March 28, 2022

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SWRCB Issues “Early Warning” Letter to Diverters
Last Monday, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) mailed “early warning” letters to 20,000 water rightsholders throughout the state. A copy of the early warning letter is available here.

In light of the driest January and February on record for the state, the letter begins by warning diverters to “PREPARE FOR MORE DROUGHT IMPACTS DUE TO ONGOING DRY CONDITIONS.”

The letter suggests that water users plan for drought conditions by taking various water conservation measures, including “managing herd size.” Troublingly, the letter also suggests that diverters “in the Bay-Delta, Russian River, Scott River, Shasta River, Mill Creek, or Deer Creek watersheds” should prepare for water curtailments to be issued even earlier than this year than in recent years if drought conditions persist.

CCA will continue to advocate in support of essential agricultural water diversions as we engage with the SWRCB and will continue to keep members apprised of developments relating to curtailment orders.

2021 Water Diversion and Use Reports DUE FRIDAY for All Diverters
Under the Emergency Regulation for Measuring and Reporting the Diversion of Water adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) in 2016, all water rights holders must annually report their diversion and use of water to the SWRCB. This year, ALL reports of water diversion and use for January 1 – September 30, 2021 are due this Friday, April 1. The reports must be made electronically using the SWRCB’s Report Management System, here. For more information, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin, listen to the latest episode of Sorting Pen or watch the February 27 Rancher Technical Assistance Program webinar about the new reporting deadlines.

Participate in a Summit Rangeland Tour on April 27
Join The California Rangeland Conversation Coalition, University of California Cooperative Extension and The California Rangeland Trust for one of many Summit Rangeland Tours happening on April 27. Each tour will showcase the value of these resources and how the ranchers who steward them help address climate, conservation and biodiversity goals. Tours will be held in multiple locations in Sacramento, San Joaquin, Yolo and others counties at roughly the same time to give you the opportunity to join the one closest to you or another you’d like to visit. To learn more and register, click here.

SWRCB Extends Curtailment Suspensions in the Scott River & Russian River Watersheds
On Friday, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) renewed its temporary suspension of all curtailments in the Scott River watershed through next Monday, April 4, at midnight. The temporary suspension will remain in place only so long as minimum flow requirements are sustained at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Fort Jones gage. The minimum flow through the end of March is 200 cubic feet per second (cfs); the minimum flow throughout April is 150 cfs. If flows dip below the minimum flow requirements, diversions under the water rights included in the SWRCB’s “List A1” must cease immediately.

The SWRCB announced this afternoon that temporary curtailment suspensions on the Russian River Watershed will continue through May 1. After that date, however, the SWRCB has warned that “curtailments appear likely to resume for certain right holders” if dry conditions persist throughout April.

You can find more information on drought in the Scott River watershed on the Scott River and Shasta River Drought webpage and more information on drought conditions in the Russian River watershed at the Russian River Drought Response webpage. For any questions about curtailment notices or how to comply, please contact the Rancher Technical Assistance Program at (916) 409-6902 or rtap@wrstrat.com.

Stories from California Cattle Country Episode “Communication Breakdown with Dave Daley”
On this episode, we hear from Dave Daley, a fifth generation cattle rancher in Butte County and past CCA president. Anyone who knows Dave knows his knack for communicating in an area where communication isn’t necessarily a strong suit. In this episode we address the perception of the cattle industry, common misconceptions and how to get through all the noise. To listen to the episode, click hereStories from California Cattle Country is produced by the California Cattlemen’s Foundation with support from the California Cattle Council.

SLO County Modified Point of Origin Referendum to be 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 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Frontier Building at the Paso Robles Event Center (Mid-State Fairgrounds). For additional details, see the March 7 edition of Legislative Bulletin.

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
March 29, Virtual
Tomorrow, March 29, UC Cooperative Extension in collaboration with UC Davis Veterinary Medicine is offering the workshop “Why Did it Die? California Animal Health & Food Safety Lab” from 5:30-7:00p.m. This workshop is the final one in a series of free online webinars that have been offered to cattle producers throughout the month. To register for the event, click here.

Industry News

Opinion: The cattle industry is burning daylight – it’s time for congress to help us get moving Agri-Pulse “By anyone’s estimation, the U.S. cattle and beef supply chain has been stress-tested to its limits in the past two years. Fires, floods, pandemics, hackings, labor shortages, backlogs, transportation woes, and sky-high input prices have all taken their toll on our ability to recover from what was already a tough stretch in the bottoms of the cattle cycle. To add insult to injury, these challenges have played out to the advantage of our partners at the end of the supply chain, with the packing and retail sectors reaping huge profits on the backs of our producers’ blood, sweat, and tears.” To continue reading, click here.

Could Rangeland Return to the Central Valley? Public Policy Institute of California “A significant amount of irrigated farmland in the Central Valley—including many fruit and nut trees—will need to come out of production over the next two decades to help bring local groundwater basins into balance. This fallowing will have both environmental and economic consequences. Converting formerly irrigated farmland into rangeland—one of its historical uses—is one possible alternative to fallowing.” To continue reading, click here.

California senate advances prescribed fire fund bill Daily Democrat “California Sen. Bill Dodd’s legislation that would enhance wildfire prevention in California through the implementation of a $20 million prescribed fire claims fund was advanced by the California State Senate.” To continue reading, click here.

NCBA Welcomes Announcement on Japan – U.S. Trade Agreement National Cattlemen’s Beef Association “National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) welcomes today’s announcement that the United States and Japan have reached an agreement in principle on the Japanese beef safeguard. As part of the terms of the Japan – U.S. Trade Agreement, both countries entered consultations after the volume-based safeguard was triggered in March 2021. NCBA strongly supported efforts to secure improvements to the beef safeguard that are mutually beneficial for Japanese consumers and American cattle producers.” To continue reading, click here.

season 2 episode 6

Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast

Noah Lopez of the Rancher Technical Assistance Program joins Katie to talk about the The State Water Resources Control Board’s due date change and highlights other issues producers can gain assistance on through RTAP. To listen to the episode, click here.

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