February 14, 2022

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CDFW Announces Interim Wolf Livestock Compensation Grant Program
On Wednesday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced the beginning of an Interim Wolf Livestock Loss Compensation Grant Program. The program serves to bridge the gap and compensate producers for confirmed livestock losses due to wolf predation from now until a full pilot program is approved.

Funds for a full pilot compensation program were allocated to CDFW in the 2021-2022 state budget and both CCA and the California Cattlemen’s Foundation have been part of the stakeholder group that is working to propose a full pilot program to CDFW as required by legislation. Through the interim program, producers can now apply for fair market value compensation for animals lost to confirmed or probable wolf predation on or after September 23, 2021.

The stakeholder group has been working diligently to advise CDFW on a fair compensation program that will adequately compensate producers for both the effects of wolf presence on livestock and for any losses that may occur. There is currently no timeline for when the full pilot program will be released, but CCA will update members with any new information.

Please email Wolfprogram@wildlife.ca.gov to receive an application for the interim program. You can find more information on the program and wolves in California on the CDFW Gray Wolf webpage.

SB 88 Water Measurement and Reporting Update Happening This Thursday
Last year, legislation altered the due dates for water measurement and use reporting required annually of all California water diverters, commonly referred to as SB 88 regulations. In 2022, reports for all water diversions will be due April 1, and will be due February 1 of each subsequent year.

The Ranchers Technical Assistance Program (RTAP) offers free regulatory assistance to all California cattle producers and is funded by the California Cattle Council. On February 17, RTAP will hold this webinar to go over the State Water Resources Control Board’s recent changes to the due date for water measurement and use reporting. This webinar will provide an overview of SB 88 regulations, discuss the due date changes, and have time for questions and answers. Participation is free but registration is required. Click here to register.

SWRCB Revises Reporting Requirements and Extends Curtailment Suspensions in Scott River
On Friday the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) published an addendum which makes two changes to the curtailment orders and suspensions for the Scott River watershed.

The first change is related to mandatory reporting, and requires that all surface water rightsholders in the Scott River watershed who divert more than one cubic foot per second (cfs) on average per day are required to report their diversions weekly to the SWRCB. This new requirement will be in effect until otherwise stated by the SWRCB.

The second change is the extension of the temporary suspensions of curtailments in the Scott River watershed through midnight on Friday, February 18, contingent upon the 200 cfs flow requirement being sustained at the United States Geological Survey Fort Jones gage. The announcement also states that if flows are less than 200 cfs at the Fort Jones gage, then those whose water rights included in List A1 must stop diversions immediately.

Please go to the Scott and Shasta River Drought webpage for more information related to drought response. For any questions about curtailment notices or how to comply, please contact the Ranchers Technical Assistance Program at (916) 409-6902 or rtap@wrstrat.com.

LAST CHANCE: Public Comment on State’s 30×30 Initiative Due TOMORROW
On December 15, the California Natural Resources Agency released “Pathways to 30×30: Accelerating Conservation of California’s Nature,” a draft strategy document for achieving the state’s goal of conserving 30% of the state’s land and coastal waters by 2030. The draft is available for public comment through tomorrow, February 15. For more information, see the January 10 edition of Legislative Bulletin.

California Leads Discussion at NCBA’s Live Cattle Marketing Meeting
CCA members took center stage during the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Live Cattle Marketing meeting held earlier this month as part of the 2022 Cattle Industry Convention at which NCBA members voted to explicitly oppose cash trade mandates. For additional details, listen to CCA President Tony Toso and NCBA Director of Government Affairs and Market Regulatory Policy Tanner Beymer on last week’s Sorting Pen podcast, “Sorting through CCA’s decision to keep the government out of cattle marketing” and see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.

USDA Launches Online Tool for Ranchers to Report Anticompetitive Practices
On February 3, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) released an online tool that allows ranchers to anonymously report unfair and anticompetitive practices in the livestock industry. For additional details, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.

New Episode of Stories from California Cattle Country
Stories from Cattle Country is as a customer facing podcast telling stories from ranches and dairies and wherever their products land… whether it’s a stick of butter, gallon of milk, New York steak or a cheeseburger. In 2008, I ventured from the suburbs of Sacramento into the heart of the city to try a cheeseburger at Formoli’s Bistro. In this episode I speak to restaurant owner and chef Aimal Formoli about his iconic whiskey burger, it’s impact on their operations and why a simple sandwich, one he never intended to put on the menu, became the menu item he became best known for. To listen to the episode click here.

The episode is also available on a variety of platforms for streaming podcasts. Stories from California Cattle Country is produced by the California Cattlemen’s Foundation with support from the California Cattle Council.

Signups Open for Conservation Reserve Program
USDA has announced that the agency has begun accepting signups for its Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). CRP provides landowners financial incentives to “establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland.” Signups for CRP will run through March 11. Signups for CRP Grasslands, meanwhile, will run from April 4 through May 13. To sign up for CRP or other USDA assistance programs, contact your county Farm Service Agency. You can find contact information for your county FSA office here.

Healthy Soils Program Incentives Program Application Period Open
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting applications for the Healthy Soils Program Incentives Program until funds run out or by February 25. This program “provides financial incentives to California growers and ranchers to implement conservation management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), and improve soil health.” To learn more about applying click here.

Upcoming CCA Events

CCA Feeder Meeting
May 25-27, San Diego
Look for registration to open and for more details to be announced soon.

CCA Midyear Meeting
June 22-23, Rancho Murieta

Upcoming Industry Events

SB 88 Water Measurement and Reporting Update
Click here to register.

Ranchers Wildfire Field Day
February 18, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Browns Valley
The University of California Cooperative Extension is collaborating with the California Cattle Council and the UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center (SFREC) to host a Ranchers Wildfire Field Day at the SFREC in Browns Valley. To see the agenda for this day, learn more and register for this event, click here.

CCA in the News

Ranchers Wildfire Field Day set for Feb. 18 Colusa County Sun-Herald “According to UCCE, the agenda for the event will include rancher panel discussions, presentations on fire behavior, wildfire preparation, prescribed fire and sheltering-in-place options, and policy updates from the California Cattlemen’s Association, California Farm Bureau Federation and California Wool Growers Association.” To continue reading, click here.

Western dairymen push back on plant-based mea[l]s in schools The Hanford Sentinel “In arguments against the measure, Western United Dairies and the California Cattlemen’s Association assert that the bill would use state funds to promote ‘costlier plant-based processed foods above other healthy, nutritious products.’” To continue reading, click here.

Gray wolf again protected after judge ditches Trump-era endangered species rollback San Francisco Chronicle “Some groups have been supportive of rolling back wolf protections, including ranchers who have long expressed frustration about wolves killing livestock. The California Farm Bureau Federation and the California Cattlemen’s Association have been particularly vocal about the problem.” To continue reading, click here.

Industry News

New California law makes it easier for private landowners to conduct prescribed burns KSBY “‘The proof of liability has gone from you are guilty until proven innocent where now upon certification, you are innocent until proven guilty,’ said Bob Acquistapace, Santa Barbara County Range Improvement Association President. ‘Having the law in place really just helps us ease our nerves where there’s an avenue to be able to safely, legally be able to help the community out.’” To continue reading, click here.

NCBA Member Testifies on Cattle Industry Sustainability Drovers “NCBA member and rancher Kim Brackett testified before the U.S. House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture on the cattle industry’s leadership in sustainability and conservation practices on Feb. 3, 2022.” To continue reading, click here.

Bay Area ranchers open their own mobile meat processing plant, filling key gap for local industry Press Democrat “Bay Area livestock ranchers, including 24 in Sonoma County, are welcoming this week’s opening of their own slaughterhouse that fills a critical gap created more than two years ago.” To continue reading, click here.


Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast

In this episode, CCA President Tony Toso talks about the game plan and CCA leadership’s decision to push for a “no cash mandates” policy at NCBA’s Live Cattle Marketing meeting on February 2. Later in the episode, NCBA’s Tanner Beymer gives further details about the meeting and what’s next for NCBA’s work to improve cattle markets. Click here to listen.

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