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AB-2106 Wildlife habitat: Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program: upland game bird hunting validation: state duck hunting validation.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/06/2020 09:00 PM
AB2106:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2106


Introduced by Assembly Member Aguiar-Curry
(Principal coauthor: Senator Dodd)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Gallagher)

February 06, 2020


An act to amend Sections 3480, 3682.1, 3684, 3700.1, and 3701 of, and to add Section 3467.5 to, the Fish and Game Code, relating to wildlife habitat.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2106, as introduced, Aguiar-Curry. Wildlife habitat: Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program: upland game bird hunting validation: state duck hunting validation.
(1) Existing law makes it unlawful to take upland game birds without first procuring a hunting license and an upland game bird hunting validation. Under existing law, moneys derived from upland game bird hunting validations are required to be deposited in the Upland Game Bird Account in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund. Existing law provides that moneys in the account are to be available, upon appropriation, to the Department of Fish and Wildlife to be used solely for the purpose of acquiring land, completing projects and implementing programs to benefit upland game bird species, and expanding public hunting opportunities and relating public outreach. Existing law requires an advisory committee, as determined by the department, to review and provide comments to the department on all proposed projects funded by the Upland Game Bird Account to help ensure that specified requirements pertaining to the Upland Game Bird Account have been met. Existing law requires the department to post on its internet website budget information and a brief description for all projects funded from the Upland Game Bird Account.
Existing law requires a person to procure a hunting license and a state duck hunting validation to take migratory birds, as specified. Under existing law, moneys derived from state duck hunting validations are required to be deposited in the State Duck Stamp Account in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund. Existing law authorizes moneys in the account to be used for, among other things, projects or endowments approved by the Fish and Game Commission for the purpose of protecting, preserving, restoring, enhancing, and developing migratory waterfowl breeding and wintering habitat, evaluating habitat projects, and conducting waterfowl resource assessments and other waterfowl-related research.
Existing law creates the California Waterfowl Habitat Preservation Account in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund with moneys in the account available, upon appropriation, for expenditure for the California Waterfowl Habitat Program, which authorizes the Director of Fish and Wildlife to enter into contracts with nonpublic entities that are owners of record, or with lessees, who have the owners of record execute the contract, of land determined by the director to be important for the conservation of waterfowl.
This bill would raise by $5 the upland game bird hunting validation and the state duck hunting validation fees, as specified, with that $5 to be deposited, and available upon appropriation to the department for the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program, in the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Subaccount, which the bill would create in the California Waterfowl Habitat Preservation Account.
This bill instead would require the Upland Game Bird Account advisory committee to annually review and provide comments to the department on all proposed projects and other expenditures funded from the Upland Game Bird Account to help ensure that specified requirements pertaining to the Upland Game Bird Account have been met and require the department to post budget information and a brief description on its internet website for all projects and other expenditures funded from the Upland Game Bird Account.
(2) Existing law establishes the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program, which authorizes the department to include direct payments or other incentives to encourage landowners to voluntarily cultivate or retain upland cover crops or other upland vegetation on idled lands to provide waterfowl, upland game bird, and other wildlife habitat cover for certain purposes, including encouraging the use of idle agricultural lands for wildlife habitat, as specified. Existing law authorizes state or federal grants, state bond moneys, and private grants and donations to be allocated by the department for the purposes of the program.
This bill would revise and recast the program to authorize the inclusion of direct payments or other incentives to encourage landowners to voluntarily cultivate or retain upland cover crops, grasses, forbs, pollinator plants, or a combination thereof to provide waterfowl and other game bird nesting habitat cover for certain purposes, including encouraging the use of idle agricultural lands for wildlife habitat, as specified. The bill would additionally authorize moneys in the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Subaccount to be allocated by the department for the purposes of the program.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 3467.5 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

3467.5.
 The Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Subaccount is hereby created in the California Waterfowl Habitat Preservation Account, created pursuant to Section 3467, in the State Treasury. Moneys deposited in the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Subaccount shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the department for the purposes of the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program (Article 9 (commencing with Section 3480)).

SEC. 2.

 Section 3480 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

3480.
 (a) The department shall establish the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program, which may include direct payments or other incentives, to encourage landowners to voluntarily cultivate or retain upland cover crops or other upland vegetation on idled lands crops, grasses, forbs, pollinator plants, or a combination thereof to provide waterfowl, upland game bird, and other wildlife waterfowl and other game bird nesting habitat cover, including, but not limited to, for the purposes described in Section 1018 of the Water Code.
(b) The department may develop guidelines and criteria for the program established under pursuant to subdivision (a) as it deems appropriate, but shall ensure that it is the guidelines and criteria are flexible enough to meet landowner needs. The program shall do all of the following:
(1) Prohibit a landowner who participates in the program and has committed to leaving the established upland cover crops or other upland vegetation crops, grasses, forbs, pollinator plants, or a combination thereof in place after April 1 from engaging in practices practices, such as discing, spraying of herbicides, mowing, chipping, chopping, or rolling any vegetation on those idled lands until after July 1, 15, or as late as possible each year, to address waterfowl nesting, upland game bird habitat, and other wildlife needs.
(2) Give priority to contracts with landowners that do both of the following:
(A) Include lands adjacent to, or in close proximity to, waterfowl brood habitat, including, but not limited to, areas flooded during the spring or summer for the cultivation of rice. rice, State Wildlife Areas, National Wildlife Refuges, and private wetlands enrolled in the California Waterfowl Habitat Program (Article 7 (commencing with Section 3460)).
(B) Establish upland nesting cover over multiple years.
(3) Be consistent with the waterfowl habitat breeding goals and objectives of the Central Valley Joint Venture Implementation Plan Plan, as it may be amended. amended, or the Intermountain West Joint Venture Implementation Plan, as it may be amended.
(4) Allow for one year or multiyear long-term contracts with landowners.
(5) Allow for the rotation of fallowed fields to different areas of a landowner’s property on an annual basis.
(6) Prohibit, in connection with the approval of a transfer, a landowner who participates in the program from diverting or using any water under any basis of right to irrigate land idled in order to provide water for transfer, unless the transfer is approved by the State Water Resources Control Board pursuant to Part 2 (commencing with Section 1200) of Division 2 of the Water Code, or by the Department of Water Resources pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 1810) of Chapter 11 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Water Code, and the irrigation of the idled land is expressly authorized under pursuant to that approval.
(7) Allow for activities undertaken or requested by mosquito control agencies to address mosquito production.
(c) (1) The program may be supported with state or federal grants, state bond moneys, moneys in the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Subaccount, created pursuant to Section 3467.5, and private grants and donations. Funds may also be used as a state match for related federal conservation programs that provide waterfowl and upland game bird breeding habitat benefits.
(2) Moneys received for the purposes of this section shall be deposited in the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Subaccount, created pursuant to Section 3467.5.
(d) The department may shall utilize the assistance of the California Waterfowl Habitat Program (Article 7 (commencing with Section 3460)) in implementing the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program, including, but not limited to, establishing program priorities, contract requirements, and monitoring and compliance activities. Nonprofit conservation organizations may also assist in the implementation and delivery of the program to the extent that the department deems appropriate.
(e) (1) The program may also include agricultural lands not subject to water transfers or lands fallowed for any other legal purpose.
(2) The department also may provide incentives to landowners for either of the following:
(A) Delaying of the harvest of cover crops or cereal grains, such as winter wheat, that provide waterfowl and other game bird nest cover benefits.
(B) Providing for game bird hunting opportunities for the public, including, but not limited to, utilizing the assistance of the Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement Program (Article 3 (commencing with Section 1570) of Chapter 5 of Division 2).
(f) The department may consult with the Wildlife Conservation Board, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and nonprofit waterfowl and upland game bird organizations before implementing this section to determine the optimal ways to increase and enhance waterfowl and upland game bird breeding habitat on idled lands.
(g) Landowners who take voluntary action to cultivate or retain irrigated or nonirrigated cover crops, natural vegetation, or other wildlife habitat grasses, forbs, pollinator plants, or a combination thereof on lands fallowed pursuant to the goals of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (Part 2.74 (commencing with Section 10720) of Division 6 of the Water Code) or the Voluntary Agreements to Improve Habitat and Flow in the Delta and its Watersheds shall also be eligible to participate in the program described in subdivision (a). Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program.
(h) The program Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program is established for waterfowl waterfowl, ring-necked pheasant, wild turkey, and other game bird breeding purposes and shall not be used to provide waterfowl wintering habitat, including managed wetland habitat, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 1506.
(i) This section shall be implemented only if either of the following occur: a sufficient amount of federal grants or other moneys are secured, as determined by the department, for the purposes of this section.

(1)The Water Supply and Water Quality Act of 2018 (Division 38 (commencing with Section 86000) of the Water Code) is approved by the voters at the November 6, 2018, statewide general election.

(2)A sufficient amount of federal grants or other funds are secured, as determined by the department, for the purposes of this section.

(j) The department may carry out the game bird breeding habitat purposes of the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Program on State Wildlife Areas and National Wildlife Refuges when necessary and as the department deems appropriate utilizing moneys in the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Subaccount, created pursuant to Section 3467.5.

SEC. 3.

 Section 3682.1 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

3682.1.
 (a) It is unlawful for any person, except a person licensed pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 3031, to take any upland game bird species without first procuring an upland game bird hunting validation, as provided in subdivision (b), and having the validation affixed to his or her their valid hunting license.
(b) (1) Upland game bird hunting validations may be obtained from the department or a licensed agent authorized pursuant to Section 1055.1 for a fee of six dollars and twenty-five cents ($6.25), adjusted pursuant to Section 713.

(c)This section applies only to licenses, permits, reservations, tags, and other entitlements issued through the Automated License Data System.

(2) In addition to the fee imposed pursuant to paragraph (1), a fee of five dollars ($5) is hereby imposed to obtain an upland game bird hunting validation, as adjusted pursuant to Section 713.

SEC. 4.

 Section 3684 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

3684.
 (a) The Upland Game Bird Account is hereby established within the Fish and Game Preservation Fund.
(b) (1) All funds derived from the sale of upland game bird hunting validations and upland game bird stamps shall be deposited in the Upland Game Bird Account Account, except as provided in paragraph (2), to permit separate accountability for the receipt and expenditure of these funds.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), five dollars ($5), as adjusted pursuant to Section 713, for each upland game bird hunting validation sold shall be deposited in the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Subaccount, created pursuant to Section 3467.5.
(c) Funds deposited in the Upland Game Bird Account shall be available for expenditure upon appropriation by the Legislature to the department. These funds shall be expended solely for the purpose of acquiring land, completing projects and implementing programs to benefit upland game bird species, and expanding public hunting opportunities and related public outreach, including, but not limited to, enhancing upland game bird habitat. Any land acquired with funds from the Upland Game Bird Account shall be acquired in fee title or protected with a conservation easement and, to the extent possible, be open or provide access to the public for upland game bird hunting. The department may also use funds from the Upland Game Bird Account to pay for administrative and enforcement costs of the programs and activities described in this section. The amount allocated from the account for administrative costs shall be limited to the reasonable costs associated with administration of the programs and activities described in this section.
(d) The department may make grants to, reimburse, or enter into contracts or other agreements agreements, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1571 with, 1571, with nonprofit organizations for the use of the funds from the Upland Game Bird Account to carry out the purposes of this section, including related habitat conservation projects.
(e) An advisory committee, as determined by the department, that includes interested nonprofit organizations that have goals and objectives directly related to the management and conservation of game bird species and primarily represent the interests of persons licensed pursuant to Section 3031 shall annually review and provide comments to the department on all proposed projects and other expenditures funded from the Upland Game Bird Account to help ensure that the requirements of this section have been met. The department shall post budget information and a brief description on its Internet Web site internet website for all projects and other expenditures funded from the Upland Game Bird Account.
(f) Upland game bird projects authorized pursuant to this section are not subject to Part 2 (commencing with Section 10100) of Division 2 of the Public Contract Code or Article the California Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Program (Article 6 (commencing with Section 999) of Chapter 6 of Division 4 of the Military and Veterans Code. Code).
(g) The department shall maintain the internal accountability necessary to ensure compliance with the collection, deposit, and expenditure of funds specified in this section.

SEC. 5.

 Section 3700.1 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

3700.1.
 (a) It is unlawful for any person, except a person licensed pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 3031, to take any migratory game bird, except jacksnipe, coots, gallinules, western mourning doves, white-winged doves, and band-tailed pigeons, without first procuring a state duck hunting validation as provided in subdivision (b), and having that validation in his or her their possession while taking those birds.
(b) (1) State duck hunting validations shall be sold for a fee of ten dollars ($10) ($10), as adjusted pursuant to Section 713, by the department and by license agents, who are authorized by the department pursuant to Section 1055.1, in the same manner as hunting licenses.

(c)This section applies only to licenses, permits, reservations, tags, and other entitlements issued through the Automated License Data System.

(2) In addition to the fee imposed pursuant to paragraph (1), a fee of five dollars ($5) is hereby imposed to obtain a state duck hunting validation, as adjusted pursuant to Section 713.

SEC. 6.

 Section 3701 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

3701.
 (a) All funds derived from the sale of state duck hunting validations and state duck stamps, and related items authorized by subdivision (e) of Section 3700 or subdivision (g) of Section 3700.2, shall be deposited in the State Duck Stamp Account in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund Fund, except as provided in subdivision (b), to permit separate accountability for the receipt and expenditure of these funds. An amount not to exceed 6 percent of the amount annually deposited in the account may be used for administrative overhead related to the use of those funds and for implementation of the federal Migratory Bird Harvest Program.
(b) Five dollars ($5), as adjusted pursuant to Section 713, of the amount collected by the department for each state duck hunting validation sold shall be deposited in the Nesting Bird Habitat Incentive Subaccount, created pursuant to Section 3467.5.