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SB-395 Accidental taking and possession of wildlife: collision with a vehicle.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/29/2019 02:00 PM
SB395:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 29, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 395


Introduced by Senator Archuleta

February 20, 2019


An act to amend Section 2000.5 of, and to add Sections Section 2000.3 and 2000.6 to, and to add and repeal Section 2000.6 of, the Fish and Game Code, relating to wild game mammals.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 395, as amended, Archuleta. Accidental taking and possession of wildlife: collision with a vehicle.
(1) Existing law delegates to the Fish and Game Commission the power to regulate the taking or possession of birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, and reptiles, except as provided. Existing law provides that the accidental taking of a bird, mammal, reptile, or amphibian by collision with a motor vehicle while the vehicle is being operated on a road or highway is not a violation of law. Existing law authorizes the state or local agency having jurisdiction of a road or highway to remove an accidental take from the road or highway. A violation of the Fish and Game Code is a crime.
This bill would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to adopt rules and regulations commission to establish, in consultation with specified public agencies and stakeholders, a pilot program no later than January 1, 2022, for the issuance of wildlife salvage permits through a user-friendly web web-based portal and cellphone-based application developed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife to persons desiring to recover, possess, use, or transport, for purposes of salvaging wild game meat for human consumption of, any deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, or wild pig that has been accidentally killed as a result of a vehicle collision on a roadway within California. This The bill would authorize the commission to restrict the roadways where salvage may be conducted, the species subject to salvage, and any other aspect of the pilot program necessary to ensure the pilot program’s success. The bill would require the department to implement the program no later than 6 months after the commission establishes the program. The bill would require a state or local agency that removes dead wildlife from a roadway to report the location, species, and any additional relevant data relating to the dead wildlife via the web-based portal or cellphone-based application. By imposing additional duties on local agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would require that this permitting process be made available at no cost to the public.
The bill, notwithstanding any other law, bill would authorize (a) (A) a person who unintentionally strikes and kills a deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, or wild pig on a roadway in California with a vehicle to recover, possess, use, or transport the whole animal and salvage the edible portions of the animal, and (b) (B) a person who unintentionally strikes a deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, or wild pig on a roadway in California with a vehicle, leaving the animal severely injured, to immediately thereafter dispatch kill the severely injured animal in a safe, legal, and humane manner, and to recover, possess, use, or transport the whole animal and salvage the edible portions of the animal. The bill would make these provisions applicable to an individual who encounters an unintentionally killed or severely injured deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, or wild pig that the individual did not strike with a vehicle, as described above.
The bill would require, within 24 hours of an incident described above, a person recovering, possessing, using, or transporting the animal for purposes of salvaging the edible portions to obtain a wildlife salvage permit and to report through the department’s web portal the exact location, animal type, date and time, and basic characteristics of the incident. The bill would require the department to make wildlife salvage permits available for issuance no later than January 1, 2021. The bill would also require the department, beginning March 1, 2023, 2024, and each March 1 thereafter, to make available on its internet website data that records the number of permits issued, locations of impacts, species of wildlife, and estimated pounds of meat salvaged each year.
The bill would make repeal these provisions operative on January 1, 2021. 2029.
(2) By creating criteria for the accidental taking and possession of specified wild game animals, the violation of which would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(3)The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

(3) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Wildlife Traffic Safety Act.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) It is the intent of this legislation act to make available to Californians tens of thousands of pounds of a healthy, wild, big game food source that currently is wantonly wasted each year following wildlife-vehicle collisions. Additionally, it is the intent of this act to ease and improve the reporting of where these collisions occur in order to generate the necessary information to develop appropriate prevention strategies, such as wildlife crossings.
(b) Each year it is estimated that over 20,000 deer alone are hit by motor vehicles on California’s roadways. This potentially translates into hundreds of thousands of pounds of healthy meat that could be utilized used to feed those in need.
(c) State law prohibits its citizens from wasting big game meat. Among other things, Section 4304 of the Fish and Game Code prohibits any person at any time from leaving through carelessness or neglect any game mammal or game bird that is in that person’s possession, or any portion of the flesh thereof that is usually eaten by humans, to go needlessly to waste.
(d) Salvageable wild game meat programs are not new in America. However, because of technology, recent legislation in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska has codified programs that simplify the reporting and permitting process, minimizes direct agency oversight, and creates a seamless stream of pertinent data for state agency managers. This legislation act seeks to adopt provide for a similar regulations regulatory framework in California.

(e)California hunters and fishers help manage fish and wildlife populations through regulated sport hunting and fishing opportunities and those animals are routinely consumed by humans as a part of their diet, with no public health inspection needs or requirements.

(f)

(e) Wildlife in the state of California belong to the people of the State of California.
(f) This act seeks to promote citizen science through public participation in order to guide public safety improvements to help minimize wildlife-vehicle collisions.

SEC. 2.SEC. 3.

 Section 2000.3 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

2000.3.
 (a) As used in this chapter, “roadway” has the same meaning as defined in Section 530 of the Vehicle Code.
(b) As used in this chapter, “vehicle” has the same meaning as defined in Section 670 of the Vehicle Code.

SEC. 3.SEC. 4.

 Section 2000.5 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

2000.5.
 (a) Notwithstanding Section 219, 2000, or any other law, and notwithstanding any requirement for a permit or license or other entitlement to take a species, the accidental taking of a bird, mammal, reptile, or amphibian by collision with a vehicle while that vehicle is being operated on a roadway is not a violation of this code or a regulation adopted pursuant to this code. Nothing in this section authorizes a person to possess any bird, mammal, reptile, or amphibian accidentally taken by collision with a vehicle as provided in this subdivision. Animals accidentally taken on a roadway may be removed by the state or local agency having jurisdiction over the roadway.
(b) This section does not apply to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050).

SEC. 4.SEC. 5.

 Section 2000.6 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

2000.6.
 (a) (1) Consistent with Section 91.8 of the Streets and Highways Code, the department commission shall adopt rules and regulations for establish a pilot program for the issuance of wildlife salvage permits through a user-friendly web web-based portal and a cellphone-based application to persons desiring to recover, possess, use, or transport, for purposes of salvaging wild game meat for human consumption of, any deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, or wild pig that has been accidentally killed as a result of a vehicle collision on a roadway within California. This permitting process shall be available at no cost to the public.
(2) In developing the pilot program, the commission shall consult with the department, the Department of Transportation, the Department of the California Highway Patrol, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, other relevant public entities, and stakeholders to ensure public health and safety and to ensure the pilot program does not facilitate poaching.
(3) The commission may restrict the roadways where salvage may be conducted, the species subject to salvage, and any other aspect of the pilot program necessary to ensure the pilot program’s success.
(4) A person desiring to salvage the carcass of an animal pursuant to this section shall do so in a manner consistent with Section 21718 of the Vehicle Code.
(5) The commission shall consider and recommend to the department public education and outreach for the wildlife salvage pilot program beyond traditional hunting populations to the general public in order to promote reporting of dead wildlife along the state’s roadways.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 2000.5 or any other law, 2000.5, both of the following shall apply:
(1) In the event If a person unintentionally strikes and kills a deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, or wild pig on a roadway in California with a vehicle, that person may recover, possess, use, or transport the whole animal and salvage the edible portions of the animal.
(2) In the event If a person unintentionally strikes a deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, or wild pig on a roadway in California with a vehicle, leaving the animal severely injured, that person may immediately thereafter, and in a safe, legal, and humane manner, dispatch kill the severely injured animal and may recover, possess, use, or transport the whole animal and salvage the edible portions of the animal.
(c) The provisions of subdivision (b) shall also apply to an individual who encounters an unintentionally killed or severely injured deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, or wild pig that they did not strike with a vehicle.
(d) Within 24 hours of an incident described in either subdivision (b) or subdivision (c), the person recovering, possessing, using, or transporting the animal for purposes of salvaging the edible portions shall obtain a wildlife salvage permit. In order to obtain the permit, a person shall report through the web portal the exact location, animal type, date and time, and basic characteristics of the incident.
(e) (1) The department commission shall make establish the wildlife salvage permits available for issuance pilot program no later than January 1, 2021. 2022.
(2) The department shall implement the program no later than six months after the commission establishes the pilot program.
(3) (A) The department shall develop and make available to the public the user-friendly web-based portal and cellphone-based application described in subdivision (a) for the wildlife salvage pilot program to facilitate participation in the pilot program and the reporting of wildlife killed by vehicles.
(B) The web-based portal and cellphone-based application shall work with the existing harvest reporting system in use by the department, including identification of the person salvaging the animal.
(4) A state or local agency that removes dead wildlife from a roadway pursuant to Section 2000.5 shall report the location, species, and any additional relevant data relating to the dead wildlife via the web-based portal or cellphone-based application.
(f) This section does not apply to the wildlife species listed pursuant to the California Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050)) and Section 670.1 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, or other nongame wildlife, fully protected species, migratory birds, including, but not limited to, waterfowl and other wildlife species not lawfully hunted.
(g) The state is not liable for any harm, injury, loss, or damage arising out of the recovery, possession, use, transport, or consumption of any wild game animal legally salvaged pursuant to this section.
(h) Beginning March 1, 2023, 2024, and each March 1 thereafter, the department shall make available on its internet website data that records the number of permits issued, locations of impacts, species of wildlife, and estimated pounds of meat salvaged each year.

(i)This section shall become operative on January 1, 2021.

(i) Subdivisions (b) to (d), inclusive, shall become operative when the department implements the pilot program.
(j) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2029, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 5.

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

SEC. 6.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.