CCA-Sponsored Bills Advance to Governor Newsom’s Desk
Two CCA-sponsored bills advanced out of the Legislature last week and now await final action by Governor Gavin Newsom.
On Monday, CCA-sponsored AB 2415 (Lackey) passed the Senate by a vote of 36-0. AB 2415 would extend by three years the agricultural vehicle exemption to the California Highway Patrol’s Basic Inspection of Terminals program. That exemption, initially secured in 2016 via CCA-sponsored AB 1960 (Lackey), is currently set to expire January 1, 2023.
CCA-sponsored SB 880 (Laird) passed out of the Assembly on Thursday by a vote of 76-0. If signed into law, the legislation would permanently authorize University of California Cooperative Extension water measurement instructional courses which enable ranchers who divert more than 100 acre-feet per year to self-certify as “qualified individuals” for purposes of installing and maintaining their own water measurement devices.
Both bills passed out of the Legislature with no opposition and without taking a single “no” vote this Legislative Session.
Thursday was also the Legislature’s “suspense day,” the day on which the Senate and Assembly appropriations committees consider hundreds of bills with fiscal impacts to the state. Several CCA priority bills survived appropriators’ culling, including CCA-supported SB 926 (Dodd), which would establish a Prescribed Fire Claims Fund and which now advances to the Assembly Floor, and CCA-supported AB 267 (Valladares), which would exempt NEPA-analyzed fuels reduction projects from CEQA requirements and which now advances to the Senate Floor.
Unfortunately, not all CCA-priority bills survived culling. SB 977 (Laird), which would have established the California Conservation Ranching Incentive Program, was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee – the exact fate that befell last year’s version of Sen. Laird’s proposal, SB 322.
Suspense day also saw CCA-opposed legislation held in Committee. AB 2649 (C. Garcia), which would have required sequestration of 60 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent on natural and working lands by 2030 and 75 million metric tons by 2035, failed to advance out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. While grazed rangelands provide significant carbon sequestration benefits, the legislation set rigid sequestration requirements without detailing a path to achieve those benchmarks, opening the door to potentially onerous regulations impacting California’s rangeland stewards.
The Legislature has until August 31 to act on pending legislation, after which Gov. Newsom has until the end of September to sign or veto the bills. CCA will continue to keep you informed of significant developments on priority bills, and a full end-of-session legislative recap will appear in the November edition of California Cattleman.
FSA Adjusts Livestock Indemnity Program Payment Rate for Cattle Under 250 Pounds
USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently updated its Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) payment rates for non-adult beef cattle (and other bovine animals) under 250 pounds. The revised rates align payment rates for calves under 250 pounds with those for calves weighing between 250 and 399 pounds.
According to FSA, “LIP payments for owners are based on national payment rates that are 75 percent of the market value of the applicable livestock.” The updated payment rate for beef cattle weighing less than 250 pounds is now $474.38 (75% of the average nationwide market price of roughly $632), up substantially from the prior payment rate of $175.27. The revised rate is effective immediately and, according to FSA, will be applied retroactively dating back to January 1. Producers who have already received LIP payments this year ought to receive an additional payment covering the difference in rates.
LIP provides payments to livestock producers for “livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by eligible loss conditions” such as natural disasters, certain diseases and predation from federally protected wildlife species.
A full LIP factsheet, including payment rates for eligible livestock, is available here. For additional details, contact your county FSA office (contact information can be found here).
For questions about LIP and how to apply, please contact the Rancher Technical Assistance Program at (916) 409-6902 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
California’s Water Supply Strategy Portfolio Released
On Thursday, Governor Newsom announced the Administration’s release of “California’s Water Supply Strategy: Adapting to a Hotter, Drier Future.” The portfolio outlines the actions taken over the last three years to secure sustainable water practices throughout the drought ridden state and future goals on water infrastructure innovations, conservation and allocation. The current strategy builds upon the Administration’s 2020 Water Resilience Portfolio previously reported in Legislative Bulletin.
To work towards conserving the water supply, the new strategy identifies four actions to be implemented in coordination with federal, local and tribal partners as outlined below from the document.
1) Develop 828,000 acre-feet of new water supply through recycling and desalination.
2) Expand storage capacity by 4 million acre-feet
- Expand average annual groundwater recharge by at least 500,000 acre-feet.
- Work with local proponents to complete the seven Proposition 1-supported storage projects and consider funding other viable surface storage projects.
- Expand San Luis Reservoir by 135,000 acre-feet.
- Rehabilitate dams to regain storage capacity.
- Support local stormwater capture projects in cities and towns with the goal to increase annual supply capacity by at least 250,000 acre-feet by 2030 and 500,000 acre-feet by 2040.
3) Reduce use of water in cities and on farms.
4) Improve all water management actions with better data, forecasting, conveyance and administration of water rights.
Strategies outlined in the document will be effectuated by regulatory and policy initiatives undertaken by the State Water Resources Control Board, Department of Water Resources and other regulatory agencies.
CCA will monitor and engage with any legislative and regulatory initiatives pursuant to the Strategy which may impact our members. For further questions contact CCA Vice President of Government Affairs, Kirk Wilbur at email@example.com.
CCA joins the Goods Movement Alliance
CCA has joined the Goods Movement Alliance (GMA), a coalition consisting of California industry leaders involved in the goods movement economy, who back solutions to the goods movement crisis. Priorities of GMA include addressing the current crisis, investing in future growth and building a resilient system. The Alliance is devoted to heading solutions that will address short- and long-term issues in the goods movement division. To read more on CCA’s efforts to mitigate supply chain issues refer to the July Hot Irons newsletter or the September California Cattleman. To learn more about GMA click here.
SWRCB Issues Updates on Water Rights Curtailments in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watersheds
As of Tuesday, several curtailments have been imposed or updated within the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed. The curtailments detailed below are not comprehensive, but merely reflect new updates to curtailments reported in last week’s Legislative Bulletin.
Appropriative water rights in the Sacramento River watershed outside of the Legal Delta with a priority date of 1920 are curtailed, as are water rights in the Cache Creek subwatershed with a priority date of 1914 or later. Appropriative water rights in the San Joaquin River watershed with a priority date of 1888 or later have been curtailed. Additionally, rights on several San Joaquin River tributaries have been further curtailed, including all appropriative water rights and riparian rights for the Fresno River subwatershed and appropriative rights in the Merced River subwatershed with a priority date of 1859 or later.
For more information, including the curtailment status associated with your water rights, see the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Watershed Drought & Curtailment Information Webpage. The above curtailments are expected to continue through summer and the beginning of fall, depending on precipitation.
For questions about curtailment and suspension 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
Stories from California Cattle Country, Tom’s Place & Long Valley/w Cashbaugh Ranch is out now. To listen to the episode 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.
2022 CCA Internship Applications Now Available
Internship applications are open for the 2022 CCA/CCW Convention happening Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nev. Selected interns will help run CCA’s tradeshow booth, onsite registration and other behind the scenes tasks at the event, they will also get to attend select meetings of interest, general sessions and the tradeshow with complimentary lodging and registration. Additionally, the interns will get to interact with CCA leadership and staff, as well as industry leaders at the best attended meeting of the year. To apply please send a resume and cover letter to Maureen LaGrande at email@example.com by Monday, October 10, 2022, at 11:59pm PST. Applicant must be a young, regular or feeder member of the California Cattlemen’s Association and must be a current undergraduate, master, school of law or veterinary student attending or enrolled in a junior college, four-year college, university or law school (high school students are not eligible). Learn more about the event at calcattlemen.org/convention2022.
Inflation Reduction Act Includes Investments for Ag and Rural Communities
Last week, the House of Representatives approved H.R, 5376, the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill previously passed the Senate and now awaits President Biden’s signature.
The legislation includes roughly $40 billion in agricultural investments, including $5 billion allocated to the U.S. Forest Service to undertake fuels reduction and carbon sequestration activities on USFS lands, $20 billion for environmental stewardship programs administered by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and $4 billion for drought resilience and water supply projects to be undertaken by the federal Bureau of Reclamation. For additional details, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.
ACT NOW: Encourage NRCS to fund cost-sharing for non-lethal predator management
CCA has joined the Western Landowners Alliance (WLA) in asking the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to assist livestock producers with implementation of non-lethal predator deterrents through the agency’s cost-sharing programs. Specifically, CCA and WLA are requesting that cost-sharing assistance through NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentive Program and other programs be made available for three practices: range riding, carcass management and fencing. CCA recommends that California producers sign on to the letter to encourage NRCS to defray the costs of non-lethal deterrent mechanisms for producers who voluntarily undertake those deterrents.
A formal letter with signatories will be sent to the agency with the request for funding.
To learn more about the Western Landowners Alliance’s efforts and sign the letter, click here.
2022 CCA Scholarship Applications Now Available
Applications for the 2022 CCA Scholarships are being accepted now through October 1, 2022. CCA awarded $63,000 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 at a university or college are eligible to apply. Past recipients of her CCA scholarship program may also apply again this year. For a complete list of awards and to download the application visit calcattlemen.org/scholarships. Contact Maureen in the CCA office at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.