May 22, 2023

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Newsom Issues Additional Executive Order Addressing Ongoing Central Valley Flooding
On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order aimed at mitigating Tulare Lake Basin and the San Joaquin River Basin flooding from historic Sierra Nevada snowmelt.

Much of the Executive Order merely amends a prior March 10 executive order which authorized the diversion of flood flows for groundwater recharge. Whereas the March 10 order permitted such diversions only through June 1, Newsom’s latest order extends the flood flow diversion timeline through August 31 within the Tulare Lake and San Joaquin River basins. Within those basins the executive order also retains temporary suspensions of various Fish & Game Code, California Environmental Quality Act and Water Code provisions detailed in a prior edition of Legislative Bulletin. Finally, the order clarifies which lands flood flows cannot be applied to for purposes of groundwater recharge, including areas where waste from CAFOs has been applied, lands treated with fertilizers or pesticides in the past 30 days and areas that have not been in active irrigated agriculture cultivation in the past three years.

The Newsom Administration last week also unveiled budget trailer bill language which would amend state law to permanently authorize the diversion of flood flows for groundwater recharge, when present.

Finally, Newsom’s order enables activation of the Kern River Intertie, allowing Kern River water to be diverted to the California Aqueduct to prevent further flooding within the Tulare Lake Basin (the Los Angeles Times has a wonderful write-up about the Intertie, here).

Newsom Unveils Proposal to Streamline Infrastructure Projects
In a press conference on Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a series of proposals to streamline the “building of clean infrastructure so California can reach its world-leading climate goals while creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.” Newsom’s proposals seek to accelerate the permitting process for clean infrastructure projects and to limit delays caused by judicial reviews under the California Environmental Quality Act (under Newsom’s proposal, legal challenges under CEQA would need to be resolved in 270 days, limiting delays related to judicial review).

According to a press release for the Governor’s Office, the proposals previewed Friday will streamline projects including “Water storage projects funded by Proposition 1” and the “Delta Conveyance Project.”

Newsom on Friday took a first step in furtherance of the streamlining proposal, signing an Executive Order establishing an “Infrastructure Strike Team” which will “Identify projects on which to focus streamlining efforts,” among other priorities.

The substantive provisions of the Governor’s proposal will be contained within 11 budget trailer bills which will be considered by (and negotiated with) the Legislature. CCA will update members as the details of those budget trailer bill proposals become clearer.

Governor Issues May Revision of 2023-24 Budget
In a press conference on May 12, Governor Gavin Newsom presented the “May Revise” of his 2023-24 State Budget first proposed in early January. With a budget deficit of at least $31.5 billion, the May Revise proposes implementing $4 billion in previously-forecasted “trigger cuts” to multi-year climate investments, as well as $1.1 billion in additional climate spending cuts (the Governor has suggested offsetting these cuts via a state bond, though he has not specifically endorsed any of the several bond bills presently before the Legislature). The revised budget includes $290 million in one-time spending to address flooding impacts, including repurposing $125 million previously proposed for drought contingencies to instead “support costs associated with preparedness, response, recovery, and other associated activities related to the 2023 storms, the resulting snowmelt, and other flooding risks.” For additional details, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.

AgriWebb’s 2023 State of the Global Farmer Report is Available 
Agriwebb’s 2023 State of the Global Farmer Report is available. The report  includes a compilation of over 850 voices of farmers and ranchers worldwide. Feedback from ranchers found the report valuable to see what challenges and priorities their peers have identified and what their thoughts are surrounding topics like grazing strategies, carbon, governmental regulations and more. To get a copy of the report click here.

Upcoming CCA Events

Feeder Meeting 
May 24 – 26, San Diego, CA, Marriott Marquis
The California Cattlemen’s Association Feeder Council and Arizona Cattle Feeders Association Meeting will take place May 24-26 at the Marriott Marquis in San Diego. 

To make your reservation at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, call (877) 622-3056.

Midyear Meeting
June 21-22, Paso Robles, CA, Paso Robles Inn
Registration for Midyear Meeting is now open! To register, click hereThe 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

Upcoming Industry Events

Sustainable Management of California’s Fire-Prone Landscapes 
The Range Management Advisory Committee Educational Workshop Series will host three field tours across the state and a virtual learning session. Participants will learn about prescribed grazing efforts to manage wildfire and other ecosystem services. 

Salinas River Vegetation Management Project: Grazing for Riparian Corridor Fuels Management
Friday, May 26, 2023, In Person
To Register email Kristina.wolf@bof.ca.gov

Industry News

California, Arizona, Nevada offer landmark drought deal to use less Colorado River water — for now Associated Press “Under the new proposal, California would give up about 1.6 million acre-feet of water through 2026 — a little more than half of the total. That’s roughly the same amount the state first offered six months ago. It wasn’t clear why the other states agreed to a deal now when California didn’t offer further cuts. Leaders in Arizona and Nevada didn’t immediately say how they’d divide the other 1.4 million acre feet.” To continue reading, click here.

A lawsuit to protect streams could take away a prime firefighting tool Grist “For firefighters and some foresters, the lawsuit presents its own threat. Curbing use of fire retardants would ‘have a catastrophic effect on California’s ability to protect communities and infrastructure,’ said Ken Pimlott, former director of Cal Fire, the country’s second biggest retardant-sprayer after the Forest Service. More than half the retardant in the country is dumped in California, where a record 4.3 million acres burned in 2020. ‘I don’t think people fully understand the implications’ of the lawsuit, Pimlott said.” To continue reading, click here.

NCBA Endorses Bipartisan Legislation to Protect Animal Health National Cattlemen’s Beef Association “The Foreign Animal Disease Prevention, Surveillance, and Rapid Response Act would provide additional funding for three important animal health programs established through the 2018 Farm Bill including the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB), the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program (NADPRP), and the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).” To continue reading, click here.

PG&E to Pay $150 million for Zogg Fire NBC Bay Area “The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday formally approved a $150 million regulatory settlement with PG&E over the 2020 Zogg Fire, with the bulk of the sum to be dedicated to bolstering wildfire safety efforts.” To continue reading, click here.

anthony stornetta

A New episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is out now. This week CCA Fire Subcommittee Chair Anthony Stornetta is back on the podcast to discuss the outlook for the upcoming wildfire season in California, share how the livestock pass and burn boss classes are going and talk about what the state’s fire resiliency efforts have consisted of over the last several months. To listen to the episode click here.

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