CCA members, as stewards of California’s public and private lands, work diligently to ensure that their grazing practices improve California’s land and water for the benefit of the myriad species that rely upon them. Cattle grazing provides and improves habitat for numerous species, including threatened species such as the California tiger salamander, the California red-legged frog, and the Vernal pool fairy shrimp.
While CCA supports the protection of threatened and endangered species, we are opposed to abuses of the state and federal endangered species acts such as the continued listing of recovered species and efforts to preclude livestock grazing throughout vast swaths of land deemed “critical habitat” for listed species.
Numerous studies demonstrate that properly-managed grazing is beneficial to many of California’s endangered species, and CCA firmly believes that these management practices ought to be encouraged for the benefit of these sensitive species. CCA members’ stewardship efforts have even resulted in the recovery and delisting of previously-endangered species, such as the Modoc sucker, a fish species found in the northern part of the state.
Unfortunately, state and federal governments often overlook the significant economic toll that endangered species management can have upon ranchers and their businesses. CCA firmly believes that endangered species listing decisions should include an economic impact analysis, and has even sued the US Fish and Wildlife Service to require analysis of critical habitat designations upon small businesses and local governments.
Additionally, CCA works closely with our national affiliates the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council in Washington, D.C to reform the federal Endangered Species Act.
In recent years, CCA has worked tirelessly to delist the gray wolf—an animal whose population has rapidly recovered throughout the West since reintroduction in the 1990s—from both the California and federal endangered species acts.
While providing habitat for many of California’s native species, ranchers and their livestock face the threat of numerous predators, including mountain lions, coyotes, bears, ravens, and even gray wolves. CCA and its members work with various agencies to support non-lethal management of predators, but works to ensure the proper management of problem predators when non-lethal deterrents fail.