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SB-249 Off-highway motor vehicle recreation. (2017-2018)

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Date Published: 07/13/2017 09:00 PM
SB249:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  July 13, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 26, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  May 26, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 249


Introduced by Senator Allen

February 07, 2017


An act to amend Sections 5090.10, 5090.11, 5090.15, 5090.24, 5090.30, 5090.31, 5090.32, 5090.34, 5090.35, 5090.43, 5090.61, and 5090.70 of, and to add Sections 5090.13, 5090.14, and 5090.39 to, the Public Resources Code, relating to state parks.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 249, as amended, Allen. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation.
The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Act of 2003 creates the Division of Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation within the Department of Parks and Recreation. The act gives the division certain duties and responsibilities, including the planning, acquisition, development, conservation, and restoration of lands in state vehicular recreation areas. Existing law requires the division to develop and implement a grant and cooperative agreement program with other agencies funded from no more than 1/2 of the revenues in the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund, with specified percentages of these revenues to be available, upon appropriation, for various purposes related to off-highway vehicles. Existing law requires the remaining revenues in the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund to be available for the support of the division and for the planning, acquisition, development, construction, maintenance, administration, operation, restoration, and conservation of lands in state vehicular recreation areas and certain other areas. The act is repealed on January 1, 2018.
This bill would revise and recast various provisions of the act. The bill would expand the duties of the division by requiring it to, among other things, (1) prepare and submit program and strategic planning reports to the department and the Natural Resources Agency regarding units of the state park system, as specified, (2) post on the department’s Internet Web site all plans, reports, and studies related to off-highway vehicle recreation or otherwise developed pursuant to the act’s provisions, as specified, (3) in consultation with specified bodies and departments, update the 2008 Soil Conservation Standard and Guidelines to establish a generic and measurable soil conservation standard by December 31, 2020, and review and, as appropriate, update that standard every 5 years thereafter, (4) implement a monitoring program, as defined, to evaluate the condition of soils, wildlife, and vegetation habitats in each state vehicular recreation area each year, as specified, and (5) identify and protect natural, cultural, and archaeological resources within state vehicular recreation areas. The bill would require the division to take other specified measures to protect natural and cultural preserves resources within state vehicular recreation areas, including measures to mitigate harmful impacts to these areas and to protect them from off-highway vehicle recreation use, as specified. The bill would require the division, through a public process, to develop protocols and practices, no later than July 1, 2019, to ensure certain requirements relating to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program are met. The bill would establish specified procedures for the review of the protocols and practices by the department and would, by July 1, 2020, require the director to determine whether they meet the requirements of the act and to modify any aspects that are inadequate. The bill would change the repeal date for the act to January 1, 2023, thereby extending the act’s provisions until that date.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 5090.10 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.10.
 “Conservation” and “conserve” mean activities, practices, and programs that protect and sustain soils, plants, wildlife, habitats, and cultural resources in accordance with the standards adopted pursuant to Section 5090.35.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5090.11 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.11.
 “Restoration” and “restore” mean, upon closure of the unit or any portion thereof, the restoration of land to the contours, the plant communities, and the plant covers comparable to those on surrounding lands or at least those that existed prior to off-highway motor vehicle use.

SEC. 3.

 Section 5090.13 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

5090.13.
 “Monitoring program” means a program adopted by the department that provides periodic evaluations of monitoring results to assess the adequacy of conservation and restoration actions to inform adaptive management strategies. A monitoring program includes, but is not limited to, all of the following at each individual system unit:
(a) Surveys to determine the status of natural and cultural resources.
(b) Periodic assessments of the effectiveness of protection and restoration measures currently in place.
(c) Progress reports on the implementation of conservation and restoration measures, the designation and management of sensitive areas with cultural and natural resources, and alternative management strategies.
(d) A schedule for conducting monitoring activities.

SEC. 4.

 Section 5090.14 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

5090.14.
 “Adaptive management” means to use the results of information gathered through a monitoring program or scientific research and regulatory standards to adjust management strategies and practices to ensure conservation and protection of natural and cultural resources.

SEC. 5.

 Section 5090.15 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.15.
 (a) There is in the department the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, consisting of nine members, five of whom shall be appointed by the Governor and subject to Senate confirmation, two of whom shall be appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules, and two of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.
(b) Persons appointed to the commission shall have expertise, or work or volunteer experience, or both, in one or more of the following areas:
(1) Off-highway vehicle recreation.
(2) Biological or soil sciences.
(3) Practical experience with rural landownership and management.
(4) Law enforcement.
(5) Environmental and cultural resource protection or management.
(6) Nonmotorized outdoor recreation.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that appointees to the commission represent all of the primary qualifications delineated in paragraphs (1) to (6) of subdivision (b), inclusive, to the extent possible, at all times. It is further the intent of the Legislature that the commissioners reflect the geographic diversity of California as well as the diversity of all Californians, including, but not limited to, the special needs of Californians who participate in off-highway vehicular recreation pursuant to this chapter.

SEC. 6.

 Section 5090.24 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.24.
 The commission has the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) Be fully informed regarding all governmental activities affecting the program.
(b) Meet at least four times per year at various locations throughout the state to receive comments on the implementation of the program. Establish an annual calendar of proposed meetings at the beginning of each calendar year. The meetings shall include a public meeting, before the beginning of each grant program cycle, to collect public input concerning the program, recommendations for program improvements, and specific project needs for the system.
(c) Hold a public hearing to receive public comment regarding any proposed substantial acquisition or development project at a location in close geographic proximity to the project, unless a hearing consistent with federal law or regulation has already been held regarding the project.
(d) Consider, upon the request of any owner or tenant, whose property is in the vicinity of any land in the system, any alleged adverse impacts occurring on that person’s property from the operation of off-highway motor vehicles and recommend to the division suitable measures for the prevention of any adverse impact determined by the commission to be occurring, and suitable measures for the restoration of adversely impacted property.
(e) Review and comment annually to the director on the proposed budget of expenditures from the fund.
(f) Review and comment on all plans for new and expanded local and regional vehicle recreation areas that have applied for grant funds.
(g) Review and comment on strategic plans periodically developed by the division.
(h) Prepare and submit a program report to the Governor and the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of each house of the Legislature on or before January 1, 2022. 2024. The report shall be adopted by the commission after discussing the contents during two or more public meetings. One of the public meetings shall be held in northern California and one shall be held in southern California. The report shall address the status of the program and off-highway motor vehicle recreation, including all of the following:
(1) A summary of the process and protocols developed pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 5090.39.
(2) The condition of natural and cultural resources of areas and trails receiving state off-highway motor vehicle funds and the resolution of conflicts of use in those areas and trails.
(3) The status and accomplishments of funds appropriated for restoration pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 5090.50.
(4) A summary of resource monitoring data compiled and restoration work completed.
(5) Actions taken by the division and department since the last program report to discourage and decrease trespass of off-highway motor vehicles on private property.
(6) Other relevant program-related environmental issues that have arisen since the last program report, including, but not limited to, conflicts with federal and state Endangered Species Acts, local air quality laws and regulations, federal Clean Water Act and regional water board regulations or permits, and other environmental protection requirements.
(i) Make other recommendations to the deputy director regarding the off-highway motor vehicle recreation program.

SEC. 7.

 Section 5090.30 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.30.
 There is in the department the Division of Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation. Whenever any reference is made to the Office of Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation, it shall be deemed to be a reference to, and to mean, the division.

SEC. 8.

 Section 5090.31 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.31.
 The division shall be under the direction of a deputy director appointed by the director. The deputy director shall be part of the department’s management team.

SEC. 9.

 Section 5090.32 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.32.
 Under the general direction of the director, the division has the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) Planning, acquisition, development, conservation, and restoration of lands in the state vehicular recreation areas.
(b) Direct management, maintenance, administration, and operation of lands in the state vehicular recreation areas.
(c) Provide for law enforcement and appropriate public safety activities.
(d) Implementation of all aspects of the program.
(e) Ensure program compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)) in state vehicular recreation areas.
(f) Provide staff assistance to the commission.
(g) Prepare, implement, and periodically update Prepare and implement plans for lands in, or proposed to be included in, state vehicular recreation areas, including new state vehicular recreation areas. However, a plan need shall not be prepared or updated in any instance specified in subdivision (c) of Section 5002.2. For purposes of subdivision (c) of Section 5002.2 and this subdivision, unauthorized or otherwise unintended off-highway trails that were not created for the purpose of emergency repair or restoration work authorized by the division, or expansion areas shall not be considered an existing facility or use.
(h) Conduct, or cause to be conducted, surveys, and prepare, or cause to be prepared, studies that are necessary or desirable for implementing the program.
(i) Recruit and utilize volunteers to further the objectives of the program.
(j) Prepare and coordinate safety and education programs.
(k) Provide for the enforcement of Division 16.5 (commencing with Section 38000) of the Vehicle Code and other laws regulating the use or equipment of off-highway motor vehicles in all areas acquired, maintained, or operated by funds from the fund; however, the Department of the California Highway Patrol shall have responsibility for enforcement on highways.
(l) Ensure protection of natural and cultural resources, including by setting unit capacity limits pursuant to Sections 5001.96 and 5019.5.
(m) Prepare and submit program and strategic planning reports to the department and the Natural Resources Agency, including annually reporting the number and type of injuries and accidents and the number and type of citations and other enforcement actions taken at system units, disaggregated by individual unit.
(n) Post on the department’s Internet Web site all plans, reports, and studies related to off-highway vehicle recreation or otherwise developed pursuant to this chapter, including those regarding conservation, restoration, monitoring, and adaptive management of system units, disaggregated by individual unit.
(o) Report on any closure implemented pursuant to Section 5090.35 at the next commission meeting following the closure.
(p) Complete other duties as determined by the director.

SEC. 10.

 Section 5090.34 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.34.
 (a) In cooperation with the commission, the division shall make available on the division’s Internet Web site information regarding off-highway motor vehicle recreation opportunities, pertinent laws and regulations, and responsible use of the system. At a minimum, Where practical, the Internet Web site shall include the following:
(1) The text of laws and regulations relating to the program and operation of off-highway vehicles.
(2) A statewide map and regional maps of federal, state, and local off-highway vehicle recreation areas and facilities in the state, including links to maps of federal off-highway vehicle routes resulting from the route designation process.
(3) Information concerning safety, education, and trail etiquette.
(4) Information to prevent trespass, damage to public and private property, and damage to natural resources, including penalties and liability associated with trespass and damage caused.
(b) The division shall create, and update when appropriate, a guidebook of federal, state, and local off-highway vehicle recreation opportunities that includes information where current specific maps and information for each facility can be located. Contact information shall be provided and shall include available Internet Web site addresses, telephone numbers, and addresses of offices where maps can be accessed. The guidebook shall also include the address of the Internet Web site where the information in subdivision (a) may be found. The division may publish the guidebook when funds are provided in the annual budget process.

SEC. 11.

 Section 5090.35 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.35.
 (a) The protection of public safety, the appropriate utilization of lands, and the conservation of natural and cultural resources are of the highest priority in the management of the state vehicular recreation areas and other areas in the system, when providing grant funding to agencies responsible for portions of the system, as defined in Section 5090.09. Accordingly, the division shall promptly repair and continuously maintain areas and trails, anticipate and prevent erosion and other impacts, and restore lands damaged by erosion and other impacts. The division shall take steps necessary to prevent damage to natural and cultural resources in these areas. When damage occurs in any portion of a state vehicular recreation area that is inconsistent with natural and cultural resources protection plans or this section, the division shall undertake protective and restoration measures which may include closure. Any area or portion of an area that is closed shall remain closed until it is repaired and effective adaptive management measures are implemented to prevent repeated or continuous damage.
(b) (1) The division, in consultation with the United States Natural Resource Conservation Service, the United States Geological Survey, the United States Forest Service, the United States Bureau of Land Management, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the California the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the California Department of Conservation shall update the 2008 Soil Conservation Standard and Guidelines to establish a generic and measurable soil conservation standard by December 31, 2020, and shall review and, as appropriate, update the standard at least every five years thereafter.
(2) If the division determines that the soil conservation standards and habitat protection plans are not being met in any portion of any state vehicular recreation area, the division shall temporarily close the noncompliant portion to repair and prevent erosion, until the soil conservation standards are met pursuant to subdivision (a).
(3) If the division determines that the soil conservation standards cannot be met in any portion of any state vehicular recreation area, the division shall close and restore the noncompliant portion pursuant to Section 5090.11.
(c) (1) In consultation with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, by December 31, 2020, the division shall compile, and update at least every five years thereafter, an inventory of wildlife and native plant populations, including wildlife habitats and vegetation communities in each state vehicular recreation area and shall prepare a wildlife habitat protection plan to conserve a viable species composition specific to each state vehicular recreation area.
(2) If the division determines that the wildlife habitat protection plan is not being met in any portion of any state vehicular recreation area, the division shall close the noncompliant portion temporarily until the wildlife habitat protection plan is met pursuant to subdivision (a).
(3) If the division determines that the wildlife habitat protection plan cannot be met in any portion of any state vehicular recreation area, the division shall close and restore the noncompliant portion pursuant to Section 5090.11.
(d) The division shall implement a monitoring program to evaluate the condition of soils, wildlife, and vegetation habitats in each state vehicular recreation area each year in order to determine whether the soil conservation standards and wildlife habitat protection plans are being met.
(e) The division shall not fund trail construction unless the trail is capable of complying with the conservation specifications prescribed in this section. The division shall not fund trail construction where conservation is not feasible.
(f) The division shall identify and protect natural, cultural, and archaeological resources within the state vehicular recreation areas.

SEC. 12.

 Section 5090.39 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

5090.39.
 (a) The division shall ensure that the program meets the requirements of this chapter. No later than July 1, 2019, the division shall, through a public process, develop protocols and practices to ensure all of the following:
(1) Soil conservation standards and measures are adequate to minimize erosion damage.
(2) Wildlife and habitat assessment and inventory methodologies incorporate the best available science.
(3) Soil conservation and habitat protection standards are capable of protecting, conserving, and restoring natural and cultural resources, including sensitive species.
(4) Monitoring and evaluation efforts comply with this chapter, and adaptive management practices address reasonable foreseen and unanticipated circumstances that may occur at units of the system.
(5) Management plans and soil conservation and wildlife habitat protection plans are consistent with other relevant resource protection plans, including, but not limited to, the state wildlife action plan, natural community conservation plans, regional conservation investment strategies, and wildlife corridor plans. Management plans and soil conservation and wildlife habitat protection plans shall appropriately consider regional land use and resource conservation plans prepared by a local agency pursuant to state law.
(6) The acquisition of land intended for off-highway motor vehicle use, to the maximum extent feasible, avoids lands on which motorized recreation would be inconsistent with this chapter.
(b) As part of the public process referenced in subdivision (a), the division shall conduct at least two public workshops, one in northern California and one in southern California. Thirty days prior to the workshop dates, the workshops shall be noticed on both the department’s and the commission’s Internet Web sites.
(c) Not later than January 1, 2020, the department shall complete a review of the practices and protocols developed pursuant to subdivision (a). The director shall solicit and consider comments and recommendations from the public, scientists with expertise in related fields of investigation, and others. By July 1, 2020, the director shall either determine in writing that the protocols and practices are adequate to meet the requirements of this chapter or the director shall modify any aspects of the protocols and practices that are inadequate.
(d) The director shall ensure that Section 5090.35 is implemented consistent with the practices and protocols. this chapter.

SEC. 13.

 Section 5090.43 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.43.
 (a) State vehicular recreation areas may be established on lands where there are quality opportunities for off-highway motor vehicle recreation and shall be managed in accordance with the requirements of this chapter. Areas may be developed, managed, and operated for the purpose of providing appropriate public use of the outdoor recreational opportunities present while protecting natural and cultural resources.
(b) Lands for state vehicular recreation areas shall be selected for acquisition so as to minimize the need for establishing sensitive areas to protect natural and cultural resources.
(c) All unavoidable impacts to natural or cultural resources in new, expanded, and existing state vehicular recreation areas shall be fully mitigated by implementing appropriate mitigation measures, including permanently protecting lands that provide comparable natural and cultural resources and values. State vehicular recreation areas shall fully incorporate all mitigation and permit recommendations or requirements of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and all other responsible or trustee agencies.
(d) The department shall manage, or collaborate with another public entity or nonprofit organization to manage lands acquired for state vehicular recreation areas that are determined to not be appropriate for off-highway vehicle recreation. These lands shall be managed for park purposes, open space purposes, or conservation purposes. The department may dispose of, consistent with applicable provisions of law, lands acquired for state vehicular recreation areas that are determined to not be appropriate for off-highway vehicle recreation. If lands are sold, any revenue that results from the sale shall be reverted back to the fund originally used to purchase the lands.
(e) After January 1, 1988, no new cultural or natural preserves or state wildernesses shall be established within state vehicular recreation areas. To ensure consistent protection of natural and cultural resources across all state parks, including state vehicular recreation areas, sensitive areas shall be established within state vehicular recreation areas where determined by the division to be necessary to protect natural and cultural resources. These sensitive areas shall be managed by the division in accordance with Sections 5019.65, 5019.71, and 5019.74, which define the purpose and management of natural and cultural preserves. The division shall not create designations, other than sensitive areas, for lands containing natural or cultural values that the division determines need protection.
(f) If off-highway motor vehicle use results in damage to any natural or cultural values or damage within sensitive areas, appropriate measures shall be promptly taken to protect these lands from any further damage. These measures shall include restoration of damaged lands and resources and measures to prevent future damage, which may include the erection of physical barriers.

SEC. 14.

 Section 5090.61 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.61.
 Moneys in the fund shall be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, as follows:
(a) An amount, not to exceed 50 percent of the annual revenues to the fund, shall be available for grants and cooperative agreements pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 5090.50).
(b) (1) The remainder of the annual revenues to the fund shall be available for the support of the division in implementing the off-highway motor vehicle recreation program and for the planning, acquisition, development, mitigation, construction, maintenance, administration, operation, restoration, and conservation of lands in the system.
(2) As used in this subdivision, “support of the division” includes functions performed outside of the division by others on behalf of the division, including a prorated share of the department’s common overhead and other costs incurred on behalf of the division for personnel management and training, accounting, and fiscal analysis, records, purchasing, public information activities, consultation of professional scientists and reclamation experts for the purposes of Section 5090.35, and legal services.

SEC. 15.

 Section 5090.70 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5090.70.
 This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2023, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute that is enacted before January 1, 2023, deletes or extends that date.