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AB-434 Public lands: grazing leases.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/04/2021 09:00 PM
AB434:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 434


Introduced by Assembly Member Robert Rivas

February 04, 2021


An act to amend Sections 1010, 1745.1, and 2539 of the Fish and Game Code, and to amend Sections 5069.1, 6501.1, and 6505.5 of the Public Resources Code, relating to public lands.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 434, as introduced, Robert Rivas. Public lands: grazing leases.
Existing law authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and State Lands Commission to lease certain lands for specified purposes, including agricultural purposes and grazing, as specified.
This bill would require those agencies, in issuing certain of those leases, to give preference to certain farmers and ranchers and other applicants. The bill would prohibit certain of those leases from being for a period of less than 5 years, except as specified, and from being for a period of more than 20 years. The bill would require those agencies, upon the expiration of a grazing lease, to offer a subsequent grazing lease for those lands to the lessee if the agency plans to sell another grazing lease for those lands and the lessee has substantially complied with all terms of the expiring grazing lease.
The bill would also change certain references from “grazing permits” to “grazing leases.”
The bill would authorize those agencies to lease certain of those lands for the additional purpose of fuel management to mitigate the risks of wildland fire, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the public interest to authorize livestock grazing in certain state park units, or portions thereof, when it is found that grazing will promote fuel management to mitigate the risk of wildland fire and is not incompatible with the ultimate use of the real property as a unit, or part of a unit, of the state park system and with the sound management and conservation of resources within the unit.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1010 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

1010.
 (a) The department, by and with the approval of the Department of General Services, may sell grazing permits leases or otherwise dispose of excess vegetation or other products, produced on lands acquired by the department.
(b) In selling grazing leases pursuant to subdivision (a), the department shall do both of the following:
(1) Give preference to an applicant who is a limited resource farmer or rancher, beginning farmer or rancher, socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, or veteran farmer or rancher, as those terms are defined for purposes of the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-334).
(2) Give preference to an applicant with greater proximity between the applicant’s residence or place of business and the lands to be leased.
(c) (1) A grazing lease sold pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be for a period of less than five years, unless the director finds in writing that the lands leased are unsuitable for a lease of five or more years.
(2) A grazing lease sold pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be for a period of more than 20 years.
(d) If the department, upon the expiration of a grazing lease sold pursuant to subdivision (a), plans to subsequently sell another grazing lease for the lands included in that expiring grazing lease and the lessee has substantially complied with all terms of the expiring grazing lease, the department shall first offer to sell the subsequent grazing lease to that lessee.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1745.1 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

1745.1.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, the department may lease department-managed lands for agricultural activities, including, but not limited to, grazing, where consistent with either the purpose for which the lands were acquired and compatible with the department’s approved management plan for the area, if available. available, or the purpose of fuel management to mitigate the risks of wildland fire.
(b) The moneys collected from agricultural leases entered into pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be deposited by the department into the Wildlife Restoration Fund and, upon appropriation by the Legislature, may be used to support the management, maintenance, restoration, and operations of department-managed lands.

SEC. 4.

 Section 2539 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

2539.
 If the licensee operates with pack or riding animals in any area in which a grazing permit lease is required, the license is not valid unless the holder thereof of the license has a valid grazing permit lease for the area. A licensee shall not guide clients on any lands under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of the Interior or Department of Agriculture where permits leases are required without first obtaining the permit lease from that federal agency.

SEC. 5.

 Section 5069.1 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

5069.1.
 (a) Any portion of any parcel of real property acquired for state park system purposes, which purposes that either had been previously farmed or grazed, or otherwise used for agricultural purposes, within the 24 months immediately preceding acquisition, or the grazing upon which would mitigate the risk of wildland fire, may be made available for lease for agricultural those purposes by the department if unless the director makes written findings that use of the real property for agricultural purposes would be compatible incompatible with the ultimate use of the real property as a unit, or part of a unit, of the state park system and with the sound management and conservation of resources within the unit.
(b) In issuing a lease pursuant to subdivision (a), the department shall do both of the following:
(1) Give preference to an applicant who is a limited resource farmer or rancher, beginning farmer or rancher, socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, or veteran farmer or rancher, as those terms are defined for purposes of the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-334).
(2) Give preference to an applicant with greater proximity between the applicant’s residence or place of business and the lands to be leased.
(c) (1) A lease issued pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be for a period of less than five years, unless the director finds in writing that the lands leased are unsuitable for a lease of five or more years.
(2) A lease issued pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be for a period of more than 20 years.
(d) If the department, upon the expiration of a lease issued pursuant to subdivision (a), plans to subsequently issue another lease for the lands included in that expiring lease and the lessee has substantially complied with all terms of the expiring lease, the department shall first offer to issue the subsequent lease to that lessee.

SEC. 6.

 Section 6501.1 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

6501.1.
 (a) Lands owned by the state and which that are under the jurisdiction of the commission may be leased for such any purpose or purposes as the commission deems advisable, including, but not limited to, grazing leases leases, including grazing leases for fuel management to mitigate the risk of wildland fire, and leases for commercial, industrial, and recreational purposes.
(b) In issuing a grazing lease pursuant to subdivision (a), the department shall do both of the following:
(1) Give preference to an applicant who is a limited resource farmer or rancher, beginning farmer or rancher, socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, or veteran farmer or rancher, as those terms are defined for purposes of the federal Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-334).
(2) Give preference to an applicant with greater proximity between the applicant’s residence or place of business and the lands to be leased.

SEC. 7.

 Section 6505.5 of the Public Resources Code is amended to read:

6505.5.
 No (a) A grazing or recreational lease shall not be for a period longer than 10 20 years except that when the recreational use is combined and is incidental to residential use on the same parcel, and the lease so recites, the lease shall not exceed 50 years. The lessee shall be notified by mail of the filing of any application to purchase the leased land or any portion thereof. of the leased land. The lease shall terminate as to the whole or the portion of the lands described therein in the lease on the date the sale of the whole or of such portion of the leased land is approved by the commission. The lessee shall be notified by registered mail of the termination of the lease as to the whole or portion sold. As to the portion of leased lands not sold, it shall be the option of the lessee to terminate the lease, or to cause the lease to be amended for the unexpired term, at the same annual rental per acre, without the payment of any additional fees.
(b) A grazing lease issued pursuant to subdivision (a) shall not be for a period of less than five years, unless the director finds in writing that the lands leased are unsuitable for a lease of five or more years.
(c) If the department, upon the expiration of a grazing lease issued pursuant to subdivision (a), plans to subsequently issue another grazing lease for the lands included in that expiring grazing lease and the lessee has substantially complied with all terms of the expiring grazing lease, the department shall first offer to issue the subsequent grazing lease to that lessee.