Registration for Midyear Meeting is Now Open
Registration for Midyear Meeting, happening June 21-22 at the Paso Robles Inn is now open! To register, click here. The last day to pre-register is Wed., June 14. All registration prices will be increased onsite. No registration refunds will be given after Wed., May 31.
The California Cattlemen’s Association Room block at the Paso Robles Inn is open. To make your reservations call (805) 238-2660 and mention “California Cattlemen’s Association.” Further registration details and the tentative schedule can be found here.
CARB Approves “Advanced Clean Fleets” Rule
On Friday, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) unanimously approved its “Advanced Clean Fleets” regulation, requiring the phased-in adoption of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) within some commercial trucking fleets. The regulation applies to trucking fleets of 50 or more vehicles or to trucking companies which make at least $50 million in annual revenues, as well as to local government vehicles and port trucks (the trucks impacted by the regulation are medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks, defined as those with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 8,500 pounds). The vote followed a Thursday decision to require railroads to transition to zero-emission by 2047.
The rule allows existing internal combustion engine vehicles in covered fleets to remain on the road for their “minimum useful life” – defined under the regulation as 800,000 miles or 18 years from the model year that the engine was first certified for use by CARB – after which they must be retired and any replacement must be a ZEV. The rule sets forth a schedule of “ZEV Fleet Milestones” for covered entities to achieve between 2024 and 2042.
The new regulation is in furtherance of Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2020 Executive Order which set a “goal of the State that 100 percent of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in the State be zero-emission by 2045.”
Friday’s unanimous vote came despite significant outcry from the trucking industry and fleet operators who noted that electric truck models are difficult to come by and that charging infrastructure for such trucks is even more scarce.
For more information on the regulation, click here. To read the text of the regulation, click here.
USFWS Re-opens Proposed Threatened Species Listing of Bi-State Sage Grouse
On Thursday, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a notice that it is “reopening the comment periods on [its] October 28, 2013, proposed rules to list the Bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse … as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.” The USFWS has twice withdrawn its proposed rule in recognition of the effectiveness of the voluntary species conservation efforts undertaken by ranchers and other land stewards. Unfortunately, those withdrawals have twice been overturned in the courts, most recently via a lawsuit in the Northern District of California decided last year. That reversal has necessitated the USFWS re-opening its 2013 comment period.
CCA has previously filed formal comments with the USFWS opposing threatened species status for the Bi-State distinct population segment of the greater sage-grouse and is thus already on the administrative record for this proposal. Nevertheless, CCA intends to submit additional comments prior to the June 26 deadline. Ranchers wishing to submit comments may do so by clicking “Submit a Formal Comment,” here.
CCA staff also recently spoke with leadership of the Pacific Southwest Regional office of the USFWS, conveying CCA’s view that the species does not warrant listing as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act in light of the significant conservation progress which has been made by ranchers and others.
In addition to the federal proposal, California’s Fish & Game Commission is also considering whether to list the Bi-State population of the greater sage grouse as a threatened or endangered species under the California Endangered Species Act, a proposal CCA will likewise be opposing. For more information on the state proposal, see the January 9 edition of Legislative Bulletin.
Storm Recovery Assistance Available Via USDA’s NRCS, FSA
On Wednesday, the California State office of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that it has set aside $2 million in financial assistance for agricultural producers impacted by recent flooding. According to the announcement, “This funding applies to resource concerns that threaten the ongoing agricultural operation or create an imminent threat to agricultural operations,” including “repairing or stabilizing animal waste structures, irrigation equipment, forestry improvement, or vehicle access.” Impacted producers in every county except Lake, Lassen, Mono, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties are eligible to apply. The application deadline for this assistance is June 16. For more information, click here.
As previously reported in Legislative Bulletin, financial assistance to recover from severe winter storms is also available via the USDA Farm Service Agency’s Emergency Conservation Program (ECP), with the deadline to apply for ECP recently extended through October 13. ECP sign-ups are likewise available for producers impacted by severe winter storms in every county except Lake, Lassen, Mono, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. For additional details, see FSA’s announcement, here.
To apply for assistance through FSA or NRCS, locate your local USDA service center here.
SWRCB Extends Shasta River Watershed Conditional Curtailment Suspensions Through May 31
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced Thursday that it has extended conditional suspensions of curtailments within the Shasta River watershed for water rights with a priority date of November 25, 1912 or later through at least May 31 (curtailments for more senior rights are suspended without condition).
Specifically, curtailment suspensions for such rights are conditioned upon (1) minimum flows of 50 cubic feet per second being maintained throughout the month of May as measured at the Yreka gage and (2) those with suspended curtailments working with the Watermaster and SWRCB to manage flows.
As previously reported in Legislative Bulletin, curtailments within the Scott River watershed have been curtailed through tomorrow. For the most up-to-date status of curtailment suspensions for the Scott River watershed, see the Scott River and Shasta River Watersheds Drought Response webpage.
As previously reported, the SWRCB has fully rescinded curtailment orders for the Russian River and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watersheds.
State Water Project & Central Valley Project to Deliver 100% of Requested Supplies
Last month, the California Department of Water Resources announced that it “now expects to deliver 100 percent of requested water supplies” under the State Water Project (SWP) this year. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation likewise announced that all Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors north and south of the Delta would receive “100% of their contract supply.” For more information, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.
New Episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast
This week’s episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is a conversation we originally recorded for WSR’s Insurance Unscripted Podcast! Tune in as Katie talks with two California beekeepers on the current challenges and issues facing beekeepers and the industry. Hear how the challenges of the bee business compare to those of ranching, and how the opportunities and challenges the American Beekeeping Federation is tackling are similar to those of CCA’s and other agricultural groups. To listen to the episode click here.
CBCIA + CAA Tour
The California Beef Cattle Improvement Association and the California Angus Association Industry Tour is taking place May 16-18. Participants will visit the Central Valley and have the opportunity to tour an array of livestock operations, local agricultural businesses and hear from industry leaders. Limited space is available and spots are on a first come first serve basis. To view the agenda and register for the tour click here.