December 5, 2022

To read the full version each week, please subscribe below.

106th Annual Meeting Brings CCA Leadership Changes
Friday marked the end of the 106th Annual CCA/CCW Convention held in Sparks, Nev. from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. Over the few days, hundreds of attendees heard from speakers on a wide range of topics impacting the industry, spent time networking in the California and Nevada Cattle Industry Tradeshow and met to review policy.

The event marked the end of a two-year term as CCA President for Tony Toso (Mariposa County). CCA Second Vice President Trevor Freitas (Tulare County) also stepped off CCA’s officer team as his two-year term expired. CCA staff and leadership extend a special thank you to Toso and Freitas for the time, miles and energy put into being CCA officers and for serving the Association for years.

Steve Arnold (San Luis Obispo County) now has the reigns as CCA President, with four years of experience on CCA’s officer team behind him and leadership experience in multiple other capacities to pull from. Rick Roberti (Plumas County) moved up as CCA First Vice President and Shelia Bowen (Kern County) has one year remaining in her term as CCA Second Vice President. Bev Bigger (Ventura County) will continue as CCA Treasurer in 2023.

CCA welcomes two new officers to the team, as Frank Imhof (Contra Costa County) and Mike McCluskey (Tehama County) were elected as the two incoming CCA Second Vice Presidents.

CCA would also like to recognize and thank the 2022 Top Hand Awards winners for all their efforts in recruiting new members into our Association.
1st Place: Paul Tognazzini (San Luis Obispo)
2nd Place: Dave Daley (Butte)
3rd Place: Nicole Stevens (Siskiyou)

Lastly, thank you to all the members and supporters who participated in the event and helped make it a success. A recap on Convention and on policy changes from the event will be published in the December edition of CCA’s Hot Irons newsletter and the January edition of California Cattleman. Look to learn more about CCA’s 51st President, Steve Arnold, on an upcoming Sorting Pen podcast episode and in the January magazine.

Participate in a Caltrans Pilot Study and Earn up to $250 
From the California Department of Transportation

California is exploring an alternative to the gas tax and is actively recruiting rural stakeholders to provide input on the policy idea and take part in the pilot. 
Fuel taxes fund much of California’s transportation system, including the repair of roads and bridges. However, fuel purchases will eventually decline as California transitions to electric and other clean air vehicles in the future. To address this funding concern, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 1077 in 2014 and Senate Bill 339 in 2021 to study a transportation tax based on a per-mile fee, known as a road usage charge. 
In 2023, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) will conduct further pilot research and aims to recruit participants from two distinct populations: rural and tribal communities. The research pilot, known as the Public/Private Roads Project, will gather essential information for planning how a road charge program could address travel to and from public and private roadways. In addition to recruiting participants for focus groups and attitude survey research, the state is offering incentives of up to $250 for community members to take part in a 7-month pilot launching in March 2023. 
Caltrans wants the voices of rural community members and business owners at the table as this policy idea on replacement funding is being explored. The agency wants to understand how the concept fits into your day-to-day and what unique challenges and opportunities it may provide rural communities. Caltrans encourages CCA members to sign up to participate. For more history and information on California Road Charge visit https://caroadcharge.com/ or contact Lauren Prehoda at lauren.prehoda@dot.ca.gov.
Some Midterm Results Outstanding Even as Legislators Convene in Sacramento 
Nearly a month after Election Day, results have been declared in all but a few races.
On Friday, the last remaining Congressional race was called, with Republican John Duarte being declared the victor in a race against Democrat Adam Gray in California’s 13th Congressional District. With Duarte’s victory, Republicans will control the House of Representatives by a margin of 222-213 (while one Colorado race is headed for a recall, the Democrat in that race has already conceded defeat). The final makeup of the U.S. Senate will be determined tomorrow in a runoff between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia; Democrats have already won 50 seats in the chamber to retain control. 
Democrats are currently projected to hold at least 31 seats in the 40-seat State Senate – the same number the party held prior to the election. The only outstanding State Senate race is in SD 16, where Democrat Melissa Hurtado led Republican David Shepard by a mere 45 votes as of 6:00pm Friday. With a few Assembly races still too close to call, Democrats have already secured enough seats to slightly expand their existing supermajority in that chamber. 
The Legislature today held an organizational session (as required by art. IV, § 3(a) of the California Constitution), during which members were sworn in and cast leadership votes. Governor Newsom has also issued a proclamation convening the Legislature into special session to impose a financial penalty on oil company’s “excessive margins” to “deter price gouging.” As of this morning Newsom had yet to release a detailed proposal, and it is unclear whether the Legislature will meaningfully address the matter prior to their scheduled return in January.
CCA will continue to keep members apprised as election results are finalized and as legislative developments materialize.
SWRCB Updates Curtailment Statuses for Multiple Watersheds
On Friday, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced that it has lifted all curtailments within the Russian River Watershed and anticipates that curtailments will remain lifted through at least the end of the year. For more information and to monitor the Curtailment Status List, see the SWRCB’s Russian River Drought Response Webpage.
The SWRCB on Friday also lifted several curtailments within the San Joaquin River watershed, with only appropriative water rights within the Stanislaus River subwatershed with a priority date of 1952 or later remaining curtailed.
Unfortunately, the SWRCB did not similarly loosen curtailments on Sacramento River tributaries. Within the Sacramento River watershed, curtailments remain in effect for appropriative water rights within the Cache Creek subwatershed with a priority date of 1856 or later, within the Stony Creek subwatershed with a priority date of 1930 or later, within the Bear Creek subwatershed with a priority date of 1942 or later and within the Putah Creek subwatershed with a priority date of 1945 or later. Diverters within the region are encouraged to review the Delta Watershed Curtailment Status List after that time for the most up-to-date information.
Curtailments also remain in effect within the Scott and Shasta River watersheds. On Friday, the SWRCB issued a “reminder” that “curtailments remain in effect for all surface water and groundwater diversions in the Scott River watershed unless…approved under a petition” or covered by an exception. Within the Shasta River watershed, “conditional curtailments are in effect to a priority date of November 12, 1925,” meaning that conditionally curtailed diverters (those with water right priority dates between March 1, 1850 and November 12, 1925) may divert in order of priority when the minimum flow requirement (which is 125 cubic feet per second during the month of December) is met at the Yreka gage. For more information, see the Scott River and Shasta River Watersheds Drought Response webpage.
The SWRCB has also announced that it will hold an in-person workshop on “Funding Opportunities for Farmers and Ranchers in Scott and Shasta River Watersheds” from 10:00am-noon this Thursday at the Siskiyou County Farm Bureau office at 809 4th Street in Yreka.
Previously-reported curtailments on the Mill Creek and Deer Creek watersheds also remain in effect. For more information, see the Mill Creek and Deer Creek Drought Response webpage.
CCA will continue to keep members informed regarding the latest curtailment statuses; for more information, contact the CCA office.
CARB Releases Final Draft of 2022 Scoping Plan
Last month, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released the final draft of its 2022 Scoping Plan for Achieving Carbon Neutrality. The document lays out a vision of strategies the State could employ to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The Scoping Plan takes an inconsistent approach to livestock grazing, arguing that the State should “Accelerate demand for dairy and livestock product substitutes such as plant-based or cell-cultured” products to diminish livestock methane emissions while simultaneously calling for “prescribed grazing…to support soil carbon sequestration” and utilizing “livestock to consume vegetation to reduce fuel loads…in forests, grasslands, and shrublands.” CARB will consider adopting the 2022 Scoping Plan at its December 15 meeting. For additional details, see the Nov. 21 edition of Legislative Bulletin.

Upcoming Industry Events

Forest Service Rangeland Management Futuring Webinar
December 13, 2022, Virtual, 10am MT
Tune in to a webinar focused on the future of the Forest Service Rangeland Management Program. The webinar provides and opportunity to provide feedback and form the direction of the rangeland management program. To view the flyer, click here. To register for the webinar, click here.

CCA in the News

Wolf depredations spike in NorCal county Western FarmPress “Wolf tracks were present, and the location suggests the Whaleback Pack is responsible for the Oct. 21 depredation, the California Cattlemen’s Association noted in a Legislative Bulletin.” To continue reading, click here.

Industry News

255 acres of rangeland protected for wildlife corridor Morning AgClips “The California Rangeland Trust is pleased to announce the conservation of approximately 255 acres of rangeland on the Van Vleck Ranch near Rancho Murieta, Calif., which serves as an essential wildlife corridor for Swainson’s hawk and other raptors, wild turkeys, California quail, and more.” To continue reading, click here.

DOT Hours of Service and Livestock Progressive Farmer “Livestock groups are disappointed about a regulatory decision by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration denying an exemption application over hours-of-service rules for hauling livestock.” To continue reading, click here.

NCBA Statement on the Signing of Resolution to Avoid Rail Disruptions NCBA “National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) CEO Colin Woodall released a statement following the signing of H.J. Res. 100 to avert disruptions in rail service: “America’s cattle producers are grateful for the bipartisan effort that prevented disruptions in critical rail service across the country. A rail shutdown would have been disastrous to our supply chain, and would have interrupted the essential feed, fuel, and fertilizer shipments cattle producers need. We are pleased that this joint resolution was swiftly passed by Congress and signed into law.” To continue reading, click here.


Before ending his term as CCA President, Tony Toso comes on the podcast to talk about his two years leading the Association. Hear about some of his favorite wins and parts of his presidency. Later in the episode we talk about what he’s seeing as far as water availability throughout the state as an ag appraiser. Click here to listen.

Sign up to receive Legislative Bulletin in your inbox every Monday