Today's Law As Amended

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AB-1630 Wildlife movements.(2017-2018)



SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Wildlife corridors, which often overlap with riparian corridors or other topographically distinct features, allow species to move between high-value habitats safely, diverting wildlife from private lands or highways where they have the potential to face negative human-wildlife interactions or cause traffic collisions.
(b) As regional weather patterns and habitat continue to shift due to climate change, wildlife populations will likely require new foraging, breeding, and sheltering locations. Connectivity between existing core habitat areas and those required to support future wildlife populations will be crucial to allow the safe migration of species between protected areas as climate patterns shift.
(c) Wildlife corridors and connected habitat will help native species such as mountain lions, bobcats, porcupines, badgers, coyotes, and deer that suffer from increasingly fragmented habitats maintain healthy populations and genetic diversity.
(d) By identifying where wildlife corridors overlap with transportation infrastructure, the state can identify high-risk areas for wildlife-vehicle collisions and create or modify road design to improve habitat connectivity, thus protecting both drivers and wildlife from harm or injury.
(e) It is the policy of the state to encourage, wherever feasible and practicable, voluntary steps to protect the functioning of wildlife corridors through various conservation and mitigation efforts and to promote a regional conservation investment strategy that encourages investments in conservation through advance mitigation efforts.
(f) California has made substantial investments in the conservation of public lands, including the issuance of nearly $11.7 billion in general obligation bonds since 1988. Wildlife corridors maximize the return on these prior investments by allowing parklands to function as a network of habitat areas.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 13 (commencing with Section 1950) is added to Division 2 of the Fish and Game Code, to read:

CHAPTER  13. Wildlife Passage
1950.
 On or before January 1, 2020, the department shall do both of the following:
(a) Update the California Essential Habitat Connectivity Project with new, best available data on wildlife movements.
(b) Create a formal avenue for scientific data on wildlife movements gathered by universities, nonprofit corporations, public agencies, and independent biologists to be submitted to the department. The department may consider this data in its update to the California Essential Habitat Connectivity Project and shall make this data available to the public on its Internet Web site.