss this opportunity to connect with those from across the state active in California’s cattle industry. Get all the details and reserve your booth today at https://calcattlemen.org/convention2021.
Initial booth space reservations will be taken through Friday, October 8. Tradeshow Questions? Contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or (916) 444-0845.
College Students: Join the CCA Team as a Convention Intern Dec. 1-3
CCA is currently looking for hard-working college students to help put on the 105th CCA/CCW Convention and Tradeshow happening December 1-3 at the Peppermill in Reno. While interns will help run CCA’s tradeshow booth, onsite registration and other behind the scenes tasks at the event, they will also have the opportunity to attend select meetings, general sessions and have access to the tradeshow with a complimentary registration. Additionally, the interns will be able to interact with professionals and beef industry leaders at the most attended meeting of the year.
Interested in being part of this year’s team and gaining experience? Please send a resume and one page letter detailing why you would like to be a convention intern to Katie Roberti at email@example.com by Friday, October 8.