June 17, 2024

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CCA to Host Session on Gray Wolf Management June 27 During Midyear Meeting
As California’s population of gray wolves continues to grow in number and expand its range throughout the state, ranchers and other land managers are increasingly feeling the effects of the fully protected species’ presence. Instances of livestock depredation by wolves have increased substantially, and more recently the possibility of adverse impacts to proposed local projects within wolf territory (such as fuels thinning operations) has emerged.

While CCA has aggressively lobbied to minimize gray wolf impacts on cattle producers since 2011 when the Oregon wolf designated OR-7 first traveled into the state, that advocacy has always been member-driven. A meeting of CCA members at the 2023 Annual Convention was responsible for CCA’s strong advocacy this year in favor of additional funding for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wolf-Livestock Compensation Program (which, regrettably, is not currently included in the Budget framework finalized by the Legislature last week).

To discuss the next steps in CCA’s gray wolf advocacy, the Association will be hosting a Wolf Meeting in conjunction with CCA’s Midyear Meeting, held from June 26-27 at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nev. The Wolf Meeting, facilitated by Dr. Ken Tate, is open to all CCA members and Midyear Meeting registrants, and will be held during General Session #2 on Thursday, June 27 in rooms Cascade 1 and 2 between 8:00-10:00am. To register for the Midyear Meeting, click here (note that online registration closes this Thursday, after which attendees will need to register on-site).

Legislators Pass 2024-25 Budget Bill, But Negotiations Continue
On Thursday, both houses of the Legislature voted to approve the Budget Act of 2024, sending a spending proposal to the Governor’s desk two days ahead of a Constitutional deadline to do so.

While legislators have technically met their Constitutional obligation, it is all but certain that Governor Gavin Newsom will not sign the Budget in its current form. The Budget Bill passed last week reflects only the Legislature’s priorities; the measure will now be negotiated between Governor Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Mike McGuire and Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas before a final spending agreement is reached, likely this week (in any event, a Budget must be finalized ahead of the next Fiscal Year, which begins July 1). McGuire has described the Budget Bill passed last week as merely a “framework” for the final agreement.

The current budget “framework” omits funding for programs that CCA has opposed, such as proposed research within the UC system promoting alternative proteins and increased funding for waste discharge permitting and enforcement at the State Water Resources Control Board which would have vastly increased fees on permittees (the Budget Bill instead merely requires a report from the Board to the Legislature on this topic). Unfortunately, one of CCA’s signature funding priorities for this year – renewed funding for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wolf-Livestock Compensation Program – is also omitted from the present budget framework.

CCA will provide a more comprehensive update on the 2024-25 State Budget once a final Budget Bill has been signed into law by the Governor alongside accompanying budget trailer bills – policy bills which implement the provisions of the Budget. Stay tuned to California Cattleman Weekly for updates and stay tuned for the August edition of the California Cattleman magazine for those updates.

In addition to the Budget, legislators and the Administration are also rushing to negotiate an array of bond proposals relating to climate spending, education and housing ahead of a June 27 deadline to qualify bond measures for the November 2024 ballot. CCA will keep members apprised as details develop regarding a potential climate bond, in particular.

Proposed Constitutional “Green Amendment” Shelved
Earlier this year, California Cattleman Weekly reported on Assemblymember Isaac Bryan’s (D-Los Angeles) Assembly Constitutional Amendment 16, which as initially introduced would have declared that “The people shall have a right to clean air and water and a healthy environment.”

As we noted in January, so-called “green amendments” have already been enshrined into law in Pennsylvania, Montana and New York. In Montana, the group Our Children’s Trust has used that state’s green amendment to challenge a provision of the state’s environmental policy act which allowed state agencies to grant oil and gas permits without considering the potential climate impacts resulting from issuing those permits.

In an encouraging sign, Assemblymember Brian amended the proposed Constitutional amendment earlier this month to provide that it “shall not be construed or applied in a manner that is inconsistent with duly enacted laws of the state or other rights set forth in this Constitution.”

That amendment soured some supporters of the bill, however, and last Monday Assemblymember Bryan announced that the bill would be held because “We simply don’t have enough time this election cycle to craft the comprehensive and inspired amendment language California deserves.”

Upcoming Deadlines for Air District Grants
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) provides $60 million annually in grant funding to repower or replace older off-road and on-road equipment through the Carl Moyer Program. The program is administered by each of the 35 local air quality districts and often can provide funding to replace or repower ag equipment such as loaders, tractors, and pump engines. However, each district has some degree of latitude in how they administer the program, including the application process. While some districts accept applications on an ongoing basis, others have short application periods.

The Rancher Technical Assistance Program (RTAP) has compiled a list of these application periods and can help ranchers navigate the application process. Reach out to RTAP at (916) 409-6902 or rtap@wrstrat.com if you would like to know when your district’s application period is open or learn more about the Carl Moyer Program.

Air Quality Districts with upcoming Carl Moyer Program application deadlines: 

Ventura County APCD – Closes 6/21/24

Upcoming CCA Events

June 20 is the Final Day to Pre-register for Midyear Meeting
June 26-27, 2024, Nugget Casino Resort, Sparks, Nev. 
June 20 is the final day to pre-register for Midyear Meeting at the Nugget Casino Resort. To register, click here. For more information on the CCA room block and to view a tentative schedule, click here. Registration prices will be increased onsite.

Upcoming Industry Events

Conservation Easement Workshop
June 27, 2024, 5:30 pm, Fall River Mills Veterans Hall, Fall River Mills, CA
The Shasta Land Trust is hosting a conservation easement workshop for the Fall River Valley area on Thursday, June 27. This is a free educational workshop for landowners interested in learning more about how conservation easements might benefit them and their property. 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.

Public Lands Council Annual Meeting
Sept. 17-19, DoubleTree by Hilton, Grand Junction, Colo.
Registration is now open for the Public Lands Council’s 56th Annual Meeting, to be held in Grand Junction, Colorado from September 17-19. Registration for the three-day in-person event is $375, with discounted rates available for family members, students and media. The entire event will be hosted in the DoubleTree Hilton. For additional details and to register, click here.

Industry News

Animal rights comes to ‘America’s Provence’ and farmers are worried POLITICO “In Sonoma, however, a measure pitting people who shop at farmers markets against those who supply them strikes deep in the terroir. Once-fringe beliefs about animal rights are becoming mainstream just as the nation is facing a rural economic crisis, having lost over a half a million farms since the 1980s. What is underway in an iconic food-producing area might soon spread elsewhere as exurban development increasingly encroaches into agricultural regions nationwide.” To continue reading, click here.

Livestock Industry Fights Misguided Grazing Impacts from Greater-Sage Grouse Management Plan The Public Lands Council “Yesterday, the Public Lands Council (PLC) and other livestock groups filed comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and draft Resource Management Plans (RMP) related to Greater Sage-Grouse habitat management.” To continue reading, click here.

NCBA Welcomes Republican Senate Farm Bill Framework National Cattlemen’s Beef Association “Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) welcomed the Farm Bill framework released by Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR). Included in the framework are top priorities for cattle producers, similar to the bipartisan House Farm Bill, such as funding to protect the U.S. cattle herd from foreign animal disease, continued support for voluntary conservation programs, and other critical food security provisions.” To continue reading, click here.

S4 E12: Sorting through a retired Navy SEAL Captain’s perspective on how to build trust in high performance teams
A new episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast is out now! In this week’s episode, Katie sits down with CCA Feeder Council Chair Mike Sulpizio and Tom DeJarnette a retired Navy SEAL Captain who was recently a guest speaker at CCA’s Feeder Meeting to share about his presentation and perspectives on leadership. In this episode, hear about DeJarnette’s takeaways from his 26-year Naval career and how he connects many of them to the beef industry. To listen, click here.

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