Governor Newsom Releases May Revise of 2022-23 State Budget
On May 13, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the “May Revise” of the Administration’s proposed 2022-23 State Budget. The $300.6 billion budget outlay is bolstered by an unprecedented projected surplus of $97.5 billion (of which approximately $49.2 billion is available for discretionary spending).
“Given the intensification of drought since January,” when the Governor released his initial 2022-23 Proposed Budget, the May Revise substantially augments funding available for water resilience and drought response. Whereas the January budget proposed roughly $500 million for drought response and resilience, the May Revise augments that figure by roughly $1.5 billion. Of that, roughly $553 million would be made available to urban water districts and community water suppliers for drought-relief projects. $187 million would be designated for farmers and ranchers to help install more efficient irrigation equipment and access on-farm technical assistance, among other uses.
The May Revise also proposes $75 million in funding for a California Small Agricultural Business Drought Relief Grant Program which would “provide direct assistance to eligible agriculture-related businesses that have been impacted by severe drought conditions.” This grant program would offer $30,000-$50,000 to agricultural operations which have lost revenue due to severe drought; it “will be prioritized first to businesses located in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley and then to additional areas experiencing drought impacts.”
The May Revise also devotes $1.2 billion in additional funding for wildfire prevention and forest resilience, for a total investment of $2.7 billion over two years. These funds will be targeted at projects including “forest thinning, prescribed burns, grazing, reforestation, fuel breaks, and new technology to detect wildfires early.”
Livestock grazing makes multiple appearances under the Governor’s budget outlay for “Nature-Based Solutions,” with $10 million earmarked to CAL FIRE over the next two years to implement wildland grazing under a Fire Prevention Grant Program and $245 million over the next two years allocated to the Wildlife Conservation Board for its “Rangeland, Grazing Land and Grassland Protection Program.”
Expenditures for “Climate Smart Agriculture” remain similar to funding levels announced in January’s Proposed Budget, with $150 million set aside for the FARMER program, which helps fund the replacement of agricultural equipment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, $85 million for the Healthy Soils Program and $48 million in livestock methane emission reduction funding.
CCA will continue to advocate in favor of wildfire resilience, drought response and expanded grazing access – among other priorities – as the legislature works to finalize the 2022-23 Budget by a Constitutional deadline of June 15. Stay tuned to Legislative Bulletin and CCA’s other publications for updates as budget negotiations progress in Sacramento.
TAKE ACTION: Sign Grassroots Letter Against Mandatory Reporting of GHG Emissions
Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule requiring publicly traded companies to disclose their direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, GHG emissions resulting from the companies’ energy consumption and supply-chain GHG emissions which “are a consequence of the company’s activities.”
Cattle producers will not be subject to direct reporting requirements, but publicly traded companies which sell beef may be required to disclose emissions data from their supply chains if those emissions are “material” or if the company has set a GHG emissions reduction target regarding these supply chain emissions.
Because these reporting requirements for publicly traded companies could potentially impact several segments of the cattle and beef supply chain directly or indirectly, CCA’s national partner the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) last week launched a grassroots campaign for cattle ranchers to urge the SEC not to require reporting of these ‘supply-chain’ emissions.
CCA encourages ranchers to sign on to NCBA’s grassroots letter. Click here to tell the SEC to stick to regulating Wall Street, not Main Street. The grassroots letter will be available for sign-on through June 17.
CDFW Offers Grants for Non-Lethal Wolf Deterrence
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released an update to its Wolf Livestock Loss Compensation Grant Program. The recently announced Non-Lethal Wolf Deterrence grant program is intended to compensate ranchers for the costs of implementing non-lethal measures to deter wolf presence on ranches.
A non-comprehensive list of deterrent tools recognized by CDFW can be found here. You may also reach out to your County Agricultural Commissioner or the CDFW to inquire whether additional tools may qualify for compensation as non-lethal deterrent techniques. To apply for compensation for implementing non-lethal deterrents, see CDFW’s compensation form, here.
The Non-Lethal Wolf Deterrence grant complements CDFW’s Livestock Loss Compensation grant previously reported in Legislative Bulletin in February. To apply for livestock loss compensation incurred on or after September 23, 2021, click here.
Any questions, comments or concerns may be addressed to CDFW at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to Lindsay McLaggan at the California Cattlemen’s Foundation at email@example.com or (916) 444-0845.
SWRCB Again Extends Curtailment Suspensions in the Scott River Watershed
On Friday, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) renewed its temporary suspension of all curtailments in the Scott River watershed through midnight this Friday, May 27. 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 requirement throughout May is 150 cubic feet per second). If flows dip below the minimum flow requirements, 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 watershed on the Scott River and Shasta River Drought webpage. For any questions about curtailment notices or how to comply, please contact the Rancher Technical Assistance Program at (916) 409-6902 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Episode of Stories from California Cattle Country
Episode 17 of Stories from California Cattle Country “Dairy Technology with Tyler Ribeiro at Rib Arrow Dairy” is available now. To listen, click here. Stories from California Cattle Country is produced by the California Cattlemen’s Foundation with support from the California Cattle Council. If you want a glimpse into our travels, follow the podcast’s Instagram account @calcattlecountry.
California Cattle Council Seeking Requests for Proposals
The California Cattle Council is launching an effort to allocate funds to local agricultural associations, producers, researchers or other interested individuals to conduct work that fulfills the priorities of cattle producers at a local or county level. The Council is using this opportunity to offer partnerships to fund local initiatives and priorities as a trial with the hope to build this program out further in the future.
For this year, grants will be limited to $10,000 per project. Please click here to visit the Council’s website for a copy of the Request for Proposal (RFP) that includes all the information a person will need to apply for funding. Proposals are due on June 17, 2022. Please share the RFP with any organizations, qualified individuals, or researchers that could utilize these funds to advance a local project or address a challenge. When reviewing projects for funding, the Council will pay close attention to ensure the proposals meet the requirements outlined in the RFP and are not duplicative of existing projects or initiatives.
To learn more about the grants and the Council’s commitment to maximizing Council dollars through funding projects with partnerships click here to read an update from Justin Oldfield, the Council’s executive director. Click here to subscribe to monthly updates from the Council.
USDA Designates All California Counties Primary Natural Disaster Areas Due to Drought
Late last month, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack designated all 58 counties within the state as primary natural disaster areas due to drought. The designation allows USDA’s Farm Service Agency “to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters through emergency loans.” Ranchers must apply for such emergency loans by December 8. For more information, see the May 9 edition of Legislative Bulletin.