April 15, 2024

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CDFW Releases Report on Wolf-Livestock Compensation Pilot Program
On Thursday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife released a summary report detailing how the agency spent the $3 million appropriated in the Budget Act of 2021 for the Department’s Wolf-Livestock Compensation Pilot Program. The Department also reiterated that it “is no longer accepting Wolf-Livestock Compensation Pilot Program applications,” as the initial $3 million has been fully expended.

The Department’s summary reveals that, between February 2022 and March 8 of this year, the Department awarded 109 wolf compensation grants to 36 individual producers with livestock operations in four of the nine counties with known wolf activity (while the total number of grantees may appear small, it is well established that individual ranchers often experience disproportionately high levels of wolf impacts).

The Department’s analysis demonstrates that nearly two-thirds of available funds ($1,919,825) were expended under the non-lethal deterrent grants prong of the program, under which 56 total grants were awarded.

Of the remaining funds, $135,043 were expended on direct loss compensation and $945,130 were directed at “pay for presence” compensation. The largest share of each prong was awarded to ranchers in Siskiyou County, where the Whaleback Pack has chronically preyed on cattle.

Despite the headwinds of a $38 billion projected deficit, CCA has aggressively lobbied throughout the 2024 legislative year for additional funding for the Wolf-Livestock Compensation Program, securing significant support from Democrats and Republicans in both chambers of the Legislature. CCA will keep members apprised of the status of those budget negotiations as the Governor prepares his May Revise of the Budget and as final Legislative negotiations occur in June.

UPDATE: Legislation on Early-Action Budget Cuts Likely to be Signed by Governor Newsom
On Thursday, Politico reported that Assembly Bill 106, legislation that would reduce California’s budget by approximately $17.3 billion, was approved by the state Assembly and Senate and is expected to be signed by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Last week Governor Newsom’s office released an overview of an early-action budget agreement between the Administration and the Legislature. The agreement identified a series of funding cuts, spending delays and budget shifts meant to shrink the deficit – pegged at $38 billion by the Department of Finance in January.

The agreement largely tracks the proposed early-action Budget measures Gov. Newsom requested in his January Proposed Budget, and includes $3.6 billion in spending cuts, $3.1 billion in spending delays and $3.4 billion in fund shifting (among other provisions). Among the specifics in the proposal are $206.5 million in funding cuts to Watershed Climate Resilience and $1.8 billion in funding shifted from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

The agreement also “includes budget language authorizing the Administration to freeze additional one-time funding that was included in the 2021, 2022, or 2023 Budget Acts.”

CCA continues to aggressively advocate for inclusion within the 2024-25 Budget of funding for a Wolf/Livestock Compensation Program at the Department of Fish and Wildlife and for additional resources for wildfire and forest resilience. Looking beyond this week’s likely early action, Governor Newsom will release a revised Budget proposal next month and legislators must finalize the Budget by the end of June.

New Episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast
A new episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is out now! In this week’s episode, Katie sits down with veterinarian, cattle rancher and CCA member Dr. Tom Talbot to talk through what producers should know about the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, current industry concerns, how it is being monitored and more. To listen, click here.

DMV Begins Blocking Registrations for Vehicles Not Compliant with CARB Clean Truck Check Regulation
The California Air Resources Board announced via email earlier this month that the Department of Motor Vehicles has begun placing registration holds on vehicles not in compliance with Clean Truck Check regulation reporting requirements. The Clean Truck Check regulation applies to nearly all non-gasoline vehicles (including diesel vehicles) with a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds or more which operate within California. CARB is now urging owners of covered vehicles to “report your vehicle in the Clean Truck Check reporting database…and pay any compliance fees” to “avoid potential registration holds.” For additional information regarding the Clean Truck Check regulation, see last week’s edition of California Cattleman Weekly.

SWRCB to Issue Notices of Violation to Delinquent Diversion and Use Filers
The State Water Resources Control Board has announced that it will begin issuing Notices of Violation to water rightsholders who have yet to file their Annual Water Diversion and Use reports for Water Year 2023 (October 1, 2022 through September 30, 2023). According to the Water Board, “If you submit your past-due report promptly, you will not receive the notice and potential future enforcement action.” For more information, see the April 1 edition of California Cattleman Weekly.

Upcoming CCA Events

2024 Feeder Meeting 
May 22-23, 2024, San Diego, CA
The 2024 Feeder Meeting will take place at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront, May 22-23. The final day to reserve a hotel room is 4/30. For further information about the event and to book your room click here. To register, click here. Registration prices will increase onsite.

Registration for 2024 Midyear Meeting is Open!
June 26-27, 2024, Nugget Casino Resort, Sparks, Nev. 
Registration for Midyear Meeting at the Nugget Casino Resort is now open! To register, click here. For more information on the CCA room block, click here. Look for more details on the meeting schedule to be posted in the coming weeks.

Upcoming Industry Events

Beef Sustainability; From Pasture to Purpose, Consumer Insights and Communication Strategies Webinar 
April 16, 2024, Virtual, 11am MT, From NCBA
NCBA is hosting a webinar that will focus on beef sustainability as it relates to supply chain operators. Topics will include current media landscape, consumer perceptions and messaging, current research efforts, and NCBA resources for operators. The webinar will be live on April 16th at 11 am MT. The webinar is open to the public. For more information and to register, click here.

2024 NCBA Legislative Conference 
April 17-19, JW Marriott, Washington,  D.C.
The 2024 NCBA Legislative Conference will take place April 17-19 at the JW Marriott in Washington D.C. The conference provides attendees the opportunity to join NCBA’s policy team in meeting with members of Congress, and agency officials and hearing from various guest speakers. To learn more about the event and to register, click here.

Registration Open for 2024 NCBA Summer Business Meeting
July 8-10, Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, San Diego, CA
Registration for the NCBA Summer Business Meeting happening July 8-10, 2024 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel in San Diego. To register, click here. To view the agenda click here.

CCA in the News

CDFW Says Livestock Producers Can No Longer be Compensated for Losses Due to Wolf Conflict SierraDailyNews.com “The California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) expresses “significant concern” about the increase in livestock depredations following the growth and expansion of the state’s wolf population.” To continue reading, click here.

Industry News

How do wildfires affect mental health? A new study examines the connection Orange County Register “A University of Washington study published in late February found an increase in prescriptions to treat depression and anxiety or stabilize mood in the six weeks after wildfires. The study used prescription data, commercial insurance claims and pharmacy records to examine the impact of 25 large California wildfires from 2011 to 2018.” To continue reading, click here.

NCBA Urges USDA to Reverse Decision to End Reporting of Critical Cattle Industry Data National Cattlemen’s Beef Association “Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) criticized the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Services’ (USDA-NASS) decision to cancel the July Cattle Report and discontinue the County Estimates for Crops and Livestock, among other changes. These reports provide critical data and the decision to end them is completely misguided.” To continue reading, click here.

Details emerge on pack of ‘wolf-type’ dogs on the move in Northern California SFGate “First-generation wolf hybrids are illegal to own, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and though no state permit is required to possess a first-generation wolf hybrid’s descendants, certain cities and counties may prohibit possession or require a permit. Pointedly, Mapes added: ‘The public is reminded that if animals trespass on their property, the public has the legal right to protect themselves, their pets and livestock, and their property.’” To continue reading, click here.

A new episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is out now! In this week’s episode, Katie sits down with veterinarian, cattle rancher and CCA member Dr. Tom Talbot to talk through what producers should know about the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, current industry concerns, how it is being monitored and more. To listen, click here.

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