March 7, 2022

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San Luis Obispo County Modified Point of Origin Referendum Being Held April 12
The San Luis Obispo County Cattleman’s Association (SLOCCA) will be holding a vote to repeal the Modified Point of Origin (MPO) regulations currently in place in the San Luis Obispo County brand inspection area. Only cattle producers (beef and dairy) that are property taxpayers, lessees or residents of the MPO area are permitted to vote. Voting will take place on April 12, 2022 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Frontier Building at the Paso Robles Event Center (Mid-State Fairgrounds).

In order to proceed with amending California Code of Regulations (CCR), section 850, the proposal to repeal the regulation must be passed by a two-thirds margin of those voting. Only one vote per family, partnership, corporation or other business entity. If you qualify to vote you should plan to attend. To read the code, Google “California Department of Food and Agricultural Code” and scroll down to Sections 21111 through 21112.

If you have questions on the referendum please reach out to San Luis Obispo County Cattlemen’s President Seth Scribner at scribnerPE@gmail.com.

SWRCB Issues Weekly Curtailment Updates
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) last week updated certain water rights’ curtailment statuses in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed.

Effective last Wednesday, the SWRCB has suspended many curtailments on various Sacramento-San Joaquin tributaries and reimposed curtailments of Project water rights. Specifically, SWRCB has curtailed a “subset of eight post-1914 appropriative water rights associated with the Central Valley Project and State Water Project in the San Joaquin River watershed and in the Legal Delta, including rights in the Upper San Joaquin River and Stanislaus River subwatersheds.”

You can check the status of your water right on the Delta Watershed Curtailment Status List. For more information about drought in the Delta watershed, visit the Delta Drought webpage or email questions to Bay-Delta@waterboards.ca.gov.

On Friday, the SWRCB renewed its temporary suspension of all curtailments in the Scott River watershed through this Friday, March 11, at midnight. The temporary suspension shall remain in place only so long as long as the 200 cubic feet per second (cfs) flow requirement is sustained at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Fort Jones gage. If flows dip below 200 cfs, diversions under the water rights included in the SWRCB’s “List A1” must cease immediately. You can find more information on drought in the Scott River watersheds on the Scott River and Shasta River Drought webpage.

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.

CCA-Sponsored Legislation Introduced to Extend Ag Vehicle Exemption to CHP’s BIT Program
Assemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) has introduced CCA-sponsored Assembly Bill 2415, which would extend by three years the current exemption for agricultural vehicles from the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) Basic Inspection of Terminals (BIT) program. For more information on AB 2415, see the February 22 edition of Legislative Bulletin. CCA’s other sponsored bill – SB 880 (Laird), which indefinitely extends the availability of water measurement training courses offered by University of California Cooperative Extension – will be heard in the Senate Natural Resources & Water Committee tomorrow (see “This Week in Sacramento (and Beyond), above). For more information about SB 880, click here.

Hours of Service Exemptions for Livestock Haulers Extended Through May 31
On February 26, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) once again extended its Expanded Emergency Declaration exempting livestock haulers from compliance with the federal Hours of Service rules that limit drive time. The extension of the modified Emergency Declaration continues the hours of service exemption through May 31. The current Emergency Declaration applies to a limited class of freight, including livestock and finished livestock feed. Those operating under the exemption must report their reliance on the exemption shortly after the end of each month (more information regarding this reporting requirement can be found in a prior Legislative Bulletin report on the exemption). California’s Hours of Service exemption remains in effect, as well.

Final Week to Sign Up 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 this Friday, 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.

New Stories from California Cattle Country Episode on Humboldt County
Episode 11 “Lawrence Dwight and Operating on the edge of the Western World” is out now! On this episode we speak with Lawrence Dwight, a fifth generation rancher from Ferndale, about the benefits and difficulties associated with operating in this unique and remote landscape. Dwight descended from Joseph Russ who came to California from Maine in 1850. He was among the first of the pioneers to reach the area, establishing prosperous ranching, butchering, shipping, banking and general merchandise enterprises in Humboldt County. To listen to the episode and see photos from the visit 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.

Upcoming CCA Events

CCA Feeder Meeting
May 25-27, San Diego
Click here for registration and room block details. Both are now open!

CCA Midyear Meeting
June 22-23, Rancho Murieta

Upcoming Industry Events

Beef Cattle Health Webinar Series
UC Cooperative Extension in collaboration with UC Davis Veterinary Medicine is excited to offer a series of free online webinars for cattle producers. Every Tuesday evening in March from 5:30-7:00 guest speakers will cover topics important to cattle health and management with Q&A opportunities. The sessions will be live and include lots of visuals. 

March 8: Pink Eye in Cattle Dr. John Angelos UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
March 15: Toxic Plants & Livestock Dr. Poppenga UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
March 22: Herd Bull Health Diseases and Injuries Dr. McNabb UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine
March 29: Why Did it Die? California Animal Health & Food Safety Lab

Register for one workshop or the entire series by clicking here.

CCA in the News

State updates black bear protections, considers hunting ban Agri-Pulse “In a letter of opposition, CCA’s Kirk Wilbur called the petition an opportunistic ploy that takes advantage of a flawed estimation of the black bear population. The 2020 estimate was based on harvest numbers, which were likely down due to the pandemic, widespread closures of public lands and new laws limiting hunting, he argued.” To continue reading, click here.

Industry News

New director chosen to lead Cal Fire KCRA “Joe Tyler, a 31-year veteran of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, was appointed Thursday to head a department struggling with drought- and climate-change-fueled conflagrations that in recent years have destroyed thousands of homes and killed dozens of people.” To continue reading, click here.

These wildfire survivors say FEMA did little to help those who lost homes Los Angeles Times “Although FEMA has made funds available to reimburse the state and local governments for costs related to the Caldor fire, the agency did not approve a request from California Gov. Gavin Newsom to provide for individual assistance, which would go directly to uninsured or underinsured residents to help with temporary housing and rebuilding costs.” To continue reading, click here.

‘Moving toward extremes’: California drought outlook is bleak after dry start to 2022 The Sacramento Bee “Despite mammoth snowstorms in the Sierra Nevada mountains during December, state water officials spoke with very little optimism about California’s snowpack and reservoir levels following a bone-dry January and underwhelming February.” To continue reading, click here.

Science says thinned forests are healthy forests USDA Forest Service “Forest Service science shows that thinning and fuels treatments work. Historically, many western forests were far less dense and extremely variable. Trees often grew in clusters of two to 20, interspersed with several small gaps. Pacific Southwest Research Station Research Ecologist Eric Knapp studies the ecology of western forests in relation to disturbance, particularly fire. He’s especially interested in landscape changes that have occurred in the absence of fire, including how resilient these forests are to drought or wildfire later. As part of this research, he evaluates the results of forest management alternatives designed to reverse some of these changes, including mechanical thinning and prescribed fire.” To continue reading, click here.


Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast

In 2021, the CCA Fire Subcommittee helped lead the Association to major successes on mitigating California’s wildfire crisis. In this episode, Anthony Stornetta, a San Luis Obispo County cattle rancher and Santa Barbara County Fire Department Battalion Chief, joins Katie to talk about current priorities for the Committee. To listen, click here.

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