April 22, 2024

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Administration Releases 81 Targets for Nature Based Climate Solutions
In conjunction with Earth Day, Governor Newsom this morning announced the release of California’s Nature Based Solutions Climate Targets 2024, which identifies “81 targets to use millions of acres to help absorb more carbon emissions.” The targets aim to “strategically harness the equivalent of more than half of [California’s] land to fight the climate crisis” and help the state meet its goal of “reaching carbon neutrality by 2045.”

Many of the targets identified in the strategy align with CCA policy goals. For instance, according to the Governor’s press release, the strategy seeks to manage 33.5 million acres for reduced wildfire risk by 2045, “mostly through beneficial fire” such as prescribed burns. This treatment goal will also be achieved via a variety of “other fuel reduction goals,” however, such as “prescribed herbivory (grazing).”

The strategy is largely organized by land type. Of particular interest to CCA, the document recognizes the value of grasslands as “a potentially significant carbon sink” and aims to restore 55,100 acres per year of “degraded grasslands to native vegetation communities and diverse, perennial, deep-rooted grasses” over the next 21 years. The strategy recommends managing restored grasslands in part using prescribed grazing as identified in the state’s Natural and Working Lands (NWL) Climate Smart Strategy.

CCA has long advocated for increased grazing on state-owned lands to reduce fire fuels and promote carbon sequestration on grazable lands. To some extent, the targets released this morning align with that goal. Specifically, the document suggests that the state “Expand the use of CDFW-managed lands for grazing, where consistent with the ecological purposes of those State lands.” While the document doesn’t specifically address grazing on lands managed by other state agencies, it opens the door to potentially manage other state-owned lands with grazing. For instance, with regard to the Department of Parks and Recreation, the strategy aims to “Develop a roadmap for aligning State Parks[’] approach to land management with the NWL Climate Smart Strategy,” which, as noted above, advocates managing rangelands in part with prescribed grazing.

Given that these targets were only released this morning, CCA’s review of the document is ongoing. Stay tuned to California Cattleman Weekly for updates on the 81 “Nature Based Solutions” identified by the state and their potential impacts upon – and opportunities for – California’s cattle producers.

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Seeks Nominations for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board 
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking nominations for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board for the Southwest Unit. Beef producers within the United States who own cattle or any importers that import cattle or beef can be nominated by eligible organizations. To learn more about the Cattlemen’s Beef Board click here. To learn more about eligibility, click here. For more information, contact CCA’s Associate Director of Communications Maureen LaGrande.

New Episode of Stories from California Cattle Country
A new episode of Stories from California Cattle Country, “Predators: Speaking with rancher Wes Moore in Humboldt County about Nuisance Dogs” is out now! Stories from California Cattle Country is produced by the California Cattlemen’s Foundation with support from the California Cattle Council. To listen, click here.

CDFW Releases Report on Wolf-Livestock Compensation Pilot Program
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife earlier this month released a summary report detailing how the agency spent $3 million appropriated in the Budget Act of 2021 for the Department’s Wolf-Livestock Compensation Pilot Program. During the Pilot Program, the Department awarded 109 wolf compensation grants to 36 individual producers with livestock operations in four counties with known wolf activity, with roughly $135,000 going to direct loss compensation, $950,000 providing pay-for-presence compensation and the remainder funding non-lethal deterrence. CCA continues to lobby the Legislature and Administration to fund the Program in the 2024-25 Budget. For additional information, see last week’s edition of California Cattleman Weekly.

UPDATE: Early-Action Budget Cuts Signed into Law
Governor Gavin Newsom last week signed into law Assembly Bill 106, a bill amending the Budget Acts of 2022 and 2023. As previously reported by California Cattleman Weekly, AB 106 implements $17.3 billion in spending cuts, delays and shifts to previously appropriated funding in an effort to shrink the state’s projected $38 billion deficit.

The legislation also authorizes the Department of Finance to “suspend the authority to expend any one-time funding provided in…the Budget Acts of 2021, 2022, or 2023” upon 10-days notification to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.” On Wednesday, the Department of Finance exercised that authority, notifying legislators of its intent to suspend a wide range of General Fund spending appropriated over the past three years.

CCA continues to actively lobby a variety of priorities for the Fiscal Year 2024-25 State Budget, including investments in wildfire and forest resilience and funding for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wolf-Livestock Compensation Program. Governor Newsom will release his “May Revise” of his proposed Budget next month, after which the Legislature has a Constitutional deadline of June 15 to pass the Budget. For additional information, see last week’s edition of California Cattleman Weekly.

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 the April 8 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

NCBA Webinar Thinking Ahead: Succession Planning
April 25, 2024, 6:00 pm CST, Virtual
On Thursday, April 25 NCBA will host a succession planning webinar discussing how to prepare for the next generation of cattle producers. To learn more and 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 not taking depredation applications Western Livestock Journal “The California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) said in its April 15 weekly update that it has lobbied for increased funding for the Wolf-Livestock Compensation Program. CCA said it remains committed to updating its members on the progress of budget negotiations, particularly as the governor finalizes his May budget revision and as legislative discussions conclude in June.” To continue reading, click here.

Industry News

BLM Rule Threatens Multiple Use Management of Public Lands Public Lands Council “Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and Public Lands Council (PLC) expressed serious concerns about the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final ‘Conservation and Landscape Health’ rule that reimagines the agency’s requirements to manage lands for multiple uses, including livestock grazing.” To continue reading, click here.

Crop-rich California region will fall under state monitoring to preserve groundwater flow ABC News “The State Water Resources Control Board voted unanimously to start overseeing groundwater pumping in the Tulare Lake Subbasin meaning state, not local officials, will temporarily watch how much water can be pumped from the ground.” To continue reading, click here.

NCBA Concludes Successful Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association “During the event, NCBA members discussed their priorities for the next Farm Bill, including the need for animal health, disaster relief, risk management, and voluntary conservation programs. Producers also urged policymakers to reduce red tape on farms and ranches by reeling in overreaching regulations from federal agencies. Additionally, members discussed the need to protect the cattle industry from the threat of a foreign animal disease and defend the Beef Checkoff from animal rights activist attacks.” 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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