Private Property Rights and Land Use

CCA is committed to protecting the private property rights enshrined in the state and federal constitutions. When confronted with laws and regulations that threaten private property rights, including unlawful takings, CCA routinely challenges these actions in court. With the aid of our non-profit legal partners, CCA has gone to court to oppose actions of the California Coastal Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other agencies whose regulations could foreseeably harm the property interests of California’s ranchers.

CCA policy seeks to ensure that there is “no net loss of privately-owned lands or water rights,” and CCA members thus believe that any acquisition of land or water rights by state or federal government should be offset by the release of equally-valuable public lands to the private sector.


As agricultural producers, CCA members have an inherent interest in the management, storage, use, and quality of the state’s water resources.

CCA members take stewardship of the state’s water resources seriously, and employ a number of best management practices to ensure that their ranching operations do not harm California’s water quality. In fact, responsible ranch management assists in maintaining—and even improving—water quality within numerous California waterways.

Nevertheless, water quality regulation in California tends to unjustifiably target cattle grazing. CCA is dedicated to ensuring that California’s water quality regulations to not impose unreasonable restrictions upon livestock grazing. In recent years, these efforts have involved stopping the State Water Resources Control Board’s misguided Grazing Regulatory Action Program (GRAP) and seeking uniform, science-based bacterial standards for California’s waters. 

CCA is committed to protecting agricultural producers’ water rights from the imposition of unreasonable fees, curtailment orders, and other threats. Given the complexity of California’s water rights, CCA staff also stands willing to assist cattlemen in navigating and complying with the state’s complex water rights regulations, such as 2016’s Emergency Regulation for Measuring and Reporting the Diversion of Water.

CCA routinely fights against regulatory overreach, including fighting the EPA’s expansive 2015 definition of “Waters of the United States” and state efforts to expand regulation of Waters of the State. CCA also supports the construction of additional water storage projects within California to ensure the viability of the state’s agriculture in years of water scarcity.


CCA supports state and federal attempts to ensure clean air for the people of California, but we believe that many of the measures taken by regulatory agencies are ill-conceived and fail to account for the benefits that ranching has on carbon sequestration and air quality improvement.

In an effort to ensure that policy is rooted in sound science and research, CCA works to correct misinformation regarding animal agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and works with scientists and researchers to ensure that California ranchers are employing best management practices to safeguard the state’s air quality.


California’s ranchers pride themselves on responsible stewardship of the state’s wildlife resources, but must also defend their livelihoods from threats of predation and misguided government efforts at wildlife regulation.

Keeping up with Stockpond Regulations

Stockponds magazine layout preview

Need a primer on regulations impacting livestock stock ponds? Click above to read an article from Kirk Wilbur, VP of Government Affairs and get up to date on the regulatory landscape governing stockponds. 


The CCA Policy Book is written and updated by CCA members. The policies within the book dictate the position that CCA takes on issues at the State Capitol as well as in the regulatory arena as CCA staff and officers work on behalf of members throughout the state.

Still have questions on property rights or land use issues? 

Contact Kirk Wilbur at (916) 444-0845 or at